Rip

Street Trials, tubes, tubeless or tube + insert?

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I've recently started riding a Fourplay Team (Continental MacAskill tyres and Kenda tubes) and have been lucky enough to not get a snake bite puncture yet, I'm running a pretty low tyre pressure at the minute (25 psi) as that's what feels natural for me, I'm hoping to slowly raise that to around 35-40psi but for now I'm wondering if a tyre insert that's designed for tubes would help?

Tannus tyre insert:

50578813942_91b2322ce1_b.jpg

Not sure I want all the faff of a tubeless setup because if you get a puncture mid ride just about all you can do is shove a tube in there so you'll still need to carry a tube anyway and clean up all the mess. 

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I believe the tannus has a max pressure of about 30psi, beyond which you start crushing the foam. That said, I ran one on my MTB for a while (below that pressure) and it was great.

On the trials bike I run tubeless without an insert, mainly because the Crazy Bobs I run are heavy but bombproof. Seeing as they're now discontinued, I may start experimenting with other tyres and likely inserts.

The only issue I have had with tubeless is that I need to run 35psi at the very very least otherwise they get super foldy and risk a spontaneous tyre de-fitting-from-your-rim-ification moment. I run 45 though and they're perfect, having never had an issue in 2 years on Bobs. Definitely a case of picking the right tyres though as I had nothing but trouble with the Macaskill tyres with leaking and buckled tyres.

If you're planning on staying at about 25psi then a tannus (or similar) could work, although much more and you'll probably start having trouble with negating the effect of the insert :)

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33 minutes ago, onzatpro09 said:

I believe the tannus has a max pressure of about 30psi, beyond which you start crushing the foam. That said, I ran one on my MTB for a while (below that pressure) and it was great.

On the trials bike I run tubeless without an insert, mainly because the Crazy Bobs I run are heavy but bombproof. Seeing as they're now discontinued, I may start experimenting with other tyres and likely inserts.

The only issue I have had with tubeless is that I need to run 35psi at the very very least otherwise they get super foldy and risk a spontaneous tyre de-fitting-from-your-rim-ification moment. I run 45 though and they're perfect, having never had an issue in 2 years on Bobs. Definitely a case of picking the right tyres though as I had nothing but trouble with the Macaskill tyres with leaking and buckled tyres.

If you're planning on staying at about 25psi then a tannus (or similar) could work, although much more and you'll probably start having trouble with negating the effect of the insert :)

Thanks, I'm maybe going to settle on 30-35psi once that's starts feeling better for me so not sure what to do then. I haven't had any trouble so far at 25psi even landing back wheel on to sharp brick corners, but maybe I've just been lucky, or more than likely I'm just not doing massive gaps to back wheel. 

Edited by Rip

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I think the rim plays a larger role than most people think. I'm riding 26" street now so I have more choices, but since I've gone to carbon 35mm wide in the rear I've only had a pinch when I go to @ 20psi. And I'm running Jitsie or Michelin Air-stop super light tubes with Schwalbe table tops at 30psi. On my 24" I was afraid to go below 40psi. Now I can ride all the same stuff, but at glorious 30psi and not have the headache (and weight) of inserts and tire goo.

What rims are you running on your 4play?

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Just the standard Inspired V2 Team rims and I don't have any plans on changing them. 

Edited by Rip

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I'll bump the tyres up to 30 psi when I next go out and see how that feels. 

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On 08/11/2020 at 9:32 AM, Rip said:

Not sure I want all the faff of a tubeless setup because if you get a puncture mid ride just about all you can do is shove a tube in there so you'll still need to carry a tube anyway and clean up all the mess. 

My tyre inserts on my tubeless setup on my Arcade show that they've helped me out a good few times. There are quite a few cuts in them where I would have rimmed out and probably caused some damage, but the insert kept things sweet. I like to do bumps, stair rides and other generally tyre-abusing moves like that, and in the 4-5 years I've been tubeless I've had 1 puncture, ever. That was due to too little pressure, too much speed and too much pump on a set of steps with metal edging. Couldn't really complain about that as I'd really ballsed it up, and I managed to fix it by using a couple of tyre plugs.

Tubeless has been a game changer as far as not really ever worrying about getting flats from anything. That includes going gaps and stuff too. They make your bike feel quite a bit nicer too as you basically can't rim out unless you are running low pressures and/or really giving it some. Even on some fairly brutal stair rides it smoothes things out a lot, but it's definitely noticeable on gaps.

Most of the people I've filmed over the past couple of years have all been tubeless, and the two rides I went filming on with Ali and Ben when they had switched back to running tubes they got flats on the first move of the day. I'd become used to that just not being a part of rides, so to see Ben do a gap to instant pinch flat, and Ali get a pinch flat then some punctures on some nails (again, don't have to worry about that tubeless) was a reminder of how shit things used to be...

I run the Rimpact tubeless inserts as they seem to be a decent foam density, don't weigh much (26" inserts are 85g per insert, for context), help keep my tyre in place well (and avoid squirming at lower pressures, a bonus) and come with some valves that work better than others I've used in the past. Muc-Off or Peatys sealant works well too. You need to use about 75-90ml per tyre, so it's not like that weighs much anyway. 

If you're planning on sticking with tubes, I wouldn't bother with an insert like the one you've shown above. The foam seems to compress/deform if you run higher pressures, so with the impacts you'll be giving it through trials use I imagine it'll be close to useless pretty quickly. As far as tubes go, I found the Kenda ones to be really hit and miss quality wise. Some I had didn't inflate properly in some parts because the material was so inconsistent in terms of how supple/flexible it was, so I ended up with random bulges/dips in my tyres. Thanks to the material not being particularly supple, they also seemed to pinch more easily for me as the tubes would just tear. The Maxxis tubes performed best for me. I used some cheap tubes but a lot of them had similar issues to the Kendas in terms of pinches, and ultimately worked out being a bit of a false economy.

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1 hour ago, Mark W said:

My tyre inserts on my tubeless setup on my Arcade show that they've helped me out a good few times. There are quite a few cuts in them where I would have rimmed out and probably caused some damage, but the insert kept things sweet. I like to do bumps, stair rides and other generally tyre-abusing moves like that, and in the 4-5 years I've been tubeless I've had 1 puncture, ever. That was due to too little pressure, too much speed and too much pump on a set of steps with metal edging. Couldn't really complain about that as I'd really ballsed it up, and I managed to fix it by using a couple of tyre plugs.

Tubeless has been a game changer as far as not really ever worrying about getting flats from anything. That includes going gaps and stuff too. They make your bike feel quite a bit nicer too as you basically can't rim out unless you are running low pressures and/or really giving it some. Even on some fairly brutal stair rides it smoothes things out a lot, but it's definitely noticeable on gaps.

Most of the people I've filmed over the past couple of years have all been tubeless, and the two rides I went filming on with Ali and Ben when they had switched back to running tubes they got flats on the first move of the day. I'd become used to that just not being a part of rides, so to see Ben do a gap to instant pinch flat, and Ali get a pinch flat then some punctures on some nails (again, don't have to worry about that tubeless) was a reminder of how shit things used to be...

I run the Rimpact tubeless inserts as they seem to be a decent foam density, don't weigh much (26" inserts are 85g per insert, for context), help keep my tyre in place well (and avoid squirming at lower pressures, a bonus) and come with some valves that work better than others I've used in the past. Muc-Off or Peatys sealant works well too. You need to use about 75-90ml per tyre, so it's not like that weighs much anyway. 

If you're planning on sticking with tubes, I wouldn't bother with an insert like the one you've shown above. The foam seems to compress/deform if you run higher pressures, so with the impacts you'll be giving it through trials use I imagine it'll be close to useless pretty quickly. As far as tubes go, I found the Kenda ones to be really hit and miss quality wise. Some I had didn't inflate properly in some parts because the material was so inconsistent in terms of how supple/flexible it was, so I ended up with random bulges/dips in my tyres. Thanks to the material not being particularly supple, they also seemed to pinch more easily for me as the tubes would just tear. The Maxxis tubes performed best for me. I used some cheap tubes but a lot of them had similar issues to the Kendas in terms of pinches, and ultimately worked out being a bit of a false economy.

Thanks for the detailed info buddy, looks like I might actually try tubeless then now that I'm armed with some decent info :-)

 

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So, what rim tape do you use? 

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I’ve tried a few different mtb brand rim tapes but always end up back on gorilla tape.
 

Ideally you want a tape that is as wide as your rim in a single size

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1 minute ago, ben_travis said:

I’ve tried a few different mtb brand rim tapes but always end up back on gorilla tape.
 

Ideally you want a tape that is as wide as your rim in a single size

Cheers buddy, I already have a load of Gorilla tape so that's perfect.

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I've ordered a pair of Rimpact inserts and 2x Muc-Off sealant kits then so tubeless here we come lol The Muc-Off kits come with 140ml in each one, would it hurt if I used the whole 140ml in a wheel?

Also the instructions for most sealants state that you should check the sealant fluid level after a certain amount of riding, how on Earth do you check that?! Whenwver I reasd that in my head all I see is pulling the valve core out and using a mini dipstick lololol (obviously that's ridiculous). 

 

Edited by Rip

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I got a 24" tannus for my trials bike, have tried it yet.

In my mtb I deflate the tyre when not in use to combat the compression of the foam but I can see the point about higher pressures reducing the effectiveness for trials. I'll try it out see how it goes but the rimpact looks like good value true tubeless setup.

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Are these Rimpact inserts supposed to be SUPER hard to get in? I got cable ties holding it and I still can't get it in. Wonder if I've been sent 20" inserts instead of 24"?

50601190697_0f443e4f22_b.jpg

 

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Well I got it in after an hour of wrestling with it. It made the tyre SUPER hard to get on though so God knows how I'll be able to remove it when needed. 

So, should the insert have been super hard to get in?

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it's been a while since I fitted mine but they did require some stretching if I remember correctly.

A good way of putting inserts on is the Cushcore method (I made a video but I'll try and explain anyway).

Essentially you put the insert on the rim before the tyre...it makes it a lot easier to get a hold and stretch it when there's no tyre in the way.

Next place the wheel inside the tyre (bead not in the rim).

Then choose one bead to work on and try and seat the tyre...a good technique is to use a little effort to get the tyre bead underneath the insert (sounds hard but when you find the technique it's actually not too bad). Work the one bead onto the rim...getting under the insert gets the bead into the rim well which gives a looser fit but you might still need a tyre leaver towards the end.

Then repeat the process on the other side.

I can't stress enough how much easier the process is if you get the tyre bead under the insert! I really struggled with my Cushcore the first time but eventually I could fit it by hand without tooo much issue, the Rimpact is easier than a Cushcore.

I hope that helps!

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1 minute ago, Ali C said:

it's been a while since I fitted mine but they did require some stretching if I remember correctly.

A good way of putting inserts on is the Cushcore method (I made a video but I'll try and explain anyway).

Essentially you put the insert on the rim before the tyre...it makes it a lot easier to get a hold and stretch it when there's no tyre in the way.

Next place the wheel inside the tyre (bead not in the rim).

Then choose one bead to work on and try and seat the tyre...a good technique is to use a little effort to get the tyre bead underneath the insert (sounds hard but when you find the technique it's actually not too bad). Work the one bead onto the rim...getting under the insert gets the bead into the rim well which gives a looser fit but you might still need a tyre leaver towards the end.

Then repeat the process on the other side.

I can't stress enough how much easier the process is if you get the tyre bead under the insert! I really struggled with my Cushcore the first time but eventually I could fit it by hand without tooo much issue, the Rimpact is easier than a Cushcore.

I hope that helps!

Good info thanks, I'll rewatch that video of yours then and try that method with the other wheel. 

I haven't put any sealant in yet but it is leaking very very slightly around the valve when I prod and manoeuvre the tyre with my hands, the valve o-ring cover is done up finger tight and I used Gorilla black tape on the rim with a small cross cut where the valve goes through. I assume once sealant is added it will take care of the slight leak?

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2 hours ago, Rip said:

Are these Rimpact inserts supposed to be SUPER hard to get in? I got cable ties holding it and I still can't get it in. Wonder if I've been sent 20" inserts instead of 24"?

50601190697_0f443e4f22_b.jpg

 

Mine were like this when I first fitted them, real pain in the ass, they seem to settle in over time. Had mine out since to change tyres and they were a breeze to fit. 

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Just now, Cap said:

Mine were like this when I first fitted them, real pain in the ass, they seem to settle in over time. Had mine out since to change tyres and they were a breeze to fit. 

Perfect, thanks! Still a little concerned about the slight leak around the valve but I'm hoping the sealant will sort it when I add it. 

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Right, just adding some more info/context to this since I am a returning forum user.

Recently got one of the last 2020 Hex's and straightaway found that the stock set up with tubes and Conti Racekings were super easy to squash through unless inflated to at least 40psi. Although the bike felt very light and responsive I knew I wanted to swap out the tyres with something with a bit more support on the sidewalls. Taking Ali's recommendation of the Crossmark II's I decided to go with that plus switching to tubeless with the Muc-Off kit. I also decided to get some Rimpact inserts but only fit to the rear. After a few calculations I worked out I wouldn't be adding much weight (if any). The proof would be in the pudding through.

After fitting the tyres and the insert on the rear - a struggle admittedly but I watched Ali's video on the Cushcore set up and got it that way. First ride - a bit of a disappointment I must say. The bike felt much heavier than stock and gone was the nippy, responsive feel. With the insert the bike felt so dead on the rear wheel, harder to gap etc. Next day that was ripped right out and tyre refitted, topped up with the remaining sealant. I then took a few hops to settle everything and get tyre pressures feeling right. 25-28psi front, 35-38psi rear. Perfect. Bike feels nice and responsive again (slightly heavier than stock but then again the tyres are slightly heavier to start with - although feel tougher and less likely to puncture, more material on the top and sides compared to the Race kings it seems - those Conti's are whippet tyres for sure - must be amazing on an XC bike they are intended for!)

I'm finding I don't rim out quite so much, maybe on sharp edges but overall feel is much more solid. So yeah the takeaway from this? Unless you are a bit of a basher then take inserts at the expense of potentially making your bike feeling rather wooden...

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One thing I possibly did wrong during the install that could be causing my leak around the valve, I left the original rim tape on the rim and put my Gorilla tape over it? The original rim tape looked like it would be a real pain to remove so I left it there. Ali there's a chance you might have built my wheel (2019 Fourplay Team) so you'll know what the original rim tape is like. I'll disassemble the whole thing today and remove that tape to see if that helps. 

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Shall I pull the old plastic rim tape off (will be pain to get off and clean up, and also once it's gone in the event of an emergency where I have to put a tube back in I won't have much protection from the spokes) in the hope that the valve seals without it? Or should I just add sealant and hope it seals?

Edited by Rip

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15 minutes ago, Rip said:

Shall I pull the old plastic rim tape off (will be pain to get off and clean up, and also once it's gone in the event of an emergency where I have to put a tube back in I won't have much protection from the spokes) in the hope that the valve seals without it? Or should I just add sealant and hope it seals?

Definitely remove the old rim strip. The gorilla tape needs to be stretched tightly onto a clean rim to ensure it sticks and creates a good seal. Pierce it at the valve hole with a round object (like a pick or tiny screwdriver, do not cut a slice or cross as it may split and expand as you put the valve in) and push the valve through. Pop sealant in and inflate and hey presto, hopefully you have a reliable tubeless setup :)

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6 minutes ago, onzatpro09 said:

Definitely remove the old rim strip. The gorilla tape needs to be stretched tightly onto a clean rim to ensure it sticks and creates a good seal. Pierce it at the valve hole with a round object (like a pick or tiny screwdriver, do not cut a slice or cross as it may split and expand as you put the valve in) and push the valve through. Pop sealant in and inflate and hey presto, hopefully you have a reliable tubeless setup :)

Thanks, will give that a go then. 

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