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A tubeless workshop tale

So I took the plunge and got everything needed to go tubeless, after watching lots on YouTube I thought how easy it looked, oh how wrong I was......
Attempt 1
Follow the 9 minute video on using the track pump method. Failure
Attempt 2
Follow the 2 layers of gorilla tape and track pump method. Failure
Attempt 3
Use a CO2 cartridge method. Failure
Attempt 4
Pop an inner tube in to bed in bead overnight, then pop one side off and use track pump method. Failure
Attempt 5
Using the thumb and tyre lever, half seat your bead on both sides method and track pump. Failure
Attempt 6
Follow the ‘make your own tubeless inflator out of a fire extinguisher method. Inflator made (which I was rather pleased about). Extinguisher success, tubeless failure
Attempt 7
Follow the wrap a strap around your tyre method and use extinguisher. Success. This was short lived as now air is escaping from spoke nipples. Failure
Attempt 8
Discover that when taking one side of bead off during inner tube method I had inadvertently torn holes in gorilla tape. Pull tyre of, pull tape off, pull hair out and start again method.
Attempt 9
New tape, extinguisher charged, strap around tyre method. Success. Bol****s forgot sealant.
Attempt 10
Leave tyre on, take out valve core and inject sealant, followed by use extinguisher, finish off with track pump. Success at last!!!!
So what have I learnt? If at first you don’t succeed keep trying. Oh and it’s really hard work getting 80psi into a large extinguisher with a £10 track pump!!
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Posts

  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    Sounds like a perfect reason to stay using clinchers and tubes. Thanks for the verification!

    PP
  • joe2019joe2019 Posts: 670
    or tubulars
  • gomezzgomezz Posts: 64
    After all the things you did, did you remember to soap the side walls before you tried to inflate? this really is one thing you must do. I fitted a new rear tire this afternoon ( been tubeless for three years ) , inflator is a garden sprayer! and was good first time.
    Suppose practice helps.
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    gomezz said:

    After all the things you did, did you remember to soap the side walls before you tried to inflate? this really is one thing you must do. I fitted a new rear tire this afternoon ( been tubeless for three years ) , inflator is a garden sprayer! and was good first time.
    Suppose practice helps.

    Soapy every time. But like you say, I have the experience now that I think I’ve tried every method known to man!

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    You have the patience of a Saint.

    I'd have lobbed the lot over the fence about 5 attempts back.
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    fenix said:

    You have the patience of a Saint.

    I'd have lobbed the lot over the fence about 5 attempts back.

    Oh believe me I was tempted. But like Einstein states only an idiot tries the same thing and expects different results.
    Just checked on my tyres and one has lost some pressure but apparently this is quite normal in the first 48 hours!

  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,996
    When I first started this going tubeless game, I was told about using soapy water, but not why.

    I had assumed it was to help stop the air from escaping from under the tyre bead but it never seemed to be very good at that.
    I now believe that it is there solely to lubricate the tyre bead so that it slides more easily across the wheel surface and into engagement with the rim.

    Is that it, or is there a third reason that has so far escaped me?

    Whatever the real reason turns out to be, the soapy water is great for spotting air leaks! If you have air oozing through the tyre walls, you will see hundreds, thousands even, of white volcanoes erupting from the tyre walls. (Caused by the air jets foaming the soapy water).
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    With this new found knowledge on tubeless I think I’m going to have a crack at my Teams bikes (by Team I mean family, we have 8 bikes between us so It’s pretty much like running a team)
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    I may have hit a stumbling block here, I’ve checked the Team’s tyres and all of them are non tubeless and wired bead. So I’ve YouTubed this and found several people doing it with wired bead. Now knowing what I know and that on a YouTube video basically all the planets are in alignment, it’s the 29th Feb and they do it first time. So I’m basically asking for real world advice. Is it doable? What other tricks would I need up my sleeve?
  • Charlie_CrokerCharlie_Croker Posts: 708

    When I first started this going tubeless game, I was told about using soapy water, but not why.

    I had assumed it was to help stop the air from escaping from under the tyre bead but it never seemed to be very good at that.
    I now believe that it is there solely to lubricate the tyre bead so that it slides more easily across the wheel surface and into engagement with the rim.

    Is that it, or is there a third reason that has so far escaped me?

    Whatever the real reason turns out to be, the soapy water is great for spotting air leaks! If you have air oozing through the tyre walls, you will see hundreds, thousands even, of white volcanoes erupting from the tyre walls. (Caused by the air jets foaming the soapy water).

    Soapy water both smooth’s the way (lubricates) for the tyre slip onto the wheel and when it dries it help stick the tyre wall to the rim, but not permanently just enough if it goes flat to hold it. It’s the same as a car
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,996
    I hadn't thought about the adhesive aspects, I had thought that the latex sealant would do that job much better. Every day is a earning day! :)
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,633
    @ed1973 - I have never had that much trouble setting wheels up tubeless. What tyres and rims have you got on your bike?

    WRT your 'Team' bikes, wired tyres can be set up tubeless but it is hit and miss whether it will work. If the wire in the tyre bead is kinked it can hold the bead away from the rim and it will never seal. A mate of mine tried it - one tyre worked perfectly but the other one was a total failure and no amount of tape or sealant helped.
    Unless you think they will really benefit from tubeless tyres it's probably not worth the hassle or expense of all that tape and sealant that will be needed.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,996
    edited 9 July
    ed1973 said:

    I may have hit a stumbling block here, I’ve checked the Team’s tyres and all of them are non tubeless and wired bead. So I’ve YouTubed this and found several people doing it with wired bead. Now knowing what I know and that on a YouTube video basically all the planets are in alignment, it’s the 29th Feb and they do it first time. So I’m basically asking for real world advice. Is it doable? What other tricks would I need up my sleeve?

    My first question would be would any of the rest of your family even notice the benefits of tubeless or even care that they are tubeless. If so, go ahead! But if not and all you want to do is to stop flats, then fit Slime tubes. These are inner tubes that already have sealant in them. Result, no flats.

    If you are going tubeless with eight bikes then every time you need to top up the sealant there is a tubeless tyre moment waiting. I'm not saying that you have to redo the whole thing, you should be able to top up without that. But eight bikes! Apart from using a latex based sealant, I would urge you to get an Airshot tubeless inflator. Tweeks are doing them for £46.99, (less than the cost of 7-8 Slime tubes).
    https://www.tweekscycles.com/uk/airshot-tyre-inflator-aisairshot/?istCompanyId=56f52ebf-49f3-492a-9cbb-cb6ab0fc1bf0&istFeedId=33b89177-5114-4491-9c2a-09a3a7cb23b2&istItemId=wiltaxqpm&istBid=t&gclid=Cj0KCQjwgJv4BRCrARIsAB17JI5khCb55fW3iordQOH0wwQHippQayXTBS0cGSygTWpQ5XafP73DH8MaAqGAEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    I can recommend the Airshot because I've got one. But there are alternatives that probably work just as well.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    ed1973 said:

    With this new found knowledge on tubeless I think I’m going to have a crack at my Teams bikes (by Team I mean family, we have 8 bikes between us so It’s pretty much like running a team)

    What kind of masochist reads the first post here and thinks yep. I'm gonna try that with 8 various bikes ?

    Imagine what else you could do with the time ! Write that novel ! Compose your first symphony.
    Finish that box set.
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 572
    edited 9 July
    Was toying with the idea of going tubeless and learning to to it myself. A few Buddies have and I'm the odd one out. After weighing up the pro's and con's and reading this post, think I'll stick with innertubes.

    ed1973, you have patience of a saint and your ordeal has helped me make up my mind. Cheers!👍
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    Thanks all for your comments it’s been great to read all the help.
    I think with my race team I’m just gonna put some inner tube sealant in each, saves me the hassle and the expense of all those valves.
    With regards going tubeless myself, I paid to have my trail bike done and first ride out with my mates we hit a patch of recently cut hedge and my mates had puncture after puncture, but my tubeless was untouched. But my recent visit to my LBS to have my new bike done tubeless, his prices had gone through the roof, I can’t blame him he is trying to make as much as he can in this weird time to get him through rougher times. So I decided to have a go myself, I had the time as I’d completed every single job on the wive’s to-do list so was just sitting around. It really was a great learning experience for me. Having got back into bikes in the last couple of years I’ve basically taught myself loads and now I’m at the stage where I can pretty much build a bike from frame upwards, including stripping and servicing an entire upper and lower leg sus fork.
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146



    ed1973, you have patience of a saint and your ordeal has helped me make up my mind. Cheers!👍

    I would say go for it Reaper, spend time in that man cave working out the best way for you, it’s a proper eureka moment when that tyre pops and you are holding air!!


  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    JBA said:

    @ed1973 - I have never had that much trouble setting wheels up tubeless. What tyres and rims have you got on your bike?

    The rims are DT Swiss X470 and the tyres are a set of Vittoria Mezcal’s with a skinwall, boy do they look great on my on One Scandal

  • Charlie_CrokerCharlie_Croker Posts: 708
    @ed1973 - I remember putting that green stuff into my inner tubes when I restarted cycling again (some years ago now), it was a struggle getting it in there but I managed.
    A while later I was riding along and heard a strange noise behind me, so I looked back. Only to see what looked like green silly-string spraying all over the place. I collapsed on to the pavement alongside the road giggling uncontrollably. A plume of green silly-string still squirting about six feet into the air. I remember a passer-by asking if I was alright and I couldn’t speak I was giggling so much.
    I had a flat tyre, a pump, no puncher outfit, no ‘sealant’ left
    It was funny at the time, it’s still funny to me now. But sealant and high pressures don’t mix, I’ve never had the slightest inclination to repeat
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Oh now that does sound like a valid reason for putting sealant in.
  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146

    @ed1973 - I remember putting that green stuff into my inner tubes when I restarted cycling again (some years ago now), it was a struggle getting it in there but I managed.
    A while later I was riding along and heard a strange noise behind me, so I looked back. Only to see what looked like green silly-string spraying all over the place. I collapsed on to the pavement alongside the road giggling uncontrollably. A plume of green silly-string still squirting about six feet into the air. I remember a passer-by asking if I was alright and I couldn’t speak I was giggling so much.
    I had a flat tyre, a pump, no puncher outfit, no ‘sealant’ left
    It was funny at the time, it’s still funny to me now. But sealant and high pressures don’t mix, I’ve never had the slightest inclination to repeat

    I now have a picture in my head of some weird silly string powered MTB!!

  • gomezzgomezz Posts: 64
    edited 9 July
    The first time I went tubeless was with the Conti wired tires that came with the bike, Boardman Team FS. All went well and even went up with the track pump! but geez did the side walls leak!! The Stans sealant worked well and stopped the leaks it's just that the tires were rubbish in the mud. Maxxis were better but needed more than a track pump, just fitted a Speciaized 2bliss rear and that's gone on no problems, just need rain to stop, to go and bed it in. I'm an old guy and do it for fun not pain in the rain. B)
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,996
    Charlie's story about silly green string reminded me of my one Slime incident. My bike was on the boot carrier and I ran over a pheasant at about 60mph. I could see the bird in my rear view mirror, cartwheeling down the road in a shower of feathers and flailing wings. Oh dear, poor thing! But it got its revenge!

    I got to the trail centre and went to unload the bike; a scene of carnage was awaiting! The bird's body had ripped off the rear tyre from the wheel and it was dangling. I was using Slime tubeless sealant at the time and it had exploded all over the bike and the back of the car below the rear screen. To add a nice touch, the bird's feathers were stuck to the bike and the car! When dried off a bit, Slime sealant is very sticky. What I needed was a brush and a large bucket of water and I had neither. I carried the bike to the jet wash and got it clean enough to refit the tyre using the spare inner tube I carry. The car had to wait until I got home.
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 337
    Sounds like the op had rims that are tubeless compatible.there are a number of those that are jot even though they say they are. Tubeless is a standard that must be adhered too. Oddly enough all my own bikes have proper tubeless wheels and setup is easy.

    Unless your wheels and tyres co form to the required standard dont bother going with tubeless. Although tubeless is night and day better than tubes with a good setup.

    If you dont understand the standard have a read of my blog posts on this on my website. Rims should look like the kinlin, shimano or mavic ust rims. Everything else is just pony although stans and dt swiss rims whilst no ideal (lack of bead lock) do allow tyres to seat and seal easily due to correctly sided bead seat diameter.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Hmm UST is a standard, tubeless is not its just an 'indication'. If you think it's a standard please link to that standard (that is the written standard).

    Never had an issue with most non tubeless tyres going up tubeless either, the occasional one gives grief.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,996
    The only problem I have had with tubeless (once I'd bought an Airshot) was getting the tyres off when I had used Gorilla tape as the rim tape.

    This was not every rim I had taped using Gorilla tape, just the 29" x 30mm rims with Maxxis 29 x 2.5" tyres on my current bike. I had put two stripes of 25mm wide Gorilla tape on the rim, one to the left and one to the right. This put two layers over the spoke holes. This was good because the air pressure had been pushing one layer into the spoke holes, a potential burst point I thought. So what was the problem?

    I got the tape too close to the part of the rim where the tyre bead sits. Some of the adhesive from the Gorilla tape must have oozed out and stuck the tyre to the rim. Foolishly, I had allowed the sealant to run down and when I got one puncture too many, I got a flat. Removing the tyre that day, trailside, could have qualified as one of the labours of Hercules! Not helped by the arthritis in my hands. If my riding buddy hadn't been along to assist I would have faced a 9-10 mile push home.
  • dcwhite1984dcwhite1984 Posts: 85
    Never had an issue going tubeless, bought an airshot booster as mentioned above and everytime has been relatively straight forward,

    First wheelset i ever did was with Gorilla tape, other times have been with pre taped rims and then again with another i taped myself with "proper" tubeless tape.

    Never used soapy water mixture just a clean and dry rim bed and tyre.
    Put tyre on rim, leave a little bit so you can pour the sealant straight into the tyre, put rest of tyre on and give it a shot with the airshot booster.

    One thing i have always done is remove the valve core to allow a bigger air rush through with the booster, then when removing the booster try and keep as much air in as possible by quickly replacing the valve core after the booster is removed, pump back up to around 50psi with track pump and give it a good old spin and shake, leave overnight and job is a good un.

    Always used Orange Sealant, still going strong a year later with no top ups.


  • ed1973ed1973 Posts: 146
    So first ride out on these new tubeless and just wow!!
    I’m running these on a rigid carbon one one fork and the ride was sublime! I thought I would get some gravel chatter but non at all. Running my Vittoria Mezcal’s at 35 psi and it’s was an incredible ride, granted it was only on gravel tow paths but the ride was epic!! Love it!!!!!!
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 337
    That's a high pressure. I use 25 max in a tubeless set up for a 2.0"tyre. With PTN insert that drops to under 20. 10 psi.on the mud. Bingo that's really smooth.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 337
    edited 11 July

    Hmm UST is a standard, tubeless is not its just an 'indication'. If you think it's a standard please link to that standard (that is the written standard).

    Never had an issue with most non tubeless tyres going up tubeless either, the occasional one gives grief.

    There are tubeless standard like ust. That's what I am on about. When rim manufacturer deviate from that standard as many do the problems start. All to make tyre fitting and removal easier. I have seen tubeless mtb rims that have required 10 layers of tubeless tape and the tyre fit is still sloppy.

    So yes tubeless is standard. It's more than a word. To make it work tubeless tyres and rims have meet a defined standard. It more than just getting tyres to seat and seal. It also about keeping them seated with out air. Mavic get it shimano get it, kinlin get it even hunt get it because kinlin do. Some dont however.

    Compressors should not be needed. The tyre fit should be good enough that a floor pump with soapy water should be enough. Compressor mean the rim or the tyre are out of spec.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
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