Monday, September 10, 2012

Box-o-Goodness Part V

This post is a follow-up to the last Box-o-Goodness post I did back in May, which concerns the Clement MSO and USH tires. (You can click here to see that.) I also did a formal review on Gravel Grinder News, (posted here), which is on the USH specifically.

Tubeless success!
This post will deal specifically on the tubeless set up on the X'Polr USH tires. As some may recall here, I had been battling getting these to stay airtight for several weeks. I was about to give up, but I didn't.

To recap-The issue was with how the bead was seating into the A-23's, and how my sealant, (MG Homebrew), was allowing thousands of small leaks around the bead seat.

The fix was to mix up the sealant thicker, add in more, and tap the wheel on the ground in a manner that would cause the sealant inside to splash up into the area of the bead seat. This worked and essentially solved the problem. I still had some leakdown, however, but now a ride of an hour's length or more ended up getting everything sealed up perfectly. Now the tires are trouble free, and I have confidence in the set up.

A list of things to note;

  • I had slowly gravitated to mixing up my solution for sealant to being less thick. I will rectify that and I should see better results in the future.
  • The Velocity tape is slightly different than Stan's yellow tape. My gut instinct is that Stan's tape probably would have worked better in this instance since it is ever so slightly thicker, and slightly less "plastic-like" than the Velocity tape. I have had really good success with Velocity's blue tape, but in this instance, I think the Stan's would have been superior. 
  • The X'Plor USH is so much better tubeless that I can not even think about running tubes in them ever, with the exception of an emergency repair in the field. I was blown away by how much improved they were tubeless. 
  • These USH tires are, without a doubt, the skinniest tires I would ever consider running on gravel roads.
Now I have to wonder how the MSO would do tubeless. That will be found out next. I have the USH's now to fall back on, so I can take my time with the MSO tires to get things correct the first time. I do have a specific plan, and I am confident I shall see success the first go round without waiting for weeks to see success.

Disclaimer: The Clement tires I am using are not tubeless rated tires and you should not set Clement clincher foldable tires up tubeless unless you are willing to assume all risks and void all warranties. I make no claims as to your results if you choose to mount Clement clinchers up tubeless. You are on your own and are responsible for your own decisions. 

 This is the first time I have attempted to set up a tire under 1.8" in width tubeless, and I have to say that I had my worries about how they would work out for me. So far, I can see nothing but positives for myself. The ride is better damped, smoother, and obviously I have all but eliminated pinch flatting from happening to me. The sealant will help with anything going into the tire, and my past experiences have shown the sealant works great in those instances. 

But I'll still be packing a tube along for rides! ;>)

I did lower the pressures to near 40psi with the rear tire at slightly above that. I think I could edge that down slightly, but a little air pressure change in a tire with little volume is going to make a bigger difference than a big, voluminous tire reduced in air pressure a tiny bit.

So, there you have it so far. I will be back with further updates on the MSO and USH in a month or so. Stay tuned....


S.Fuller said...

I ran 35mm Kenda Small Block 8's tubeless at the beginning of the year. I'm figuring out that sidewall stiffness plays a big part in how they ride and pressures that you should run. At the Gent's Race in April, they definitely felt flat on the gravel due to the lack of sidewall stiffness. Once I got used to it, they were comfortable to run.

I'd rather run a slightly wider tire (40mm or so) on gravel, even if I have to give up a bit of speed. The comfort and the float are more important to me than eeking the last amount of speed out of my bike.

I'm hoping to spend the next few weeks setting some a couple of my bikes up ghetto tubeless to see how that works.

Patrick said...

Hi Ted,
I'm thinking of trying the Clement MSO tire tubeless on a Stan's Alpha 340, would you rec'd the 60tpi or 120tpi casing for this application.

Guitar Ted said...

@Patrick: The difference between the two will be casing suppleness. The 120TPI casing should also seal up better, theoretically, since the thread count will produce smaller voids for sealant to try and escape through.

I think either one will work, but the 120TPI would perhaps require a higher psi to run without feeling too squishy.