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Noob Questions on Tubeless Tires

Old 09-05-13, 12:23 PM
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Cannonsnail Joe
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Noob Questions on Tubeless Tires

I'm a roadie preparing for a MTB race this weekend. I have an old mountain bike which I've used mostly to ride in bad weather on the roads during the winter. My LBS was able to install Specialized Captain 2Bliss 2.2" tires on the original rims with Stan's No Tubes. The front tire seemed to have a slow leak but I pumped it up yesterday and it seems to be holding well now, about a week after they did it. I've read mixed reviews on these tires but I think they were the only ones the shop had on hand. Seems like people either love them or hate them.
Anyway, should I have a Plan B in case I get a flat? The shop installed Presta valves as part of the conversion and the originals were Schraders. Should I carry an extra Schrader tube? I guess if I really slice a tire I am SOL. Can you really make much of a repair out in the woods?
Also, how many PSI should I be running? I guessing about 40psi. If it matters, I weigh 145 pounds. I haven't seen the course but I understand that it isn't incredibly technical. I'm doing the beginners course which is half the distance of the expert and sport.
Thanks for any help. This is a whole different sport!
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Old 09-05-13, 01:52 PM
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Tubeless is the shizz!

I'm around 200-205# and I run around 32-34psi with 2.35" tires. Beauty of tubeless is lower pressures=more traction+smoother ride. 40 is high for a featherweight like yourself. It all depends on your riding style, terrain, etc...but it sounds a bit harsh for a mountain bike.

Carry a spare tube and inflator for your race. If you tear a knob off or something, you can still make it back.
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Old 09-05-13, 02:28 PM
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^^ED LIVES! ED LIVES!

And good advice as always.
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Old 09-05-13, 08:48 PM
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I never considered going tubeless. Thought I wasn't fast enough to see a difference. Last year I picked up a late model, but used Stumpy Hardtail off ebay. It came with a few upgrades, one of them being some Mavic 819 rims with some Kenda small block tubeless tires. After a few rides, I'm convinced. They handle much better and while those tires aren't as aggressive as the tires on the dual sus bike, they seem to grab on the turns much better. Also it seems there's less rear bounce when I'm out of the saddle riding over roots, probably due to the lower pressure. I'm going to switch wheels with the dual sus bike to see how it handles with those wheels. My expectation is I'll land up converting the dual sus bike to tubeless.
Just a year ago I would have never thought of going tubeless.
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Old 09-06-13, 08:22 AM
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Many thanks! My fitness level is good and I'm a good climber. I've got 2600 miles on my roadie this year but little offroad experience. I got talked into a VERY technical MTB race a couple months ago---nothing but rocks and more rocks---I crashed many times and got a flat---I assume a pinch flat. It cost me 20 minutes (long story...). I checked out some good videos online and picked up some MTBing tips. I've been out a few times and applied what I learned (look ahead, your wheel will follow your eyes, get back behind the saddle on the descents, etc.) and I've made a lot of progress with no crashes. Yesterday, I did 12 miles in an hour and climbed 1200 feet. The tires are rated 35-65psi, so I guess I'll play it safe and air down to 35.
Ed, I like your avatar. There's something funny about an aging rock star (and aging biker---sigh...). I saw those guys on the Diver Down Tour in Philly back in the early 80s!
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Old 09-09-13, 10:07 AM
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It went well---I finished 2nd in the Beginner's race and 1st in my AG. My chain came off a half mile into the race and I crashed once and my fingers got so numb I had to shift with the palms of my hands but it was a blast. I guess the season is over but I'll definitely get some MTB races on my schedule for next year.

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Old 09-09-13, 10:52 AM
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Good job, Joe! I started using tubeless three months ago. I love it! Make sure to replenish sealant every couple of months.

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Old 09-09-13, 11:25 AM
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I was one of the biggest tube-hold-outs ever. I went tubeless last year and love it. I used to run 38 PSI on my hardtail and tubeless turned it into a soft-tail. I could sit down through the chop on my stout 26" FRHT frame instead of getting jarred to death by the chatter.

Now that I'm balling the Heckler tubeless...it's like a bumpin' in my Caddy in the hood, LOL. Tons more traction, control, and more comfortable.


Congrats on the race!
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Old 09-10-13, 06:20 AM
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Thanks guys! After a road race this weekend I hope to get back out in the woods and play around. I played it safe with 30psi but I plan to air down some more (don't try anything new on race day) and see how it goes. I might even set up a pair of training wheels for my roadie with tubeless, especially for the winter. Changing a flat in the cold just plain sucks.
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Old 09-10-13, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Cannonsnail Joe View Post
I might even set up a pair of training wheels for my roadie with tubeless, especially for the winter. Changing a flat in the cold just plain sucks.
Amen to that, but roadtubeless kind of sucks. I haven't tried the new Bontrager tubeless yet, but I can happily report that Hutchinson tubeless CX tires work great on my CX bike, with Mavic 29er UST wheels.

When it gets properly cold I would probably ride my MTB, also tubeless, with moosemitts. That's theoretical... because I don't get on my bike below ~30F.
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Old 09-11-13, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ed View Post
Tubeless is the shizz!

I'm around 200-205# and I run around 32-34psi with 2.35" tires. Beauty of tubeless is lower pressures=more traction+smoother ride. 40 is high for a featherweight like yourself. It all depends on your riding style, terrain, etc...but it sounds a bit harsh for a mountain bike.

Carry a spare tube and inflator for your race. If you tear a knob off or something, you can still make it back.
This might sound like a silly question, but. how does this work? if you have a tubeless rim, (like a car) the what do you do about the valve when you put a tube in after a flat?
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Old 09-11-13, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by floating dutchy View Post
This might sound like a silly question, but. how does this work? if you have a tubeless rim, (like a car) the what do you do about the valve when you put a tube in after a flat?
You take it off and put it in your pack. The valves are removable.
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Old 09-12-13, 12:36 AM
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^^ Ah, thanks.
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