Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tubeless time?

I've found many mixed reviews on why people switch from tube to tubeless tires.  Fat tires makes an ideal tubeless configuration but I can't get myself to take that leap.  I might wait until the Spring when I get the Surly slicks in.  Then I'll see about doing the job.

What I can't find is "WHY" people have switched to a tubeless install.


  1. Nicholas Carman has written a lot about the "why" of tubeless. He's an ultra long-distance tourer who has done a lot of things on fatbikes that people never previously thought possible. For example, he rode from Alaska to New Mexico one summer on a Surly Pugsley. I can't speak for his motivations for tubeless, other than I think he went tubeless for the improved reliability and performance; in short higher dependability for less cost. As a shop employee in Albuquerque, he converted dozens of fatbikes of various types to tubeless, in order to deal with the many puncture possibilities there.

    Here's what "tubeless" returns on his site:

    These may be of particular interest to you:

  2. Excellent site. His tubeless installs are very clean.

  3. Flats are no fun. A reliable tubeless system should give you a flat-free experience for the life of the tire, especially in urban use. The only thing that could cause a flat is a major tire cut. For other kinds of riding, tubeless systems also benefit the rider as they are lighter, more compliant, and able to run lower pressures without risk of pinch flats.

    Proper installation can be a challenge, especially when using non-tubeless rims or tires. I've found Surly 27tpi wire bead tires to work well on Surly Rolling Darryl rims with a layer or two of Gorilla Tape on the tim. The split-tube method is also very reliable. In any case, use 8oz sealant per tire during the install and make sure the system works before adding the sealant to avoid making a mess.

    Also, Surly Black Floyd tires handle poorly as a front tire unless used at high pressure. The smooth tread pattern causes so much traction that the bike dives into turns. At 18-20psi or more, this is less pronounced. The Knard or Husker Du might be a better option.

    1. Never thought about going around corners. With my current tires, when I lean into a corner, the bike feels like it wants to turn a little more, which in turn makes me take the turns a little wider then normal. Man, if the Black Floyds do that even more.. ack, no thanks.

      I'll take a look at the Knard or Husker Du for a front. Thankfully I'm in no rush. I'm just trying to think ahead.