For those of you keeping score at home, you know that I've been dabbling in trying tubeless tires for cx. You probably also know that I've previously had dismal success, swearing off the technology... Well, I have to admit that the tide seems to be changing and my luck with tubeless improving!
Today, I mounted up a set of Clement (now Donnelly Sports) MXP clinchers to my test set of H Plus Son The Hydra rims. To be fair, the tires are not the newest "tubeless compatible" version but a little birdie I know told me that I "unofficially had blessing to use them tubeless".,, So, mounted up and pump in hand, I pumped furiously!!! To no avail... Yup, not seating these without a compressor. Once I fired up the compressor, the tires mounted up just fine.
Of note to the racing set... Mounted on the 25mm wide H Plus Son rims, these tires will NOT pass the UCI 33mm width limit. Mine measured 36mm. Consider yourself forewarned, no crying when the friendly official tells you your tires don't pass!
The ride: So let's start by saying that this is the only tubeless(cx) tire thus far that has made it past ride one and will advance to ride two for me! Usually, my testing has ended with a cut tire, burped tire, cursing and a walk home from the trails... Not today! I started out 2 PSI higher than my usual tubular setting and headed toward my local park. Once there I noted how stiff and generally terrible the ride and cornering was. I grabbed my pressure gauge and quickly lowered my pressure to where I run my tubulars... MUCH better! After cruising a bit more, I decided to push my luck and head over to the MTB trails. When I arrived, I dropped the pressure a bit more (1.5 psi lower than my preferred tubular setting). Much to my surprise, these tires worked! No burps, no flats, decent cornering and an excellent ride. Are they tubulars, no. Are they close, absolutely. I'll check back with you all after a few more rides!