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-   -   Tubeless touring? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1129977)

Russ Roth 03-30-20 09:27 PM

I've yet to see or experience any benefit to riding tubeless, if anything its been less enjoyable. Last year I only ran with tubes, air pressure around 40psi rear, 35 front (I'm a big guy) and enjoyed one flat all year that showed up after I got home, traction was never a concern and the bike never felt bouncy.
Since converting to tubeless I've had the tires run almost flat on 3 rides now from wedging into rocks and breaking the seal to minor punctures that just didn't seem to want to seal. I still end up running 40/35, tried lower and it just felt squirmy and not like anything I'd trust in a corner. The rims are stan's and the tires can't be mounted without an air compressor so not that great. Some of the squirm might be due to the softer sidewalls of the tubeless compatible tires but the tire and a tube are lighter then the tubeless variety of the same time so no weight savings if I spent the money to switch. I also don't like to carry any real tubes with me so getting that valve off would be a pain.
At the end of the day I'm using it but the first real flat that the sealant can't fill will mean a tube installed and the end of this seemingly pointless experiment.

elcruxio 03-31-20 12:32 AM

For me tubeless touring is still a bit of a no go. I tried it last summer and while it did work to some extent, the Marathon Supreme rear tire I was using was wearing at a ridiculous rate. We were on the road for around two weeks and honestly I'm not sure the rear would have survived a whole month. I do have to say that the Supreme compound is grippy and fast, but it's not durable like the Marathon Plus line.

So it really boils down to the low selection of heavier duty tubeless tires. There is the Marathon Mondial but last I checked the tubeless models were only in 50mm widths which is too wide for my LHT. I guess the optimal tire would be a tubeless ready marathon mondial as it has good tread thickness, good offroad grip and the tubeless thing would more than make for the lack of the smart guard protection plus tires have. I suppose in tubeless it could be even lighter than normal as long as it still retains rigidity for heavier touring loads.

3speed 04-06-20 05:29 AM

I've toured tubeless for a short time in Costa Rica on a mix or road and gravel(some of it quite big chunky gravel). I've commuted and done bike delivery tubeless for thousands of miles. This was all done on Stan's tubeless rims, Stan's sealant, Gorilla tape rim strips, valve stems cut out of old tubes, and regular tires. I was kind of surprised to find that I also didn't end up having to take my tires to somewhere with an air compressor. They seated with my regular bike floor pump. A couple fast strokes got them to puff out and push against the rim. After that I just pumped up the tires as usual and they slowly seated. It did take a good bit of pressure to get that final pop to full seating on the rim. And it was a bit of a loud pop, so I'd recommend not doing that indoors or using earplugs. I have to say my experience has been fantastic. I've only gotten one flat on my tubeless set-up. That was on a mountain biking trip where I was running too low of pressure and hammered too hard through a sharp volcanic rock garden. Snake bite. I threw in a tube and continued my trip(getting one more flat on the tubed tire before the end). Totally my fault for running low pressure and riding too aggressively on that terrain.

Other than that, I've completely worn out two pairs of new tires without ever getting a flat in thousands of miles. One set of MTB tires and a set of commuter tires. The one tire was practically a slick down the center before I changed it out, still no flats. I think I would have been getting flats if I had run a tubed tire to that level of thin tread. I'll Always carry a spare tube on tour, but I'll also always go tubeless from here on. And all of this is not even mentioning the superior ride quality.

I will say I don't understand the more modern road tubeless set-ups that have a thicker tubeless ready tire and don't use a good sealant. That just seems like the worst of everything. Heavy, thick tires, no good sealant to stop a puncture if you do get one, and high pressure required to seat the bead. What a disaster waiting to happen...

skookum 04-06-20 08:29 AM

I have tubeless on my Jones Plus, it worked perfectly on the Divide, my buddy had 5 or 6 flats due to thorns in New Mexico. I had none. Three inch Bomboloni tires on Scraper rims, Stan's sealant.
Supposedly it works better with bigger lower pressure tires, I havent tried it on narrower rims.

djb 04-06-20 10:14 AM


Originally Posted by skookum (Post 21403243)
I have tubeless on my Jones Plus, it worked perfectly on the Divide, my buddy had 5 or 6 flats due to thorns in New Mexico. I had none. Three inch Bomboloni tires on Scraper rims, Stan's sealant.
Supposedly it works better with bigger lower pressure tires, I havent tried it on narrower rims.

curious about what pressures you ran on those 3 inchers?
your weight?
load weight?
I assume bike in the 30lb range, bit under?

skookum 04-06-20 07:56 PM


Originally Posted by djb (Post 21403433)
curious about what pressures you ran on those 3 inchers?
your weight?
load weight?
I assume bike in the 30lb range, bit under?

Sorry, I have no idea.

I pump it up a little harder when carrying a heavy load, but I don't know what the pressure was.

djb 04-06-20 08:01 PM


Originally Posted by skookum (Post 21404470)
Sorry, I have no idea.

I pump it up a little harder when carrying a heavy load, but I don't know what the pressure was.

no prob, I was just curious of how much difference it was compared to the riding I've done on 2 and 2.5 inch tires, and also wondering if you found 3in to be overkill on the divide ride if you did the whole thing.
A friend who did about half of the top half used 2.5 and found them to be a reasonable compromise.

skookum 04-06-20 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by djb (Post 21404480)
no prob, I was just curious of how much difference it was compared to the riding I've done on 2 and 2.5 inch tires, and also wondering if you found 3in to be overkill on the divide ride if you did the whole thing.
A friend who did about half of the top half used 2.5 and found them to be a reasonable compromise.

I did the most northerly 2/3 on 2.1 inch tires without any major problems, and the last 1/3 on 3 inch. The 3 inch was great on the very rough volcanic jeep tracks in new mexico and helpful in soft sand, but the really soft sand you would probably need 4 inch.. 2.5 would be a good compromise, but hey, go with the bike you got. I really think 2.0 is the minimum tire width, but people do it on less.

djb 04-07-20 05:35 AM

thanks, always interesting to hear diff takes on it from those who have done it.

skookum 04-07-20 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by djb (Post 21404846)
thanks, always interesting to hear diff takes on it from those who have done it.

Saw everything from a disc trucker with 45mm tires to 4 in. fatbikes. I think I could do it on my Atlantis if I put 26 in. wheels and 2.25 tires. Just might have to walk it more places.
I like the Jones but the upright position is bad in headwinds.

Its not really technical so a wide variety of bikes would suffice.

djb 04-08-20 06:59 AM


Originally Posted by skookum (Post 21405288)
Saw everything from a disc trucker with 45mm tires to 4 in. fatbikes. I think I could do it on my Atlantis if I put 26 in. wheels and 2.25 tires. Just might have to walk it more places.
I like the Jones but the upright position is bad in headwinds.

Its not really technical so a wide variety of bikes would suffice.

Re wide variety of bikes, that certainly jives with what I've read over the years.
re bars, that's why I settled on slightly flared drops for my troll as it suited the trips I've done with it, including dirt and a lot of rough roads---and boy i appreciated the easy to use drops (high headtube and long steerer, shallow drops) with absolutely wicked gusty and strong headwinds in numerous places I've ridden through, all day affairs.
and on nice fast paved downhills too.

but have Jones bars waiting to one day change the setup, have shifters etc so will one day play with it.

Ps, re pressures, on long trips I entertain myself with checking and trying out different pressures to get a feel for what pressures work and feel better. Kinda fun for me and I have a small light gauge so like to experiment. Got into the habit with all my commuting on different bikes with different tires throughout the year, and we have notorious bad road surfaces in this city, so just right pressures makes a real comfort difference with no speed difference.

Leebo 04-08-20 09:25 AM


Originally Posted by djb (Post 21403433)
curious about what pressures you ran on those 3 inchers?
your weight?
load weight?
I assume bike in the 30lb range, bit under?

Jumping in here. New England rider, lots of rocks,dirt, single track, 3" maxxis chronicles, 10-15 psi. on 40 mm rims. The Krampus is 55-65 lbs loaded, I'm 235.

JohnJ80 04-08-20 09:39 AM

Silca has a pressure calculator on their website that takes into account road condition and surface, totally all up weight of bike plus rider and equipment, and tire width. Iíve found it to be very accurate.

djb 04-08-20 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by Leebo (Post 21407219)
Jumping in here. New England rider, lots of rocks,dirt, single track, 3" maxxis chronicles, 10-15 psi. on 40 mm rims. The Krampus is 55-65 lbs loaded, I'm 235.

cool. 10-15, that's pretty wild.
you're a 100lbs more than me., so imagine for me.
my troll in expedition mode, which simply translates to "A fair amount of crap"---
troll without water bottles but f+r racks, fenders, 3 bottle cages, spd pedals, handlebar bag mount, nearly 33lbs
me 135ish
probably 40-50lbs at times of stuff, food, water
2in slickish tires,tubes, 42f 45r not heavily loaded at rear, on general paved roads and possible medium hard cornering in downhills, ie not wanting to feel tires moving around. Could be slightly higher pressures if roads great, but that's really rarely the case.
Lower pressures on crappy roads and loose stuff but I kinda wing it by feel burping out more or less for the conditions, and my aging body doesn't put up with overpressures anymore and its slower usually as well, less sure footed for sure.

interesting to see how the hugely increased volume of the 3 inchers really changes the psi numbers.

have ridden 2.5s on snow a lot, with ruts and stuff all the time, unloaded maybe one two light panniers commuting and I think I used to run at low 20s, but admit that I mostly went by feel so don't recall numbers.


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