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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been running Continental 4 Seasons (25mm) year round for a while now. I don't have any problems with them. In fact they have honestly been fantastic.

However, I'm curious to give tubeless a try, just to see what it's all about. The problem is I don't know much about tubeless tires and the setup.

My wheels are HED Belgium Plus. I am currently using Velox cloth tape.

I know to convert I need a tubeless compatible tape, valves, sealant, etc... I was thinking I'd just keep it simple and go with an all "Stans" setup for this.

Now I just need to find a good tire that suits my needs.

First and foremost, since I'm a newb to tubeless, I'd like it to be fairly user friendly (as much as possible for a tubeless tire). I don't want to have to futz with it too much to get it set up.

I'm a big guy (6' 5" ~235lbs), and am not interested in a high performance race tire. Something more.. substantial and durable. I ride a lot of miles (~6k so far this year, headed towards a goal of ~10k), so durability is also on the list of 'wants'. I don't ride in inclement weather often, but it's not unusual to get caught out in a rain shower now and then, so wet weather is also a factor.

Basically, I'd like to find a tubeless tire that is similar in features to the Conti GP 4 Seasons, but it seems most of what I'm finding are more performance oriented. The Schwalbe One pro caught my eye, but I'm not sure how durable that is?

Edit to add:
I found this review that seems to confirm that the One Pro is a good choice, but I might be compromising durability. Might be worth a try for a first timer.
Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tires review - BikeRadar USA


Any other suggestions?

Any 'lessons learned' to share?

Edit2:
Any guidance in rim tape width for tubeless on the Belguim Plus? I think the inside width of the rim is 20.5mm. Should I go with the 21mm wide Stans tape?
 

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I am running HED Ardennes Plus (same rim as Belgium) tubeless.

I found an equal tape to Stans at a much better price:

Tesa 4289 25mm x 60yd Yellow Tubeless Rim Tape | eBay

While 2 wraps of tape are recommended, I use 3. I once had a tape failure with the tape supplied by HED, so I added a third layer when I re-taped it.

The valve stems need to have removable cores to make putting sealant in easy. I use:

Caffelatex Tubeless Valves - 2 Pack > Components > Tubes & Tubeless > Tubeless Valves | Jenson USA

Orange Seal is my sealant of choice, largely based on tests published over on Slowtwitch.

Tires are the limiting factor, but it is getting better. I am using Specialized Turbos, but they are more performance than durable. Prior to that I was using Hutchenson Fusions which were just okay, but not long lasting. I have not tried the Scwalbe's, but hear they are good.

You will want 25mm tape for your rim as it will wrap up nicely under the bead lock.
Good luck and enjoy the comfy ride. :)
 

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The Schwalbe Pro One's are sweet. Lots of great reviews for users. I've got a few hundred miles on the non-pro Ones and have no complaints.

I have a set of demo wheels with Belgium Plus rims and the Pro Ones. Went on easily, pumped up easily. They measure big. I put the '23's on my demo wheels and they measured a bit over 26mm.

 

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I'm running the Schwalbe Pro Ones 23/25 on Boyd 44 carbon wheels and love the feel and how fast they seem to roll. I used Stans 19mm tape (inner rim width is 19mm) so the tape didn't go up very far under the bead but they inflated easily with a floor pump without soapy water, just residual talcum powder left by the previous tube.

For sealant I used Cream by Trucker Co that I got as a gift and came with a large syringe and tube, awesome setup, no mess at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Was going to suggest Sector 28, but they may be too fat on those rims for most frames.
Hrm, that is interesting. I used to run Conti 4 Season 28mm tires on my BMC GF-01 with (just) enough clearance. Those are some some pretty wide tires, especially on those hoops. I've since switched to 25mm Conti 4 Seasons and been running them at minimum pressure successfully with zero pinch flats (or any flats for that matter).

I'll see if I can dig up some reviews on the Sector 28 and see what I can find.

Edit:
Hrm, Bike Radar says it's great tire, but they needed a compressor to install it? (yikes)
Hutchinson Sector 28 - Long-term review - BikeRadar USA

BikeRadar said:
Installation was a bit of chore, requiring more force to mount the tires than standard clinchers, and an air compressor (instead of a floor pump like you can get away with for some tubeless tires) to get the tires to seal. For whatever reason, the rear tire took a few days to fully seal. Hutchinson recommends letting the wheels sit for 24 hours the first time you install the tires to allow the sealant to make the casing air tight.
 

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Mine set up tubeless with floor pump on a kinlin xc279 rim in about 5 seconds. No idea how rim profile compares to your rims, though.
As for the Schwalbe Pro One tires, I've ready numerous reviews about the thin and fragile sidewalls. I can get those at dealer but was not looking for outright performance at risk of durability.

If I go tubeless again it'd be with the Specialized lineup. Maybe the Roubaix?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was talking about road tubeless with one of the mangers at my local bike shop today.

He's not a fan of road tubeless. At least not where high pressures are involved (he used our exclusively on his gravel and MTBL.

I asked him to clarify. He said he doesn't run anything tubeless At over 65-70 psi.

His reasoning being that the failure mode is a sidewall failure at speed ("catastrophic" as he pot it).

Apparently this was a problem at some point. He also pointed out that only a few tire manufacturers even make road tubeless, and its ( apparently) not widely adopted at any level of racing.

For me, I'm a casual rider. Much more interested in miles than speed. I also like long adventures, sometimes overnight, and often ride alone and have to provide my own support. Reliability is priority #1.

My plan is to try Clement MSO tubeless on my gravel bike. If that experience goes well, I may try to find a decent tubeless endurance tire for my commuter. Probably a Hutchinson Sector 32 or something similar.
 

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Your shop manager seems to be either a little uninformed or biased for some reason on road tubeless. The thing he got right is that racers haven't adopted it much, although some tubeless setups were ridden at some of the spring classics this year in Europe.
Many, but not all, manufacturers sell tubeless tires. Some are made by other companies but that's not too new. Hutchinson, Specialized, Schwalbe, Bontrager, Panaracer, Maxxis, IRC and WTB all make Tubeless Road tires, and there are probably others. Sidewall failures should be very rare. Most tubeless sidewalls are thicker/tougher to hold air without a tube, even ones requiring sealant. He may have been talking about bead failures which have occurred but are becoming much more rare. Most bead failures will occur on initial airing up to pressure. You must run tubeless rated tires that have the stronger beads. The fact is that they are much safer in puncture situations. First off, punctures are rare as the sealant will seal many without the rider even knowing it. Bigger punctures still seal up usually and may just require some air to be added. Second, if you have a catastrophic sidewall cut or puncture you will be safer on a tubeless tire than a regular clincher as the tubeless tires stay on the rim, even when flat, in many cases making it easier to control the bicycle to pull off the road.
I really like the Secters. I am looking forward to trying the Schwalbe Pro Ones. The Clement MSO Tubeless are a nice gravel tire, but a little heavy. Many are riding their non-tubeless MSO's tubeless since you shouldn't be running anything over 45 psi on that type of tire anyway. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Andy,

I suspect his information might be a little dated. He wasn't aware that so many manufacturers are adopting it.

I had a minor change of direction. I decided to try tubeless on my gravel bike first, then, depending on the results, give the road tubeless a try.

I bought a set of Clement MSO Tubeless 700x36 and installed them on Friday night. I installed them on a set of 32 spoke HED Belgium Plus rims and used 21mm Stans Tape and Orange Seal sealant.

I had exactly ZERO problems with the installation. I was very careful with the rim tape install to make sure it was centered and there were no bubbles. On the first tire I installed, I used a concetrated dish soap solution on the bead/channel before inflating it. I just used a regular floor pump and the tires seated with zero issues at about 35 psi. I went ahead and inflated them up to about 60 psi to make sure everything was seated well before deflating and adding in the sealant and re-inflating. Having heard about and read about some nightmares with tubeless installs, I was very worried about this, but it turns out the process was so easy, and simple that I might, with a little practice, be able to do it faster than a tube setup. And no worries about pinching a tube, etc...

Anyway, the first tire went so well that I installed the second and didn't even bother with the dish soap. Same result (less soapy mess).

Before I went to bed I put the tires on the bike and inflated them up to 60 psi, with the intention of checking the air pressure in the morning.

When I got up there will still right at the same pressure. No discernable loss.

I took the bike on an 80 mile gravel route that included some pretty hairy (i.e. fast/rocky) descents (Snoqualmie Valley Trail -> Snoqualmie -> Preston -> Issaquah for those who know those trails). By the time I was bombing down the preston trail I had ridden about 50 miles on easier stuff and was pretty confident in the setup.

Needless to say everything went perfectly.

I'm still debating on tire pressures for this bike setup. I ran them at about 50lbs for this ride, just because I wasn't sure what to expect. I would have liked to run less. Much less, but I'm a big guy (6' 5" ~230lbs) and, even tho a pinch wasn't a concern, I still don't want to dent a rim. Next ride I'll try 40/45 and see how that feels, and go from there. Sadly, because of my size, I miss out on some of the benefits of tubeless, as I really can't risk running super low pressures.

I can't recommend this tire and rim setup enough (for gravel, fire roads, even a little mud ::)). The install was flawless and simple. They mated up perfectly. Fit was excellent too. I was able to install without levers with no issues (use the center channel).



So, now I'm back where I was. Pretty excited to try tubeless on my every day road ride, but not sure which tire. It's probably down to the Schwalbe Pro One or the Hutchinson Sector 28. I had a bad experience with Schwalbe One (running tubes) about a year ago, and am not thrilled about that option.


Another specific question I have is...

I have an older HED Belgium C2 (not the newer Plus). I'm pretty sure this rim was not designed to be tubeless compatible, but I've read lots of accounts of people doing it. I'd be interested to know what others experiences are, and what tires were used.

I don't race, and don't ride particularly fast, but I do ride alone (mostly), and long rides far from home, so I want a reliable wheel. Just curious if that can be achieved with the older Belgium set up for tubeless. It's hard to find info on this online because searches always turn up a mix of newer and older.
 

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Road tubeless is absolute gold !!!

Schwalbe Pro Ones here too, haven't had a flat in about 2 months, not even a nick in these tyres... my usual tyre pick of GP4000's would have several small cuts in them at 1000km.

Great tyres.
 

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We had similar experience with the Clement XPLOR MSO tubeless. Easiest setup ever. The wife rode many miles on them but cut a sidewall at Dirty Kanza. Any tire would have been cut, not the tire's fault. She finished up that leg with a laminated cue sheet for a tire boot.
Really like the tread for a gravel tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well, I think i've decided on the 28mm Sector tire. Performance is having a tire sale, and they are going for $50 each.

Hutchinson Sector Tubeless Road Tire

I still need to figure out if I can use that standard HED Begium rim (I think it's the older model that wasn't made to be tubeless). I guess I'll call HED and see if they can answer.

Edit: this is the hoop I'm trying to determine the suitability to reliable tubeless setup. Note that this is NOT my wheel, but it's the same model (mine are 24/28 hole on Chris King hubs).

Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle tire Spoke Rim Bicycle wheel
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, that was fast.

I called HED. The wheel pictured is a C2 (not a "Plus") and it is not tubeless compatible. He told me that only the Plus model is tubeless compatible.

Bummer. I really wanted to use these wheels for this setup. :(
 

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Well, that was fast.

I called HED. The wheel pictured is a C2 (not a "Plus") and it is not tubeless compatible. He told me that only the Plus model is tubeless compatible.

Bummer. I really wanted to use these wheels for this setup. :(
That doesn't mean they can't be used Tubeless, my first tubeless setup was on a Bontrager Aero X lite wheelset using the kit by Stans. You really only need tubeless valves, tape, sealant, and tubeless tires. And being that you're going to use them at lower pressures than I did I would guess that you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well, I'm not so sure. Although me being a newb....

I played around with it this evening. I didn't use the kit, but I did use two full wraps of Stans 21mm tape and an almost new Schwalbe One 28mm I had hanging from the rafters. I couldn't get the tire bead to seat to the rim *at all*. It wasn't even close. I tried tugging on it and pulling the bead out against the channel and it just wouldn't stay. I couldn't get any air into it no matter what I tried. I even tried a blast of C02 to see if that would push it out, but no joy.

It could just be that particular tire doesn't work well with that particular rim, but this experience was completely 180 degrees out from my experience with the Belgium Plus and the Clement MSO tubeless. I gave up and put the tube back in. I have a friend who is a locally regarded wheel builder. I might ask him what it would cost to put new Plus hoops on these hubs, but honestly, it's probably really not worth it. This is afterall, just an experiment really....

Thanks for the inputs.

Edit:
After reading this link at Stans website, I now better understand the challenges of the conversion of a non-tubeless rim, and the role the rubber strip plays.
The NoTubes Advantage: Conversion Explained, Going Back to the Future


I may very well give this another try in a couple of days (need to find the 'cyclocross' kit.
 

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I've had problems with mt bike tires in the past so maybe it gets more difficult as the tire gets wider. Guess it makes sense since the larger tires tend to be more flimsy.
 

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Also never tried Road tubeless and I was wondering what happens if you do get a flat? I mean let's say I am 50 miles from home on the road and something punchers the tire. I typically ride with a few tubes, a space tire (Schwalbe One 25mm) etc. Can I fix a punctured tubeless on the road and get home?
 

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Also never tried Road tubeless and I was wondering what happens if you do get a flat? I mean let's say I am 50 miles from home on the road and something punchers the tire. I typically ride with a few tubes, a space tire (Schwalbe One 25mm) etc. Can I fix a punctured tubeless on the road and get home?
It's simple, if messy:

1.) remove tire (carry tire levers)
2.) remove stem from wheel
3.) install tube and tire
4.) inflate as usual

Sealant on your hands sucks, but it probably prevents 3 of 4 flats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Last night I tried (and failed) to mount a Hutchinson Sector 28 on these C2's. I was using Stans "Cyclocross" kit and the rim strip they provide..

These tires are just too tight to get on this rim with that thick rim strip covering the center channel. I was able, with some struggle, to get them mounted with the rim strip removed (using tubes).

I'm just going to use these tires (with tubes) for commuting for the rest of the season (or until they wear out). I rode them in to work this morning, and dang they are a *harsh* ride compared to my Conti 4 Seasons. I started out at 85f/80r and stopped to let a little air out a couple of times to see if it would help. I don't know where I ended up (probably about 75f/70r), but me no likey...

I went looking for something else to try the tubeless thing with, and found some pretty terrible reviews for the Schwalbe One Pro... at least on Amazon. There weren't a ton of reviews, but quite a few were complaining about flats and sidewall cuts. This is exactly what I don't need. :/

https://www.amazon.com/Schwalbe-Pro...8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=recent&pageNumber=1


I think I'll just stick to Conti 4 Seasons and tubes on the road bike for a while.
 
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