Author Topic: Thin wall mtb tyres on the road - tubeless v tubed... is it my imagination?  (Read 393 times)

I don't class my self as a "mountain biker" but I do like my bikes to have the ability to go anywhere as the situation dictates.  Over the last couple of years I've been experimenting with 26" tyres that roll well on asphalt and that also have enough grip to cope with excursions off road .  In this respect, one of the best preforming tyre I've come across to date is the 26x2.1 Mezcal.  Although this tyre is easy to set up as tubeless I've had a few instances when I've had to fit a tube when large pictures fail to seal and I swear the tyre seems to rides better with a tube than without ???  The only explanation I can think of is that the extremely thin wall of tyres of this type are prone to squirm on the road at low pressures (20/25psi) when run tubeless, but by using a tube it effectively reinforces the sidewalls, giving a better ride with the tyre at lower pressures and less squirm?
This theory seems to go against the current thinking that a thin and pliable sidewall is desirable, or is it just my imagination?

Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

I've not used those tyres but the idea of riding on the road with such low pressures in tyres of that width is not at all appealing to me. Squirm city.

Anecdotally I can also report that tyres with stiff sidewalls can be deceptive; on a hack bike I was used to feeling the tyres get squidgy and squirmy as they went soft and this would trigger me to pump them up again. However when I fitted puncture resistant tyres they ran true even when they were quite soft and I could still feel the bumps in the road. The cue for me to pump them up again became the thought that 'cycling was hard work' with soft puncture proof tyres.

It also occurs to me that there may be something real going on with your tubed vs tubeless setup; the tubed setup pushes the beads hard against the wheelrim, whereas if the tubeless seal is near the rim lip not the tyre lip (courtesy of sealant) there is literally nothing stopping the tyre bead from moving around.  This means that whatever stiffness is in the chafer region of the tyre may be lost in the tubeless setup, but still be present in the tubed setup. This could well affect the feel of the tyre, and (to my mind) is a more likely candidate than the trivial change in sidewall properties arising from the use of a tube.

cheers

Thanks Brucey, that's an interesting theory but having delved into a few MTB specific threads on the topic it appears that thin wall MTB tyres are not necessarily a good thing unless you are a very light rider on a lightweight bike... and neither of those is true for me.  The MTB collective go on to make, what is in hindsight, the blindingly obvious statement that "the sturdier the casing, the lower you can have your tyre pressure..."
So for me, running a lightweight MTB tyre with a lightweight innertube does seem to be a better option than running the same tyre tubeless.

Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

yebbut having a tube inside a flimsy casing is not at all the same thing as having a more sturdy casing.

cheers

yebbut having a tube inside a flimsy casing is not at all the same thing as having a more sturdy casing.

cheers
Agreed, but compromise is key with the limited choice of wider tyres in 26" suitable for long distance all terrain riding.
That said, I've been really impressed by the Continental "Double Fighter" in 26x1.9, despite it being a relatively heavy wire beaded tyre, it performs really well without a tube.  It would be my #1 recommendation for anyone seeking to do the same.





Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas