Tubeless

Today I may have a little bit to talk about. Last nite was a great nite ride with almost 15 bikes and only two were not fat. And for the first time I had a flat on a fat bike. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

So just to lay it out there, Im not a big fan of tubeless. Thats said, Im tubeless on every off road bike I ride. Even the fat tires now.

Not sure why I do iDSCN4385t. Weight I guess. Maybe cuz I can? And I have a endless supply of tubeless fixins’ in the store. I guess when I take in a high dollar race rig I just instinctively try to get it as light as I can. But for many of us, tubeless is a waste of time and money.

For fat bikes, I never was a big fan of trying to pull the tube out of a holed out rim. By the time you get all the gorilla tape set with a ton of sealant you were close to a tube weight anyway. But now rims are coming tubeless ready like Treks Jackalope and Stans soon to be released Hugo. Also Velocitiys Dually.

So with Treks wheel its easy.  All the spokes are in a line so a inch wide tape strip (that they provide) and a few ounces of Stans and up the tire go’s. Simple and lighter.

But last nite I had a flat on the beach. And then Im reminded that tubeless is a pain in the ass. Sealant everywhere. The tube changed out fine but what a mess. I think I had 6 ounces in the tire.

A lot of people stop in to ask about tubeless. Is it better? Well, for some it is. It allows you to run a lower pressure without a pinch flat. And in some instances can seal up a small puncture. And of course take a little rotating weight off the outside of your wheel. Which would be about the only reason I do it. Being a bigger guy I never run psi as low as others. Heck, most of the time on my MTB Im 50 in the rear and 45 in front.

To the horror of others, I run my fat tires around 17. If I need float I’ll go to 7 or 8. Any lower and Im near the rim.

I know it sounds weird that I sometimes talk people out of tubeless but then run it myself. But I don’t go out of my way to do it. Again, on the fatties I would not construct some elaborate home made system to do it. But if its manufactured to do so I will.

As for a fat related flat. I did it wrong last nite. I did have a 25 gram co2 ( I’ll carry two now) that can fill the tire well enough get you home but I used it on the flat hoping to make it back without a tube. Wrong. I rode it flat and it broke the bead and I was done. No way I was going to seat the bead out on the beach in the middle of the nite. So I ended up tubing it anyway and should have done that from the get go. Very messy. And used 5 co2’s. And used a hand pump to finish. I should have just tubed it and used one co2. Done and done.

So today I’ll see what was up with the tire. Clean things up and mount it tubeless again. Will cut the sealant from 6 to 3 oz’s and ride again in the morn…..

Life go’s on.

DLD

2 thoughts on “Tubeless

  1. Well said Dan.
    I’ve had tubeless mtb, my 2006 Cannondale Rush came with it, and when it works, holds air, seals punctures, it is pretty sweet. But when it doesn’t work it’s a messy pain in the @$$.
    I think waiting for tubeless Fat specific tires and rims to get “perfected” is a good idea. I have no interest in the “ghetto” tubeless hit or miss mess. For me, the lightweight 2.3-2.7 tubes work fine and are easy to carry.
    I suppose if I lived in a place with cactus type pointy plants all over the place and flats were an every ride occurrence, tubeless would be the best thing for me. But I only get one or two flats a year, so tubes it is.

    1. I too use a 2.8 Bonty tube for my tires when Im tubed. I gatta say again tho the Jackalope rims are very easy to do. No prep needed. Throw in some sealant and inflate.

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