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Tubeless or not to go tubeless?

Apr 4, 2008
53
0
Santa Cruz, CA
I have gone back and forth about tubeless tires on my DH bike and have tried a few different things some successful some not. This season I built up a new wheel set and used Mavic 823 rims. I wanted to run Intense tires but since they don’t make a tubeless tire I tried using a regular tire with Stan’s tubeless goo inside. This sort of worked and the front time was flawless. However the rear tire never really completely sealed and I would need to pump it up every run or every other run. I decided to give up on this solution and I bought some Maxxis high roller tubeless tires. They felt outstanding, held air and where fairly easy to get to seal from the start (to be on the safe side I stuck with a small amount of the Stan’s goo in them as well. However my first day out in rocky stuff and the third run down the mountain and I punctured the tire which then deflated. The Stan’s didn’t seem to seal the hole and I had a really hard time getting the tire to seal back to the rim. After trying to patch the hole and then pinch flatting a tube that I stuck in there I removed the tubeless tire and went back to an Intense tire with a tube. The tubeless front tire lasted the hole weekend without issue so my question is:

Am I just unlucky and with a proper tubeless tire should I normally have better luck and be able to ride an entire weekend without issue or are tubeless tires just weak and prone to puncture?

I love the grip and feel I get from the tubeless tires so I would really like to make them work. Two years ago I ran the Stan’s tubeless strip and goo in some regular rims and didn’t have any problems for an entire season.
 

demo 9

Turbo Monkey
Jan 31, 2007
5,911
45
north jersey
I have gone back and forth about tubeless tires on my DH bike and have tried a few different things some successful some not. This season I built up a new wheel set and used Mavic 823 rims. I wanted to run Intense tires but since they don’t make a tubeless tire I tried using a regular tire with Stan’s tubeless goo inside. This sort of worked and the front time was flawless. However the rear tire never really completely sealed and I would need to pump it up every run or every other run. I decided to give up on this solution and I bought some Maxxis high roller tubeless tires. They felt outstanding, held air and where fairly easy to get to seal from the start (to be on the safe side I stuck with a small amount of the Stan’s goo in them as well. However my first day out in rocky stuff and the third run down the mountain and I punctured the tire which then deflated. The Stan’s didn’t seem to seal the hole and I had a really hard time getting the tire to seal back to the rim. After trying to patch the hole and then pinch flatting a tube that I stuck in there I removed the tubeless tire and went back to an Intense tire with a tube. The tubeless front tire lasted the hole weekend without issue so my question is:

Am I just unlucky and with a proper tubeless tire should I normally have better luck and be able to ride an entire weekend without issue or are tubeless tires just weak and prone to puncture?

I love the grip and feel I get from the tubeless tires so I would really like to make them work. Two years ago I ran the Stan’s tubeless strip and goo in some regular rims and didn’t have any problems for an entire season.
Riding maxxis tires ONLY on 823s for 3-4 seasons now and i love it. However i will add that i have 3 sets of 823s all tubeless, and this year ive domolished 5 tubeless tires (which i then run a tube in) i feel that the weight savings and the fact that its far more difficult to pinch flat make it worth it. When u do pop it just run a tube.
For whoever cares this years count (since may 1st) is 2 DHRs and 3 DHFs. all 2.5
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,895
493
Warsaw :/
I feel very similar to demo though I flat much less often. I killed 2 tires in last 2 years, one due to too low pressure on a rocky trail and the other one in a gigantic crash resulting in some crazy doctor sending me to scan my liver.
Still I repaired them both (hutchinson and other companies make good repair kits) and used both tires afterwards.

Just go 823 + 2x DHF UST and join the cool kids ;)
 

dexterq20

Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2003
3,442
1
NorCal
I've been running tubeless tires for DH for quite a while now. I'm a fan. You're already gonna have a heavy-ass tire, so you might as well ditch the heavy DH tube and eliminate pinch flats.

Ran Mavic 729s with a Stan's kit and assorted Michelin and Maxxis tires, and just this year swtiched to Mavic 823 rims to save some weight. Currently using Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 UST tires front and rear, which work very well. No Stan's goo needed.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,895
493
Warsaw :/
I still use stans in 823's just in case I do sth to my tire during a race run (or actualy any run) so I can get to the finish without killing my rim.
 

demo 9

Turbo Monkey
Jan 31, 2007
5,911
45
north jersey
I do ride stans. I flat alot, but im sure that is because of the flat terrain and extra rocks that new jersey seems to be bountiful with
 

Uncle Cliffy

Turbo Monkey
Jan 28, 2008
4,496
42
Southern Oregon
Lately I've been having poor luck with my 823 tubeless set up. I keep tearing a hole in the tire that Stans won't seal. I've ripped 3 different UST Maxxis tires. A DHF, DHR, and Highroller. I also tore a hole in a Michellin Comp 16 as well.

I'm usually running around 35 PSI. I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong, it just seems they don't make a tire that can withstand a super stiff bike and rim... (And my 200lb. a$$...)

I'm still holding out hope that things will turn around for me. Flat's suck.
 

Sghost

Turbo Monkey
Jul 13, 2008
1,045
0
NY
Ride with a tube in the Intense tire for a weekend, pumping it up to 50 or 60 psi for overnights, then take the tube out and try Stans again. Keep front tire on as you know its working great.
 

go-ride.com

Monkey
Oct 23, 2001
548
6
Salt Lake City, UT
I go back and forth on tubeless and DH. I like it when I set the tires up at the shop and they are the right tires for the race I'm going to. However, when conditions change or are unexpected and I want to run a different tire combo I usually just run tubes in a second set of wheels. If I only had one set of wheels and tires I'd probably recommend tubeless. If you have one set of wheels and multiple tires for different conditions I'd recommend tubes. If you have 2 or more sets of wheels and a few sets of tires then I like one race set tubeless and a practice set with tubes.


I've never had a set of 823s, but I've used all sorts of other tubeless options: Stan's FR rims, Stan's strips in Mavic 729s, Maxxis strips in various rims, and Ghetto tubeless in various rims. Most have worked very well for me as long as you pic a rim that has a good internal shape for tubeless. I mostly use Maxxis and Kenda non-tubeless tires with the Maxxis being the easiest to seal and most reliable. Rims that have worked well for me are: Mavic 729 & 325, DT 5.1 & 600, SunRingle Singletrack, anything WTB, Stan's rims (but they don't make a DH rim anymore). Rims that haven't worked well are: Mavic 721 & SunRingle MTX. I always use Stan's sealant.
 
Apr 4, 2008
53
0
Santa Cruz, CA
First thanks for all the feedback. It was great to hear what people are running.

For myself I went out and ran the tubeless setup with the highroller on an 823 rim and this time tried the Hutchison tire seal (its like stan's but looks more like snot). I made it half a run down the hill and flatted again. That was enough to piss me off and I pulled the UST tire off and went back to my trusty setup of Intense DH FRO lites and tubes. I rode for four days in Whistler with this setup and didn't have a single flat.

As much as I like the feel of the tubeless tires and the weight savings, I F@#$@#$ing hate flats so I think I am going to stick with the more reliable setup of tubes and regular DH tires.
 

cableguy

Monkey
Jun 23, 2007
463
1
Southern California
If you don't mind the weight, a friend of mine combines tubeless/tubes setup. He uses a tube inside a UST tire, but puts Stan's between the tube and the tire. He uses o-ring/nut on the valve just like a tubeless setup. He claims that if he gets a pinch flat or something similar, he has an extra level of protection via the tubeless setup (air leaks into tubeless setup). And he doesn't get burping from running tubeless. He generally does this for his race runs. I haven't tried his technique because I generally don't have problems with my tubeless setup, but it is an interesting idea IMO.
 

eknomf

Monkey
Apr 23, 2004
211
0
Nanaimo, BC
I run 823s tubeless and have had quite a bit of trouble tearing various tires. They have mostly been michelins. Most my riding is in big pointy rocks on the shore, whistler, etc so I am pretty hard on tires. The best tires by far have been 2 ply maxxis non-tubeless tires. I have never had any issue with them except burping them when I run too low of pressure. They take a bit of time to seal up initially as the sidewalls are slightly porous, but after that they work perfect. The tubeless ones have thinner sidewalls that tear much more easily.
 
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I recently switched to 823's with non-UST tires + Stan's and 729's with ghetto tubless. This is after years of pinch-flatting 2-3 times every few rides.

Running 2.5 2-ply and 2.5 4-ply Intense tires on my rear 823, I was able to pinch-flat the tires, which 3oz. of Stan's did not want to seal.

On 729's, I pinched a 2-ply 2.35 Intense tire, but was able to seal it with 2 oz. of Stan's + some trailside wheel gymnastics. I even rode the same wheel the next day, after a night of drunken Pacific Blue skid contests. There was a hole in the tread of the tire as well as at the bead.

The above is all with 35-39psi. I will not ride DH with any tubed wheel anymore, due to the substantial decrease in flats I now enjoy with tubeless.

HOWEVER, it seems that 823 rims are so strong and rigid (and narrower) that they make tire pinch flats more possible, while 729's dent more (and are wider) but don't pinch flat tires as often. They are also easier to bead stubborn non-tubeless friendly tires onto due to the seal afforded by the ghetto tubeless "rim strip".
 
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Raingauge

Monkey
Apr 3, 2008
692
0
Canadia
Do you leave your tubless setup overnight? I usually put 50-60psi in when I set the bead and leave it over night to make sure it seats properly then burn a few hard turns on the street to make sure its set. I have only flatted once in 3 yearsit was w/ a Stans kit on a 729. I have never on flatted on an 823. I run Michelin 2.5" DH16's.
 

-C-

Monkey
May 27, 2007
296
9
I gave up on tubeless, running 823's & Mavic UST tyres.

I pinched the tyre repeatedly at the top of the sidewall by the bead/rim interface. Stans sealant seems unable to seal it up there.

Never ran silly low pressures, normally around 30psi.

The above set up was also heavier than my current 721, skinny tubes & dual ply Maxxis tyres. No more punctures, and a hell of a lot less hassle to change tyres.