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Just how good is tubeless?

Wormishere1Wormishere1 Posts: 284
edited September 2013 in MTB general
Following two tube ripping pinch flats at the weekend within one mile of each other (huge tailwind probably gave me a little more speed that I thought - oh, and I had a 10k walk back to the car) I am considering a ghetto tubeless conversion. My rims are Mavic x117 so quite narrow, so I think a ghetto setup would be better in terms of burping. I am running 2.25 tubeless ready Rocket Ron's at the moment.

Buw much difference is there swapping to tubeless? I know the lower pressures are beneficial but do they really eliminate pinch flats?! There seem to be a few nicks in my tyres and scuffs to the sidewalls, I guess these May take a day or two to seal?
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  • On the ghetto front, if you are using a presta valves tube, you need to be careful or aware of the rubber surrounding the valve being a problem for bead seating on narrow rims. I had this the other week so gave up immediately.

    Proper tape and valves would be great though I'm sure.
  • Yes they eliminate pinch flats because there's nothing inside to pinch. Not tried ghetto but used rim strips on 117's and now using Stans rims, both excellent, so good not to have the dreaded P scenario to worry about. personally don't think the cost matters that much if it saves a 10k walk.
  • IMHO, *proper* tubeless is superb and i'd not be without it. "Ghetto" tubeless however ime is just shlt. I really do consider tubeless to be one of those jobs where if you're not going to do it properly, don't bother doing it at all.
  • Cheers for the tip Slindborg.

    Cat - when you say proper* tubeless do mean a Stans kit or new rims? The bike I have is not a long term thing, just to get me through winter I hope and then will be getting a new one (current bike is 10 yr old).

    Sounds like it's the way forward then...just have to decide the option to take.
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  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Both my bikes are tubeless using Superstar valves and Gorilla tape, was very easy to do and have been totally reliable air loss wise. Only issue I have had was a tyre failing from the rim to the tread but I think I had damaged it the week previous in a race. Advantages are the slightly less weight, lower pressures and the increased grip that comes with it, the tyres overall do feel better than having tubes in. Rocket Rons do weep through the side walls to start with but I just give the wheels a shake and slow rotate and leave them on their sides for 20mins and then flip over and repeat.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,408
    Just done my rear wheel with electrical tape an the valve off an old tube, stayed up overnight last night, took it out tonight and it felt pretty good. I'd feel happier if it was UST, but for a total cost of a bit of sealant it's good.
    Worth trying if you're not convinced, you'll get to try it out cheap and know that if you splash out it'll only be less faff.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    Although Stans rims are usually the best option, there's nothing wrong with a ghetto method.
    It may look or sound sh*t but it works.
  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    Stans for me, never bothered with UST, just yellow tape and a valve, even got wire beaded tyres tubeless this way
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

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  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,375
    Recently converted my superstar built Stans rims with new Schwalbe tyres - Both worked first time really nicely (My first attempt with old tyres was hotrrible as they have so many tiny holes you can't see that it's impossible to keep air in the tyre...even with a CO2 cannister.

    To be honest, I'm really not sure that I can tell the difference when riding though...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
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  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    ddraver wrote:
    To be honest, I'm really not sure that I can tell the difference when riding though...

    Not a huge difference when riding, its more about not worrying about punctures or pinch flats at lower pressures for me and the weight saving if you are a race monkey
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

    29er bouncer
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 41,766
    IMHO, *proper* tubeless is superb and i'd not be without it.
    +1

    Not tried Ghetto tubelss but proper tubeless work for me - use if for DH'ing. Never had a flat with it and it holds the air for ages.
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  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    Not tried Ghetto tubelss but proper tubeless work for me - use if for DH'ing. Never had a flat with it and it holds the air for ages.

    Likewise, nice low pressures for plenty of grip and low rolling resistance too.
    Music, beer, sport, repeat...
  • Brilliant. Well I have taken the plunge and have bought some Stans sealant and Stans standard strips.

    I have borrowed a compressor too so hopefully will get them set up tonight...I will report back later!
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  • Well that was a thankless task! Could not tyre to seat/ inflate even marginally! Mind you I couldn't use the compressor as the strips have a presta valve on. Balls.
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  • Buy a converter screw on.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,866
    I did mine using a track pump and a lot of wellie. Its doable trust me i managed to get a conti rubber queen on and a pana XC fire pro,. I tried ghetto an failed horribly had air whistling around the valve.

    Way i managed it was to use washing up liquid to help the tyre move when fitted then without any sealant try an pump it to get the tyre to pop properly to the rim, deflate add teh goo through the removable valve core refit the valve and shake it round THEN re pump.
    If its leaking air shake the fluid over that area an you should hear it lessen then stop. if it leaks a lot you may need to top up the fluid after its sealed. I dont think thats the correct way but it worked well for me
  • Thanks for the tips.

    Yeah, ill get a converter tomorrow and see how I get on. It's a 2.4 Nobby Nic going onto a Mavic 223 so quite a big ask really. The tyre is also quite easy to get on and off so I don't think it's got a great natural seat.

    Also, where the valve is the rubber partially goes up the bead so may have to trim it perhaps. Am I right in thinking I dint need the yellow tape stuff as it going onto a non tubeless rim?
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  • Freaking Mega Rage! Converting to tubeless ruined my evening...well that is going a bit far but it was bloody tough.

    Finally got the tyres to seat (needed to build up the spoke bed) only to find the tyre cases have a few splits (cuts from rocks I assume - 3mm long cuts) in that need patching! Patched two in one tyre but although it has held pressure Stans fluid has come through. Thinking of Gorilla tape over the patches next....
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  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,375
    yeah that's why I did it with new tyres....

    (found that out the hard way :( )
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,408
    I couldn't hear the fluid sloshing in mine, so I tried to make a ghetto inflator last night and checked on the sealant. It was completely solid, obviously didn't like the co2.

    Couldn't get the ghetto inflator to work either. Think I bought the wrong tubing, it's too tight a fit on the valves so blows off really easily.

    I will persevere though. It'll be new tyre time soon, so I'll go for something TR in preparation.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    One word. Tubes.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,408
    That's what I resorted to last night. I'll go tubeless eventually, but I'm in no great rush.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • cooldad wrote:
    One word. Tubes.

    Several words:
    Two snakebites in less than 1 mile on Sunday left me with a 10k walk back. Giving tubeless a go to see if it makes a difference...and yes, I had snakeskin tyres etc....
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Three words:
    Pick better lines.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Everyone loves an antagonist...
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  • I'd consider myself a relatively seasoned tubeless convert now...here's my take on it.

    I run a 26 trail bike full UST. Never any issues inflating with track pump (still use stans fluid). A couple of times the stans has dried out (silly me for not checking more regularly) leading to a small hole that would have ordinarily sealed. But I put a tube in to get home.

    Stans wheels and TR - been running for a couple of years. Never any major hassles. Couple of sidewall pinpricks that refuse to seal (due to where the hole was...no sealant slopping over it while riding) - I patched with an innertube patch on the outside to get me home. Looks shite but works. all good until recently. I've had a wretched run of luck - 2 major sidewall blow outs on south downs flint - both requiring a boot to get home. But I carry boots and tubes...so no issues.

    I tried ghetto tubeless on Ritchey rims. Worked great for a few months. BMX tube and a UST tyre. then went down...could never get to inflate again...so gave up.

    In terms of tyres. TR or UST for UST rims. Standard or TR for Stans rims. If too baggy, give it an extra layer of yellow tape and away you go.

    I would stay away from UST tyres on Stans rims though. you may get them on, but trying to get them off when your fingers are frozen and covered in cowshit out on the trail would be a different proposition.
  • After a night of sounding like Father Jack Hackett I am now tubeless!

    The front tyre was not inflating as the rim bed needing building up. Both tyres mounted well though with no escape around the rim ( I had to patch two leaks in the rear tyre though). I still have issues though...track pump broke at 60psi - a Blackburn Air Tower 3) and the front trye is on the wrong rotation direction!

    First ride out on them tonight so will see how it goes. One thing I would note is that the tyre profiles have changed hugely since the change to tubeless! I have also saved around 200g per wheel which is good news!
    Remember Rule #5
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