Thursday, March 27, 2008

Road Tubeless

After reading about the new road tubeless systems coming out a year or so ago I knew it was for me. I am 6'7" and weigh 185-195 depending on the time of year. I have found that when riding a 23c road tire I need to air up my rear to at least 120 lbs and my front to 110 lbs or I wont be able to get 10 miles without a pinch flat. I know that a lot of people run these pressure's but they have never felt "right" for me. I feel like the bike has no traction on any kind of rough pavement and I am constantly on edge going downhill because I feel like I'm going to slide out on every curve. Road tubeless promised to do much the same as MTB tubeless, allowing the rider to ride lower pressures without pinch flats. My only dilemma with going tubeless was that I needed to buy the Dura Ace tubeless wheelset which at close to a grand was not in the budget. Just this winter Stan's came up with this. A conversion kit to allow normal road wheels to run Hutchinson Fusion II tubeless road tire. I bought enough stuff to do just my rear wheel (in case it didn't work) and set it up yesterday. The setup was a bit of a pain. I needed a compressor to seat the bead and the soap and water trick didn't work. I had to run sealant along the bead to get it to pop into place. I wanted to ride it right away so as soon as I got the tire mounted I went for a short ride. The Stan's sealant had not yet sealed everything when I left the house and I hoped that it would seal while riding. I headed down Wasatch to see how everything went and it was better than I had hoped. The ride was much smoother and all of the little bumps in the road from the chip sealing were eliminated. The tire made Wasatch feel like it had brand new blacktop. The tire did seal while I was riding but I had lost a lot of pressure in the process so I decided to keep the ride short. I was hoping to get a real ride in this evening to really test the tire but looking out the window now it's dumping snow so we'll see.

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