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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Despite what it says in the FAQ post about using normal tires for a tubeless setup (not safe), can anybody make a factual argument for a tubeless wheel set being lighter than traditional tubed set?

Some of my riding buddies swear by tubeless/stans, but I've crunched the numbers time and again and can't see why anybody would ride a tubeless setup to save weight - it simply isn't lighter (unless you're sacrificing strength and/or durability).

Looking at tubed vs. tubeless from the same makers, rims will be heavier, tires will be heavier, not to mention the goo inside the tire. All of that extra weight alone will negate any savings on the tubes (especially if you're going up against ultralight 100g tubes). On top of that, most tubeless riders will carry at least one extra tube just in case they have a blow out.

Somebody shed some light on this phenomenon without falling back on the old pinch flat argument.
 

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LA CHÈVRE
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The light setup is non-UST tires on non-UST rims (or Notubes) and sealant. True UST tires and rims are heavier than converted setups and sometimes heavier than tubed setups, not always, depends of the tires and rim you have.
 

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I haven't done the math on weight, but I believe the real advantage to tubeless is decreased rolling resistance. That, & perhaps faster recovery from a flat with Stans.
 

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not just weight

UST wheels (most) and tires are heavier. You are correct on this option.

Standard tire, NoTubes rim strip and sealant on standard rims - again, tire and 100 gram tube is about 20 grams lighter.

BUT a NoTubes wheelset allows you to use NO RIM strip, just 60 grams of sealant. And almost any tire. So it can be lighter. By about 40 grams or so.

There are other important advantages though. Some puncture protection with sealant, less rolling resistance and better traction with lower tire pressure. Those are the main reasons, not just weight.

if you like simplicity and changing flats, stay with tubes.
 

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The MTB Lab
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Horst Linked said:
Despite what it says in the FAQ post about using normal tires for a tubeless setup (not safe), can anybody make a factual argument for a tubeless wheel set being lighter than traditional tubed set?

Some of my riding buddies swear by tubeless/stans, but I've crunched the numbers time and again and can't see why anybody would ride a tubeless setup to save weight - it simply isn't lighter (unless you're sacrificing strength and/or durability).

Looking at tubed vs. tubeless from the same makers, rims will be heavier, tires will be heavier, not to mention the goo inside the tire. All of that extra weight alone will negate any savings on the tubes (especially if you're going up against ultralight 100g tubes). On top of that, most tubeless riders will carry at least one extra tube just in case they have a blow out.

Somebody shed some light on this phenomenon without falling back on the old pinch flat argument.
I covered a bit of all your questions in a blog entry I did on the subject.

1) Pretty much any rider (UST, Tubeless, tubed) is going to carry an extra tube on most rides
2) Tubeless lets you ride a lot lower pressure
3) Less pinch flats
4) Larger variety of tires to choose from (only valid when comparing UST tires vs non UST)

When it comes to number crunching, when you add the rip strips and sealant together they can beat most tubes weight. The light weight tubes bring things a lot closer but I have found that the light tubes aren't as durable.

Refer to http://www.gramslightbikes.com/2007/02/tubeless-tire-world.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good point about everybody carrying a tube. However, what is this fascination with low pressure that the tubeless crowd has? Unless you're riding Slickrock or doing trials riding, running the recommended pressure (as the tire was designed) will get you the best traction in normal riding conditions as well as prevent pinch flats. Plus, if you're running non-UST tires at low pressure, LOOK OUT, you're in for a scary blowout and crash at some point. The side walls on non-UST tires aren't designed to run without tubes (especially at low pressure).

All of this brings me back to my original point of using tires for their intended purpose (or not, and risking your neck to simply save a few grams).
 

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The MTB Lab
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You do need to be more careful on tire selection if you run in rocky terrain. There are plenty of tires that have beefy sidewalls and of course lots that do not. I have torn sidewalls with tubes and tubeless. I use Schwalbe tires with the snakeskins and other manufacturers have there own brand of tough sidewalls.

Example for some numbers:

Schwalbe Alberts 26x2.25 (normal tires) 650g
Tube 90g-200g
Sealant 35-45g
Rim strips 45g

Normal Tubed setup: 740g-850g, I would run a tougher tube so call it 800g or so
Tubeless: 740g

Hmmmm...

I have run normal tires in tubeless method on Stans rims, run normal tires in tubeless method on UST rims, normal tires with tubes on normal rims and UST tires on UST rims. In regards to tire pressure, I do ride technical stuff but the low pressure works nice in many conditions, try running a tubed tire setup with pressures of 26-30 psi. Talk about some pinch flats! Getting the tires loaded up the first time is a bit more work then tubes or UST tires (on UST rims) but never having to change a tube on the trail or get a flat and running lower pressure is the cat's meow.
 

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Horst Linked said:
Unless you're riding Slickrock or doing trials riding, running the recommended pressure (as the tire was designed) will get you the best traction in normal riding conditions as well as prevent pinch flats. .
not sure why you believe that....but it IS NOT TRUE.
 

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Horst Linked said:
Good point about everybody carrying a tube. However, what is this fascination with low pressure that the tubeless crowd has? Unless you're riding Slickrock or doing trials riding, running the recommended pressure (as the tire was designed) will get you the best traction in normal riding conditions as well as prevent pinch flats. Plus, if you're running non-UST tires at low pressure, LOOK OUT, you're in for a scary blowout and crash at some point. The side walls on non-UST tires aren't designed to run without tubes (especially at low pressure).

All of this brings me back to my original point of using tires for their intended purpose (or not, and risking your neck to simply save a few grams).
until you have spent some time using lower pressure, most people don't see what the big deal is, and most think it will be slower. but it isn't. it rolls just as fast or faster in most conditions with better traction.

on a "normal" XC trail, taking the same tire at 45 psi and then again at 25 psi... there is a huge difference in handling, traction and comfort. it IS a REAL benefit.

people all over the world are doing it, some of us on standard tires at VERY low pressures without catastrophic blow outs.

it just works. if you don't believe it, fine, stick to your tubes. both ways work, but some people want the other benefits that tubeless or conversion has to offer.
 

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Originally Posted by Horst Linked
Good point about everybody carrying a tube. However, what is this fascination with low pressure that the tubeless crowd has? Unless you're riding Slickrock or doing trials riding, running the recommended pressure (as the tire was designed) will get you the best traction in normal riding conditions as well as prevent pinch flats. Plus, if you're running non-UST tires at low pressure, LOOK OUT, you're in for a scary blowout and crash at some point. The side walls on non-UST tires aren't designed to run without tubes (especially at low pressure).

All of this brings me back to my original point of using tires for their intended purpose (or not, and risking your neck to simply save a few grams).
Last year I would have agreed with you, but after running conti explorer supersonics front and rear for a year I would say you are wrong:D. I too thought I would suffer a body ending blow-out of epic proportions but nope they work great with no issues (except for the front taking awhile to hold air).
 

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Horst Linked said:
Good point about everybody carrying a tube. However, what is this fascination with low pressure that the tubeless crowd has? Unless you're riding Slickrock or doing trials riding, running the recommended pressure (as the tire was designed) will get you the best traction in normal riding conditions as well as prevent pinch flats. Plus, if you're running non-UST tires at low pressure, LOOK OUT, you're in for a scary blowout and crash at some point. The side walls on non-UST tires aren't designed to run without tubes (especially at low pressure).

All of this brings me back to my original point of using tires for their intended purpose (or not, and risking your neck to simply save a few grams).
I could see an argument regarding bead strength of non-UST tires, but quite frankly I find the assertion that you're going to have a sidewall blow out if you run regular tire tubeless more than a bit sketchy. If a tire has such a weak sidewall that it is dependent on the tube for enough strength to hold it together -- it's going to blow out on you anyway.

I have yet to see a tube that is going to hold things together when the cords of the tire's casing give out. Most of them seem like they're made out of nothing but a thin rubber tube.
 

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Horst Linked said:
Good point about everybody carrying a tube. However, what is this fascination with low pressure that the tubeless crowd has? Unless you're riding Slickrock or doing trials riding, running the recommended pressure (as the tire was designed) will get you the best traction in normal riding conditions as well as prevent pinch flats. Plus, if you're running non-UST tires at low pressure, LOOK OUT, you're in for a scary blowout and crash at some point. The side walls on non-UST tires aren't designed to run without tubes (especially at low pressure).

All of this brings me back to my original point of using tires for their intended purpose (or not, and risking your neck to simply save a few grams).
OUCH!

seems you are really a old-school biker or at least one that has never even tried tubeless before.

Pastajet has done a perfect summary above and i will chime in stating that your rolling resistance is reduced by 10%. this was measured a couple of times already. this alone means an advantage of about 8-10 watts compared to lightweight inner tubes. these 10 watts are for free. all the time wheter cruising on the flats or descending or while going up....10 watt saved equals 10 watt more power in your legs but ALL the time! your legs power is only valid when power is applied. these 10 watts are there ALL THE TIME! so you are definitely faster without inner tube!! people using tubulars on the road also will tell you how supple those tires feel when compared to clincher tires. that's about the same difference you will feel when leaving out the inner tube in a regular tire. the casing will become much suppler and the ride gets "softer".

lightest inner tubes weigh about 90-100g and you still have to add about 5-10g for a rimstrip...so a lightweight setup with inner tubes is 100g. and we all know those inner tubes are very prone to get flats.
Tubelesskits with rubber rimstrip weigh also about 100g (those without even less) and definitely have 90% less flats. no snakebites and most small punctures from thorns or glass etc will be sealed instantly. cuts up to about 4mm also get sealed so you pretty much are well protected against 98% of all possible flats. it's long cuts only that can create problems but usually those are rare. and we all know that 95% of all "mechanical" problems on the trails are flats....

Lower pressure is possible with tubeless setups which is allowing for MUCH better comfort,much better traction and better control compared to a tubed setup where you have to run a minimal pressure which is much higher to cover you against pinchflats.

below is a chart where you can see the difference a tubelesskit can make in rollingresistance. to the very left in green colour you see a Schwalbe Racing Ralph with Eclipse Tubelesskit (no inner tube,just sealant: 18,9 watt rollingresistance PER WHEEL), more to the right you see that exact same tire at the exact same pressure using a inner tube: 24,1 watt...

and if you still doubt all those numbvers just ask yourself why you are using 2,1" tires and no 20mm clichers form your roadbike at 8 bar/ 115psi....there's a reason tires are wider and pressure used is lower for offroad applications. with tubes it's the inner tube setting the lower limit for pressure.without inner tube this limit is much lower and allows for better performance.
 

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I did a lot of reading in the Wheel and Tire subforum, and heard about the sealant damaging tires over time, like a few months. Also, I read somewhere that you shouldn't use the sealant if your bike sits still for more than a week, since the sealant can pool and damage that part of the tire more quickly.

So, with tubeless, you pretty much need sealant but the sealant eats your tires. That was a deal-breaker for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So if I'm hearing many of you correctly, you know more than all of the tire company R&D folks throughout the mountain bike industry, right? I mean, you're using their tires and rims in ways they haven't even thought of. Brilliant!

To answer nino, yes, I am old school. I ride hard, use tried and true components, and don't fall for gimmicks and fads like Stans and 29" hoops. I don't doubt that tubeless (UST) provides an advantage in some situations, but for the vast majority of riding that I and others do in the Rockies, I've got to put my money on what the pro's use. And about that chart, it looks pretty, but come on, you're backing up your whole argument with that? At least provide a link to the source.

Somebody please provide some verifiable real world research to back up your claims. Everything I've read so far is purely subjective.
 

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It really sounds like you already have your opinion firmly entrenched in your head.

Have you ever thought that the "tire company R&D folks"/marketing people are doing the corporate CYA on warnings about running tubeless.

And we aren't "using thier tires and rims in ways they haven't thought of." Bontrager and DT, to name a few have kits nearly identical to Stan's.

All I can tell you is that you have to try it to see what everyone is talking about. Weight issues aside, tubeless really does feel a lot nicer. Stan's is not a gimmick. I have been running tubeless on UST, non-ust, and "tubless ready" tires for probably over a year and I won't be going back to tubes.

I have a feeling that you aren't going to try tubeless anyway, so this whole thread is moot. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No doubt I have my own opinions, but what I'm interested in is some objective research/info on why I should consider UST for my next set of wheels. Too bad I can't "demo" a wheel set on my current ride to get a good feel for the pros and cons.

I do think there are advantages. For example, if you ride a hard tail (or rigid) bike, the UST set up would provide a smoother ride...that's obvious. Faster however, I'll have to disagree with that. Better traction, perhaps, especially if you're riding billy goat granite/sandstone outcrops. But if you ride a FS bike (like I do), I see less of an advantage with this set up.

Tire makers design their non-UST tires to be run with tubes and to be run at certain pressures. By doing this, you'll get the best traction and speed the tire has to offer in the vast majority of riding conditions. The inner tubes are part of the package and provide sidewall strength. By leaving them out of the mix and adding sealant (that may or may not eat the tire), you're more likely to have a failure. Not really something I want to deal with when I'm on an epic cross country ride.

The idea of tubeless is admittedly cool, but from a weight savings standpoint (the point of this forum), it doesn't work. That is unless you're willing to use products well outside their intended purpose (that is a non-UST tire with Stans).

Once again, does anyone have objective data on this?
 

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Horst Linked said:
So if I'm hearing many of you correctly, you know more than all of the tire company R&D folks throughout the mountain bike industry, right? I mean, you're using their tires and rims in ways they haven't even thought of. Brilliant!
it's not what the R&D guys know, it's what the lawyers will let them get away with. That's a huge difference. Many of us run Stan's with non-UST tires, and a good number of non-pro racers use them too. If there was a big problem with doing this we'd know, the fact is, it just works fine.

If you're not interested or don't trust it, then don't do it. But spare us the holier-than-thou unless you have personal experience that says different.
 

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Horst Linked said:
No doubt I have my own opinions, but what I'm interested in is some objective research/info on why I should consider UST for my next set of wheels. Too bad I can't "demo" a wheel set on my current ride to get a good feel for the pros and cons.

I do think there are advantages. For example, if you ride a hard tail (or rigid) bike, the UST set up would provide a smoother ride...that's obvious. Faster however, I'll have to disagree with that. Better traction, perhaps, especially if you're riding billy goat granite/sandstone outcrops. But if you ride a FS bike (like I do), I see less of an advantage with this set up.

Tire makers design their non-UST tires to be run with tubes and to be run at certain pressures. By doing this, you'll get the best traction and speed the tire has to offer in the vast majority of riding conditions. The inner tubes are part of the package and provide sidewall strength. By leaving them out of the mix and adding sealant (that may or may not eat the tire), you're more likely to have a failure. Not really something I want to deal with when I'm on an epic cross country ride.

The idea of tubeless is admittedly cool, but from a weight savings standpoint (the point of this forum), it doesn't work. That is unless you're willing to use products well outside their intended purpose (that is a non-UST tire with Stans).

Once again, does anyone have objective data on this?
so why did you ask the original question when all you do shoot down other people experiences and opinions? you asked about the weight issue of UST or conversions versus a tubes set up, many of us tried to answer that, but also gave some of the other benefits and our experiences. nino even tried to give you more "factual" info like you requested, but you shoot that down... (careful, nino has a chart for everything rolling resistance... and they ARE useful). (no link BTW because it is a scan of a print magazine).

if you think Stans it is a fad, you are incorrect. hutchinson, bontrager, dtswiss, eclipse are all imitating the NoTubes sealant and conversion kits. because it WORKS and the tire companies know it.

as far as standard tires not being designed to work without inner tubes and fear of sidewall blow outs or lack of strength... how do you explain Tubeless Ready tires then? essentially a UST bead in a STANDARD tire casing intended to be used with sealant... the casing and sidewalls are light weight, just like a standard tire. and why do most of the pros ride standard tires with sealant? because it WORKS.

most cases of sealant problems in tires are usually in UST tires due to the type of rubber they use. not usually in standard tires.

anyway, if you have NO intension of being open minded to something that WORKS. just keep it to yourself already. why don't you go to the 29er forum and start taking shots at that "fad". we already answered your original question, shooting holes in other peoples opinions based on your lack of knowledge or experience is almost embarrassing.
 

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nino said:
OUCH!

seems you are really a old-school biker or at least one that has never even tried tubeless before.

Pastajet has done a perfect summary above and i will chime in stating that your rolling resistance is reduced by 10%. this was measured a couple of times already. this alone means an advantage of about 8-10 watts compared to lightweight inner tubes. these 10 watts are for free. all the time wheter cruising on the flats or descending or while going up....10 watt saved equals 10 watt more power in your legs but ALL the time! your legs power is only valid when power is applied. these 10 watts are there ALL THE TIME! so you are definitely faster without inner tube!! people using tubulars on the road also will tell you how supple those tires feel when compared to clincher tires. that's about the same difference you will feel when leaving out the inner tube in a regular tire. the casing will become much suppler and the ride gets "softer".

lightest inner tubes weigh about 90-100g and you still have to add about 5-10g for a rimstrip...so a lightweight setup with inner tubes is 100g. and we all know those inner tubes are very prone to get flats.
Tubelesskits with rubber rimstrip weigh also about 100g (those without even less) and definitely have 90% less flats. no snakebites and most small punctures from thorns or glass etc will be sealed instantly. cuts up to about 4mm also get sealed so you pretty much are well protected against 98% of all possible flats. it's long cuts only that can create problems but usually those are rare. and we all know that 95% of all "mechanical" problems on the trails are flats....

Lower pressure is possible with tubeless setups which is allowing for MUCH better comfort,much better traction and better control compared to a tubed setup where you have to run a minimal pressure which is much higher to cover you against pinchflats.

below is a chart where you can see the difference a tubelesskit can make in rollingresistance. to the very left in green colour you see a Schwalbe Racing Ralph with Eclipse Tubelesskit (no inner tube,just sealant: 18,9 watt rollingresistance PER WHEEL), more to the right you see that exact same tire at the exact same pressure using a inner tube: 24,1 watt...

and if you still doubt all those numbvers just ask yourself why you are using 2,1" tires and no 20mm clichers form your roadbike at 8 bar/ 115psi....there's a reason tires are wider and pressure used is lower for offroad applications. with tubes it's the inner tube setting the lower limit for pressure.without inner tube this limit is much lower and allows for better performance.
hey nino. regarding this chart, what does the yellow, green and the red signify? is green for eclipse set up? and when was this chart from or the testing done? also what does durchschlagschutz mean (puncture resistance?)
 
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