I won't try to convince you to go tubeless, as it may not be for everyone. but I will tell you the reasons why I choose to go tubeless:Jersey said:for whatever reason i just cant get into the tubeless thing. when UST first started i totally thought it would be a fad, but boy was i wrong.
messing with sealants, and trying to get beads to sit right just turns me off. i just tear open that little cardboard box and throw in a new tube. i can do it in my sleep, why should i go tubeless???
1. Flat resistance - It may not eliminate flats, but they are greatly reduced. I have not flatted in over 2 years of using tubeless conversion on the trails. These are the same trails that I flatted almost weekly on prior to going tubeless. I did get my first flat in 2 years the other day (I happened to be using tubes on my backup bike) but I would have flatted regardless as a 3/8" diameter stick impaled my tire through the sidewall. Pinch flats are all but eliminated. They are still possible without a tube, but very rare. Because of this, you can run lower pressures without the fear of pinch flats, thus increasing cornering traction.
2. Decreased rolling resistance - Tests done on Schwalbe's rolling resistance machine showed a significant decrease in rolling resistance at a given pressure, I've heard numbers up to 9 watts.
3. Weight savings - Tubeless conversion such as Stans or Eclipse saves weight over all but the lightest and most fragile tubes, and as much as 1/2 pound over thicker tubes.
Initial setup takes a little more time than with a tube, but its not difficult at all and I can setup a wheel in just a few minutes. You don't have to do anything to get the bead to sit right, you just inflate it and the bead closes against the rim. I will rock the tire around to get the sealant to fill all the pinholes along the bead, but that doesn't take long and you don't really even have to do that, as they will seal up after a few rides anyway.
The trade-offs for me, in order of how they affect me are:
1. I don't use tubeless on my back up bike, as it it only ridden a few times a month, and the sealant will not last long enough to make it worthwhile as it will dry in the tire after a few months. Also, I use my back up bike on the trainer and I like to use higher pressures on the rear tire.
2. In the event that you do get a flat, you must deal with the sealant which can be kind of messy. Fortunately, I have not had to deal with it on the trail (except for one experiment 2 + years ago with homemade tubeless). You are only dealing with 60 ml of solution, so its not really that bad.
3. It is more difficult to change tires at will for riding in different conditions, such as removing your racing tires to put on trail or mud tires. It just takes a little more time and again, you have to deal with the sealant mess.
So far, going tubeless conversion (I use Eclipse) has been virtually trouble free for me and I don't regret it for a second. As I said, there are trade offs and it may not be right for everyone, but as for me, I don't see myself ever going back to tubes.