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Tubeless

Old 11-13-11, 01:11 PM
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3kmi
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Tubeless

Is anyone running tubeless setups on their road tourers? I was just thinking that it'd probably be a pretty good idea as far as ride comfort and flat prevention.
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Old 11-13-11, 05:28 PM
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I don't think many people use tubeless on tours. If you managed to get a flat that was non-repairable you'd be SOL unless you want to lug around a spare tire, glue, etc and go through the tedious (in my opinion) process of replacing a tubular on the side of the road.

The tradeoff between comfort and convenience probably isn't worth it.
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Old 11-13-11, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MKIV987 View Post
I don't think many people use tubeless on tours. If you managed to get a flat that was non-repairable you'd be SOL unless you want to lug around a spare tire, glue, etc and go through the tedious (in my opinion) process of replacing a tubular on the side of the road.
"Tubular" and "tubeless" are not the same thing. If you get a flat in a tubeless tire, you install a tube in the tire and keep riding...

Still, I'm not sure there's any real benefit to using tubeless tires on a tour. They're useful on mountain bikes, where you need to run lower pressures to improve traction and don't want to risk pinch flats. For an on-road tour, I find that regular tires at normal pressures work just fine. Don't think tubeless is really worth the expense or hassle.
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Old 11-13-11, 09:47 PM
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i don't know of any road touring tubeless tires at this time. the choices would be road (700x23 and maybe 25), cyclocross (knobby 700x34) and mtb

Last edited by zzzwillzzz; 11-13-11 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 11-14-11, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
i don't know of any road touring tubeless tires at this time. the choices would be road (700x23 and maybe 25), cyclocross (knobby 700x34) and mtb
Or "ghetto" tubeless: any standard tire, an old tube used to seal the rim, and a generous helping of Stan's sealant to keep everything air-tight.
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Old 11-14-11, 02:31 AM
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IME, converting a non-tubeless rim to take tubeless tires is an unreliable and far from ideal solution.
Using a rim that is designed for tubeless tires is far better, but that normally comes at the cost of it being a total pain to replace spokes.
There is also the major problem of tire availability - there are limited options for tubeless tires at the moment, as mentioned above, with no touring-specific models.

The OP mentioned the possible advantages of going tubeless being ride comfort and flat prevention. With a proper touring bike and decent width tires, ride comfort should already be fine. As for flat prevention, tubeless only helps you to avoid pinch flat. With properly inflated tires, I have had a minimal number of problems with pinch flats - certainly not frequent enough to worry about. The fact that you'll have to compromise on tire choice will probably leave you with a more flat-prone setup by going tubeless than if you mount a traditional, touring-specific tyre with a tube inside.
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Old 11-14-11, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
IME, converting a non-tubeless rim to take tubeless tires is an unreliable and far from ideal solution.
Have you tried it recently? I'll admit I haven't, but I have plenty of mountain biking buddies who swear by it. I think most are using conversion kits from Stan's NoTubes rather than the DIY route, though.

The fact that you'll have to compromise on tire choice will probably leave you with a more flat-prone setup by going tubeless than if you mount a traditional, touring-specific tyre with a tube inside.
If you go with a tubeless setup that involves using sealant, you may actually have fewer flats since the sealant should automatically plug small holes. Again, it's not something I'd do or rely on but it's option...
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Old 11-19-11, 07:25 AM
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I am planing to try ghetto tubeless on my bikepacking bike. Hope to ride the divide this summer. Border to border north to south.

Last edited by Cheyou; 11-19-11 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 11-23-11, 08:28 AM
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I have Stan's rims and I've run non-tubeless tires with varying degrees of success. High volume, low pressure tires seem to seal up easier in my experience, and won't blast off the rim due to high pressure.

I ran my Schwalbe Marathon Winters tubeless for an entire winter. I was always a little nervous, because I think I inflated them to about the upper limit of "about to blow off the rim." They took about a week and several inflations to fully seal, but once they did they were great. I rarely had to air them up. I noticed a considerable difference in ride quality (tubeless being a nicer ride), but that may have just been in my head.

After the winter I tried to run my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes tubeless...I was able to get one tire to kind of seal up, but the other was extremely stubborn and never came close to sealing, no matter how furiously I inflated it in futile attempts to seat the bead. I inflated the one that kind of sealed up to what I considered its blast off point, but by the morning it lost all pressure. Even the one that kind of sealed didn't seal well. I would have been afraid to inflate the tires to pressures that I would have wanted to run.

Ghetto tubeless isn't so hard to set up, you just need some 1" gorilla tape to go around the entire rim, some sealant, and you should be good to go. Some people put glitter into their tubeless "brew" because they think that if a puncture occurs, the glitter will blow out, stopping up the leak and the latex will seal around it.
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