|Tubeless and digging it.|
No, I want to share some of my observations and experiences so far regarding tubelessness. In no particular order then....
- I don't think much along the lines of, "I can tell these tires are not tubeless and they must be set up with tubes.", but I have thought, "These non-tubeless tires don't work very well tubeless."
- I can't remember the last time I got a flat while riding mountain bike trails. It's been years ago. Chalk it up to tubeless tires and good sealant.
- I've gotten pretty good at setting up tires tubeless- both tubed type and tubeless. (Thanks to my buddy MG for much of this.)
- Some tires are no big deal tubeless while other tires are downright amazing. Tubeless in and of itself isn't a guarantor of fast, awesome feeling tires. In fact, some tires, (as mentioned above), actually work better with tubes. (Almost always the tires in question are tube type tires.)
- There are some awesome sealants on the market these days, but my absolute favorite is a home brew that is so cheap and simple it is ridiculous. It even out-performs the store bought sealants I've tried.
- I haven't necessarily found tubeless tires to guarantee being able to run lower tire pressures. In fact, some specific tubed set ups I've run can rival the lowest tubeless tire pressures I have used. (And I'm not talking about fat bikes here.) In some cases, tubeless set ups actually have to use higher pressures to get similar performance to tubed set ups.
- I also haven't found tubeless tires to typically be a weight saver. Most times it is a wash between tubed/tubeless, and in many cases tubeless tire set ups are actually heavier than tubed ones are. That's not always the case though.
When you get a good rim/tire match up, tubeless is hard to beat for traction, comfort, and speed. Sometimes you don't get all three of those things, but sometimes you do, and when you do, it beats a tubed tire hands down. Tubed set ups still have a place, and sometimes the tubed set ups actually work just fine, but more and more, tubeless is the way to go now. With all the choices coming out, it doesn't make any sense to stick with a tubed set up anymore for your mountain bike.