Monday, January 9, 2012

to no tubes, or not to no tubes?

so i've been back on the cx bike for a few forest trail rides--only 4 1/2 months after the collarbone break! man, i've missed riding in the dirt. i'm still riding cautiously and slowly, but since i'm not really "training" for anything, slow is swell.

however, i am contemplating some equipment issues that are needlessly slowing me down. true, lots of bloggers complain about how radder equipment would make them faster, which is all totally, completely, and absolutely true. more new expensive carbon stuff = more faster! but i'm talking about something that even the retro-est of grouches would agree will slow you down: flat tires.

here's the situation: i was (futilely) chasing Linus over the Old Oxford Road cobblestones and i double-flatted with my tubeless tires (Stan's 340 rims with Michelin Mud2 tires, about 40psi). i converted to tubeless cx tires to hopefully avoid pinchflats and actually get a more tubular-like ride for training (without destroying tubulars on the trails and having to walk home, broke and disgraced). it appears that on both the front and back tire, i kinda tore one of the tread-nubs (technically speaking), creating a small puncture in the tire. the stans sealant eventually fixed it up, but after another ride yesterday, it either re-ruptured or i tore my tire a new a(ir)-hole. either way, the sealant eventually (kinda) sealed up the problem, but i hate regularly stoping mid-ride to fix this reoccurring problem.

so my question to you, dear readers, is: what's the deal here?
are michelin muds not the right tire for road and gravel road riding?
am i just riding wrong on too much sharp gravel?
am i doing something else wrong (wrong pressure or need more sealant)?
is going tubeless stupid for cx training?

i like tubeless for mountain biking. i also realize that these michelins are not technically specified for tubeless riding, but lots of folks have had good luck with them. any help is greatly appreciated.


felonious said...

Part of what makes the Mud such a great cx tire (in addition to its tread) is its soft rubber compound and relatively supple casing (I am thinking of the green ones). Without a reinforcing tube to give it shape, the casing takes a beating and the rubber is even more vulnerable. I have heard folks have great luck with tubeless CX--especially if you're not using the Hutchinson bulldog or similar tubeless specific tire.

hollywood said...

I'm running the Hutchinson tubeless on my DA Tubeless wheels.....and have yet to have a flat. Of course I haven't ridden a bike in many many many months. I ride them full time, road, dirt, gravel, snow, ice, and Nutella. I mean...what? Sounds like time for new wheels and tires! Ghetto tubeless is....well....ghetto or cross.

John Miles said...

Can you still get those solid rubber 'tubes' that people pimped back in the early 90s? Presto -- no more flats!

co2cycle said...

alright, lads. thanks for no help. i'm a gonna fill a sock full o' nutella and beat you with it.

i do like tubes, but when i start pinchflatting a lot, i start looking into other options. however, since i typically ride less than once a week, i've definitely been flatting less than once a week (unless i get several flats on a single ride (which has happened on my last two rides)).

new plan: get butyl tubes, fill them with nutella in the patented chris' nut-ubes system (tm).

felonious said...

No Tubes= No Help. We're lame like that.