CX tubeless or tubs, any thoughts?

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  • CX tubeless or tubs, any thoughts?
  • Premier Icon tomd
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    I’ve been getting into cyclocross this year and really enjoying it. Essentially, I need to make up about 2 laps or 60 places to get a podium. Clearly fitness,skills and determination will apportion some of those 60 places but more grip can’t hurt. So…

    I have been running tubeless for years mountain biking so I’m happy with the principle. Are proper glued on tubs still better in some way or is a decent tubeless set up better? Most people seemed to be running tubs but I don’t know if this just “tradition” or a performance thing. I’m using Maxxis Raze tyres at the moment, about 42 / 45 psi front and rear (87kg so worried to try and lower!).

    Hi,

    Don’t use tubs due to the hassle of gluing or taping them on and the cost when they puncture.

    I use Ghetto tubeless and it works great. Used tubes for the last couple of seasons and lost at least one race a year due to a puncture.

    Minimal cost, just need electrical tape, sealant and a couple of old inner tube. There are a couple of other threads from yesterday discussing tubeless.

    Tubs will give a great ride and do allow for low pressures. However, it would mean you getting new wheels or rims along with the additional cost of the tubs themselves. If you are taking it all very seriously or have the cash you probably won’t be disappointed. Tubeless would be cheaper,however.

    Regards

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I tried tubeless and I don’t think you can run enough pressure to prevent tyre shredding pinches. 40psi max recommended, shredded rear tyre after a couple of weeks on a patch of coarser than normal gravel on a park track. Think trek/bonty were doing higher pressure tubeless but this is for my commuter bike so not willing to pay for new wheels just yet. I’m running 50f 60r with tubes and unfortunately my rear tyre keeps finding half bricks or similar at the bottom of muddy puddles.

    LS
    Member

    If you want pure performance then nothing can touch tubulars.
    When you weigh up the time and expense versus the level you ride at you might find that tubeless suits you better.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    I’m probably going to have to get a new set of wheels anyway so not much in it cost wise. I use the cross bike for a bit of road riding so don’t really want to keep changing tyres. It’s looking like it would be better to go tubeless and have a more versatile set of wheels than get tubs and have all the faff for a marginal advantage.

    clubber
    Member

    I can’t comment on the comparison to tubs but I’ve found tubless on my CX to be great – it’s ended the scourge of pinch flats and I ride lots of rocky stuff.

    I don’t think you can run enough pressure to prevent tyre shredding pinches. 40psi max recommended,

    I’m running Stans Crow tyres on Stans Arch Ex rims – overkill admittedly – at 50psi (though I used 40psi for the Bristol Bike Fest which was fine) and had no issues.

    I have a second set of wheels for road riding which I find a better solution than swapping tyres.

    In the past (with rim strips and other tyres) I did cut a sidewall on a rock sticking out of a trail badly enough to need a tube but I’ve had no problems since.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I’m running Stans Crow tyres on Stans Arch Ex rims – overkill admittedly – at 50psi

    All the (none stans) tyres I’ve tried on my alex rims have been proper baggy so didn’t want to risk any higher than 40, may upgrade to iron cross rims in future and try higher pressure, infact just got some new tyres so may give the front a go at 40 but it’s the rear that needs tubeless really.

    clubber
    Member

    I don’t think I really needed the stans tyres but I just happened to see them selling on here when I was looking for some new tyres and was putting together the stans wheels so I thought I’d give them a go.

    vdubber67
    Member

    So firstly – are you experiencing a grip problem with your current tyres? If so, have you actually tried lowering the pressures?

    I’m 67kg and can run clinchers around 30psi without real problems.

    Why not experiment in training with a range of pressures to see what works for you. If you’re racing a non tech grassy cross course you’re not as likely to get pinch flats anyway?

    Seems a cheaper option to my mind than tubs/tubeless.

    Worth pointing out that I race on tubs. They’re don’t equal instant grip sadly – I was all over the place yesterday for example – simply bad bike handling!!

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    I had some Iron Cross wheels built after reading of all the people trying to use Crests and having trouble getting the tyres on.

    I am using 33c Maxxis Raze at 35psi.

    They aren’t particularly tight and took some riding to get them to seal, so I think they would have been better on the Crests.

    Premier Icon Dougal
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    I’m running Stans Crow tyres

    Good luck staying upright and near the front on most British courses with those!

    I run tubeless on Ksyriums with a stans strip and Maxxis tyres. Works well enough, just have to keep the pressure high enough to not burp the tyres on hairpins. This is where a tub has an advantage, but tubeless is cheap and mostly hassle free for a handful of races a year.

    D0NK – Sounds like your tyre-shredding incident would have happened on a tubed tyre and a tub too.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    D0NK – Sounds like your tyre-shredding incident would have happened on a tubed tyre

    well I cant rule it out, could have just been unlucky, pointy bit of gravel at just the right angle, but a tubed tyre would have had an extra 20psi in it and it’s not a place I’ve flatted before (one of my commute routes so ridden it lots)

    was considering trying landcruisers tubeless anyone tried them? weigh a ton tho I believe

    I have turned to tubeless this year with a set of Hope wheels with Stans Alpha 400 rims. I converted to tubeless last week after waiting for some rim tape and had my first race on them last weekend. Last year I DNFed four races through punctures even running quite high pressures so quite fancied the idea of tubeless over tubular as I have been using tubeless for years on the MTB. Anway I tried racing with 3 bar (even though a friend of mine though I would be better with 2.5) and all went well on the last lap until the tyre burped and then exploded off the rim on a grassy corner. I am now in two minds. Should I persevere with this system? Is it the tyres (Clements), the pressure or the system just doesn’t suit this application? I could run with more pressure to avoid burping but then I may as well run with tubes.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    So firstly – are you experiencing a grip problem with your current tyres? If so, have you actually tried lowering the pressures?

    Yep I’ve tried them over a wide range of pressures. I’ve been using the tyres since february for general off road riding and I have a newer unworn set to stick on for races. I’ve found any lower than 45psi in the back and I’m starting to hit the rim a bit. The grip is fine most of the time, I’m just finding on some off camber sections and steep loose climbs I could do with a bit more bite. Coming at it from mountain biking I don’t struggle as much as some with the slippy loose cornering, but still I reckon more grip would help. I know from mtb tubeless that even being able to drop 5-10psi cn make a big differenc to the grip.

    clubber
    Member

    Good luck staying upright and near the front on most British courses with those!

    I don’t race CX. Seem to work well for normal trails IME. Either that or I’m a riding god 😉

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Racing CX has been a bit of an eye opener for me on the staying upright front. I don’t usually fall off that much but neither do I normally try to ride down a steep, twisty, off camber bog, with a 90deg bend at the bottom.

    Just had a quick look at the Raze and the pattern looks like it would be fine in anything that was dry to loamy or whatever those terms mean. But if it is muddy I can’t see them cutting it.

    There are lots of good clincher tyres now.
    Clement PDX is supposedly amazing. But I can’t vouch for it personally.
    You can get Clincher versions of the Challenge tubulars now, the Challenge Limus is the Mud tyre. I am using the Tubs and find them very good so far.

    I personally wouldn’t be going anywhere near a tubeless set up for CX. I can’t see the point? Worrying about rolling the tyre off and worrying about blowing the tyre off? And not able to achieve a good pressure as a consequence. Maybe I have missed the point? Are they more supple at certain pressures?

    I ran a pair of specialized Terra Pro clinchers with regular tubes last year down to Low 20 psi range and got away with it. Its just luck. You could puncture running more if you hit something hard enough.

    I personally wouldn’t be going anywhere near a tubeless set up for CX. I can’t see the point? Worrying about rolling the tyre off and worrying about blowing the tyre off? And not able to achieve a good pressure as a consequence. Maybe I have missed the point? Are they more supple at certain pressures?

    Personally I thought they had the advantages of a tubular (running low pressures no pinch flats) but with the extra advantage of being able to put a tube in there if needed for general riding. It remains to be seen if this is true or not.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    Now I’m not sure what’s worse – a shonkily glued on tubular or a tubeless that might blow off without warning!

    clubber
    Member

    IME, the biggest advantage with tubs is that you can buy really nice ones – really high tpi, very nicely and carefully made and really light. The downside is that that costs a shed load.

    I reckon that if we could get clinchers of the same quality then tubeless would kill off tubs.

    Premier Icon coopersport1
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    I was running Raze on Crests all went well in the first race but 2nd outing and the rear blew off the rim in a tight hairpin. Was running about 38psi but have now lost confidence in the setup. My CX level can’t justify tubs and I don’t want to be miles from home with a flat tub. So going back to tried and trusted Mavic Open Pro rims with tubes but on Pro 3 hubs for the discs. At least I could theoretically change a tube in the pits mid race in 5mins and still get a work out for my entry free by rejoining the race rather than getting a DNF when tubeless blows all over the place. (and know i’m not going dowm the 2 sets of wheels route)
    Have run tubeless on the MTB for about 5yrs now with no major issues

    Tubs don’t necessarily cost the earth. I built up two Novatec hubs (£37 a pair) on two Velocity Major Tom rims (£50 each I think?)
    Got my Tubs OFF SEASON for £45 each from wiggle.

    You would pay close to that for a similar Clincher set up.

    But yes, I wouldn’t take them out for anything other than a race to be fair. And they are a ball ache with the gluing. I rolled one off in a crash in practise last weekend. Clearly my first attempt at gluing was lacking.

    For race only they are pretty good though I have to say.

    My first tub experience was during a race last season when I borrowed a bike for the pits with some on. The difference was alarming and I was swapping bikes every lap so had plenty of time to test!

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