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Tubeless front tire?

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I bought my pig used and it has a tubeless street tire on the front and a knobby tube tire on the rear. I ride 50% street and 50% gravel/offroad. 

 

My questions are:

 

1. Am I looking for trouble with this tube/tubeless setup?

2. Are there any advantages to running a tubeless street tire on the front? Or will it be eaten alive by gravel?

3. Should I change both to tube tires, probably the Dunlop D606 that I've heard recommended many times?

4. Would you recommend putting a tire sealant in the tire beforehand? Something like http://www.ride-on.com/tire-sealant-2.html

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What kind of rim is on the front?

 

There is no way you can inflate a tire on the stock front rim without a tube in there.

 

Any chance it's a tubeless-type tire with a tube inside of it?

 

Tell us what brand and size the tire is, and maybe a photo of the front wheel, if it's not the stock 21" spoked front wheel.

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Pics attached. It's a Dunlop TrailMax TR91. Definitely says "TUBELESS" but how would I know if it has a tube in it (short of dismounting the tire)? 

 

I included a pic of the stamping on the rim. Is it the stock Honda rim? I just really need to know if I'm safe to drive my pig in this configuration, on-road and off.

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Pics attached. It's a Dunlop TrailMax TR91. Definitely says "TUBELESS" but how would I know if it has a tube in it (short of dismounting the tire)?

It has a tube in it.  I can tell by looking at the rim and at the valve.

 

The tire is designed to work as a tubeless tire if you have a tubeless rim to mount it on.  Otherwise a tube is needed for it to hold air.

 

if you want to verify, let all of the air out and push the valve in half an inch.  You can't do that with an actual tubeless rim with no tube inside of it.

 

 

I would suggest that you stop obsessing about whether the tire is designed for tubeless use and find the one with the tread pattern and behavior that you want.

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Will do. Thanks for the confirmation.

 

I don't know yet what I really want to do. I have a lot of forest roads around me and have been riding those for now until I get more confident in my abilities and the reliability of the bike (since I bought it used). Am I'm ok riding on gravel with the occasional washout and pothole since it has a tube in it?

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Tubes in tires have been around for ever, they just work. Don't air down too low or you can get a pinched flat.

If you have a knobby up front you will have really good control in the loose stuff, even if you have a not so aggressive tire in the back. The front won't feel so washy which really gives you confidence off road. However this could be the complete opposite on the street.

The Pirelli MT21 is a great tire to look into as well.

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Thanks for the recommendation, craftsman13. I looked at the Pirelli MT21 and it says 90% off/10% on-road and right now I'm looking at a 50/50 split. Not sure if gravel forest roads count as on or off road though and that is where I'm spending most of my time right now. I don't want to go off into the boonies until I'm comfortable with my abilities and the bike or I find someone to ride with.

 

I'll probably keep the TrailMax TR91 up front for now and replace the rear (I think it's still the stocker) with a Dunlop D606 when it's time.

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As soon as that street tire dumps you on your ass in a dirt driveway you won't care what tube/tubeless situation it has going on inside. And it does have a tube in it now. I would remove that tire immediately to preempt the damage it will cause otherwise. It's a bad option for a novice. Get a good dual sport tire as recommended above.

Edited by valvesrule

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I appreciate the concern and I probably won't go with it when it's time to replace, but for now I think it serves my purpose. It's advertised as a on/off road tire and now that I'm aware of the limitations (soft dirt, mud, etc.), I'll be extra careful if I encounter any of those. I don't do any serious offroading yet, mostly just gravel forest roads and asphalt to get to them. Plus I'd much rather dump it in the dirt at slower speeds than dump it at 55mph on a hard road!

 

I've been looking into the rim locks as recommended above and unless I'm missing something, I don't "need" them since I'm not running low pressure in my tires. Some people have said they have a hard time balancing the wheel with them on too and they cause more harm than good. Is there any other reason I might need them? I don't think they'd save me if I have a blowout at 55mph, will they?

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Find a flat and open dirt area and practice skidding and spinning doughnuts.  Put on good riding boots and pads, because you will go down several times.

 

Not having rim locks can leave you stranded.  They cost all of $8 each and can be balanced during normal wheel balancing.  There's no good reason not to.

 

If you're near Philly I'll show you how to change tires and install the rim locks.

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I appreciate the offer but I'm in Gettysburg, a good ways from Philly.

 

So the rim locks, they basically are for keeping the tire on the wheel while running low pressure or if they go flat, right? Humor me on this, why couldn't I forgo the rim locks (and the balancing issues that might come with it) and use duct tape or wire to secure the tire to the wheel if I have a flat? Just enough to get back to civilization?

 

It's not the cost or even the pain of putting the rim locks on, it's the potential balancing problems I've heard about. With that said, I probably will get them when I replace my tires, just trying to understand the pros and cons now.

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Humor me on this, why couldn't I forgo the rim locks (and the balancing issues that might come with it) and use duct tape or wire to secure the tire to the wheel if I have a flat? Just enough to get back to civilization?.

I've heard of people using half a dozen sheet metal screws on each side to get the same effect, with small holes drilled into the rims.  That's got to be easier to balance.

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As soon as that street tire dumps you on your ass in a dirt driveway you won't care what tube/tubeless situation it has going on inside. And it does have a tube in it now. I would remove that tire immediately to preempt the damage it will cause otherwise. It's a bad option for a novice. Get a good dual sport tire as recommended above.

Update on the Trailmax tire now that I have a couple hundred more miles under my belt. You are correct, that tire is bad news in anything soft. Just went out this weekend on some forest roads and if there was even a hint of mud the damn thing tried to dump me. I never went down but I'm a big dude and it took everything I had to muscle the pig and keep her upright. Freshly graveled roads with more than about an inch were just as bad as mud. Lesson learned and time to go tire shopping!

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I put those Trailmax TR91's on my KLR that is used pretty much all street(with an occational romp down a dry backroad) I like them for that. I can't see them being good offroad especially on the front.  my Pirelli MT Scorpions are nice on my XL front. Otherwise IRC GP110's for a good balance of offroad and street, I have a set on one of my XT's and they are doing good.

 

For the front I don't see a big reason for the rim locks for the mild riding your doing, I don't have them in all my bikes. The back tire I always will. If your doing a lot of offroading and messing about, the front is a good insurance also.

Edited by jjktmrider

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The MT21 and D606 is an interesting mix. The MT21 is hard to beat on the front, but is not great on the rear. The D606 front is lousy, but the rear D606 is a good choice.

80-90 percent of my miles are on the road, but I steer toward more dirt oriented tires as street friendly tires will get you hurt FAST once the pavement disappears. Knobs on the street are totally manageable so I opt for knobs.

IMG_20131111_154855_940_zps89c60989.jpg

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Knobbies are terrible on the street. Street tires will work offroad and last a whole lot longer.

If rim locks and low pressure aren't being used for offroad tires, they are just there for mental comfort.

Sjaak The World baby!

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