EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
The tubeless system is an amazing solution which has become a standard among professionals and many cycling enthusiasts. What is a tubeless system and why is it better than a tube?
A common and simplest solution for bicycle wheels is a tyre with an inner tube. This is a cheap solution, because inner tubes do not cost money, and for more experienced users they also do not pose a problem in servicing. But do you know the moment when you're driving on the superpath and suddenly there's a hissing coming out of the tire? The mood splashes and heading begins, how long will it take to change the inner tube, or worse, what to do if you just don't have the spare tube? We have to devote some time to changing the inner tubes, and especially valuable are those seconds that will contribute to the final time of the race. If you are a biker enthusiast and want to ride as smoothly as possible, tubeless is the right system for you. This solution has been used for a few years now and is gaining more and more supporters. If you've never had contact with a tubeless before, it may seem complicated and time-consuming at first, but in fact the principle is very simple.
The tubeless system is based on a special circulating fluid in the tyre during driving. When a tyre is punctured with a spike, for example, the fluid, together with escaping air, gets into the hole in a flash and attaches it to the hole. In many cases, users will not even feel that something has stuck in their tyres. In case of larger holes, the process may be slightly longer. In such cases, it may be necessary to supplement the air that escaped before the fluid could seal the hole. Usually, after pumping, you can continue driving calmly. It happens, however, that the hole becomes so unfortunate that the liquid has a problem with its sealing. There are also some ways to do that, and we will tell you about them in this article, and earlier we will describe what tubeless system is all about and tell you what accessories you need to enter the world of tubeless driving. All the accessories mentioned in the article can be purchased directly in our showrooms in Warsaw and Kleszczów.
WHAT'S THERE TO GAIN?
Simply put, the puncture protection we have already mentioned. An additional advantage is the ability to ride at a lower tyre pressure, which will significantly increase the comfort of riding, as well as improve control and handling of the bike and significantly increase the grip.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES
The disadvantages include the price of the accessories. A set consisting of sealant, tape and valves will cost more than two inner tubes. For the untrained, the installation of a tubeless system or its subsequent operation (adding liquid) can be a problem, but in such a case the wheels can be brought to the service and picked up in a ready to drive condition.
WHAT IS NECESSARY TO USE THE TUBELESS SYSTEM?
In order to use a wheel in a tubeless system, it is necessary to have rims specially adapted for this purpose, which is no problem nowadays, as most manufacturers have such rims in their offer. In addition to the adapted rim, several special accessories must be used. The simplest tubeless system kit consists of a sealing strip, compatible valves and a sealing fluid.
The first step to start installing the tubeless system is to seal the rim, i.e. to seal it with sealing tape. Make sure that the width of the sealing strip is appropriate to the width of your rim. The tape should be applied "overlapping", i.e. the end of the tape should overlap at its beginning and degrease. It is also recommended to use double rim sealant to strengthen the sealing properties when using high tyre pressure (especially on road wheels). Stan's NoTubes offers several belt widths: 21, 25, 27, 30, 33, 36 and 39mm. The principle of selecting the tape is that you should choose a tape slightly wider than the inner width of the rim.
Once the rim is covered with tape, make a small hole in the place where the hole for the valve is located. A thin skewer or pen can be used for this purpose. We put a valve into the hole and install it carefully.
The tubeless valve has a slightly different design than standard inner tube valves. It has a special shape that adapts better to the rim profile and prevents leakage of sealing fluid and, of course, air leakage. Stan's NoTubes offer includes valves with lengths of 35mm, 44mm and 55mm. They are available in two versions: ordinary and black, made of aluminum, and differ from each other mainly in weight and color (ordinary version is silver). Stan's NoTubes valves have a replaceable cartridge. When removed, you can pour liquid into the tyre directly through the valve.
Once the valve is installed, the rim is ready to be sealed. So let us move on to the issue of tyres.
Tubeless tyres are often slightly heavier than normal tyres because the walls are thicker. This makes them more resistant to punctures. Another characteristic of tubeless ready tires is that they are tighter on the rim. As an official distributor of the IRC brand in Poland, we offer, among others, MYTHOS XC, STINGO XC and G-CLAW tyres.
The Japanese manufacturer's tires are developed in cooperation with Stan's NoTubes and are known for their durability due to the specially selected rubber compounds and the excellent performance of their treads.
All three models are tubeless compatible.
The most universal model is MYTHOS XC. This tyre has a reinforced structure, which greatly improves its strength and durability. The tread profile and width of 2.25 ensure low rolling resistance and comfortable handling in all conditions - dry and wet, flat ducts, roots and bumpy stones.
Another tyre is STINGO XC, which is designed for wet and muddy conditions. The special tread with high blocks provides good grip on slippery surfaces and is quickly cleaned of mud.
The third model is the G-CLAW, a 2.0 wide tyre with a very low tread, designed for dry conditions. This is a very good choice if you need a durable tyre with very good grip and low rolling resistance.
TUBELESS TYRE FITTING
It is best to put the tyre on one edge in order to be able to freely pour sealing fluid into the tyre. The amount of fluid should be determined on the basis of the tyre width. For a tyre width of 23-60mm the recommended amount of liquid is 60-90ml, for a width of 63-100mm it is 90-120ml.
Stan's NoTubes fluids are top quality sealants, highly valued in cycling environments. In addition to the well-known standard version of sealant, Stan's has also produced the RACE version. Both fluids differ in consistency. RACE Fluid is slightly denser than the usual version and features volumetric microcrystals that can cope better with large holes and even cuts. Important: RACE fluid must not be poured through the valve.
After applying the fluid, apply the second part of the tyre to the rim and inflate the wheel using a compressor or a special inflator with a chamber under pressure. A known way to quickly inflate the wheel is to use CO2 cartridges, but in this case it is not recommended, because the substance reacts with the sealing fluid.
When the tyre is already seated on the rim, make sure that the fluid is well distributed on the inner surface of the tyre and thus the seal is in place. To do this, turn the wheel and shake it in the air at various angles. This is the end of the sealing process. You can put the wheel on your bike and enjoy a tubeless ride.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE UP THE LIQUID AND HOW DO I DO IT?
As mentioned earlier, the sealant can also be poured in through the valve. To do this, use a specially designed wrench to unscrew the valve cartridge and then use a syringe applicator or pour liquid directly from the beak of the smallest bottle of Stan's NoTubes sealant. It is recommended that you check your fluid status every 4 months.
The following diagram shows graphically how to add liquid without removing the tyre.
I HAVE THE USUAL RIMS, CAN I HAVE A TUBELESS SYSTEM?
It is possible to adapt ordinary rims to a tubeless system. Stan's NoTubes offers special rim ties, which can also be purchased in kits containing the accessories needed for sealing.
Such a set is included in the scope of delivery:
- two cable ties with built-in valve
- a bottle of liquid with a capacity of 473ml
- Roller of universal sealing tape with a width of 12mm
WHAT IF THE FLUID DOESN'T SEAL THE HOLES?
In this case, Maxalami products come to your aid. These are special, innovative strings that clog a hole in the tyre. Maxalami products are great rescue sets. They are lightweight and handy so you can take them in your pocket for any ride.
The basic Maxalami set is the BASIC set. It contains 5 3.5mm thick cords and a crochet, which allows you to easily place the cord in the hole created in the tyre. A tyre that has been fixed in this way is completely functional and allows you to continue driving.
MAXI set, apart from crochet and 5 strings with a thickness of 3.5 mm, includes 5 strings with a thickness of 1.5 mm (Maxanossi), which are designed to patch smaller holes. They can also be used in road tyres. The set also includes a special spike, which is used to clean the hole before using the string.
TWISTER is a proposal for people who do not like to carry anything in their pockets. The set allows you to hide the crochet in the steering wheel - in the place where the cork is inserted, or in the crank hole.
To safely carry the crochet in your pocket you can try the tube version. Maxalami BASIC TUBE, TUBE PLUS and ROAD TUBE are sets containing strings and crochet and hidden in a handy tube, ideal for a pocket.
Basic Tube includes crochet and 5 strings of 3.5mm width, Tube Plus is a crochet, 3 strings of 3.5mm width and 5 strings of 1.5mm width. Road Tube includes a crochet and 5 strings with a width of 1.5mm.
In addition to all the ways to avoid or get rid of a defect listed here, there is one more safety feature. If for some reason we cannot use the above solutions, we can simply put an inner tube on the tyre. Such a solution will certainly allow you to reach a point where we can get rid of the failure.