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> Walk-through: going tubeless with "tubeless-ready" tyres, no split BMX tubes required!
bobosola
post Apr 5 2010, 08:41 PM
Post #1


Group: Root Admin
Joined: 22-June 06
From: Locks Heath, Hampshire



It was Tennyson who said that in the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to going tubeless again, so here's another take on it - this time using Specialized 2-bliss tyres. So far as I know, only Bontrager and Spesh do "tubeless ready", but they are a good bet if you fancy going tubeless on regular (i.e. non-UST) rims without the usual 20" BMX tube and Stanley knife shenanigans which are required with regular tyres.

Step 1: apply rim tape as sold by JRA, Spesh and others. My rims (2010 Specialized DT Swiss X420SL) came with the blue Spesh tape already applied, which was handy:



Step 2: fit the tubeless valve and nip it up good and tight. Mine came free with my bike but are cheapie ones with a non-removable core. The JRA ones allow the core to be removed which can make life easier if you get clogging problems with the valve. I'll see how I get on with the freebie ones first before laying out more money.




Step 3: Optionally, slosh soapy water round the rims to help the initial seal. Some say this is a must, but it doesn't seem so necessary with tubeless-ready tyres? I sloshed some on during initial testing, but it had pretty much dried out by the time I was ready to pump for real.

Step 4: Blow up the tyre as a sanity check test. This is the potentially tricky bit if you don't have a compressor (I don't). Initially, it just wouldn't go up at all. I wrongly assumed this was because I had a tiny Presta hole and a dodgy old track pump. I tried the "hand pressed down over the valve area" trick - still nothing. But some experimentation soon revealed the master stroke: knee power! Flatten the tyre over the valve area with your knee as per the photo then pump like a loon. It went up in about 20 strokes.



Step 5: Assuming Step 4 went OK, deflate the tyre and apply the milk. Because my valve has a non-removable core, I had to pour the milk into the tyre using the handy JRA applicator. With a removable core, it's marginally easier to remove the core then pour the milk down the valve hole.



Step 6: Blow up the tyre for real this time using Knee Power (patent pending) as above.

Step 7: Go out and ride, you're done. You don't need to do all the dishing and wiggling stuff you see on various Youtube videos to seal pinholes or make a rim seal, because tubeless-ready don't have pinholes in the sidewalls or imperfections on the beads which need sealing. I took mine out for a quick local 10 miler to bed it all in and check it out - it was all good.

Tubeless Nirvana for the summer!


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payneib
post Apr 6 2010, 05:30 AM
Post #2


Group: Members
Joined: 3-January 09
From: Driffield, East Yorkshire.



can i just chuck my 2p in?

i recently did my wheels (DT Swiss E530, and '09 420SL's, funnily enough, it's all stumpy orientated aswell, lol!!) it's just about step 4 ("test" inflation).

When i did mine i used CO2 cartridges to get the rapid inflation thing on the go and test inflating just semed to be a complete waste, and after the first one i just didn't bother (did four wheels). i think if you just check that you've got the tyre on the rim properly then there's no need to "test" inflate, especially if you actually know how to use your inflation method and know that it's fast enough to get a good seel quick enough.

just my 2p!

good walk through though.

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Gezzza
post Apr 6 2010, 09:07 AM
Post #3


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Joined: 26-August 08
From: Hampshire



QUOTE(payneib @ Apr 6 2010, 06:30 AM) *
can i just chuck my 2p in?

i recently did my wheels (DT Swiss E530, and '09 420SL's, funnily enough, it's all stumpy orientated aswell, lol!!) it's just about step 4 ("test" inflation).

When i did mine i used CO2 cartridges to get the rapid inflation thing on the go and test inflating just semed to be a complete waste, and after the first one i just didn't bother (did four wheels). i think if you just check that you've got the tyre on the rim properly then there's no need to "test" inflate, especially if you actually know how to use your inflation method and know that it's fast enough to get a good seel quick enough.

just my 2p!

good walk through though.



The problem with CO2 is that it destroys the sealent and you need to replace it with air.

Also you do need to test inflate some tires try doing some SS or RK supersonics on a 355 rim even with CO2.

BOB reading through good guide but i would avoid nipping up the valve tight as you can cause the rubber to split causing an air leak, snug so that it wont move is good enough
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payneib
post Apr 6 2010, 09:24 AM
Post #4


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Joined: 3-January 09
From: Driffield, East Yorkshire.



I've found with mine that seepage is quite significant with a tubeless setup, the bike that gets ridden to work every day needs a top up of air every fortnight/3 weeks, and the bike that only gets ridden once or twice a week needs a top nearly every time i use it, so the CO2 hasn't stayed in there long. i guess it's cause when the bikes sat for a while, the sealent isn't splash covering the inside of the tyre constantly.
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Kerr
post Apr 6 2010, 09:31 AM
Post #5


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Joined: 6-April 09
From: Somewhere near swinley forest



QUOTE(Gezzza @ Apr 6 2010, 10:07 AM) *
The problem with CO2 is that it destroys the sealent and you need to replace it with air.

Also you do need to test inflate some tires try doing some SS or RK supersonics on a 355 rim even with CO2.

BOB reading through good guide but i would avoid nipping up the valve tight as you can cause the rubber to split causing an air leak, snug so that it wont move is good enough


Woah! I was thinking what a load of old tosh... Co2 corrosive? BUT your are 100% right. Its massive problem in the oil industry. The co2 turns to carbonic acid on contact with the water in the sealent and eats its way through anything...

CO2 + H2O => H2CO3 (Carbonic Acid)

Here's a pic from a oil pipe that has been eaten by co2 ...



Kerr
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Gezzza
post Apr 6 2010, 09:44 AM
Post #6


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Joined: 26-August 08
From: Hampshire



QUOTE(Kerr @ Apr 6 2010, 10:31 AM) *
Woah! I was thinking what a load of old tosh... Co2 corrosive? BUT your are 100% right. Its massive problem in the oil industry. The co2 turns to carbonic acid on contact with the water in the sealent and eats its way through anything...

CO2 + H2O => H2CO3 (Carbonic Acid)

Here's a pic from a oil pipe that has been eaten by co2 ...



Kerr



Surprising isn't it

i will only use CO2 to get a tubeless tire seated and in a race, once I'm done its deflated and filled up with the good stuff the old fashioned way.

Also CO2 Coagulate's the sealant making it next to useless
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payneib
post Apr 6 2010, 10:17 AM
Post #7


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Joined: 3-January 09
From: Driffield, East Yorkshire.



well i've had no snags so far (other than the seepage, is that normal?!) and the sealant is deffinatley still liguid, you can hear it sloshing about and see the spray from larger punctures (such a nice feeling when they just seal themselves!!). Think i'll buy myself a compressor when it comes to sealant top up time in september!
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Gezzza
post Apr 6 2010, 10:30 AM
Post #8


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Joined: 26-August 08
From: Hampshire



QUOTE(payneib @ Apr 6 2010, 11:17 AM) *
well I've had no snags so far (other than the seepage, is that normal?!) and the sealant is deffinatley still liguid, you can hear it sloshing about and see the spray from larger punctures (such a nice feeling when they just seal themselves!!). Think i'll buy myself a compressor when it comes to sealant top up time in september!


Seepage means that your tires are not sealed, my raceking supersonics don't have any seepage and they were like a sponge to start with.
it did take weeks for them to seal 100% they gained 30g in weight as well. and i use 20ml of sealant in them now they are sealed with no problems.
I would advise you check the sealant every few months just to make sure its there when you need it.
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lucien
post Apr 6 2010, 11:57 AM
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Joined: 12-May 09
From: Southampton



Here's my 2p worth and another 2p probably - is that 4p's worth?

I've used the blue rim tape and both Specialized 2bliss tyres and non-specialised UST tyres and can report that both work fine (Mountain Kings, Race Kings and Kenda Kharma's)

I would also add that the yellow rim strip (Stan's) works as a reliable replacement for the blue Specialized rim strips when going tubeless.

Also, that with both the yellow and blue rim strips I have broken spokes whilst riding and on both occasions it punctured the quite brittle rim strips to the extent that the tyre wouldn't inflate and hold any pressure so ended up putting a tube in to get home and as a result use the Stans rubber rim strip thingy wotsit on these wheels and it works a treat.

Finally, the other advantage with the Stans that I didn't get with the Specialized vales was the removable core so that when I want to top up sealant I can do this without breaking the seal around the tyre and rim and therefore no inflation or re-inflation issues.

Agreed on the CO2, never use it any more to inflate a tyre when fitting at home.

That's it I think.... rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif
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Gareth
post Apr 6 2010, 02:45 PM
Post #10


Group: Root Admin
Joined: 28-July 04



And now my 3p worth (Inflation is a terrible thing) we gave up running taped rims the old Stan's way because of incompatability with many tyres (even different production runs of the same tyre varied) and burping. Now we have tubeless ready tyres the game may well be back on. What I like about Ghetto, and there's a lot, is that the rim strip adheres slightly to the tyre helping to prevent burping. So what I'm saying here is keep your tyre pressure up.

If your sealed tyre is leaking over time it's often a poor seal at the valve or at one place on the rim. These can be spotted out by submerging the tyre and rim under water like looking for a slow puncture in a conventional inner tube. I fill up an old toolbox with water to detect the leak then slop sealant on to the leak by tipping/shaking. I honestly think this is worth doing just for reassurance with every tubeless setup but most wouldn't bother. Ghetto conversions don't leak at the 'valve seat' which is another one of those things i like so much... innocent.gif


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Chris M
post Apr 7 2010, 11:40 AM
Post #11


Group: Members
Joined: 18-March 07
From: Kent



Nice write-up, thanks for posting it smile.gif

It does look a lot more straightforward than a Ghetto, but I do take on Gareths points above.

I've had some wheels/tyres go ridiculously easily with Ghetto, and others that I've given up on.
For those that work, I think it's an amazing system. Since converting my hardtail I haven't had a aingle problem, no punctures, no burping, nothing.

The front tyre (Swampthing) needs a little air occasionally but the rear High Roller (UST) doesn't ever even need that.
For my local riding, which involves lots of flints, brambles and thorns, I wouldn't ever consider going back to tubes.

Cheers,

Chris smile.gif


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lucien
post Apr 7 2010, 12:20 PM
Post #12


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Joined: 12-May 09
From: Southampton



Agree with Chris M - once you try tubeless in it's various forms, it's hard to imagine going back. Not sure if I've punctured or not with Tubeless, as I've simply carried on riding. It's only when I've changed tyres and seen the glob of sealant that I've thought "ooh, I must have punctured sometime"

It gives me much more time to concentrate on falling off and crashing instead!
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Tony F
post May 6 2010, 01:12 PM
Post #13


Group: Members
Joined: 16-November 04
From: West Lancs



My early experience with with Ghetto tubeless was - erm - patchy. But the bike I sold last week had been untouched in the shed for eight months, and there was NO evidence of seepage whatsoever. For the record: 3 year old DT Swiss 420? rims, (stock Stumpy); Bonty Big Earl tubeless-ready tyres; ghetto tubeless.


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Q: How does he stay upright at that speed?
A: He doesn't. Well not always. And the consequences have been horrendous!
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