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Should I upgrade to tubeless tires for endurance racing? I'm kinda scared to use tubeless because I don't know anything about them and they sound like a pain to work with if you don't have a compressor. Are most endurance racers using tubeless these days?
 

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wasatchbiker said:
Should I upgrade to tubeless tires for endurance racing? I'm kinda scared to use tubeless because I don't know anything about them and they sound like a pain to work with if you don't have a compressor. Are most endurance racers using tubeless these days?
I woould...and did.

If you get a flat you just pop in a tube and away you go...

BUT you will get a lot less flats with tubeless and even just a touch of sealant....

If you are prone to pinch flats, ride lots of sharp rocks or get into thorns, then it is almost required to get into tubeles to acheive the wide tire low inflation pressures that lead to low rolling resistance, and flat resistance.

Both of which are a premium for endurance racing.

In 2007 I would say easily half of the Trans Rockies was on tubeless....winners wore tubes I think though.
 

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Definitely go tubeless. Once you figure out the details it is really quite simple and pretty much maintenance free except when you add more sealant or switch tires. Find a friend to help you do it the first time. Access to an air compressor helps.

I have flatted once while since going tubeless three years ago and that was from a hit that dented my rim and cut the tire sidewall. The improvement in ride quality and lack of flats is well worth the effort.
 

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Zero flats since going tubeless , well worth it . Faster too .
 

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the questions is "tubeless ready" or "UST"
I have ran both and have gotten flats on stans tubeless system (using a normal tire with stans rims and sealant).
I pretty much always run UST tires which are heavier but don't get flats (mounted on UST rims or Stans rims). Keep in mind my weight is 145 and also that mounting UST tires can me more difficult so if you are on the trail or race it could cost you time.
 

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My experience is with tubeless ready rims (Bonty RXL) and both tubless ready and regular tires. Both have worked great once set-up (admittedly set-up can be a little finicky). Personally I think UST is not necessary and wouldn't want the weight penalty of a UST tire, but to each their own.

ptfmb71, I am curious what you mean by stating that UST tires don't get flats. I have witnessed riders on UST tires/rims getting flats. I don't know whether they were running sealant or not though.
 

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IMO tubeless is the first upgrade you MUST do to any bike. Night and day difference in performance. Learn to use it, become comfortable with it. Buy an injection tool to put the sealant in your tire without breaking the tire bead, this will help a ton.
 

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Fishlips said:
My experience is with tubeless ready rims (Bonty RXL) and both tubless ready and regular tires. Both have worked great once set-up (admittedly set-up can be a little finicky). Personally I think UST is not necessary and wouldn't want the weight penalty of a UST tire, but to each their own.

ptfmb71, I am curious what you mean by stating that UST tires don't get flats. I have witnessed riders on UST tires/rims getting flats. I don't know whether they were running sealant or not though.
I hate to even say how many flats I have gotten in 9 years of UST tires (let's just say it's below 1). not saying it has not happened to others, but I hear quite a bit that numbers are very very low for flats on UST.
 

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I wouldn't even consider an endurance race without tubeless. I've never flatted with tubeless (though, I guess I never flatted with tubes either.)
 

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I agree with all the above comments with one caveat: Notubes rims don't like regular tires, always run UST on Stans rims. That's just MHO of course but I learned the lesson painfully. Nothing against Notubes, I have two sets of their wheels and use them constantly.

I have had good luck with regular tires used tubeless on regular (Spinergy) rims with the Stans strip; go figure, it must be related to the different bead well shapes that get created. Depending on your "weight weenie" status you may or may not want to experiment with both types of tire and see if the weight penalty of UST matters to you.
 

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^^^You must be the only one?

I have never run anything but regular tires, set up tubeless, on Stans rims. I've only ever burped off one tire and that was after a very bad landing on a drop. I've used Maxxis, Kenda, Schwalbe and Notubes brand tires with no problems.
 

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Tubeless is a great setup. A small cheap air compressor can be had for less than $50 and makes initial installation a snap.
 

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wasatchbiker said:
Should I upgrade to tubeless tires for endurance racing? I'm kinda scared to use tubeless because I don't know anything about them and they sound like a pain to work with if you don't have a compressor. Are most endurance racers using tubeless these days?
If you rarely flat and already run low pressures, there is no reason to go tubeless. I regularly switch between tubes and tubeless and the specific tire makes way more difference in performance than if I am using tubes or not.
 

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I run a UST Hutchinson up front with a kenda with a tube on the rear. I tried converting both WTB and Kenda regular tires with sealant on my UST rims, but always had slow leaks through the porous sidewalls. Would try to lay the tire, rim, bike on its side and spin the wheel, hoping the sealant would find the holes and fill them, but I still got leaks and would have flats the next day, this went on for a frustrating season. Like Shiggy says above, I like the specific tire approach rather than tubeless or not. BTW, you can also fill your tubes with some sealant if you are worried about thorns, but that will do nothing for pinch flats. I really haven't tried the tubeless-ready tires yet and hope that they are more of the happy medium I have been looking for (no sidwall leaks and lighter weight than UST).
 

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Tubeless is great, but it is also more finicky. In racing, if you first don't finish, you can't finish first. IMO, you have to be a bit particular about making sure the rim/tire combo you choose for tubeless conversion get along well together. You want the tire to go on with a fair amount of effort. Not too easy, not too hard. The Bonty TLR system is SO good, that it sometimes holds onto the tire so tightly that it can take a few minutes of patiently working your way around the tire before it finally pops off the bead hook. Great for eliminating burps, but terrible if you DO get a flat in a race situation.

I like monkeying around with this kind of stuff, so tubeless works for me. If you're like Lance, and can't really even fix a flat, just stick with tubes and go win races. Tubeless or tubes will never be what decides the winner in an endurance race.

Finally, IMO, don't go too light when you go tubeless. I don't think UST is required, but much under a 600 gram tire is asking for trouble on a rough course.
 

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kosmo said:
Tubeless is great, but it is also more finicky. In racing, if you first don't finish, you can't finish first. IMO, you have to be a bit particular about making sure the rim/tire combo you choose for tubeless conversion get along well together. You want the tire to go on with a fair amount of effort. Not too easy, not too hard. The Bonty TLR system is SO good, that it sometimes holds onto the tire so tightly that it can take a few minutes of patiently working your way around the tire before it finally pops off the bead hook. Great for eliminating burps, but terrible if you DO get a flat in a race situation.

I like monkeying around with this kind of stuff, so tubeless works for me. If you're like Lance, and can't really even fix a flat, just stick with tubes and go win races. Tubeless or tubes will never be what decides the winner in an endurance race.

Finally, IMO, don't go too light when you go tubeless. I don't think UST is required, but much under a 600 gram tire is asking for trouble on a rough course.
I have also found that using standard tires with tubes on Bonty TLR rims (with the TLR rim strips) lose pressure very slowly if you do happen to pinch flat or get a puncture. I have hit the rim hard enough to dent the sidewall (on a sharp rock ledge in Utah) but the tire did not go soft for at least 10minutes. Snake bite pinch flat of the tube. No damage to the tire.
 

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tubeless

Just do it-you won't look back! Love it! But, look at getting tires with healthy tough sidewalls as, sidewall tears suck when you are tubeless.
 

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I run maxxis 2.1 ignitors regular tires on 2008 mavic slr and 2008 xtr wheel sets and they work well with stan's. I run 25 lbs in the front and 30 lbs in the back and I weigh around 185 lbs in racing shape plus a 25 to 27 lb bike. Any lower pressure at that weight makes the tires too wiggly for my taste and my trails have some fairly rough sections that you hit at high speed. I have some times gone up to 40 and 45 lbs if there is lots of smooth road in the race.

UST versions are definitely tougher and much less likely to flat though flatting is rare in either case. I have cut side walls with the rim with both regular and ust tires with hard impacts on sharp edges. When you run minimum pressure and you get a puncher you typically lose too much air while it seals. 90% of the time I can put a CO2 cartridge in it and keep riding for months. 10% of the time the puncture is too big or the sealant is too old and you waste a CO2 cartridge. Put in a tube and go.

Tubeless is the only way to go. pull out the presta valve core to get teh quick burst of air and go buy a $50 mini compressor and the syringe to add sealant is worth it. Put a little chain lube on your presta valve to keep the stans from goobing up the threads.
 
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