A Typical UST Tubeless Tire
by Joe Unden
I strongly suggest you go tubeless if you are riding in rock or through thorns or cactus. I prefer UST tubeless (which stands for Ultra Sidewall Technology).
I like tubeless for two main reasons.
1) I can run my tires between 20 and 25 psi without worrying about pinch flats (tubes get pinched between the tire and the rim when riding over sharp objects)
2) Punctures caused by thorns or cactus get sealed instantly.
Tires with UST have thicker sidewalls which help to prevent sidewall blowouts caused by jutting rocks or roots. I have also found UST tubeless tires tend to stay on my rims better than regular tubeless since the sidewall is much more stiff.
The drawbacks for tubeless are not being able to get them back on the rim while out on the trail (always carry a tube in case your tubeless comes off the bead). The only negative for the UST tires is the weight. UST tires are a little heavier than regular tubeless (since I am not into racing or setting any records I don’t mind a small amount of additional weight).
Conversion to Tubeless?
Bill, I am not sure if all rims can be converted to tubeless. I converted the rims on my old bike. I just bought two conversion kits and put them on my rims. The conversion kits consisted of a strip of rubber (which I stretched out to cover the spoke nipples) attached to an air valve (which I pushed through the rim and screwed down). Then I added the sealant (I used 4 ounces of Stans), and inflated with an air compressor. I rode that bike with the converted tubeless rims for several years.
I hope this helps out. Let me know how it goes.
P.S. Once you get the tires to pop onto the wheel you should ride the bike for a while. This spreads the sealant over all the possible places for leakage. If you don’t get a good seal, then just pump the tire up again and go riding.