Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Tire Day For Gen I

New tires AND different wheels.
The ol' Gen I Fargo has been modified for the umpteenth millionth time. This time it is the wheels and tires that got swapped out.

I had been running some Sun Ringle' Black Flag wheels which have rims that are based on the Stan's tubeless bead socket standard. That doesn't play well with many tubeless ready tires since Stan's bead socket thing is really meant to convert non-tubeless tires to tubeless. This means that the tighter tolerances of many tubeless tires are not an ideal fit to a Stan's rim.

Now, before y'all fire up your keyboards to tell me how your such-and-such tires have been awesome on Stan's rims for years with zero problems, you need to understand that I am not saying you cannot put tubeless ready tires on Stan's rims. You can. I have. It is just that many tires are not an ideal fit. As in, you may break tire levers getting them on or off. That isn't a good thing if the fit is that tight.

Ideally, you should be able to mount and dismount tires with no tools. If you have to sweat bullets and use a massive DH rated steel tire lever to mount your tires, or if you have to use some "slippery-slide" type concoction to mount your tubeless tires, something is not right. Why? Because you won't be field servicing that set up if the need arises, and you should be able to do that easily. 

So, the long way around to say that my Teravail Sparwood/Sun Ringle' set up was stupid tight and was a big problem waiting to happen. So, I ran that set up for as long as I felt I had gotten some good out of the money I spent on them and then I was going to ditch those things off. Actually, I had figured that this wouldn't have happened just yet. The thing is, the Sparwoods, while great in Kansas Flint Hills, really aren't very good in Iowa. In fact, they are what I would term as "not very good" riding tires. But that's another story for another day.

Terrene Tires' Honali 700 X 50mm
So, I have these new Terrene Honali tires in for testing at RidingGravel.com. They have tubeless ready casings and I wanted to use a tubeless ready designed rim. I happened to have a wheel set I built up for an old TNI test with WTB Frequency rims. 

These rims are tubeless designed and have a 23mm inner rim width which is perfect for a 50mm wide tire. They mounted up with the Honali tires with a simple.almost dead, 15 year old Blackburn floor pump. I mounted them by hand. I could remove them with the aid of one plastic tire lever if I needed to do the job quickly. In other words- This set up is completely field serviceable with your hands or simple bicycle tools with little effort. 

Now, it is completely possible that I won't like the Honali tires any better than I do the Teravails, but I can say that the Honali feels twice as supple already and that the profile of the Honali on the rim is already better than that of the previous tire set. So far.......so good. 

The wheels have American Classic hubs, which aren't the best in terms of engagement of the hub, but they have been reliable and for gravel travel the slack engagement shouldn't be an issue. Plus, these hubs are loads quieter than the Sun Ringle' ones were. Those things were really loud! That got on my nerves a few times on longer rides. 

So, at any rate, I am set with new wheels and tires. I'll give this a go and then report back soon......  


Jeb said...

I agree with everything you're saying about tubeless tire fit. That said, I have an older set of Stan's Crest 29er wheels which I'd like to set up tubeless with a tubeless ready tire. I'm picking up a set of Panaracer 43mm GKSK and I'm hoping they work with the Stan's. FWIW I emailed Stan's and asked if the WTB Riddler 45mm tires would work with the Crests. Here's the answer.

The short answer is, yes those tires are compatible with those Crest rims.
Some WTB tires, mostly the TCS versions of some of their tires, fit tightly on our rims. We have found some to be tight enough that they can be extremely difficult to mount on our rims which is why we started recommended against them. It's not a matter of compatibility with our rims, just difficulty mounting them. As long as you're able to get them on, they will work just fine.
Most of those issues were with some of the older tire models and has seem to be less of a problem with their more recent tires, in the last year or so. If these are a newer set of tires then it is certainly worth a shot mounting them.

It does make it difficult trying to decide what to buy. Thanks for all the good info.

Guitar Ted said...

@Jim Bogue; See, I knew it!

No matter what I wrote in the post, someone was going to post a comment saying "Stan;s works with "such-and-such" tires.........

Look at your comment carefully. Especially this line from Stan's, supposedly, "Some WTB tires, mostly the TCS versions of some of their tires, fit tightly on our rims"

Translation: "Don't use TCS tires on Stan's because those tires were designed to fit tubeless designed rims that are closer to UST dimensions, not Stan's, which is designed to fit all the NON-TUBELESS WTB DESIGN TIRES."

Again- YOU CAN MOUNT TUBELESS DESIGN TIRES TO STAN'S,if you try hard enough. Heck, you can mount a 700c tire to a 27"/630ISO rim too, but should you?

I get it folks. I seriously get it. However; it isn't the best fit, or field serviceable in many instances, a subject Stan's comment you posted doesn't even touch upon. As the Stan's comment states in reference to mounting tires on their rims, "As long as you're able get them(tubeless design tires)on, they will work just fine" seems to me to be a self-serving comment to using Stan's rims. It isn't in the rider's best interest to barely be able to get a tire on a Stan's rim ,in my opinion.

If you want to have peace of mind that you can fix any issue in the field if something happens to your tires, it would pay to stick to a set up that you can install by hand.

I apologize for such a long reply, but it seems necessary to reiterate my points again in light of the comment here.

Derek said...

Thanks for this post. One thing about tubeless that still causes some fear for riders (me included) is the old idea of "burping" which **I think** happens when the tire-rim seal isn't good and/or when the sidewall on the tire is too flexy, because it's a conventional clincher tire. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this!) I picked up Stans Iron Cross wheels for an incredible price deal and this is my first tubeless experience. I didn't want to chance running conventional clinchers as tubeless on it for fear of burping or sloppy feel from weak sidewalls. I put Clement MSO 36c tubeless on. They fit pretty tight, as you said. They ride great. I can get them on/off with a lever, not by hand. I feel OK about it but it would be hell to stick a tube in there in an emergency and then mount with a lever. How would I not pinch that tube? I want to carry a spare clincher just in case, which is ridiculous. I am debating whether to sell the Stans and get something else for the long term, but it's too much $$ at the moment. Really, I wanted WTB rims, I just couldn't resist the used deal I found.

blooddoc23 said...

Those Honalis look like car tires! Enjoyed the post.

Jeb said...

No, I did not say Stan's works with "such and such tire". What I was trying to illustrate was the difficulty in getting accurate information concerning tubeless compatibility. Another example of this is an article on Road Bike Review testing tubeless gravel tires. http://www.roadbikereview.com/reviews/best-gravel-road-tires-tested-part-1. The majority of the photos show the tires mounted to Stan's Grail wheels, including a WTB TCS Nano 40, leading one to assume that those tire and wheel combos are compatible. Of course it's possible that Stan's paid them to do that but how the hell would the average Joe know that. Also they did not say how hard/easy it was to mount the tires on any rim that they used. They did mention that the Schwalbe G-One was too tight on the Grail rims. NOW I get to say I have a Stan's Alpha 340 rim that I just mounted Schwalbe Pro 1 tires to and it could not have been easier. On by hand, off by hand, and inflated and seated with a 30 year old Vetta floor pump. And I didn't even remove the valve core. And that's my point. Stan's and Schwalbe worked and worked properly for me but didn't for Road Bike Review so the problem may be the impossibility of getting accurate information that can be applied across the board.

Jeb said...

Oops! The wheels in the Road Bike Review article are Stan's Iron Cross, not Grails. I should get a set of Iron Cross wheels to go with my Origin8 CX700 cast iron frame. Well, it feels like cast iron.

Derek said...

@Jim - Agree about the difficulty of good information. As I wrote, I'm a newbie to the tubeless world. Since we are trying to improve on the info side, exactly which size & version of Pro 1 tires did you mount? I think your Alpha 340 are a 700c rim, correct?

Jeb said...

Derek, these are 25-622, 700x25 Schwalbe Pro One tires, Schwalbe number 11600809 as shown here. Micro Skin, TL Easy, Evolution line. Made in Indonesia.


The tires are mounted tubeless with approx. 30ml of Stan's sealant on a set of older Stan's Alpha 340 700c road rims. I was able to install both tires on the rim by hand and inflate them to 100psi using a 30 year old floor pump and soapy water. I let them sit overnight without sealant and they both lost only 4psi. Then I deflated them and took them off the wheels to see just how difficult it would be to deal with a flat roadside. I used one plastic tire lever. All in all they were no more difficult than any tubed clincher. They were then remounted with ease and I added the sealant. So far, the tires, running them at 70f/75r, have been some of the most comfortable that I've used, better than Conti 4000 with latex tubes and I think even better than the Clement 32mm tubed MSO. Is there a difference between the Stan's road rims and their mountain rims that allows the Alpha/Schwalbe combo to work? I don't know. I'm becoming convinced that you simply have to try a combo to see if it works. In general I agree with GT that you should be able to fix a roadside flat without excessive difficulty. No one wants to be stranded far from home. OTOH if you're racing cross then a tight fit may not be a problem.