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Tubeless! Is It REALLY Better Or More Hassle?

Darkstalker420Darkstalker420 Posts: 212
edited June 2012 in MTB general
Hi the mtb tubeless tyre arrived during the time i wasn't really following the "scene" so i don't really know much about it to be honest. I have heard that you can run MUCH lower psi in the tyres without worrying about pinch flats etc. I have managed to wear a hole in the sidewall of one of my Panaracer XC Pro's so rather than pay the £25 for another one i decided to have a look if i could find a new pair (for about the same £).

I found some Michelin dry 2 reinforced 2.3's and noticed in the reviews (CRC) one guy said they were quite good as "ghetto" tubeless tyres. So a quick Google for "ghetto tubeless" and to be honest it don't sound THAT hard i'm not sure however just how much they will benefit ME. I usually put 50psi in both my tyres :oops: as i do a fair bit of tarmac pounding to and fro.

And to be honest NEVER really have punctures at all! not to mention i don't carry tools/tubes with me when i ride (i know i know!) as most places i ride can be walked back from round here. To be honest i think the "tech" interests me more than maybe actually running it myself but for the price of some sealant etc it may be worth a punt just to try.

So people who run tubeless how do you REALLY rate it. Is it hassle day in day out or have you found it "fit and forget?" Could i still put "higher" psi in it when i need to. HOWEVER the overwhelming fear i have is a front tyre "popping off" at speed. Any of you had such problems with "ghetto" setups??

Thanks.
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Posts

  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    The main reasons for tubeless are 1) being able to run low psi and 2) less punctures. If you run 50psi and never have punctures, you will find zero benefits.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    I've never done the true 'ghetto' set up with BMX tubes and that.

    I have tried pukka UST, UST rims converted to run normal tyres, normal rims converted with both Stan's and Eclipse systems, and Stan's rims.

    My favourite of all is a Stan's rim, IMO it's the best solution out there. UST is too heavy, converted rims are a faff, but Stan's works really well. It saves weight (unless you use insanely light and puncture-prone tubes) whilst adding puncture resistance, and you can indeed run lower pressures - I run about 25psi as standard. I think it's fantastic.

    However... not everyone gets on with it, for various reasons, and I must say I'm not sure I'd be too enamoured with faffing with cut down tubes and that to get it to work.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I think Shimano is better than Sram, always wear a helmet and use flats.

    Just pre-empting.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • I know this would be one of "those" subjects cooldad :lol:. But as mentioned the "tech" arrived when i was "elsewhere" (but i'm with you on the Shimano/flats thing)..... *runs away :lol:. As mentioned i figure running them at 50psi was more just old habit and i COULD get away with much lower (i'm about (!) 14 stone and don't jump/do mad dropoffs etc) so could benefit from the extra traction.

    More interested really in how they are day to day really (if they need "faffing" with all time etc). I planned on doing the "tape on rim cut out old valve and add sealant" method (though i did read the old BMX inertube method) just didn't like the idea of waving a blade near the sidewall of my new tyres :lol:...... It would be JUST my luck!!

    Thanks.
  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    yes.... its better

    yes.... its more hassle
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

    29er bouncer
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    I've used Stans conversion rim strips on standard rims, Stans rims and UST rims.

    The Stans conversion rim strip was OK. It was a bit of a faff to get tyres inflated and sealed and I'm not convinced by this method. I think fixing a puncture in a tube is probably less hassle.

    The UST rims are no hassle at all. I only use UST or Tubeless ready tyres with these rims and a little squirt of sealant. Easy to inflate, quick to seal up not a big deal to change tyres either, I just pour the leftover sealant from one tyre to the next and top up if needed.

    The Stans rims are pretty much the same as the UST rims but I use normal tyres with these and have no issues. This allows me to get lighter and cheaper tyres compared to proper UST tyres yet they still inflate and seal up with no dramas.

    For me its only worth doing if you have the rims properly designed to run tubeless not ones you have to convert. Also I don't think its a magical cure that is worth buying some new wheels specially to go tubeless. If you are in the market for new wheels anyway then yeah sure go for a tubeless set. otherwise I wouldn't replace a perfectly good set of wheels.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Personally I don't find it any more hassle, but not everyone's experience is the same!
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    when you're converting tyres and rims each design is different and there are too many variables you can't guarantee anything.

    Thats why I recommend sticking to rims properly designed to run tubeless takes some of the variables out.
  • S-MS-M Posts: 174
    All my ghetto conversions failed after 300-500 miles, the wire bead separated from the sidewall on both rear wheels on my two bikes, the first one failed, i replaced it, it then failed again, i fitted a tube and another new tyre.

    My other bike was converted at the same time, but is ridden much less, so it took a while to rack up the miles on it. A club XC ride a few months back had the rear wheel going down for no reason, i had to strip it down and fit a tube to finish the ride, i left the tube in

    A few weeks back it failed the same way coming down a tarmac hill at speed :roll:

    This is how i had to limp the 9 miles home (yes it did actually hold as well!!?!)

    20120603_130730.jpg

    All 3 times mine have failed, it has been the utmost of all ball aches sorting it all out, with sealant all over the place, covering me/tools/back pack.

    I have since went back to sealant inside inner tubes, a LOT less hassle, the tyres that failed for me were brand new Conti Mountain King MK2`s
    1999 Specialized FSR Elite MAX Backbone.
    1998 Specialized FSR Ground Control - stripped for parts.
    2011 Boardman Pro HT - SOLD! (low quality, expensive garbage)
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    When I ran tubeless, I couldn't run any less pressure, or the tyre would burp.
    Just thinking back, I had more punctures in the months I ran tubeless than I've had in the 18 months or so since.
  • S-MS-M Posts: 174
    I did a club ride that had me lose half the pressure from a tyre, it was a bit of a worry but it held up fine, the sealant worked after a while, i assumed it was taking its time to seal the hole, it was not until i actually stopped at the end i realised that i had 3 large thorns in the tyre LOL

    So it does work, but i also know i have had punctures with the sealant in the tubes and it has fixed them fine, i have used Specialized airlock sealant, but i have recently just started testing the BELL sealant i found in asda.

    I dont care about super low pressures, i`m a heavy bloke and i hate throwing the bike into a corner and feeling the bike squirm about on its sidewalls because the pressure is too low, the lowest i run on my rear is 35psi and that is for wet offroad mud.

    Most of the time i run 40-50 on the rear.
    1999 Specialized FSR Elite MAX Backbone.
    1998 Specialized FSR Ground Control - stripped for parts.
    2011 Boardman Pro HT - SOLD! (low quality, expensive garbage)
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    When I ran tubeless, I couldn't run any less pressure, or the tyre would burp.
    Just thinking back, I had more punctures in the months I ran tubeless than I've had in the 18 months or so since.

    Was wondering how low, witht ubes i am down at 20psi on some DH's but can't imagine a tubeless not burping that low?
  • MccraqueMccraque Posts: 819
    Trail bike - I run tubeless with Shimano rims and full UST set up. It's not that light but is solid, easy to set up (5 mins tops) and I've experienced 2 punctures that wouldn't seal in 3 years. I fixed both with a tube.

    Race bike - I started ghetto. Worked ok for a bit (3 months) and then inexpicably went down and I could never re-seat the tyre from thereon. So I bought Stans rims and run them tubeless with TR Rocket Rons. Works wonderfully. 6 months - no issues or flats.

    I run both with Stans fluid.

    To put into context - I used to flat at least once every 2 or 3 rides prior to converting to tubeless. A combination of pinchflats (even at 40psi) and thorns (my local woods!)
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    Was wondering how low, witht ubes i am down at 20psi on some DH's but can't imagine a tubeless not burping that low?

    I don't have to imagine :) I've had zero problems with burping at 25-30psi. How wide are your rims? Wider rims make tubeless less likely to burp. There was a good piece on this topic on pinkbike a while back.
  • mrmonkfingermrmonkfinger Posts: 1,452
    S-M wrote:
    the tyres that failed for me were brand new Conti Mountain King MK2`s

    With the 'protection' sidewalls, they're tubeless ready, don't know that the non protection flavours are.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    I don't have to imagine :) I've had zero problems with burping at 25-30psi. How wide are your rims? Wider rims make tubeless less likely to burp. There was a good piece on this topic on pinkbike a while back.
    I had Mavic D321 rims (the original Deemax Rims, I believe) - as wide as DH rims get, and they burped even as high as 40PSI.
    Maybe you aren't a very aggresive rider?
  • craigw99craigw99 Posts: 224
    just sounds too much faf for me
    opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them ;-)
    2012 boardman team F/S tarting has begun..
    1992 cannondale m1000 still going just
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    S-M wrote:
    All my ghetto conversions failed after 300-500 miles, the wire bead separated from the sidewall on both rear wheels on my two bikes, the first one failed, i replaced it, it then failed again, i fitted a tube and another new tyre.

    So your tyres fell apart but you blame tubeless?
    Uncompromising extremist
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,252
    cooldad wrote:
    I think Shimano is better than Sram, always wear a helmet and use flats.

    Just pre-empting.

    How could you forget that 29er is the future and anyone on 26 is so yesterday.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,092
    I rarely puncture with tubes, my bikes light enough not to care about a few hundred grams more weight and when i do puncture it isn't really a hassle at all.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    TBH there's a lot of cobblers talked on the subject of tubeless. My old tubed setup was almost as light as my tubeless setups frinstance, people tend to say "I replaced a 400g tube with tubeless and now it's much lighter", no ****, the same would be true if you'd fitted a 200g tube.

    I had nonstop burping issues trying to do it with bmx tubes etc, but then I got some proper tubeless rims, and it's worked very well. Burped seriously a couple of times but always doing things that i reckon would have flatted a tube anyway. I run the same pressures as I always did, and I can't feel the difference in rolling resistance that some claim is there- it might be, but I can't feel it. I've used UST tyres and found them pointless for me, TLR and most standard tyres work just as well for me without the extra cost, weight and lack of choice. I've only had to fit a tube a couple of times, and both times I reckon I'd have flatted a tube.

    The main difference is... Well yes, it's a faff to set up, but it's faff in the garage. I'll trade 20 minutes of faff in the garage for 5 minutes of faff mid-ride any day, never mind faff mid-race. Got fed up of riding up a hill for 20 minutes in order to do a 2 minute descent, then having it spoiled. Punctures always know when to strike for maximum effect. (I've only done 2 rides on tubes on a trailbike in the last 2 years, punctured both times, once right in the middle of an enduro race run. And it was pretty fun riding out the rest of the stage on a flat, and got me a good story, but I'd rather have beaten my mates)

    But it's no life-changer.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    cooldad wrote:
    I think Shimano is better than Sram, always wear a helmet and use flats.

    Just pre-empting.

    How could you forget that 29er is the future and anyone on 26 is so yesterday.


    Hippy! go hug a tree!
  • craigw99craigw99 Posts: 224
    ^^^^^^^^^^^ :roll: Every one knows its 650b now ........or wait will it be 700c next year or ....
    opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them ;-)
    2012 boardman team F/S tarting has begun..
    1992 cannondale m1000 still going just
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    or wait will it be 700c next year or ....

    You realise 700c = 29" yeah?

    NW sums it up nicely I'd say!
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    See running at about 20psi and not punctured or pinched in the last year.. now touching wood!!!

    Running maxxis freeride tubes and 2.35 muddy mary free ride tyres. a bit heavy maybe but robust. my rims are 24mm i believe so not as wide as i'd like lol, But just nervouse of the idea of them burping. i mean a good burp can be a huge release but on my tyre?

    some day i'm just gonna try it and either have success or fail....
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Running maxxis freeride tubes and 2.35 muddy mary free ride tyres. a bit heavy maybe but robust. my rims are 24mm i believe so not as wide as i'd like lol, But just nervouse of the idea of them burping. i mean a good burp can be a huge release but on my tyre?

    I don't really get why you're more likely to burp a tyre than you are to roll a tubed tyre. If you've never had that, then I'd not worry.

    And you'll save a chunk of weight.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    njee20 wrote:
    Running maxxis freeride tubes and 2.35 muddy mary free ride tyres. a bit heavy maybe but robust. my rims are 24mm i believe so not as wide as i'd like lol, But just nervouse of the idea of them burping. i mean a good burp can be a huge release but on my tyre?

    I don't really get why you're more likely to burp a tyre than you are to roll a tubed tyre. If you've never had that, then I'd not worry.

    And you'll save a chunk of weight.
    I very innocuously dropped the front wheel down after a wheelie and the wheel dug into the gravelly ground, burped the tyre and threw me off. Leaving me to have to nurse my gravel rash wile I put a tube in so I could get home. I'm positive that wouldn't have happened with a tubed setup. It was a converted 'non-tubeless' rim though, which I wouldn't bother trying again. I'd like to try a proper tubeless ready setup though.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • craigw99craigw99 Posts: 224
    njee20 wrote:
    or wait will it be 700c next year or ....

    You realise 700c = 29" yeah?

    NW sums it up nicely I'd say!

    emperors new clothes ... :wink:
    opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them ;-)
    2012 boardman team F/S tarting has begun..
    1992 cannondale m1000 still going just
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    njee20 wrote:
    Running maxxis freeride tubes and 2.35 muddy mary free ride tyres. a bit heavy maybe but robust. my rims are 24mm i believe so not as wide as i'd like lol, But just nervouse of the idea of them burping. i mean a good burp can be a huge release but on my tyre?

    I don't really get why you're more likely to burp a tyre than you are to roll a tubed tyre. If you've never had that, then I'd not worry.

    And you'll save a chunk of weight.
    I've never, ever rolled a tubed tyre off the rim, but I've burped a tubeless tyre several times. I've even had the tubeless tyre just pop off twice.
    I really know what the mechanics behind that phenomenon are.
  • *Peeks into can o' worms :shock:! My Michelin's came today (was horrified for a minute as i thought the chainstays were to narrow!) fitted JUST in the end. Hit them up with 40psi (rear) and a bit less in the front and...... GREAT! they roll as good if not better than the Panaracers @ 50psi!!

    Thanks everyone for the comments (both sides of course) as i can now lower the psi AND still have good tarmac rolling i don't think i will go the tubeless route after all (it's the thought of "burping" a front tyre on a fast descent that has sealed it :roll: for me). Will now find out how low i can go and still have good rolling resistance.

    Thanks.
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