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 Post subject: Semi-Ghetto Tubleless
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:22 am 
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big hucker
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My first tubeless experiment was back in April, 2011. I had previously purchased some 2.5" UST tires on sale with the intention on going tubeless someday. I finally decided no day is better than today.

I wanted to use UST tires because I didn't feel like worrying about sidewall damage (thin sidewalls on non-UST) or have to mess with split-tube setup because the bead might not seat right.

At the time I had Bontrager Maverick rims that were previously drilled out for schraeder valves.

These rims seem to have a fairly good lip and I was hoping it would be good enough for the tire bead to seat well.

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I removed the old tires (Kenda Smoke Style 2.1") and the rim strips.

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Using some Goof Off on a cloth, I cleaned off the adhesive from the rim strips. I then washed them with soapy water, rinsed them well and sat them off to the side to dry overnight.

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For stems, I grabbed two Continental inner tubes and cut out the valves. The Continental schraeders are threaded on the outside like prestas. I've read that Schwalbe makes the same type of valve stem.

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Here's a pic of the Geax Barro Mountain 2.5" UST tires I was going to use.

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I took a roll of 1" wide Gorilla Tape and carefully laid it into the rim. I started about 3" before the valve stem hole and finished about 3" after it. One layer. I went back over it several times carefully pressing the tape into place. It came up the side of the rim almost to the lip.

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I then used a razor to score the tape and remove any tape from the rim. I wanted the tire bead to make contact with the rim, not the tape.

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I cleaned the residue from where I removed the tape.

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Cut an X over the valve stem hole.

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Put a little Slime on the base of the valve stem and mount it on the rim. I just pressed it into place (really hard) and threaded on the nut finger tight.

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Squirted a little extra Slime around the base of the valve. I figured if I'm going to have a leak anywhere, it's probably here...

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BTW, this is the Slime I used (Slime for Tubeless Tires).

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Mount the tire and sprayed the bead down with some soapy water.

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Hit it with the air compressor, and viola!

A beautifully aired tubeless tire. No hissing, no nothing. I start to think I actually know what I'm doing here...

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Repeat the process carefully with the rear tire and, oh no! Didn't work out like I thought it would. Leaks like a sieve...

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Investigation revealed the rear tire had some Gorilla Tape thread between the tire bead and the rim wall. I cleaned this stuff out and double checked both sides of the rear tire. Soapy water again and air compressor. It puffed right up nicely.

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While wandering the automotive section of WalMart, I noticed this plastic syringe used for mixing oil and gas. I figured it would work well for adding tire sealant and at only three bucks I grabbed one. It has a 2oz capacity.

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I connected to my bottle of Slime and held the slime bottle in the air. I gently squeezed while drawing back the syringe plunger and filled it with slime.

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I then removed the valve stems and added a total of 3 - 3 1/2 oz of slime to each tire. I added it with the valve at the 12:00 position so the slime would run all over the valve and down the rim (as opposed to the outside of the tire. I figured it couldn't hurt to have the added layer around the rim and it will eventually work itself to the outside of the tire anyway.

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Re-inserted the valve stems and inflated the tires back to 50psi (for now). Checked them with the soapy water and found no leaks. Spun them around a few times and walked away.

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Using this setup worked great for well over a year. The slime for tubeless tires sealed almost all of the punctures (and I had quite a few) without issue.

When I later changed tires, I replaced the gorilla tape with Stan's yellow tape and was just as successful. Since then I've gone semi-ghetto with two other wheelsets (DT Swiss 4.2d rims and Spinergy Xyclone rims) using Stan's tape, Stan's valves, and UST tires.

I've also switched to a homebrew sealant that I feel works even better than the Slime alone. But, I'll start a different thread for that. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:46 am 
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yappin' kitty
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I used the same method on my WTB Speed Disc AM rims. The speed discs hold the bead like a BOSS. I think they have one of the best Rim profiles in the Biz.
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I am running Maxxis ignitors which I don't think are considered "tubeless". The rims use WTBs international bead seat design which as I stated before is bomb proof. I used standard Stan's for sealant. I have not removed the Gorilla tape yet, but have heard it can be a pain in the tookus. Luckily I love to spend time with my bike and neglect my wife.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:56 am 
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big hucker
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I'm starting to think UST rims are a sham. ;)

I'll give you a hint if you ever decide to remove the gorilla tape. Warm it with a hairdryer first. It comes off much easier. And, if there's any residue left then just spray it with goof-off or wd-40 and use an old toothbrush to get the remaining adhesive off. Of course you'll need to wash it well after that.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:16 am 
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grumpeh kitty!
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I've done the gorilla tape method on a few different rims with non-tubeless tires. I skip the soapy water prior to airing up; instead, I paint my homebrew sealant along the bead and then air up to about 40 psi. After a couple passes of shaking to spread the sealant around, I make a pass with a soapy rag along the wheel/tire interface and look for bubbles, but usually don't see any.

A couple things I've learned:

1. Wire bead tires will air up with a compressor but it takes a much more intense blast of air compared to a folding tire. I've had to charge up my tank to 120 psi to get my WTB Exiwolfs to mount.

2. When installing a new folding tire, prior to putting in the valve stem, install the tire onto the rim with a tube and set it in the sun for a while.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:32 am 
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big hucker
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^^^ Great info, thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:40 am 
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lil' hucker
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A yes, they joy of semi-ghetto. :lol:

Did you pick up your mess mister? :P


Good write up Marp and good points Random walk.

Long story short my previous tires had a problem being set up tubeless so we went the same route as you. After a nightmare in dealing with them all summer *which you Marp know about*. It hit me like a dumb ass I have TLR rims so lets order the strip for them. Put them on *make sure there in the right direction, even though there not labled* and, put on a S-works front, Control rear. They held air for a week with no sealant. Went down to the gas station, pour my Stan's in them and they sealed right up.

TLR strips can only be used on TLR approved rims. So, this dick once said. :roll: :D


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:55 am 
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lil' hucker
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Ah, forgot to add. Did you let them lay on the sides for a little bit before just putting them on? I'm sure you did but if you didn't I would recommend it as it will help seal up any micro holes in the sidewall. I know it's a UST tire but isn't going to hurt it.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:12 pm 
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big hucker
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Lol, yes I remember your frustration with it. And, I know exactly who you're talking about. ;)

I didn't lay these on the side because the sidewalls are stupid thick on this set of UST tires. And, I later learned that Slime does not do a good job at sealing sidewalls. When I ran tubless ready tires (I forget which model of Specialized) I used my latex based homebrew instead and it did seal the sidewalls. I could see the sidewalls weeping sealant for a few days. I'd shake and lay it on the side and flip it over a few hours later. Rinse and repeat until it quit weeping.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:58 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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Marp, this looks like something I could actually accomplish, BUT, I am wondering what you perceive the benefits to be versus a tubed/slimed tire? Thanks for the instructions and the great pics.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:19 pm 
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revolting kitty
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^less weight, lower pressures when necessary.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:26 pm 
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big hucker
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You're welcome, Bill. Like Wmac says I can run a bit lower pressure and I never have flats these days. I typically run about 28psi front and 30psi rear (no worries about pinch flats). And, I bet I could go out and look at my tires right now and find 3-5 thorns in each. :)

Best part is if you don't like it just remove the valves and return to using tires. The tape will act as a rim strip. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:40 pm 
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grumpeh kitty!
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I run my front tire (Ardent 2.4) in the low 20 psi range. This gives me an additional 1/4" of travel which is luxurious with a rigid fork :thumbup:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:03 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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Hmm, okay, then. Might have to give some more thought to this. I can hardly resist any project with the word "ghetto" in it.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:40 am 
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yappin' kitty
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Paul_C wrote:
I used the same method on my WTB Speed Disc AM rims. The speed discs hold the bead like a BOSS. I think they have one of the best Rim profiles in the Biz.
Image

I am running Maxxis ignitors which I don't think are considered "tubeless". The rims use WTBs international bead seat design which as I stated before is bomb proof. I used standard Stan's for sealant. I have not removed the Gorilla tape yet, but have heard it can be a pain in the tookus. Luckily I love to spend time with my bike and neglect my wife.

Just noticed today that my rims have a profile like this too. I agree that they do a good job of holding onto the bead. When i deflate the tires, I have to peel them off the bead.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:35 am 
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yappin' kitty
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Bill in Houston wrote:
Hmm, okay, then. Might have to give some more thought to this. I can hardly resist any project with the word "ghetto" in it.


I believe that if you are using a split tube then it is ghetto. If you are using gorilla Tape then it is considered "geurilla" method. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:12 pm 
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pussy
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Quick Q: gentlemen - I am doing this for the first time today. With some improvisation (no air compressor here) I managed to get the beads to pop (wow it was like a gunshot) but I have a pretty bad air leak around the valve. I guess the valve I cut off of an old tube is not a great fit for the application, the rubber forms a lip around the base that prevents the rest of the tube to seat properly. I assume I need to get me a real tubeless valve before I can continue, or is there a hope that sealant would plug the leak?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:28 pm 
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big hucker
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Near the end of my schrader tubeless, I had one stem that had a persistent leak. I removed the stem and cleaned the area, put down a small amount of latex caulk, reinserted the stem (tightened it down really well) and let it dry overnight. The next day I did everything else as normal and no more leaks.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:47 pm 
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lil' hucker

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marpilli, great post. I saved almost a pound going tubeless. I never thought I would have noticed the rolling weight difference, but my bike rolled faster.
btw, I run a standard nevegal dtc folding tire.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:52 pm 
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grumpeh kitty!
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I use the cutout valve stems and haven't had any problems of air leaking out near the stem, after shaking the sealant around inside at least once.

I do something that I don't see mentioned in Marp's instructions above. After inserting the valve stem -- I don't apply sealant or caulk around it -- I install another strip of "guerrilla" tape over the valve, extending about 2-1/2 spokes on either side from it. Trim excess tape away from the bead rim as before, and cut another "X" in the tape over the valve hole.

Next time I'm going to install the valve stems with a small caulk bead. Maybe I can eliminate the extra tape strips.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:46 am 
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pussy
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I'll make a trip to a LBS near work tomorrow to see if they have anything I could use before I add sealant.

Anyone tried this with a MTB wheel, redneck style? :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:58 am 
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big hucker
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You gotta be quick with the bigger tires. ;) As soon as the air cools the bead could pop back off the rim.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:02 am 
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pussy
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Be quick or be dead... Anyone knows of a good fireproof rim tape? :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:59 am 
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revolting kitty
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Wow, neat!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:20 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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I don't have a compressor, so I better buy a can of ether. Or put a schrader adapter on my propane tank.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:48 pm 
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lil' hucker
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Bill in Houston wrote:
I don't have a compressor, so I better buy a can of ether. Or put a schrader adapter on my propane tank.


You could just get a schrader adapter which is like 1$ then drive to your gas station where you get free air. Invert the tire so the valve is facing down and hang it where the hose goes. Push down on the top of the tire over the stem and it should inflate perfect. I would know because I've done it that way. Just make sure you fill up with sealant when you get there and not before.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:17 pm 
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yappin' kitty
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I really have to become more regular in my use of smileys.

Good tip on the sealant. I can imagine putting in in at home and then saying "well NOW what?"


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:58 pm 
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lil' hucker
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It's so easy even a caveman can do it. ;)

Make sure you bring a towel just in case, preferably one your wife doesn't need.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:38 am 
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yappin' kitty
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mmm hmmm, i was thinking of high pressure air spraying sealant all over me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:40 am 
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pussy
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It is much less dramatic than that Bill, imagine sealant leaking between the rim and tire and slowly covering your floor. ;)

Do not ask me how I know. :whistle:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:01 am 
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yappin' kitty
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"The package said it would leak a tiny bit and then stop! Right there! 'and then STOP'!"


ha ha ha haaaaa.


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