View Full Version : Tubeless or Tubes

01-26-2011, 05:52 PM
OK, not a truck question, a bike question....

I thought I might throw it out here and see what the bikers in the group think.

So, lets say somebody was thinking about doing the Colorado Trail Race this August..

I've been riding tubes since i started riding mountain bikes. I have ridden this way all over the boulder/denver area and moab, fruita, ect. Typically I have one flat all season long. I tend to get lucky maybe? Anyways, I ran a Maxxis Ardent front and an Aspen rear which have pretty thin sidewalls last half of the season and I really liked them so I am sticking with them this year. They are tube tires. I have DT Swiss 470 rims which are also tube type rims.

It's on a 29'er for whatever that's worth.

So, this week I "converted" the wheels to tubeless because I felt like trying it, and folks say it is more reliable. Pressure is not really an issue since I tend to run 35psi anyways, so the benifits of being able to run a lower pressure are not really there. I used the Caffe Latex kit.

My plan was to ride the bike this season tubeless and get used to how it runs in terms of maintenance.

So, my question is, would you stick with tubes since that's what I know, or do the tubeless thing? Obviously i'd have to carry the same tubes as spares also some patches for the tires maybe. Same inflation stuff.

I haven't ridden the Colorado trail other than the section between Kenosha and Breck so I know little about the terrain..

01-26-2011, 06:18 PM
I think you should run them for awhile and see what you think. See what others are doing that run the CTR. See how much people have to dick with them. Some get lucky and don't. I have a buddy that will be doing that race this year on his Superfly 100.

You know you would be bringing tubes for a backup anyway.

I have been in the bus for 20 and riding for 22. I will not run them. My .02.

I'm sure Dave will chime in, his info is good.

01-26-2011, 06:19 PM
I ran the kokopelli on a stan's tubeless conversion. No problems.

I did crash pretty bad once when I landed a jump wrong and burped all the air out of a front tubeless conversion setup. I am confident that in that situation, a conventional tire/tube would have simply been a sloppy, but rideable, landing. Now I run tubeless tires and tubeless rims only.

The only trick to tubeless I have learned is that you do have to "refresh" the goo every year or so. It turns into latex boogerballs in the tire after a while. So you still have to go in and mess with the tubeless tires at least once a year. same as your tube experiences. The weight of tubeless is pretty much a wash too.

Marco, Remember laytex TUBES?! Cool until you got a flat, then they would snakebite in about 15 places in 15 feet!

01-26-2011, 06:41 PM
Yeah, the weight is a wash, which is a big negative for tubeless in my opinion. Also, the maintenance is also one thing I am thinking might be bad. Allison runs tubeless on her Superfly and she has to pump them up before every ride. I almost never had to with the tubes. that really bugs me.

As far as hanging out the goo, that's not a big deal.. it seems like I am changing tires a few times a season anyways. I don't mind redoing the goo then since i'll have to anyways.

I was riding Allison's bike on a wicked fast downhill section this year and while turning braking/ landing I also burped the front tire. it scared me kinda. I thought I lost a bead for a second. felt really weird. That's also a negative for me.

01-26-2011, 06:51 PM
I'm also upgrading to Sram X.0 185 front and 160 rear brakes... Getting rid of my trusty 160mm BB7's. I kept burning up the front brake. I hope that's kind of a no brainer though. Gonna ride those this season and see how they do also. If they are too much of a pain I'm throwing my 160mm BB7 back on the back and a Chainlove special ($35) 185mm BB7 that i scored a few weeks ago on the front.

Thanks for the info though, I appreciate it. You guys have way more experience than me.

Caribou Sandstorm
01-27-2011, 10:00 AM
I have been running tubless since 2004. Have not had a flat since. I have done 3 24 hour races with no flats, as well. In the summer and fall, I try to ride 3-4 days a week but that has tapered off with the little ones the last 2 seasons.

When I started early on with tubeless, I ran low PSI and had issues with hitting a feature hard and popping the tire off the rim. Now I just run normal 38 psi and about once every 2-3 months change the stans fluid.

I carry tubes just in case...I sometimes get back from a trail and see little pin wholes with moisture, which I interpret as Stans doing the trick.

My rims are designed for tubeless but like Rudy said you can do a conversion on standard tubes, as well.

08-13-2011, 10:28 PM
I ended up running tubeless for the race using ardent 2.4 tires front and rear. The front wheel was a non tubless DT Swiss that I ghettofied using a Bonti rim strip designed for tubeless.... The rear was a Stans no tubes Arch rim since I tacoed the old DT Swiss rim. I learned that the caffe latex stuff didn't work as well as the Stans, so I eventually used Stans for the setup after struggling with caffe latex for weeks.

Maybe I got lucky, but I didn't get a flat for the whole 500 miles. I didn't even have to add air to the tires. I ended up running them at 25PSI which was welcome on the harsh terrain. I like tubeless so far but it is more of a pain to set up/maintain than tubes. I am getting a new Stan's arch from rim laced up as we speak since the rear did so well and since I have some down time due to my cracked frame.