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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To show you how clueless I am I just ordered a nice set of lightweight tubes and a patch kit and discovered my new (used bike) is a 2006 stumpjumper hardtail which uses tubeless tires... ugh.

So naturally a few questions:

If i get a flat, can I patch the tire? If not how do I fix a tubeless tire out on the trail? Do I need to carry slime?

When I go to buy new tires does it have to say tubeless or UST in the description? I noticed most tires do not.

What is UST?

Are there any advantages to tubeless other then weight?

Who is Stan?

Sorry about the noobishness of my questions but this forum really needs a faq list.
 

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Yes you can fix a flat tubeless tire provided the hole is not too large, like a cut, but I suppose that applies to non-tubeless tires as well. Assuming a small hole like a nail or a thorn, after removing the offender you patch the inside of the tire the same way you would patch a tube. However, it is difficult to re-inflate a tubeless tire on the trail with a typical hand pump. If I was to flat a tubeless tire on the trail ( never happened yet but I'm not in a very thorny area ) I'd bang in a tube and fix it at home. So yeah, I carry one tube in my pack. Some people use a latex sealer in UST tires just to seal small punctures and it works well.

UST stands for Universal Standard for Tubeless. It was developed by Mavic and as far as I'm concerned is the only system worth having. UST tires in general are not much lighter than having a tube but the big advantage is being able to run low tire pressures with out the risk of "snake bite" flats. Also I find that I have fewer flats in general. A UST system requires you use a UST rim and tire. They are made by many manufacturers. There are more and more all the time but not as many as conventional tires. The edge of the rim has a hooked or turned over edge and the tire has a special bead that locks into the rim when inflated.

In an attempt to make lighter tubeless tires Stan's No-Tubes and others have, with varying degrees of success turned a conventional rim and tire into tubeless. This is done by using a special rim strip to cover the spoke holes and putting a latex sealant into the tire to seal any gaps and the sometimes porous tire side walls. ( UST rims do not have spoke holes all the way through the rim. The rims are air tight. ) It apparently does work with certain rim and tire combinations but I have several times seen this type of tubeless tire "burping" of the rim in hard cornering or hitting a rock with a glancing blow. It may be of great advantage to racers who are prepared to compromise safety for the weight advantage but I'd never use it.

Ronnie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Excellent write up! I guess I don't feel as bad about picking up the tubes and patch kit now since I can still use them. I ride trails/street mostly so hopefully I won't get too many flats. I've only had 1 on my roadbike in over 2000 miles, so I don't know too much about sealants, just good old patches. I've been pretty lucky though.
 
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