/ Tubeless success and bikepacking Cut Gate

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TobyA on 14 May 2017
This post is mainly just a thank you to the various UKC MTBers who last autumn gave me lots of advice on converting my tyres to tubeless. It took me months to get round to giving it a try, and then once I did, it was a bit of a battle with and there were some sealant leakage issues, but eventually I won and the tyres stayed hard (well, quite squidgy actually).

I've done some local rides to test them, but yesterday I went for a proper test. I left Sheffield in the afternoon and rode out north on the trans Pennine way under Wharncliffe before heading west through Stocksbridge to get to the northern end of the Cut Gate bridleway. I hadn't been across Cut Gate before - it was as good as I had been told, particularly heading into the evening sun. At the top I was looking out at Kinder, where I had bivvied and scrambled last weekend, before plunging down into Cranberry Clough - probably the best off road riding I've ever done. I bivvied down at Slippery Stones with some whiskey, curlews, a few fly pasts of geese and later a hooting owl for company. Pretty sweet. Some pics: https://goo.gl/photos/in4SLYS8Hw23dKwD7
ChrisJD on 15 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Glad to hear it all went so well.

Slow burn tubeless conversion ;-)
dabble on 15 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Quality pictures. Ingenious use of the front wheel.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 15 May 2017
In reply to dabble:

I saw the title and assumed you'd had a mysterious cut in the tyre!
deepsoup - on 15 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:
Cool pics, I love the bike-based tarp thing.

No midges yet then? Slippery Stones is a quality spot for a quick dip, did you take the plunge? (Brr!)
TobyA on 15 May 2017
In reply to dabble:

> Quality pictures.

Cheers. Just snaps from my phone, but annoyingly my phone seems to take pictures with richer colour than the new camera I recently bought! :-/

> Ingenious use of the front wheel.

Lots of pics of different bike-supported tarp set ups on various bikepacking sites and blogs - that system seems to work quite well with my mountain bike. When I've bikepacked with my CX bike I've tended to just flip the whole bike and make a more lean-to style tarp - see the pic down a bit in this review https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=9004 It's quite fun. Last weekend I was bivvying in a bivvy bag up on Kinder which has that real under the stars feel to it, but you always seem to get some condensation in a bivvy bag, and tarps have quite a few advantages over them.

TobyA on 15 May 2017
In reply to ChrisJD:

> Glad to hear it all went so well. Slow burn tubeless conversion ;-)

Yes, once I actually spent an hour making a "ghetto compressor" it was relatively straightforward. I did have to take the tyre off one wheel after sort of getting it to work but the tape on the wheels wasn't air tight. I pulled it off and tried a double wrap of Gorilla Tape instead and that worked a treat. So well, I then decided to do it on the other wheel as well! Cue: much faffing about sploshing sealant all over the place but I think it was worth it.

The "pop" when the tyre fill and seal with compressor is pretty cool!
TobyA on 15 May 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> No midges yet then?

Some as the sun set, I was a bit worried that it might get unpleasant as I hadn't even thought to bring the mossie net that I first bought for summer bikepacking in Finland where the mosquitoes can be awful. Next time I think I will take it though! But it got quite cool when the stars were out and that seemed to keep them, away then later a breeze sprang up and quite a lot of rain and I didn't see any more at all.

> Slippery Stones is a quality spot for a quick dip, did you take the plunge? (Brr!)

Paddled to wash the mud and sheep poo of my legs, and salt off my face. Felt warm compared to the Arctic Ocean where I swam (for about 3 seconds) at Easter. ;)

woppo - on 15 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

hi toby, thinking of getting pinnacle ramin 650+ - any thoughts on yours particularly rolling speed against 29er (not +) and front bump absorbtion
cheers
TobyA on 15 May 2017
In reply to woppo:

I've not ridden a 29er so I can't really say in comparison. Setting the tyres up tubeless has meant I can have them much softer, and that has made the bike much more comfy on rough terrain. At first - before they were tubeless - I regretted going for a bike without any suspension, but since going tubeless I'm a bit more convinced by friends who say you don't need suspension with plus tyres.

Otherwise, I'm one of those who had problems with the seat post slipping. I knackered the clamp that it came with trying to get it not to slip. I bought from Alpkit a replacement clamp, but knackered that one as well. I got back to Evans and they were quite good - they gave me a new clamp and the grease they use for carbon frames which has something like sand in it to make it slip less. This seems to have fixed that problem, but it feels a bit of a bodge. There is also some really loud creak in the bike - can't work out where it is - possibly in the seat or (again) the seat post - that's annoying too. So - it's really fun to ride; brakes and gearing is good; it's obviously perfectly designed for bikepacking - loads of braze ons for extra bottles and racks. I think if you want to do bikepacking it is well worth considering but maybe I would have gone for something with suspension if I was just doing day rides - I looked quite seriously at the Sonder Transmitter, although their price has gone up, just like the Ramin - Brexit!
ads.ukclimbing.com
woppo - on 15 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

yeah, looking at the sonder. damn that pesky brexit!
thanks for the reply
Dauphin on 22 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Is there any real benefit for tubeless on this sort of set-up though? A bit of weight saving. Less pinch flats when you are going down hill over rocky stuff? Seems a lot of a faff for something thats very fashionable but I dont see much evidence that is makes any difference to the average weekend warrior. Im not at all against fashion as far as bikes are concerned - just had something similar made in steel, 1 x 11 650b plus yada yada, stuff that in middle age I can at last afford - with some plans to do some epic Scottish rides later in the year.

Nice pics BTW fella. I read the blog now and again. also good work.

D
TobyA on 22 May 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

You have the tires at a much lower pressure where you would get loads of pinch flats with a tube. With the fat tires that soft you notice the lack of suspension much less! My first rides on the bike last autumn with tubes made me wonder if I had made the right decision going fully rigid it was just so rough hanging on on rocky descents, but this ride tubeless made me reconsider, I felt I was riding the bike not fighting it.
TobyA on 22 May 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

Soft tires mean more grip too and perhaps cause a bit less erosion on Peak peaty paths? Might be kidding myself on the latter though...
Dauphin on 22 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

What kind of P.S.I. s where you running before and after? Those are 3" wtb tyres, yes?

D
TobyA on 22 May 2017
In reply to Dauphin:
The gauge on my track pump is a bit dodgy but I think around 20 or lower tubeless, can't remember with tubes but it might have been almost double that. I still got punctures from hedge trimmings in both tires back in March on one short ride. Theoretically at least that also shouldn't be a problem now.

The back tire is 2.8 I think and the front 3. Not really sure why they put the narrower one on the back because supposedly 3" fits with no problem.
Post edited at 19:13
Fraser on 22 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Nice work, that looks like it'd be damned good fun!
Dauphin on 22 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Makes steering easier or some such. All the mountain bikers on the forums do it.....

;)

D
TobyA on 22 May 2017
In reply to Dauphin:

I hired a full fat bike in the Cairngorms back in Feb when there was no skiing. I thought the steering on that felt weird. 650plus tires feel pretty 'normal' in comparison, although getting back on my CX last week felt bizarre for the first 5 minutes having mainly just been out on the MTB recently. Normally the CX feels chunky, compact and solid compared to my road bike, but after the 650+ tires it felt like some super skinny race bike!
HardenClimber - on 22 May 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Finish Line Fiber Grip Assembly Gel and the like work really well on alloy seat posts.
TobyA on 22 May 2017
In reply to HardenClimber:

Cheers - that might actually be what Evan's gave me. It seems to have done the trick, unless that is what is causing the strange creaking noise!

I also noticed that my front tire had held air for two weeks well before this trip, and then over the two days of the ride it didn't seem to lose any air. But when I went for a ride last Thursday night (so four days after the trip this thread is about) it had gone quite soft and needed pumping up.

How often to do people who have tubeless wheels top up the sealant? Perhaps that weekend ride dried up/used up (?) the sealant I had originally put in there and now there is a tiny leak at the rim?

This tubeless lark is a whole new adventure in minor engineering work!

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