What setups are currently working for tubeless? Its time to upgrade my wheelset and thinking about switching from tubulars, but the info I've found is pretty vague (might work/might not) and old.
i'm sticking with cantis, am an 'A' racer in norcal, about 175 during the cross season, and can't run clinchers because I pinch flat.
thanks for feedback!
I've written up some long-form thoughts on my blog. In a nutshell though, I've ran the NoTubes Alpha 400 rims and mainly some Clement PDX clinchers tubeless last year. It worked okay, running about 28 or 29 psi at 175 pounds myself. To get the PDXs to seal up, we had to build up the rim bed with another layer of Stan's yellow tape and then a layer of Gorilla Tape on top of that. I still managed to burp the front tire during one race (and just about as far away from the pit as I possible could have done it). If you like the PDX tread, they will probably work fine for you. They also measured almost 38 mm when fully seated and inflated!
I don't plan on running the PDXs again this year though. The uncertainty I felt about whether or not they were going to burp is more than I want to deal with this year. I've found that tires rated tubeless (road and cross) set up better on the Alpha rims even if there's a tube in there. Due to superb reviews, I'm thinking either Vittoria Cross XG in the TNT casing or the Specialized Captain 2BR.
I like the NoTubes rims though. Light and they roll well. I have the Team version, for what it's worth.
Kit, you know notubes has a free rim strip for those wheels? they were designed to try to do road and cx, but it's hard to do high pressure and low pressure well, so the rim strip helps with the low pressure situation.
The rim strip didn't become available until after we had added all the tape. I should request one just to see how it worked compared to the tape.
there's a lot of content on Cyclocross Magazine's site including a three-part series, with another long-overdue installment coming, but it really depends on:
1) whether you want to use existing wheels or plan to buy a tubless-ready wheelset;
2) whether you need lots of tire options (i.e. conversions) or can deal with the limited but growing section of tubeless-ready cx tires.
chime in on the above and I'll try to help.
also see the wheel reviews of the Iron Cross and Easton EA90 XD in Issue 20 - lots of info there too.
thanks for the replies everyone. looks like not much has changed in the last few years and its still pretty hit or miss. i'll be sticking with tubulars since I know they work.
I switched from tubulars to tubeless very much on purpose and currently have no desire to move back. The consistent refrain I'm hearing is that if you use tubeless tires matched to tubeless rims, it's fantastic. When you try to cobble together a setup, it can be a little less reliable. Mical Dyck won the Canadian National Champs on NoTubes rims and Kenda tires --- the rest of the Elite-level NoTubes team is running that combo too.
I'd still say give it a try. While I was occasionally frustrated with my tubeless setup last year, it paled in comparison to the frustration I had with my tubulars. I'll mess around with a bottle of Stan's before I spend another couple of hours scrubbing glue off rims with acetone.
The ONLY combo I have had luck with is Iron Cross (Stan's) rims and a selection of tires. The Kenda's work great - I like the Kwicker - and some Bontragers do too. The Iron Cross work better than the Alpha's. I have burped them though - still cannot go as low as my PDX tubbies on Major Toms.
I have found that wider rims are better for preventing burping. I ran clement pdx on stans crest rims down to 24psi @175# last season and didnt have any issues racing cross. I ride them on single track some too for training and did burb once on a gnarly downhill, but if i bump the pressure up closer to 30 psi I never have problems even riding rocky/rooty trails.
On a rim that wide the clement pdx measure about 35 wide. Not good if you are a UCI racer, but good for the other 95% of us.
I ran Vittoria XG TNTs on A23 rims all last season with no issues. I used a strip of gorilla tape to seal the holes and dumped in a standard serving of Stan's sealant and, even on the non-tubeless version of the A23 rim, didn't burp air or even drop much pressure (except when on purpose) during the season.