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Tubes or tubeless

azalgee

Chimp
Jan 11, 2021
16
6
Phoenix, AZ
I'm looking into a new Specialized StumpJumper Alloy and the shop suggested going tubeless.
What are the pros and cons of tubeless mountain bike tires?
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
23,526
11,674
In the cleavage of the Tetons
Fair enough. But after 20 years of tubeless, it’s pretty obvious the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Especially now that bacon/dart type repairs are so effective. The early days? Not so fun to flat.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,687
20,514
Sleazattle
May not be obvious to the OG poster

Tubeless is a little lighter, less rolling resistance and generally more puncture resistant. Also lets you run slightly lower pressure for better traction and comfort.
 

azalgee

Chimp
Jan 11, 2021
16
6
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks for the replies, seems overwhelmingly pro tubeless!
How often do you have to put in more slime on tubeless ones?
Do you need a compressor to air them up?
Are they more puncture resistant than the thicker tubes?
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,165
9,818
AK
May not be obvious to the OG poster

Tubeless is a little lighter, less rolling resistance and generally more puncture resistant. Also lets you run slightly lower pressure for better traction and comfort.
I've never really agreed with this. If you are able to lower your pressure with tubeless, you could have lowered your pressure with tubes, since you weren't banging your rims on the ground. If you do bang your rims on the ground, you'll be pinch-flatting...and that happens with tubeless too. More supple for more traction due to no tube resistance, but wider rims for better sidewall support and bigger volume tires are the real game-changers IMO for pressure...and then there's inserts.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
23,526
11,674
In the cleavage of the Tetons
A few things. Tubeless don’t generally use slime (the slime tubeless sealant isn’t great), but specific tubeless goo like Stan’s, Orange Seal, Muck Off, etc. how frequently you add it is dependent generally on temperature, and how much you add. I usually add some about every 6 weeks in the summer.
Some tire/rim combos require a compressor, some will air up first try with a floor pump. There is little rhyme or reason to this. Watch some YouTube tutorials!
traditional punctures become essentially a non-issue, they usually seal up if small enough. But as mentioned, you can still snakebite on the rim, and still slash sidewalls on shale and such. Watch some tutorials on using ‘bacon’ to fix punctures when they happen.
Feel free to ask more questions, we can answer some things!
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,687
20,514
Sleazattle
I've never really agreed with this. If you are able to lower your pressure with tubeless, you could have lowered your pressure with tubes, since you weren't banging your rims on the ground. If you do bang your rims on the ground, you'll be pinch-flatting...and that happens with tubeless too. More supple for more traction due to no tube resistance, but wider rims for better sidewall support and bigger volume tires are the real game-changers IMO for pressure...and then there's inserts.
It depends a lot on setup, conditions and riding style. With tubeless I have always been able to get away with a lot of light rim dings without damaging the tire or rim that would certainly take out a tube, especially with carbon rims. It is a different story with my hard tail which gets a lot more smashy smashy treatment, but the weakest link is the rims. I have several dents in them yet no flats. Which is fine by me considering tires almost cost as much as aluminum rims do anymore.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
8,265
4,585
I'm looking into a new Specialized StumpJumper Alloy and the shop suggested going tubeless.
What are the pros and cons of tubeless mountain bike tires?
Are you somewhere where you get a lot of punctures? I'm seeing cactus in your avatar. If that's the case, tubeless is the way to go I'd imagine.
 

azalgee

Chimp
Jan 11, 2021
16
6
Phoenix, AZ
Are you somewhere where you get a lot of punctures? I'm seeing cactus in your avatar. If that's the case, tubeless is the way to go I'd imagine.
I'm in AZ, cactus are big enough to avoid, it's those little goathead stickers that are a problem.
However, I've found that the green tube slime works just fine to seal up any of those. Not sure I'm ready to make the change, but seems to be the way to go.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
54,687
20,514
Sleazattle
I'm in AZ, cactus are big enough to avoid, it's those little goathead stickers that are a problem.
However, I've found that the green tube slime works just fine to seal up any of those. Not sure I'm ready to make the change, but seems to be the way to go.
Has been a long time since I have ran tubes but sealant in a tube worked well for me for punctures. However sealant in a tube will not help with pinch flats and is the heaviest option going. If it is working for you certainly no need to change, but going tubeless can be the cheapest and most noticeable upgrade you can make. So carry on, but if you ever feel like you want to upgrade something on your bike I'd suggest going tubeless over more expensive bits and pieces.
 

azalgee

Chimp
Jan 11, 2021
16
6
Phoenix, AZ
That's what I've heard. I haven't had a pinch flat yet, but also haven't really heard any drawbacks on going tubeless.
Thanks for all the feedback!