We, members of the mountain bike community, are on a never ending quest for knowledge and learning opportunities, any ideas we can find to enhance our 29er mtb riding and technical skills and share the wisdom. Given that most of us are where we are because of the shared advice we’ve managed to acquire along the way, one of those being the tubeless mtb wheel and its advantages to the 29er mtb user.
The tubeless tire has been around for ages in the Cyclocross Arenas across most of Europe for a couple of decades. It hasn’t been until the early 2000’s that it started to emerge into the mountain bike industry. Early models of mtb tubeless tire choices were few and far between. Making it difficult for many mountain bike riders to really want to jump on board.
Once tire makers started realizing better ideas to how the tubeless tire worked in conjunction with a mtb and its possible perceived advantages, they jumped on board the tubeless bandwagon. To date, I don’t think you can find a tire tread model that is not available in both tubeless and non-tubeless.
But there were some drawbacks to the original tubeless tires, they were boat anchors for sure. It was hard to weigh out there advantages, because of what type of terrain dictated more of whether or not you get a distinct advantage. One example, and we go into many here at 29erCafe, whether riding flatter style singletrack or more alpine style singletrack, (having very long arduous climbs did not fit well with the extra rolling weight of the first generation tubeless).
But Tubeless has evolved,
Luckily we have gone through several generations since then, definitely cutting out most of the negative variables it reluctantly was plagued with in the first generation.
In 2002 -2003 the company no-tubes.com started a great tubeless concept alternative to the traditional, with the use of there models of rims. In 2003 I ordered a set of their wheels from Stan himself, owner and inventor of the now common b.s.t., (bead socket technology). I will contest I planned on using those Olympic model wheels for special events etc– yah right, that lasted for about two weeks — they got used for everything I did. They even sustained the hard work of some podiums in short track events to national super-d events in 2005. I am amazed to this day that I kept those wheels rolling into 2009. The only reason I stopped was because of the older generation front hub was done, not the wheels.
The instant noticeable difference, was the rolling weight. There was no comparison between the two types of tubeless. The b.s.t. rim allowed me to run “regular” or the standard mtb tires without tubes in them. This was a huge savings of rolling weight. I never had a single issue with any tires ever failing. For back then It was the most supple feel to the trail you could get. I was always surprised that more people hadn’t figured the trick out.
To this day for my 29er bikes I still seek out (if possible) the regular casings over the newest generation of “tubeless ready tires“. But I run the Stan’s Crest Rims to be able to do this.. But when I am not mounting tires to Stan’s, and maybe a set of Shimano XT MT95 29er Wheels for example, the Tubeless ready models are the best.
They were solely developed to help out those people out who were having troubles with getting their regular tires to seal up on installation. So they added a little weight to the sidewall, Schwalbe did the best job with TL ready mountain bike tires of really keeping the weight low.. I am a penny pinching miser, but these expensive tires have been #1 on my personal list for a while now!
“Thanks For Reading 29erCafe… Hope You Enjoy!”
Time to Get on the Trail… before it’s not available!
The tubeless mounting trick, is to simply have your own personal small air compressor with proper attachments, this is the key to eliminate tubeless tire install frustration. There have been a couple of times for different reasons one of my 29er mtb end up tubes in it for a couple of weeks worth of riding, and can’t stand it, all of sudden your tires are sliding everywhere that you would have generally trusted them to grip and hold the line. I simply could never go back to regular (tube-style) mountain bike tires.
They have been so amazingly helpful, over the course of ten solid years of singletrack fun!