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Review - Stan's Tubeless System  page 1

The lightest, cheapest and most puncture free tyre system? 
$25 (plus tax and postage to UK) that's for front and rear wheels.

Star Rating  

Test front wheel, set up with Stan's tubeless system - before one huge ride.

This is definitely one of those products that owners can get a bit evangelical about. It really does seem too good to be true. It costs next to nothing, slices weight from your wheels and promises to rid you of most of your punctures. Like the consumer advice people say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, too good to be true. The system does have its down sides though, and we're going to make sure you know all of them if you read on.

How the system works
The first thing you get when the kit arrives is a sense of disappointment. It didn't cost much but still, is this all it is? A bottle of creamy gloop, two valve stems with rubber bung bottoms, two different rolls of tape and an instruction booklet? It certainly doesn't look like a major technological breakthrough. Get over it though. This is one product that really does do exactly what it says on the tin (I mean website).

A simple Presta valve stem with integral rubber seal

Setting up a wheel with Stan's
The first stage is to very thoroughly de-grease the rim. I used meths, but you could use brake-clean or thinners like the booklet says. Next you have to sand the rim to smooth off any sharp edges around the inner spoke holes and valve stem opening. Finally a last wipe round with meths the inside of the rim smooth and squeaky clean. The tape goes on next, one wrap of thin glass fibre tape then a single wrap of black electrical tape. The last stage of preparing the rim is to perforate the valve opening from the inside with a Philips No. 2 screwdriver, then use a round file to very carefully file the edges of the opening to show a narrow circle of the bare alloy.

Inflating
To help seat the tape properly it's a good idea to pop an inner tube in at this point and pump it up hard inside the tyre of your choice. This also gives shape to the tyre because new folding tyres unpack a bit crumpled and crimped. Half an hour like this then whip out the tube and pop down to your local garage. It's imperative to use a high pressure line to inflate the tyre with this system. The valve stem rubber bung is dipped in the undiluted sealant then fixed firmly in to the rim with the knurled nut. Around 60 grams of the solution (mixed as per instruction) are poured inside the tyre carcass with just one bead off the rim. Then pop the bead on and liberally apply a strong solution of washing-up liquid to both beads. Finally the moment of truth arrives. With the wheel held vertically valve stem at the top, depress that trigger and strike the tread of the tyre above the valve stem. Mine didn't need the tap and inflated miraculously like there'd really been a tube inside there all along! There was no hiss of escaping air. There was no sealant squirting me, my bike and innocent passers-by. Crikey I thought (being very well brought up) it's actually worked first time. I used a small brass adaptor screwed to the supplied Presta valve stem to convert it to Schraeder for the car type air line. These can be bought quite cheaply. Using one of these does mean that the air line will not show the pressure in the tyre. This is because the air line nozzle would normally depress the Schraeder valve pin to allow air to pressurise the dial. With the extension adaptor in place this doesn't happen and you will need to check pressure in the tyre with your thumb. >
  Page 2

Tubeless Tyres ...the different systems explained

After the ride - no air lost and it rides way fast!

Page 2

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