Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

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Mububban
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Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Mububban » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:44 am

So my old MTB died and I've got a new squishy on order. The LBS owner reckons no to tubeless, but his mechanic reckons yes. Modern opinion seems strongly to favour tubeless for lower pressures, no pinch flats and more grip if I understand correctly.

So....are there any reasons why would you NOT want to go tubeless for MTB? Especially considering initial setup will be done by the shop, not me at home.

FYI the bike will be 27.5" with 2.35" Maxxis Forekaster tyres as stock. I ride in WA so lots of pea gravel. I plan on getting some lessons on jumping.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:13 am

Can't think of any besides costing more.
MTB tubeless is pretty mature now, there are a lot of tyres and long life sealant (beware some on the market are still 3 month junk).

I probably wouldn't take that shops advice on sealant brands and wheel/tyre combos, since he obviously doesn't know any good ones.

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby RonK » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:59 am

Assuming your new MTB comes with tubeless-ready rims and tyres, there is no reason.

The Forekaster is an aggressively lugged tyre that is best used heavy, wet conditions. You might find them a bit of a drag on pea gravel.

Go tubeless. Learn how to do it yourself, it's easy.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:14 pm

IMO you shouldn’t go completely tubeless - take a spare when you go for a ride!

I ran tubeless on some non tubeless tyres and topping up sealant was a pain because they were hard to mount, so ended up with tubes in them. New tyres, proper tubeless, are so much better to mount.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Cardy George » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:37 pm

That owner is either a clown, outdated, or both. I have had both ultra cheap DIY tubeless and high end and both were a vast improvement on tubed.

Even if you do get a puncture, unless the hole is huge the tyre will generally keep enough pressure to get you out of trouble

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Thoglette » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:42 pm

Mububban wrote:So....are there any reasons why would you NOT want to go tubeless for MTB?


sealant dries out
everything costs more
tyres are harder to get on and off the rims
you still need a tube to fix a big tear
sealant slops around in the tyre
tubulars are lighter & faster and can handle even lower pressures without pinchflats
sealant is almost as messy as tubular glue

vs
ghetto tubeless is cheap
tubeless + sealant rocks bigtime when you're in double-gee/caltrop territory
Last edited by Thoglette on Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Cheesewheel » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:52 pm

I have never took the plunge into tubeless, but that may change sometime soon (less for mtb, more for touring through thorn ridden territory, that sees at least one puncture per day, and the little buggers working their magic even days afterward as they burrow mysteriously into the tyre).
The big hassle is when you require, for whatever reason, to reset the tyre (especially if you are out in the field). If you have been riding tubeless for X months then you potentially have X months worth of sealed glass/throrns etc imbedded into the tyre. So whipping out a tube to pull you out of sudden difficulty may not be the quick fix it appears to be (as the interior of the tyre is fraught with various tube unfriendly sealed-in thorns, etc). A quick fix may also require a spare tyre as well as a spare tube.

Edit: this info I got from a lbs who has extensive experience with and without tubes, touring through remote places for weeks on end. Its not my 2c. It is his.
Last edited by Cheesewheel on Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:21 pm

A good reason for tubeless is the reduced pressures and increased grip. No more pinch flats.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby RonK » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:47 pm

I see lots of cons listed here (by people who have never tried tubeless), which are not borne out by my three years experience using tubeless, now on two bikes.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:56 pm

RonK wrote:I see lots of cons listed here (by people who have never tried tubeless), which are not borne out by my three years experience using tubeless, now on two bikes.


I think it is common enough in mtb that it is personal preference wether to use or not. In fairness OP did ask for reasons not to use tubeless.

With the tubeless tyres I’m currently running, they arrived on the bike with tubes fitted. On the first ride I managed to get a flat. Upon inspection I found it was a split in the tube that meant the tube could not hold air and not a pin prick that would give a slow leak. the tyre had held for several kms of road riding before going flat and I put that down to the airtight (almost airtight) construction of the rim and tyre combo. Once I broke the bead on the tyre I couldn’t reinflate roadside with a mini pump. back home with a track pump and the tyre popped into place (no tube, with sealant) in a few pumps.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby RonK » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:39 pm

bychosis wrote:In fairness OP did ask for reasons not to use tubeless.

And in fairness - the OP should be given legitimate reasons, not just personal biases.

True, you may have trouble re-seating a tubeless tyre in the field, but that is why you carry a tube. The odds are you'll never have to use it.

Sealant slops around in the tyre? Ludicrous. Once 90ml of sealant is distributed around the inside of a tyre there is precious little left to "slop".

Sealant as messy as tubular glue? Nope, if you do happen to spill some, sealant easily washes away with water.

Everything more expensive? I don't think so. Most MTB tyres and rims are tubeless-ready now. A few metres of rim tape, a valve, and 90ml of sealant will cost far less than the cost of tubes you'll likely use over the life of a tyre.

Sealant dries out? Perhaps, but a couple of top-ups will see out the life of a tyre.

Hard to fit to tubeless tyres to the rim? Perhaps - some combinations of tyre and rim may prove more difficult, the same is no less true of tubed tyres. The Vittoria tyres I'm using (Vittoria are notoriosly tight) I can can fit with my thumbs.

Topping up with sealant is a pain. Nope, it is easily injected through the valve.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby baabaa » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:57 pm

bychosis wrote:[ Once I broke the bead on the tyre I couldn’t reinflate roadside with a mini pump. back home with a track pump and the tyre popped into place (no tube, with sealant) in a few pumps.


And that is what has kept me from going tubeless up to now.
I think "the newer tech" in valve cores like this...
https://milkit.bike/en/product/milkit-valve-system
(and maybe best seen in
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxAlcEH ... e=youtu.be )

...will make the whole process of going, using, repairing out in the sticks and then even changing tyre sets to suit what you are riding vs the wet & dry of the prevailing season or climatic environment, pretty quick clean and easy.
I don't see the need to rush to go tubeless but if you are going a new bike or wheelset it is no issue to get tubeless ready rims and run tubes until you are ready to move to tubeless.

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:20 pm

I would put it slightly differently, I can't see any compelling reason not to stay with inner tubes (and yes I have ridden tubeless!)

For me, by the time tyre pressures are low enough for pinch flats to be a concern the tyre feels horribly squirmy anyway (in either 26" or 29"). At a reasonable pressure I have all the grip I can exploit (granted I'm no Sam Hill) without getting pinch flats. That leaves sealant as the only reason to go tubeless, and as I don't run paper thin tyres I can't even remember the last time I had a puncture. Even then, there's nothing to stop you putting sealant in an inner tube if you want to.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Mububban » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I've stuck with tubes (for now) because:
- LBS said the Maxxis Forekaster has two versions, tubeless ready (TR EXO?) and non, and my bike came with the non TR version (it's the base model in the range and my tyres have a very plain sidewall)
- purchasing new tyres would have used money I'd earmarked for shock pump and other goodies
- I'm familiar with tubes and can live with them for the time being

I'll ride the bike as is, I'll have enough to learn with dual suspension to play with, and when the tyres need replacing I'll go tubeless then.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Cardy George » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:13 pm

Well....... It's not quite as clear cut as full TR tyres, but plenty of people, including myself, have had decent success using 'normal' tyres.

The beads are different, and there's an extra coating of Butyl on TR tyres to replace the tube.
Non-TR can be a little trickier to get to seal as the beads aren't finished with air sealing in mind, but generally a little extra sealant will help. I've used $20 clearance Schwalbe tyres on a ghetto/shed tubeless set up with great success.

I've got one TR and one non-TR on my Procaliber (ordering mix-up) and so far they've shown no difference in performance.

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:33 pm

I've been using tubeless on the MTB for more than 10 years. Not going back. Every time I've been lazy with a new bike and taken it for a ride before taking the tubes out, my local trail (Manly Dam) has reminded me within a lap why tubes suck on a mountain bike. :lol: :lol: :lol:

My current favourite goop is Mariposa Caffelatex. It foams up like a good capuccino and gives you coverage for sidewall tears. The downside is it doesn't stay in stock very long due to its popularity.

The trick to getting them to mount with a track pump is to 1) have a tight bead 2) pull the bead out of the channel onto the shoulder all the way around 3) take the valve core out 4) pump like the clappers.

Oh, and 5) Stans rims are the gold standard.

I have a compressor but rarely need it, except on my 5yo chinese hookless carbon race-day rims which are not quite tight enough by a tiny smidge.

And 6) Continental MTB tyres leak like sieves. :x Gave up on the last set for the AM 29er and put Maxxis on.

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:19 pm

IMO It depends on how often you plan to ride your MTB. If it’s regular, think more than once a week, I would go tubeless. If less regular it becomes a pain as the liquid dries out in a pool on the bottom of your tyre and you need to reapply.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Mububban » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:26 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:IMO It depends on how often you plan to ride your MTB. If it’s regular, think more than once a week, I would go tubeless. If less regular it becomes a pain as the liquid dries out in a pool on the bottom of your tyre and you need to reapply.


Fair consideration. If I get to ride 5 hours a month on the trails, that's a good month! I do more regular road riding, commuting and weekend group rides.
I do one monthly adult group social MTB ride (~20km), and I go with my son on the monthly kids group ride too (~13km).

I never got a flat on my old hardtail 26er with tubes, so hopefully I'll have a blessed run with the new bike as well :D
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby jackthelad » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:47 pm

What bike are you getting?,
not going tubeless is a roadie thing, thats outdated information
i have tubeless, even on my road bike wheels
i'm in perth, if you want help trying to get tyres tubeless,
just need valves, and sealant, worth trying to hack tubeless on any tyre
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Cardy George » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:23 pm

jackthelad wrote:What bike are you getting?,
not going tubeless is a roadie thing, thats outdated information
i have tubeless, even on my road bike wheels
i'm in perth, if you want help trying to get tyres tubeless,
just need valves, and sealant, worth trying to hack tubeless on any tyre

What sealant/tyre pressure do you run on your road bike?

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby jackthelad » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:35 am

Cardy George wrote:
jackthelad wrote:What bike are you getting?,
not going tubeless is a roadie thing, thats outdated information
i have tubeless, even on my road bike wheels
i'm in perth, if you want help trying to get tyres tubeless,
just need valves, and sealant, worth trying to hack tubeless on any tyre

What sealant/tyre pressure do you run on your road bike?


95, on a 28 on rear, 25 on front
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby hamishm » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:36 am

jackthelad wrote:95, on a 28 on rear, 25 on front
6800 wheels
100kg

Why so high on the 28? You would be getting a hammering. I'm running 75psi with tubes. You could be running that or less tubeless.

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:31 am

I have not heard of good things when running tubeless over 60 psi.
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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby Cardy George » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:17 pm

jackthelad wrote:
Cardy George wrote:
jackthelad wrote:What bike are you getting?,
not going tubeless is a roadie thing, thats outdated information
i have tubeless, even on my road bike wheels
i'm in perth, if you want help trying to get tyres tubeless,
just need valves, and sealant, worth trying to hack tubeless on any tyre

What sealant/tyre pressure do you run on your road bike?


95, on a 28 on rear, 25 on front
6800 wheels
100kg

But which sealant? For this reason
singlespeedscott wrote:I have not heard of good things when running tubeless over 60 psi.

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Re: Any reason NOT to go MTB tubeless?

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:40 pm

I use Orange seal and from all the reviews I have read it is the pick of the mainstream ones. Regarding road tubeless have a read of this blog post -

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2017/05/ ... -tubeless/
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