Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Surly & Tired Part 3

Okay, I posted a review of these tires on Gravel Grinder News that you can check out by clicking the link, but here are a few "extra" observations on these interesting tires.

I had someone ask about whether or not I would/have run these tubeless. See, here's the thing about tubeless tires that are not really tubeless- you are pushing a product to do something it was not designed to do. 

First of all, I have done exactly this, I have run a non-tubeless tire tubeless. I have friends that do this all the time. It is not at all uncommon. However; there are more than a few cautions and one should not extenuate the difficulties and risks involved here. In other words- you'd better be damn sure you know what you are getting yourself into and how to do it. That takes experience. I feel that I've gained a lot of exactly that in the several years I have been messing with this now.

So, back to the Knard 41's. I took a good long look at them when I got them. They are made by Innova Tire. Okay, that may or may not mean anything to you, but that raises a red flag in my mind for reasons I won't get into here. Let's just say it isn't a plus for going tubeless and leave it at that for now. Secondly, the Knard 41's were a loose fit on the supposedly tubeless ready HED Ardennes + rims. Looser than anything I've yet installed on those rims. Strike two......

Finally, I just don't feel that running tubeless tires under 45mm is worth it from my perspective. I set up some 35's once as tubeless. It was merely a slightly better feel than with tubes. However; it was a complete pain to get the tires set up tubeless and the smaller volume of the tires meant that tubeless maintenance happened sooner than later. That all equals a lot of time invested for not a lot of gain- again, my opinion only there. I don't have flatting issues with tubes, nor do I feel the rolling resistance or ride feel is that detrimental with a 40mm tire with a tube installed.

Obviously that isn't going to be everyone's opinion, but I still feel that the Knard 41's are a bad candidate for tubeless conversion. There are other tires I would try first for that, but one other thing stops me there. I just do not want another tubeless tire set up to look after now. I have more tubeless set ups around here than I can take care of as it is. Adding another would be simply madness for me. I only do a tubeless set up now where it makes a big difference. As in big, 29"er mountain biking tires.

Well, so much for that. Tubed gravel road tires. Easy. Quick to repair. Roll along just fine. I'm good with tubes in those Knard 41's then, and I will not go try and ruin it all by going tubeless. Nosiree! The Knard 41's do really well with tubes too. I think they roll loose gravel and dirt great as I have them set up. A fine tire there, but not a tubeless tire. Not for me!

5 comments:

Ari said...

I agree with you. I would like to see someone make some lighter tubes in this size. I remember riding light Michelin tubes and they did improve the ride.
Ari

shiggy person said...

Hear, hear!

Thank you for expressing the down sides of DIY "tubeless."
Far too often it is presented as a cure-all any time somebody has any type of tire problem.

MG said...

I agree with you 100 percent on not using loose-fitting tires as tubeless.

That said, from my experience, even 35c tires are much better tubeless. Tire selection is probably more important, because a number of smaller tires are simply incompatible with tubeless for one reason or another. But with compatible tires (I'll use Schwalbe's excellent options as a broad example), tubeless is very easy, reliable and fast. They are also self-sealing, which is a great feature for gravel. I haven't had to deal with a flat on the road in years (probably jinxed myself there).

We can agree to disagree here though, because I know it's not for everyone. It's taken me a lot of time and failures to get to where I'm at with tubeless.

Guitar Ted said...

@MG: Hold on there Brother! I don't think we're really disagreeing here. What I am saying is folks like yourself, who have literally thousands of hours of "research" under their belts, probably can get away with doing things most riders have not done their due diligence on, and results will suffer because of that.

"DIY Tubeless" is not something to be trifled with, nor is it always the best solution for many riders. For the reasons stated above, mostly, but for others as well.

I think you have to observe your experiences and knowledge as being "unusual" in terms of this conversation, which I feel is missed by many looking for similar results as what you enjoy. That's all.

Obviously if the industry starts to address this niche size of tires with tubeless solutions, that would be a boon to many riders out there who do not possess your talents or do not have the time invested/to invest in gaining your knowledge.

MG said...

Thanks for the clarification, my Brother, and also for the kind words. It sounds like we're on the same page... I know it's not for everyone, or perhaps even the majority. But it sure makes my life better on a day-to-day basis. That's all I can really say.

Have a great day, GT. I'll talk to you soon.

Cheers,
MG