Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tubeless Update: All's Well So Far.....

Hey, I thought I'd give a little report here on my tubeless experiences from my Texas trip. If you haven't read or don't remember, I took a set of Stan's Flow/King wheels set up tubeless with Conti Mountain King 2.4"ers sealed with Stan's and another wheel set set up with Slime Tubeless sealant that featured Bontrager Dry X Tubeless Ready tires on Bontrager Tubeless Ready Race X Lite wheels.

Well, the wheels both exhibited similar air holding capabilities. It seemed that everytime I checked throughout the week that both sets would lose about the same amount of air, or not. Sometimes it seemed that they would stabilize. Weird. Anyway, it was obvious that there was no real distinction there and that both sets were holding air rather well.

Performance was really good with both wheel sets. I never experienced any burping or any negative sensations while on the bike. Both sets did not flat during the trip, which was my main goal. If I had flatted, or if I ever do, it is going to be a big mess because I've got plenty of sealant in each tire. Well, that might be if they were to flat in the near future. Later on the sealant may dry up, I don't know, but I've heard of this. I plan on doing a little maintenance check on these in a month, maybe two.

So, as of now everything is great. I can't say as I feel any sort of rolling resistance advantages. I have a test planned though that might help me to see if there is anything to this. I'm thinking it is a negligible, if any difference from a tubed set up, but we'll see. Air pressure can be lowered, true, but I can and have run rediculously low pressures with tubed set ups, so I don't see the big deal here either. The interesting thing I found was that rolling resistance increased on par with tubed set ups when I lowered the pressure on one of my tubeless set ups. They felt no different to me than a low pressure tubed set up, so again, I just don't see any advantage there. Maybe a pinch flat could be avoided, and that's the only thing I can think of.

In the end I can only say that the systems I'm using will hopefully prevent any punctures from becoming flat tires. Other than that I am not convinced there is any sort of advantage to tubeless mountain bike tires right now. I'll keep riding and testing though to see if I'm missing something here, so stay tuned. So far, so good.................

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