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This is my first post here at CX magazine so thank you to the admin's for approving me. 2011-2012 is my first year cross racing, but i've been a bike rider for many years. I have pretty good bike handling skills but have been working on CX specific training with a couple of friends who are roadies and mtbr's, but started cross racing last year.

 

We're were working on some tight off-camber turns saturday when my back tire repeatedly slipped away from me (enough to send me to the ground each time). My buddy said he was afraid that would happen due to the vittoria cross xg pro's that came with my ridley X-Bow.

 

I'm a 200lb gym rat (so lots of muscle) and he said that a guy my size might have problems with lots of tires b/c the tread won't grip under my weight and leg strength.

 

So here's my question...

 

What are some good tires TO RUN TUBELESS on alex dc19 rims and will tend to slip less under my 200lbs? I will NOT be setting up multiple wheelsets this season (and don't wanna have to reseal multiple tires depending on conditions), so i'd love some help finding a tire that will perform well in many conditions.

 

So far i've read that the kenda slant six, wtb cross wolf, and michelin mud 2's may be a good option for me (though the edge tread on the latter seems like it may not grab enough for my size).

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I'm not as big as you, but I am a tubeless rider. I think it's best to use "tubeless specific" tires, like Hutchinsons. They have a big fat bead that helps make good contact with the rims.
What category would you get? The 29'' tires in the MTB section?

You would get whatever tire size fits your rims (e.g, if they are 700 you get those). I like the Hutchinson Bulldog (which is made for mud, but you can run on a lot of conditions). Hutchinson also makes a "Piranha" for grass/dry (which I have not tried... using a clincher/tube set up for those conditions). Go to google and search "tubeless cyclocross tires," you will see some of the other options on the market.

 

Keep in mind that your Alex rims are probably not "tubeless specific." Which means that they are intended for normal clinchers. It's possible to run rims like this tubeless, but you will have to experiment with different tires and pressures to see what works best.

 

In my experience, running non-specific clinchers on non-specific rims leads to trouble. I had a rather nasty fall last year when I rolled the front tire off on a slippery root. That convinced me to move to tubeless specific for both rims and tires.

 

The main reason for tubeless is to run lower pressures than you can with clinchers and save the weight of the tube. Generally, the bigger the rider, the higher the pressure you will need. So I am not really sure that tubeless is the right choice.

 

Clinchers are reliable and safe, but heavier and you cannot get the pressure as low as a tubular. Tubeless is pretty well-established in the MTB community but I think the jury is still out for the CX community.

 

Hope this helps.

Thanks joe. that helps a lot! sorry for the dumb size question...i didn't assume that there'd be knobbies under the "road" section. lol.

 

Good explanation of tubless. My buddy assures me that my weight and non-tubeless specific rims will be fine, but I'd hate to by a $70 Stans kit only to find out it won't. I may just run tube tied this season and invest in some tubeless specific rims next year.

 

That said, do you recommend stans or no tubes or another tubeless system?

Clement PDX. They will do really well for you. I have a client your size and he uses the Fangos for a general tire (dry, grass, dirt) and the PDX for mud stuff. He can also corner *very* well so I feel safe in recommending those to you.

 

I know you didn't ask but I'd really recommend against tubeless. It's really not going to solve any problems for you and it just doesn't work that well for 'cross.

Thanks Chris. Are you talking about the folding bead or non-folding on the PDX? As far as tubeless goes, I'm a noob, so why do you recommend against it? My size? Tubeless in general? If not tubeless, do u run tube tied or tubular? If tube tied, what pressure in the pdx's or mud 2's? Sorry for the onslaught of ?'s, first season of cross. :-/

Do they make a non folding PDX? I wasn't aware that they did. I'd get the folding on the assumption that the casing is a bit higher quality than the non folding. You should check that assumption though (check the thread count)

 

Plenty of people will argue about it but I have not talked to anyone who has made tubeless work well. Everyone burbs a tire in a hard corner and yes it's better than a flat but it shouldn't happen. Those issues will be exacerbated at your size, which I can confirm from another big client who can corner well who tried tubeless.

 

I'll find out what my client on PDXs runs and get back to you.

 

No worries on the questions, that's what this forum is for!

Thanks Chris. I had a buddy who goes about 175 who ran tubeless all last season on mud 2's and never burped, but then again, I ran his spare wheelset last weekend after my vittoria's kept slipping and burped his velociraptor's twice in 30 minutes.

 

To be clear, he DID discover the stans strips had dried out on those wheels, but I'm gonna try to burp them again this weekend in some training (per his request).

 

I'll be anxious to see what your client is running in the pdx's. Do i understand you correctly that he IS running them tube-tied?

Yeah, tubed. 35-38 psi he says. He's running latex tubes which are hard to come by this year but would be worth tracking down for you. (CX sized, not road)
I'm 6'3" and 230...built like a linebacker. I've had success with both the Hutchinson Bulldogs and the Michelin Mud 2. I'm using the Mud 2 as my dry conditions tire at a higher PSI (45-50) because at lower pressure I feel the tire's square profile rolls off in the corners.

The Bulldog is better at lower pressures and I've never rolled off their rounder profile. In the muck, I'm still careful to run em at a little higher psi because I pinch flatted the rear at a slushy, muddy race last year when I tried them at 40 psi.
Have you considered the possibility you need to work on your cornering skills?  Off camber corners expose weaknesses in cornering technique.

I did think of that too. I had my buddy analyze my high speed and low speed off camber cornering and he didn't think that the technique was the root of the problem (though there's always room for improvement ;-))....especially since when i swapped to his beefier spare wheelset the problem ceased to exist.

 

But thanks for reminding me (and everyone here) that technique is always more important than gear.

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