29er Conti Mtn Kings -> Tubeless

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
Hello all,

There has been talk of trying the 29er Continental Mountain Kings in a tubeless configuration. There are places on the 'net that say they'll work tubeless just fine, but somebody in MTBNJ-land has to be the guinea pig. I guess that is me.

I'm heading out of town for a few days so I thought now would be a good time to make 'em tubeless. Don't have to worry about a ride tomorrow if something doesn't work and I'll be able to see how well they hold air over the four days I'm gone.

I have C29SSMAX wheels and 2.4 Mtn Kings. The mechanics to convert these things to tubeless is pretty straight forward: remove the tube, install the Mavic tubeless stem, throw in some Stans and air it up.

The bead on these things is very tight, so the biggest bitch was getting the tube out. Everything else is easy-peesy. I put in a cup-and-a-half of Stans (about 3 oz). I used to put 2 oz in my 26er USTs, so I thought I'd throw in more than that with the 29er 2.4s; 3 oz was arbitrary.

As with many tubeless applications a floor pump wasn't enough to get the bead to seat, so out to the garage and my trusty compressor I went. Absolutely no issue getting the bead to pop into place.

The rear tire was completely uneventful. I sloshed the Stans around and it appeared that everything sealed up very nicely.

The front is a different story, however. There were three pin-hole leaks in the side of the tire...all within a few inches of each other. Dunno' if it is ride damage or that way from the factory. At any rate, I sloshed the Stans to there and the leaks stopped. So far so good....

After dinner, I became too impatient :)D), so I decided to fill the tub in the basement's bathroom and see how they were doing...

The phrase "not great", comes to mind.

Both wheels had a lot of leakage from the bead area (especially the front). There was also a fair amount of "micro-bubbles" coming from many "micro-holes" in the side walls :hmmm:

So I decided to pop the beads, clean them, and apply an extra-liberal amount of soapy water. I also added more Stans to the rear as I managed to spill a little...

After re-seating, I took each one back to the tub. The beads now seemed pretty good. For the "micro-holes", I engaged in an effort of targeted Stans sloshing. I think I got most of 'em. Set both at 40 psi and now we'll see what happens.

As far as the beads, I fear that I didn't use enough soapy water the first time to let them seat well. I was pretty stingy w/it, to be honest. After all, with my old 819/Panaracer XC Fire USTs, I barely used any (if at all).

I also figure that had I ridden the bike around a bit, I wouldn't of had to do the "targeted sloshing". It probably would've taken care of itself.

That is it for this installment. When I get home on Thursday, I'll see how well they held air and report out. If all is well, I'll probably run 'em at 35 psi, then drop to 30 psi this weekend.

Stay tuned...
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
Me too!

I'm looking forward to hearing about this experiment as well, as I'm thinking of trying something beefier for the winter, at least on the front. Thanks for the info!
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
on the edge of my seat.......:rolleyes:


you're really digging the conti kings, huh?

As a front tire, for sure. They work well on the rear, but 'sure do wear quick. And contrary to many reviews, I don't think they work well on loose/gravely sh!t...everywhere else is good.

And I have to love a tire that managed to not splatter bear sh!t all over me when I didn't see it on the trail among the leaves. I don't know *why* it didn't, 'cause it sure splatters the mud. But in this matter, I'm gonna' take the "why, ask why" position and be happy. However, the new Reba, SIR9, and my FSA cranks were not so fortunate :(
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
Quick Update

They held air over night. One *may* have lost 1 psi..tough to tell with my gauge.
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
Just joined this experiment's wagon...Post ride on some nasty stuff with some 6 ft drops would be nice;)
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
As a front tire, for sure. They work well on the rear, but 'sure do wear quick. And contrary to many reviews, I don't think they work well on loose/gravely sh!t...everywhere else is good.

What tire is good on loose gravel? I just switched my front from the Python to the Mountain King. In everything it hooks up better. But consider what I'm comparing it to.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I just don't buy it Spence. Gravel is gravel. If your tires are made out of glue, the gravel will stick to them and then wash out on top of the other gravel. Some tires may catch back on better than others, but all tires have problems in gravel.
 

HumanVise

Member
What tire is good on loose gravel? I just switched my front from the Python to the Mountain King. In everything it hooks up better. But consider what I'm comparing it to.

I just switched to WTB Prowler MX 2.1's, with the rear running reverse direction. I am extremely pleased with these. I'm running them tubeless, at 25psi and these things motor up and down everything as long as I do my part. They seem pretty good on all the sections of crushed stone and loose stuff I've encountered.

I was at Mahlon yesterday, holy crap there are a ton of leaves. In sections you can't even see the trail. I literally didn't lose traction at all with these tires. I switched from Fast Trak rear and Captain up front, I was always spinning the rear on tough climbs with the FT.

BTW, look out for copious amounts of Horse Poop at Mahlon, there was some kind of Orienteering contest there yesterday with about 50 horses. I only hit one pile and thankfully the tires didn't really spray me with poop.

Here's a pic from Cascade yesterday which shows the leaves. I hit that trail in both directions on the ride, and I have to say it's easier clockwise. There may be more climbing that way, but all the rock gardens seemed much easier, just my .02.
 

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Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
I just don't buy it Spence. Gravel is gravel. If your tires are made out of glue, the gravel will stick to them and then wash out on top of the other gravel. Some tires may catch back on better than others, but all tires have problems in gravel.

Hi from Newark airport...

I agree that all tires have issues in gravel. However, everything is relative. The XC Fire Pros on the 'Spot and the Rampage on the Rig seemed to work better in the gravel. It is not that the Mtn Kings are horrific in this regard...'just noticably different than other things I've ran. They do seem to slide a little more before they "catch".
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
I just don't buy it Spence. Gravel is gravel. If your tires are made out of glue, the gravel will stick to them and then wash out on top of the other gravel. Some tires may catch back on better than others, but all tires have problems in gravel.

You did ask "GOOD" in gravel not "GREAT" in gravel;)...Nah, I agree loose gravel is tough and pretty much any tire will have it's trouble...
 

TonyC

Active Member
I switched from Fast Trak rear and Captain up front, I was always spinning the rear on tough climbs with the FT.

I really enjoyed the FT f/r all summer.
Due to the change in season I switched to a Rampage F and Ignitor R.
I love how the Rampage grips in turns, but it's a bit slow for my tastes.
How ever I loved the Ignitor until it flatted.. I'm blaming the tube not the tire.

I'd like to try an Ardent up front or Mt King 2.2
 

The Kalmyk

Well-Known Member
I would like to see a 2.4 offering of the Ardent...Fred sed he has not a complaint about them and he runs them tubeless
 

HumanVise

Member
I really enjoyed the FT f/r all summer.
Due to the change in season I switched to a Rampage F and Ignitor R.
I love how the Rampage grips in turns, but it's a bit slow for my tastes.
How ever I loved the Ignitor until it flatted.. I'm blaming the tube not the tire.

I'd like to try an Ardent up front or Mt King 2.2

FT was a good fast all-around tire, just lacking in some of the areas I find myself riding. They seemed to lose traction when things were both bumpy and steep climbing and not real awe-inspiring on descents while the Prowlers seem to keep biting all the way. I wanted to try some Ignitors as well, they remind me of an all-time favorite the Vertical-pro. I used to be a tire junkie, but I've been trying not to overindulge. Mt King's are definitely on my list to try at some point, right now I'm just real impressed with the Prowlers. With me, I always hate to add a lot of weight, so that limits the choices a bit.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Well as long as you don't leave your garage, you should be all set!

I think Steve once rode exclusively in his garage...
 
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