UST/Tubeless Tires for touring?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by jbb060, 13 Jun 2018.

  1. jbb060

    jbb060 Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Pretty much as the title suggests, I'm looking to get some wider, knobblier tyres for my steel adventure/light touring bike and have been debating going tubeless. I've got 'UST-ready' rims (mavic XM419) and like the idea of low-pressure tyres for light off-roading, but there doesn't seem to be much online recently about longer-distance touring, so I was wondering if I was missing something?
  2. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Don't think you are missing anything, although as with any major bike fettle it makes sense to test it a few times on short rides before setting off into the wilderness.

    The rear tyre of my tubeless set-up needed a sealant top-up after a couple of weeks, so it was a month or so before I was fully confident of it.
    jbb060 likes this.
  3. mustang1 and jbb060 like this.
  4. OP

    jbb060 Member

    Cambridge, UK
    Thanks for the replies, it's always good to see peoples actually experiences and reassuring to see it's not complete madness. That's a nice bikepacking set up too and pretty much what I'm planning to do (just with narrower wheels!).

    With regards to the sealant, how much of a faff is it to maintain and ride with? I didn't realise until reading into it that you're essentially biking with a puddle in your tires.
  5. Jody

    Jody Gold member

    Shake your wheel. If you hear it sloshing then you're good to go. If not pop the valve core out, insert another 80ml or so and re-inflate. Usually your tyres will stay on the bead if deflated so no need to re-seat them. They will need topping up every 4-8 months or so.
    Aushiker and jbb060 like this.
  6. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Not sure if it matters, but I suspect when the wheel is turning the sealant will be evenly smeared around the inside of the tyre.

    There's certainly no sloshing sensation in use.

    In my set-up, there's no sloshing sensation at rest either, presumably the sealant the bike shop used is a bit thicker than some.

    The guy in the shop - who has done plenty over the years - told me the stuff he put in mine needs topping up once a year.

    I saw some sealant online somewhere that doesn't need topping up at all, although some suggestion it doesn't work as well.

    You don't mention carbon dioxide inflators, but it's worth knowing the gas doesn't mix well with most sealants so it's best to use ordinary air to be on the safe side.

    Another obvious drawback with any tubeless installation is changing tyres is all but ruled out.

    Not a big problem, but I would prefer to be able to put knobblies on for grottiest months of the year.
    jbb060 likes this.
  7. Jody

    Jody Gold member

    Yes there are some thick sealants like slime which is what my friend uses but it makes a awful mess of the tyre and rim. I would be interested to know what you can use to clean them back up.

    Again I think this is made easy dependant on what sealant you use. Changing tyres is a 5 minute job with the right sealant and tools as something like Stans can be wiped up with a cloth and doesn't have the consistency and stickiness of jam. Even trailside when I blew a hole in the sidewall, it just needed the sealant emptying out, quick wipe of the residue on the grass, tube in and away you go.
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