Author Topic: Talking about road tubeless  (Read 797 times)

epic

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Talking about road tubeless
« on: June 18, 2012, 08:22:07 am »
Quote from: gandalf
My apologies to Epic, who originally posted this response in another thread.  I wanted to start a new thread based on it, but wound up moving it from the old location rather than copying it. Now, if I copy it back, it winds up out of sequence.  I needed an "undo function".


So... we're talking about road tubeless here? Well, I've been running the Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 wheelset since it first came out. I've got the Fusion2 tires and run them dry. IMHO they are superior in every way to tubulars. In fact, that's why Josh is riding tubies. Because I haven't touched my sew-ups since I got the D/A wheels, I gave my old Cosmic/CX setup to Josh on long-term loan (with an option to buy ;) ).

Tubeless in general is great IMHO. I've been using it exclusively on my MTB since 2004 with no flats yet. I've got two pairs of 819s and a Fulcrum wheelset in current rotation, plus Crossmax SLs on the wife's bike.

Taking her bike as a case in point, I set it up tubeless specifically because she is not a bike person and I wanted to have her on something that is very easy to deal with if it ever needs dealing with at all. To that end, she is on the Crossmax SL with Maxxis Crossmark LUST tires. These are a true UST tire (In my experience, these are better than tubeless ready in terms of ride and ease of use). I have also given her a liberal dose of Hutchinson sealant for an extra dose of durability.

In my own wheels I run full UST though I've dabbled with a little bit of TLR. I mostly run them dry though I have one 819 that won't seal without a little dab of juice for the bead.

About the sealant, I use Hutchinson's stuff. I first got turned onto it when Velonews did a pretty comprehensive test of sealants and it did very well. It doesn't have ammonia so it doesn't eat up your tires. For those of you who are afraid to get mixed up with sealant, well, first of all, I can mount/unmount tires without getting any sealant on myself or the floor. Second of all, the stuff is pretty benign. It's not like it's a big mess of rubber cement or anything like that, if some goes on teh floor, I wipe it up witha paper towel. If I get some on my hands, I wash them in the sink. Done. When I take off an old tire, I can wash it out with the hose and /or peel off the dried bits. No biggie. It sure as heck isn't like tubular glue where you need to go into full containment mode and wash with diesel fuel if you get it on your hands.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 07:37:56 am by jim-ratliff »


jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 07:37:03 am »

I now have road bike tubeless wheels mounted with Maxxis Padrone tubeless tires, no sealant, and am looking forward to my first ride tonight.  They are holding air quite well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the difference is between riding at F/R pressures of 90/105 and now going to 80/90.


As you know, Hutchinson in the standard in road bike tubeless, so here's my reasons for going with the Maxxis Padrone.
1. I'm always in favor of competition and new ideas, so would love for Maxxis to have enough business to encourage others to enter the market.
2. Bushwacka confirmed Maxxis as a good brand in the mtb arena.
3. For a company to create a new tire knowing what the competition is, and then price the tire higher than Hutchinson sounds like the felt they had a better mousetrap. (in my case, I got them "sort of" free).
4. They use silk (called "Silkworm") for their puncture protection. Another thread I found was discussing silk as a bike tire material in general and led me to believe that I would like to give it a try.
5. They made the beads of the tire softer to facilitate better sealing. However, lots of warnings about being gentle when mounting, and in fact they include two tire levers with each tire. Mine sealed with no effort (but I've learned soapy water DOES facilitate the process).  I didn't quite get them mounted completely by hand, but it certainly wasn't a major effort.  The key is keeping the bead in the center channel as you work around the tire.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 03:05:27 pm by jim-ratliff »
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jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubelessorgetown ge
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 01:16:07 am »
I can't believe how much more solid the handling on my road bike is with the new tubeless wheel tire combination.

Going downhill (chasing Lynn) at 38 mph and I felt like Lance "what's his name" slicing around the corners on the little 1 mile decent.

Also, FWIW, the owner of one of the many bikeshops in Georgetown (DC) has ridden the Hutchinson Fusion3 and Atom, and the Padrone and said the Padrone is clearly the superior tire, especially in handling.  He also said that Michelin should have a tubeless road bike tire out next year. And his was the only local bikeshop that had Pit Stop  (Vittoria/Geax) and Hutchinson's Protect'Air in stock.

I'm deserting Stan's and adopting Protect'Air for non-UST mtb.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 08:09:44 am by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 09:04:53 pm »
Sounds like this is all working out great for you, Jim.  Just curious, though -- did you try the new wheels with tubes before you switched to tubeless? Where you able to get a proper before-after comparison?

How is the tubeless working out for you on your mountain bike? All good as well?


jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 08:52:12 am »
No good comparison before and after of individual components. The tubeless wheels are wider than the older wheels, so that's part of the handling but the tires are also a big part of that. On expansion joints, I hear the thunk but only 'feel' half the thunk. That's partly the carbon in the wheels but more the tubeless tires. As a side benefit I am also faster downhill due to better bearings and better aero of the wheel/tire combo (but they don't really look it).  Road tubeless (dry) is holding air as well or better than with tubes.


Mtb tubeless. I got a Conti X-King RTR (nee Protection) at 570 grams for the 2.2 size and it sealed dry well enough to ride (would leak down after 2 days).  I gave it a shot of Pit Stop (18 grams) and it sealed up. I plan to leave it dry and see. This same tire UST is over 740 grams, and I now have the a better tire at lighter weight.


I will be converting the other mountain bike tires (not tubeless compatible) from Stan's to Hutchinson's Fast'Air because the Hutchinson's lasts longer, isn't corrosive to rims, and the synthetic latex doesn't affect butyl rubber.  I've only done a Kenda Karma for Lynn, and that went as easily as with Stan's.
Using soapy water and getting the bead into the center channel of the wheel is crucial for tubeless wheels, but tire levers not required.


Lynn's not too sure how she likes the Karma's tubeless on the back though, so may be a tire change there. She needs more riding time first to play with pressure. We will probably swap tires on our bikes for next ride. I'm very pleased with the X-Kings apparent versatility, but the Karma's are pretty good for someone light like her but they have a really thin sidewall construction.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 01:23:31 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 03:36:09 pm »
It all sounds good Jim.  You realize, of course, that you are my human lab mouse in this ongoing experiment :D  If all your hair falls out and you get a nasty rash on your arms and legs, then no way am I going tubeless!   :o

Seriously, keep me posted on how the sealant works with the Karma in particular, which I assume is a non-SCT version(?)  The Slant Six that I have are non-SCT, and I have hesitated to put sealant into them for fear that it will all seep out the sidewalls in some alien-like goo, or get eaten from the inside.  Since they are almost new, I am not keen to replace them just yet only to try tubeless.

Keep up the good work!


jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 09:38:59 pm »
The Karma's did seal up fine with Stan's, and the one I have redone with Hutchinson's just as well.
As you know, the reason for switching to Protect'Air is the 2 year useful life and the fact that it is doesn't corrode rims or attack butyl in tires as Stan's might.

Actually, the Karma sidewall is less porous than the RaceSport version of the X-King.

The other thing I learned, but is no big deal, is that the propellant in PitStop (and Fast'Air, I think) is propane and will leak out of the tire faster than air.  So they will inflate the tire just fine, but it will be low on pressure the next morning.  Reminds me of when CostCo used Nitrogen for airing up the tires they sold.  A larger molecule less affected by temperature, nitrogen filled tires will hold consistent pressure for a year.

As far as a lab mouse, I think Epic has already done much of the "lab mouse" work for both of us.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 06:54:10 am by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 07:08:22 am »
Thanks Jim.  That's all good info.  I have not seen Hutchinson sealant in our shops, but I can get Geax sealant here locally, which is also supposed to last 2 years.  I will try it out on my Slant Six and see how that all holds up.  I have had enough trail time on these tires to be able to do a pretty good before-after comparison.  Should be interesting....


jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 07:33:16 am »
Svend:
One of the things you should check is whether the liquid PitStop TNT is ammonia based or glycol based.  Hutchinson Protect'Air (the liquid) is glycol based and artificial latex.
The pressurized inflators inject foam (both Vittoria and Hutchinson) into the tire, it may be that only their liquuid products have the 2 year effective life.

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midwif

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 07:43:58 pm »
The not so sensitive bike rider here.

Jim keeps asking me how I like the feel of this or that tire.

Each day riding brings different temps and trail conditions.
I do  like the tubeless just fine. SO GLAD that Jim won't have to be changing
my tires mid trail on a flat. :-* ;)

The real epiphany has been the lower pressures. It felt weird to lower it and then lower it more, but damn if bush ain't on the money. Improved grip, handling etc.

The Karma's held up really well on a hot day on single track. Not too rocky, but the conditions were dry and dusty.
Earlier in the day I had Jim's Continental on the front. Couldn't really feel any difference.
A few slides on gravelly spots with turns and a lack of attention on the riders part. Not a hard trail for the experienced, but
good training trails for newbie mtb'ers.

I feel very lucky to have a boyfriend who likes reading and experimenting with ski/bike gear!
I get to be the beneficiary of much of his research.

Lynn
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:30:37 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 07:27:38 am »
Jim keeps asking me how I like the feel of this or that tire.

Hmmm... Common theme here.  I keep asking my wife the same question, as I've been swapping her tires around too.  Seems that I get the same response that Jim does.  Seriously, what's with you ladies? Can't you tell the difference between round profile and square? Ramped and siped lugs vs. blocks? Definitely more sensitivity is needed here.  More feel for how the rubber hits the dirt.   ;D

Lynn, sliding on loose gravel is normal with any tire.  It only gets better if you have wider tires (like 2.3") with heavier lugs, but then you compromise hardpack XC performance and rolling weight.  It is disconcerting, for sure, the first time you hit this stuff and feel your bike squirming beneath you.  There is no way to avoid it except to learn how to ride through it.  Lower pressures sure help absorb the rough if it's large gravel, but it will take a few cruises through this stuff before you feel more comfortable.  Think of it as the mtn. bike equivalent of skiing crud -- you gotta learn to love it, then the whole mountain becomes fun. 

Cheers, and keep on riding!

« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 07:44:45 am by Svend »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 07:51:58 am »
 :D  Maybe, just MAYBE, the common theme is that we guys tend to over analyze insignificant things like tires and the girls just want to ride.
Unless, of course, the topic is how they would like to redo the kitchen and what appliances, and exactly what shades of color they want and exactly where and how many inches of counter space that will take up or free up.

Funny story. When we returned from our exercise ride on Sunday I suggested we leave the bikes outside (and thought I said that I would wax the chains).  Later I said, "Oh, by the way, I lubed/cleaned the chains on the bikes."  And she said, "So did I."

Rock'n Roll Gold.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 11:15:13 am by jim-ratliff »
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bushwacka

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 08:26:08 pm »
The not so sensitive bike rider here.

Jim keeps asking me how I like the feel of this or that tire.

Each day riding brings different temps and trail conditions.
I do  like the tubeless just fine. SO GLAD that Jim won't have to be changing
my tires mid trail on a flat. :-* ;)

The real epiphany has been the lower pressures. It felt weird to lower it and then lower it more, but damn if bush ain't on the money. Improved grip, handling etc.

The Karma's held up really well on a hot day on single track. Not too rocky, but the conditions were dry and dusty.
Earlier in the day I had Jim's Continental on the front. Couldn't really feel any difference.
A few slides on gravelly spots with turns and a lack of attention on the riders part. Not a hard trail for the experienced, but
good training trails for newbie mtb'ers.

I feel very lucky to have a boyfriend who likes reading and experimenting with ski/bike gear!
I get to be the beneficiary of much of his research.

Lynn

its physics not me. There is not single physical aspect of tubes that make them preform better at well anything.

LivingProof

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 06:28:12 am »
Yesterday, for the first time in close to two seasons, I had a flat tire on the road. Last season, I changed to Continental Gatorskin tires and, obviously, find them great at puncture resistance. This flat was caused by a very slow leak in a repaired tube and not the result of a puncture. The roads I ride are very flat and straight, so, road performance is not high on my "want" list. In a couple of minutes, a tube tire repair is effected, no big deal.

Of interest where I ride along the coastline, the seagulls learn to drop mollusk shells on the roads to crack them open. After a few days of baking in the sun, the shells can produce some razor sharp edges capable of puncturing tire sidewalls.

What happens when a tubeless tire goes flat during a ride?


jim-ratliff

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Re: Talking about road tubeless
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 07:25:54 am »

I haven't had a tubeless flat yet, but based on Epic's experiences and reading about tubeless on other forums, such as SlowTwitch and RoadBikeReview and MTBR I'll share my thoughts.
  • The tubeless tire has more butyl rubber and thickness. My Padrones weigh 290 grams, my Conti 4000S's weighed around 230, so maybe more resistant to punctures.
  • The leak may be slower, maybe even slow enough to ride home, similar to getting a screw or nail in a car tire. With tubes, once the tube ruptures the air comes out quickly.
  • Hutchinson's "Rep Air" is a tubeless repair kit. You put a couple of drops of their special glue in the cut and it glues the tire back together.  Inflate the tire and ride it. The kit also includes tubeless patches so you can glue those to the inside of the tire if the external glue doesn't do the job. Then use a CO2 cartridge or pump (whichever you use now) and inflate the tire back up (noting that you can limp home at 40-50 pounds of pressure if need be). CAVEAT -- if you have to unseat the bead of tubeless, the odds are good that you won't get it reseated with a hand pump, hence the CO2 cartridge.
  • Hutchinson "Fast Air" or Vittoria/Geax "PitStop" are pressurized cans of sealant.  Press the can against the valve stem and it reinflates the tire while it injects foam that will find and repair the leak.
  • Call a cab or beg a ride back to the car and deal with the flat after a beer.
You could also prep the tire with liquid sealant (as with Mountain Bikes) and it would seal the leak immediately and you would never have to stop.  I'm not doing that -- I will reconsider if I wind up having more flats with tubeless, but I only get 1 per year or less (the Vectran breaker on the Conti's has been excellent in that respect).

In place of a spare tube and tire levers, my seat pouch now carries the tubeless repair kit, a Hutchinson Fast'Air, and a CO2 cartridge inflator.
Anything more than that, I'm willing to call AAA.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 07:44:28 am by jim-ratliff »
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