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IRC Tubeless on HED Belgium Plus

donboogiedonboogie Posts: 75
edited March 2016 in Workshop
Finally had success tonight mounting tires without tubes after a bit of hassle. Here's a play-by-play on the off chance that someone is interested in the same setup. I'm sure there are other ways to do it but I know this way worked.

The tires are IRC Formula Pro Tubeless RBCC 25mm. They are from Japan and made out of rice. Sounds completely crazy but I'm giving it a go.

Rims are HED Belgium Plus clincher wrapped with two layers of Stans tape 25mm. The rims were cleaned with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. When applying the tape, I pulled it as tight as possible, and moved around the rim in about 6" increments, each time ensuring the tape is positioned exactly between the two beads - it should fit in there tightly but without curling upwards at its edges. After the second layer is applied, I cut the second end just short of where the first end is positioned, leaving a very small gap of a single layer (otherwise preventing a very small length of three layers) and this gap is positioned in between two spoke holes. I worked my thumb around the tape to remove any minor air bubbles. I then mounted the new IRC tires, inserted a tube, pumped to 100psi, and left for 24 hours.

I removed the tube and tire and installed the Stans 44mm tubeless valve, finger tight. I made a thick soap/water mix (about 1/3 Dawn, 2/3 water), and used a new rag to coat the tape, the rim beads inside and out, and the tire beads inside and out. I aligned the tire the way I wanted, and put one bead on the rim, which went on quite easy with all the soap. As usual, I put the second bead on opposite the valve hole, and began working the tire on the rim. Once it began to get harder to get on (with about 80% of the tire mounted), I pinched the tire all along the mounted portion to ensure the tire beads gathered in the central channel of the rim to provide more tire material at the valve hole. It was then easy to work the rest of the tire on the rim with my thumbs, no lever needed.

I used a circular laundry basket to hold the wheel horizontally, so there was no external force deflecting the tire. A 16g CO2 cartridge did the trick - within 2 seconds you could hear the tire seat to the rim with a quick succession of pings. The whole cartridge wasn't necessary, but most of it. I'm now going to leave it over night after using a floor pump to bring it up to 100psi. The plan for tomorrow is to deflate (get most of the CO2 out, which I read may not react nicely with sealant), remove the valve core and use Stans injector to put in 3oz of Stans sealant.

Before this worked, I tried using a floor pump. Two actually. They didn't work, although I didn't try with the wheel laid horizontally, and I don't think I initially used the soap mix as liberally as I did once it worked. The problem was that the tire beads seemed to be caught in the central channel (you could tell because only the top half of the label was visible on the side of the tire), all the way around the rim. The amount of force required to move the tire beads apart to seat against the wheel bead exceeded the inbound air pressure from the floor pump. There was leaking and bubbles all around the tire on both sides.
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