Friday, February 07, 2014

Friday News And Views

Trans Iowa Tales: If you have been reading along with my remembrances from the past Trans Iowas, you know those have been the Saturday and Sunday posts here for awhile. Well, looking at where I am at, and with the time span I am allotting for this series, I realized I have to step up my game on the tales, or I'll be still writing them right on up to T.I.v10!

That won't do, because I have some business to cover here before T.I.v10 happens. In light of this, there will now be four postings every weekend on Trans Iowa Tales till I am finished.

If that is too much for your brains to comprehend, go outside and ride your bicycles for the weekend, see a movie, or visit some other site, but I am going to put this content out there regardless. Trans Iowa was/is a big part of my life. Has been for 10 years now, so I wanted to write about some of my experiences before the big #10 happens in April.

After I cleanse my brain of this series I will start to get into some of the meat and potatoes going into T.I.v10 that the riders will need to be paying attention to and after that, Trans Iowa v10 will run. After that is all over, well, you can all expect a long respite from anything Trans Iowa.......

When non-tubeless designs are run tubeless.......
Here We Go Again.....

The gravel rider scene, and the fat biking scene are both going through the throes of the consequences of the "tubeless tire experiments". Much like how 29"er folks and before them, the old 26"er mtb crowd did, these new niche areas of the cycling world want to think that any tire can be run tubeless with success. I suppose that depends upon what you term as "success". One or two rides, a couple months, or longer? Riding a tire till it wears out might be the benchmark here, but with many folks, there are troubles. Just peruse the "innergoogles" and see for yourself.

To my mind, a repeatable, easy to do, reliable, long lasting, performance enhancing set up is my definition of "a successful tubeless set up". Maintenance should only consist of air pressure adjustments and sealant refreshes until the tire wears out or loses so much of its tread as to be less than optimal in terms of performance. Many times, the "ghetto methods" don't result in this outcome, or the tires that were never designed to be tubeless give out in one manner or another. Match a bad rim with the wrong tire? Boom! Foul up the steps in the conversion somehow? Bang!

That's why systems like UST, Bontrager's TLR, or others designed with regard to actually working tubeless with proper rim and tire bead designs are easily repeated, reliable, and long lasting. Whenever I get news about a disaster in tubeless experimentations, it is 99.9% when trying to convert components never designed to be tubeless into a tubeless system. Obviously, there is something to my observations there.

But even industry folks sometimes think otherwise. I received the following comment on another site from a guy representing a well known company: "Running a tire tubeless has no effect on the longevity of the tire. Any tire can be run tubeless......" Hmm..... Ya know what? This person may want to rethink that statement.

Take a look at the image above, (received by me from a Gravel Grinder News reader the same day I got the comment, ironically), which is of a non-tubeless designed tire run tubeless with Stan's. (Actually, the reader said both tires failed similarly that were on the bike) Do you think it would have done the same thing with tubes installed? Maybe being run tubeless didn't agree with this non-tubeless designed tire, maybe?

And I've seen lots of similar cases. Obviously there is problem, and it does have something to do with the longevity of tires being run tubeless that were not designed to be run that way. Not everyone or all tires have this issue, but to say "all tires can be run tubeless" with no effect on the lifespan of the tire is a falsehood. Rider beware!

Fender Time Is Coming!
Fenders, Mud Guards, or whatever ya call 'em!

I will be fitting some fenders this weekend on a couple of rigs to ready them for the "muck season", which I made mention of yesterday. Plans are for the BMC, (shown here), and the Vaya to get them for sure. I may also buy another Planet Bike set for my soon to be finished fixed gear Raleigh townie.

I know some folks leave fenders on certain bikes all year, but I haven't gotten to that point just yet. Maybe I will someday, but for me, just "liking" fenders for part of the year has been a major shift in my thinking. You see, I never liked fenders much up until recently.

I do have one bike, my "Gravel Mutt Mark II" Trek that may get a full coverage, metal fender set and retain those permanently. I have some plans for that bike, but they may wait for a bit. In the meantime, the other bikes will get a "seasonal change" to fenders, and when we get to more stable, drier weather, they will come off the BMC and Vaya yet again. At that time I'll likely do a drive train refresh, as the crap weather, melting snow, and debris left from Winter will be raising cane with my chains, rings, and cassettes, so no use in replacing that stuff just yet. Plenty of chances to trash out things before I spend dollars to make everything nice and shiny new again.

Okay, that's a wrap. Hopefully some of you out there can be out riding bicycles. Otherwise, get outside and have a great weekend!


MG said...

Looks like a Continental tire, if I was a bettin man... Of all the brands to stay away from with getto tubeless, it is Conti. Love their tires, but not tubeless...

I'm an experimenter... And in all honesty, in 95 percent of the conversions I've done (for myself), I have had no problems and wore the tire out running tubeless. I can count on one hand the tires this hasn't been the case for. Not surprisingly, two of those we're Conti tires.

MG said...

... Keep in mind, I have been experimenting with and running getto tubeless setups since 2002. It is dialed on my bikes...