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Tubeless Tandem Tires

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Tubeless Tandem Tires

Old 10-20-16, 12:29 PM
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chojn1
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Tubeless Tandem Tires

I bought a set of UST wheels last year. But, because of all the trips we had planned, I got lazy and just stuck some tubes and clinchers on and rode them as a regular clinchers setup. I was pretty happy with the ride.

Unpacking the wheels after the last trip, however, I decided to experiment and pulled out the inner tube, stuck on a new stem, and poured in some sealant. These are regular clincher tires on a tubeless setup. I've been playing with them for about a month now. Initially at the recommended 45PSI, they were good on gravel trails but mushy on the road. At 70psi they are sublime on the road. Cornering was sharp, traction was amazing, and road bumps were barely noticeable. The ride was just better.

A couple weeks ago, I ran over some glass on the shoulder. Didn't think much about it until I saw a string of sealant from the front tire. There must not have been too much air loss as I didn't even notice any change in the handling. So, I just brushed off the sealant and kept going on my way. Needless to say, I was pretty happy not to be sitting on the side of the road changing tubes.

This morning, after running over some construction debris, I felt a sudden loss of pressure from the front wheel. It was not a complete flat, but just enough to notice on the steering. Inspection of the tires this time showed no evidence of any sealant leak - not on the tread or side wall. I pumped up the tire with about half a 16oz CO2 cartridge and rode the last 15 miles home. Tire still feel tight when we got home with no sign of any leaks anywhere. While I am happy not having to change tire, I would be happier if I know what happened and if I could still trust these tires.

Anyway, these tires have about 3k miles on them, so they needed to be replace soon anyway. Anyone with experience with tubeless on their tandems? If so, any ideas what I should be worried about? Also, any recommendation on true tubeless tires?
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Old 10-20-16, 02:24 PM
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In your your case The biggest thing I'd be worried about is running a clincher tires on a tubeless rim. I've talked with Hed & Enve about this subject with both company's saying on a single bike you can get away using a normal clincher, but on a tandem your just looking for trouble with the tire rolling off. Tubeless tires bead is totally different, which allows the bead to lock down on the tubeless rim. I've been using on our tandem Hed Belgium + tubeless rim & Schwable Pro 1 tubeless tires, with Stans race sealant no problems, I will never go back to a tube again. The ride is so much nicer. I'd say with the tire pressure you lost you probably dis-lodged the bead for a second, Danger
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Old 10-20-16, 09:26 PM
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Thanks Bad,

I was also thinking that must have been the burp. Although I was expecting to see some sealant at the rim edge if that was the case. We are a pretty light team (240lb). Running these tires at 75psi, I thought the stress on these tires would not be much worse than that of a larger single rider. But, I will heed your advise and slap another wheelset on until I get some real tubeless tires.

Are you pretty happy with the Schwalbe? What pressure do you run yours at?
Thanks again,
CJ
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Old 10-21-16, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad1 View Post
In your your case The biggest thing I'd be worried about is running a clincher tires on a tubeless rim. I've talked with Hed & Enve about this subject with both company's saying on a single bike you can get away using a normal clincher, but on a tandem your just looking for trouble with the tire rolling off. Tubeless tires bead is totally different, which allows the bead to lock down on the tubeless rim. I've been using on our tandem Hed Belgium + tubeless rim & Schwable Pro 1 tubeless tires, with Stans race sealant no problems, I will never go back to a tube again. The ride is so much nicer. I'd say with the tire pressure you lost you probably dis-lodged the bead for a second, Danger
It's a really bad idea to use regular clincher tire on a tubeless road setup, esp on a tandem. Tubeless clincher tires have a no-stretch carbon beads that will stay securely on the UST rims at high pressure (70-110 psi). The fit is airtight so sealant is optional (but recommended).

On a mtn bike, it's not unusual to use regular tires in a tubeless setup with non-UST rims (known as "going ghetto"). The tire pressure is low enough (25-40 psi) that there is little risk the tire will burp or roll off. However, it's still better to use tubeless mtn tires with UST rims.

I recommend 28mm tubeless road tires like Hutchinson Secteur and Schwalbe One. Don't bother with 25mm tubeless tires for road tandems.
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Old 10-21-16, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chojn1 View Post
Thanks Bad,

I was also thinking that must have been the burp. Although I was expecting to see some sealant at the rim edge if that was the case. We are a pretty light team (240lb). Running these tires at 75psi, I thought the stress on these tires would not be much worse than that of a larger single rider. But, I will heed your advise and slap another wheelset on until I get some real tubeless tires.

Are you pretty happy with the Schwalbe? What pressure do you run yours at?
Thanks again,
CJ
What type and size of clincher tires are you using?
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Old 10-21-16, 12:54 PM
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Hi Wayne,
38mm 650B - the same one I ran at SWTR just without the tubes.
70-75psi works best for me on the pavement. I had about 2000 mile on them prior to the conversion and about 1000 since. Really like the tubeless setup.
But as per Bad and Seymour recommendations, I have a set of Schwalbe One on order.
CJ
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Old 10-22-16, 08:05 PM
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We are using 26" x 2.0 Schwalbe Supremes on Blunt 35 rims and they seem fine. We run 55psi in them and they seem fast and handle well. No trouble with punctures but we have done under 1000kms so far on them so thats hardly a long term test.
We were using Schwalbe Duo's on the Canadian tour we did a few months ago and while they were good the trails we were riding on on such as "route Verte", they seemed to be really hard work on the road and didn't inspire confidence in the corners.
We are about to ride from Sydney to Melbourne in a few weeks time and although we have one 40km section of dirt road I'll most probably leave the Supremes on unless anyone has any advice to the contrary.
I'm running 25c Schwalbe Pro 1 tyres on my Seven road bike with Hed C+ Belgium rims. They are fantastic for both handling and ride quality. I'm running them at 80 psi as I'm 90kg and they measure 29mm. I found Stans race sealant seemed to be better than the standard sealant. I had my second puncture today when I was nearly home. I only realised as I could feel a slight damp mist on my leg and realised what the source of the spray was. I thought I'd better check again and after an hour it lost another 30psi
so I'll pull the tyre off and put a patch on the inside of the tyre when i find the hole
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Old 10-22-16, 08:34 PM
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Try Stans Race sealant if available to you, seals better and quicker, all reviews are are very positive.
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Old 10-23-16, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by geoffs View Post
I'm running them at 80 psi as I'm 90kg and they measure 29mm. I found Stans race sealant seemed to be better than the standard sealant. I had my second puncture today when I was nearly home. I only realised as I could feel a slight damp mist on my leg and realised what the source of the spray was. I thought I'd better check again and after an hour it lost another 30psi so I'll pull the tyre off and put a patch on the inside of the tyre when i find the hole
Stan's sealant has been the "standard" for many years and works really well. However, sealant will dry out within a year depending on temperature or humidity. It's a good idea to remove the tire once a year to remove any dried sealant and replenish the sealant.

Orange sealant is becoming more popular because it's less likely to dry up and get clumpy. I now use Orange on several tubeless setups. Here's one review at Velonews:

Reviewed: Orange Seal tire sealant | VeloNews.com

Orange is more expensive than Stan's but it lasts longer and seals better.
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Old 10-23-16, 11:52 AM
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I've not heard of any recommendation before against using standard clincher tires and tubes on road tubeless compatible rims. We've been using a DT Swiss RR511 rim on the front of our tandem for the past couple of months, and have so far only used a standard clincher on it (Conti' Gatorskin 28mm). I've used those rims on single bikes before with tubeless tires and standard clinchers without any problems. I just submitted a message to DT Swiss support to ask them if they have any recommendations about this, and will report back if I get a response.
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Old 10-23-16, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
I've not heard of any recommendation before against using standard clincher tires and tubes on road tubeless compatible rims. We've been using a DT Swiss RR511 rim on the front of our tandem for the past couple of months, and have so far only used a standard clincher on it (Conti' Gatorskin 28mm). I've used those rims on single bikes before with tubeless tires and standard clinchers without any problems. I just submitted a message to DT Swiss support to ask them if they have any recommendations about this, and will report back if I get a response.
Just to clarify, it's perfectly fine to use a regular clincher tire (eg. Conti Gran Prix 4000) and inner tube on a tubeless compatible rim (eg. Shimano Dura Ace C24 TL, Stan's ZTR Alpha). The inner tube will maintain proper pressure and the tire will remain secure.

What's NOT safe is to use a regular clincher tire (eg. Conti Gran Prix 4000) without an inner tube on modified rim (UST-compatible or not). It's possible to make a regular rim airtight by using Stans rim tape, but the rim profile won't conform to UST standards. The tire bead will stretch and won't lock-up properly with the rim, leading to pressure loss and a dangerous blow-out. Here's a warning from Schwalbe about using regular tires without an inner tube:

"Due to the necessary high inflation pressure for a road bike, it is absolutely impossible to convert classic tires to tubeless tires. A normal tire bead will not withstand these forces and the tire will almost certainly come off. Be sure to only use tires which are designed for tubeless fitting!"

As I mentioned earlier, it's possible to use a regular mtn bike tire without an inner tube due to the low tire pressure (20-40 psi). Stans NoTube explain the difference between mtn and road tubeless tire conversions:

"Please note, unlike with mountain bike conversions, specific Road Tubeless tires are required for conversion. They have been designed with a folding tire bead that will not stretch and cause catastrophic blowouts. Road Tubeless tires must be used and we have partnered with Hutchinson to provide three excellent options."
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Old 10-24-16, 03:52 AM
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Thanks for clarifying, mtseymour. In your previous post you wrote "It's a really bad idea to use regular clincher tire on a tubeless road setup" and I had not understood that you were referring to using regular clinchers without inner tubes. That is not advised by anyone and I agree that it is a bad idea. I mistakingly understood you to mean there is a problem using any regular clincher tires (with tubes) on any tubeless-compatible rims.
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Old 10-24-16, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
Thanks for clarifying, mtseymour. In your previous post you wrote "It's a really bad idea to use regular clincher tire on a tubeless road setup" and I had not understood that you were referring to using regular clinchers without inner tubes. That is not advised by anyone and I agree that it is a bad idea. I mistakingly understood you to mean there is a problem using any regular clincher tires (with tubes) on any tubeless-compatible rims.
No problem. I should have been more clear in replying to the original post.

I've used tubeless tires for many years on several single bikes (mtn and road) and really like the ride and flat protection. I always carry an inner tube in case there is a major puncture but have never used it.

However, we did use our emergency inner tube once when the rear tubeless tire sprung a major leak on our tandem. Don't know if it was bad luck or the additional weight on the rear tire. Our free wheel (Hutchinson Sector tubeless on Rolf wheel) has been trouble-free. We have a pair of Schwalbe One Tubeless (28mm) and will try them soon.

While I'm 100% keen on tubeless tire for singles, I'm more cautious about tubeless tires on tandems due to heavier load and limited selection of suitable UST rims.
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Old 10-26-16, 01:05 PM
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I think that using the term 'UST' is also rather confusing because I believe it refers to a specific rim shape used by Mavic for tubeless MTB tires. You seem to be using that name to refer to any rim with a hook that is designed for tubeless road tires, which apparently doesn't have a specific name and is not overly standardized. I find this topic quite confusing, but was somewhat helped by a series of two articles posted by Bikerumor last year:
Why Isn't Road Tubeless More Popular? Part One - How We Got Here - Bikerumor
Why Isn't Road Tubeless More Popular? Part Two - Current Options, Challenges & What's Coming Down the Road - Bikerumor

In my experience using tubeless road tires (Schwalbe The One and Pro One, 23 and 25 mm), they stopped me from getting pinch flats but cuts and piercings still sometimes caused flat tires, which were occasionally repairable with tire plugs but often not. Mounting the tires, getting them to inflate, diagnosing problems with valves and rim tape, etc., etc., was just too much of a headache for me when I rarely get punctures in standard clinchers with tubes anyway. Therefore, after about 2 years and 20,000 km on tubeless tires, I've given up on them and am going back to regular clinchers with tubes - much simpler, cleaner, plus any problems are easier to diagnose and fix. I didn't notice any difference in how tubeless tires 'felt' when riding them compared to regular tires. YMMV.
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Old 10-26-16, 03:32 PM
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I have another (somewhat unrelated) question for those on this thread: I recently mounted tires on my single mountain bike. They are 26" x 2.3" tires with kevlar beads. They are rated as tubless but I put tubes in them. I have mounted many dozens of tires but these were the tightest I have ever installed. One of them took two of us to get it installed.

Now that they are on the bike, I can see that the tire bead has not seated on the rim flange in a couple of places. When I look at the tire there is no place where the bead looks like it is about to pop off of the rim flange. I've tried several methods to try to get the bead to seat: riding the bike on rough trails both over and under-inflated. Letting some air out, applying soapy water to the interface and re-inflating. The bead still won't seat. The tires say that max pressure is 45 psi.

If I way over-inflate the tire (temporarily) to try to seat the bead, any idea how high is too high before the tire blows out? Is there any other tried & true way to get it to seat? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-27-16, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
I think that using the term 'UST' is also rather confusing because I believe it refers to a specific rim shape used by Mavic for tubeless MTB tires. You seem to be using that name to refer to any rim with a hook that is designed for tubeless road tires, which apparently doesn't have a specific name and is not overly standardized. I find this topic quite confusing, but was somewhat helped by a series of two articles posted by Bikerumor last year:
Why Isn't Road Tubeless More Popular? Part One - How We Got Here - Bikerumor
Why Isn't Road Tubeless More Popular? Part Two - Current Options, Challenges & What's Coming Down the Road - Bikerumor

In my experience using tubeless road tires (Schwalbe The One and Pro One, 23 and 25 mm), they stopped me from getting pinch flats but cuts and piercings still sometimes caused flat tires, which were occasionally repairable with tire plugs but often not. Mounting the tires, getting them to inflate, diagnosing problems with valves and rim tape, etc., etc., was just too much of a headache for me when I rarely get punctures in standard clinchers with tubes anyway. Therefore, after about 2 years and 20,000 km on tubeless tires, I've given up on them and am going back to regular clinchers with tubes - much simpler, cleaner, plus any problems are easier to diagnose and fix. I didn't notice any difference in how tubeless tires 'felt' when riding them compared to regular tires. YMMV.
Thanks for the link to these informative articles. The point is that there are several tubeless rim designs, and tires should be matched to the rim for best results. Some tubeless tires will work with most rims (eg. Schwalbe, Hutchinson) while others are designed for specific rims (eg. Trek/Bontrager). Tubeless tires are probably more useful for mtn tandems than road tandems.

Oldacura: mtn bikers are generally careful when selecting tubeless tires (tread pattern, width, etc) to get a good fit on certain rims. If you search mtn bike forums, you will see discussions on specific tubeless tires and rim combos. The Stans Notube website is a good source of info. An air compressor or floor pump should provide enough air pressure (30-40 psi) to seat the bead. Once the bead locks into place, you can lower the pressure for riding conditions (35 psi or less). If it's so hard to mount the tire, it's probably just a bad choice for your particular rim.
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