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Tubeless question



This topic contains 29 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  aragon 2 years, 9 months ago.

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    I have a 2015 RM THUNDERBOLT 750 Alum. Doesn’t have tubeless ready rims. Has Maxxis Ardent and ardent race. To my knowledge not tubeless ready either. LBS Guy said its not the rims that are the problem but the tires when trying to convert to tubeless. Showed me different Types of beads. Also said thread count different to allow better seal. This is the first I heard of this…? Should I not attempt a Stans No Tubes conversion kit? Anything I’ve ever read the last couple years has never mentioned this…. What are your opinions? Impossible? Not the best idea? Or not a problem?


    Santa Cruz



    The only way to find out is to try! I used the stans tape, valves and sealant on my last set of wheels and tires ( neither were “tubeless ready”) without too much trouble, I did need a compressor to seat the bead the first time though. Rode it for a few months that way, never had a problem, I’d give it a shot if I were you.



    Hey Ledbetter, I have the Rocky Thunderbolt 770 (great bike!). It comes stock with the same tires and I’ve set them up tubeless with no issues. I’ve been using stans conversion kits for a few years now with TR and non-TR tires and have found no real difference.

    The only concern is that if your tires have had 2 seasons on them already there may be a good chance you’ve developed small holes or tears. If they look fresh id say give it a go.



    Stan’s Valves
    Stan’s sealant (not race that shit is insane)
    Gorilla Tape
    Air compressor.

    The real key to this whole thing that a lot of people ignore is take the valve cores out and seat the bead without sealant. Just tape, tire, and rim. Once you’ve got that seated adding sealant through the valve core is simple with either the injector tool or a quick fix 2oz bottle lid gorilla tapped to a large bottle. Add 4oz per tire reinstall the valve cores and air them up, they should be seated and the only place you may see sealant is at the valve stem. Last step is shake them like nuts (honestly just go ride them for awhile) to spread the sealant everywhere.

    Still leaking add more sealant or start over and make sure they seat without sealant. If they can’t seat without sealant, don’t waste anymore time with them and try another option.

    Honest to god if you cannot get it too go PM me and we’ll make it happen, riding with tubes is like wearing a ballon on your tounge to eat a steak,



    So to clarify the rubber tire like rim strip is not needed? Rim tape/gorilla tape works as well? My LBS sells the Stans Kit for $100-110 depending on wheel size… I don’t want to spend that an not have it work with my non-tubeless tires but you guys have given me confidence with the tires…. So if tape only option works what is the cost to go tubeless I’m looking at? I’ve also seen vids on the BMX tire trick… Anyway just looking for the most sure thing at reasonable price.



    I’ve been laying down gorilla tape on a bare rims, cut a small “X” in the valve hole so you can stuff a valve stem through…

    roll of gorilla tape is ~$5
    valve stems ~$25
    four 2 oz bottles of sealant ~$20 (honestly get a bigger bottle you’ll end up topping up every so often anyway)

    so ~$60 and you’re gonna know in a hurry if it’ll seat or not. Worst case it doesn’t and you’re only down $60 and still have that extra $50 to sort out tubeless tires/rims.



    Awesome thanks for the advice and more importantly the reassurance… LBS gave me the safe answer and wasn’t wrong from what I read but knowing ppl go tubeless with gorilla tape and standard rims and tires is reassuring.

    I doubt I will go too low on psi bc it will be too drastic but figure mid to low 20s should keep bead seated.



    Since I’ve gone to WTB rims & Schwlbe tires I’ve had to put the tire on with a tube first to get tires up with a floor pump. Pump up the tube till it seats all around, then you open the one side, take out the tube, put in the valve and slop and seal it back up and get pumping. Put the wheel on its side and leave the unseated side down as a little gravity seems to help.

    I’ll second (third?) gorilla tape. Stans is so damn expensive and is more annoying to get on as it’s rather stiff compared to gorilla, which is nice & flexible so it fits into rim contours well. I bought a jumbo roll for like 10 bucks and it could probably do dozens of wheels. Unless you like taking your rim tape off all the tire I think Stans is a huge scam, or at least of little real value for this application.



    Yeah I’ve done a ton of forum reading etc and have decided to go the gorilla tape route much to the surprise of the LBS guys I’ve talked to. I told them I would send them an email when it works! Stans rim tape is $20 a roll!

    As for seating the tire I saw the trick of using a tube from the GMBN guys.

    I got an adapter to allow me to use standard compressor attachment with priests Stans valves.

    Now my only beef is few shops in Oakville and Burlington stock the sealant alone in 1L bottles. On the internet every one is running tubeless but talking to LBS guys it seems like it’s the minority!

    Plan to do it this wk or next. Thanks for all the help. Let you know when it’s a success!



    I’m sure you can make it work if the tires aren’t too beat up and the bead will seat.

    I held out on going tubeless and totally regretted being a luddite once I switched.

    1st conversion I used Stan’s tape for the rim – worked fine, but I found it is bulky and a little hard to work with if it’s a tight fit in your rim and leaves little space for the tire bead.

    For my 2nd conversion I simply hacked up a tube to make a rim strip (24″ in a 26″ wheel to ensure it would fit tight), left the stem intact, used that as rim tape on the inside of the wheel and a small wrap of tape between the edge of the cut tube and the rim flange. Of all, this solution was easiest to install and has held up fine.

    As per above, you want the sealant covering everywhere inside the tire… first time I did a conversion I just rode for awhile after installing and had some overnight leakage.

    Subsequent times I invested 10 min bouncing the wheel and shaking it and such to cover every inside surface I could. That set of tires (uses the hacked tube as rim tape and stem) barely seeps air over the long term. Worked great.



    Now my only beef is few shops in Oakville and Burlington stock the sealant alone in 1L bottles. On the internet every one is running tubeless but talking to LBS guys it seems like it’s the minority!

    Only bike nerds are on the internet talking about gear..



    Yeah there was the race sealant at Neworld in Burlington. I got last bottle at Spokes and Slopes in Milton. I forgot to ask at Flying Monkey in Campbellville which buy the way is a great shop. It’s right at 401 and Guelph line so nice spot for Kelso, Puslinch, and Hilton Falls riders. I remember seeing the little bottles though. Stocks RM and Trek (Thunderbolt 770, trek fuel ex9 alloy) and also does rentals including fat bikes. Coffee/espresso bar too. Only open about 1.5 yrs.



    Last question hopefully. Did front tire. Didn’t hear that pop they say to listen for when u seat bead with compressor but it looks seated. Can see the bead line marker and it is consistent. I used 1″ gorilla on 23mm rim. So the tape is somewhat up the side wall of the inside of rim but is applied evenly. I have read different things that this helps. Others have said keep tape only on the bottom. Regardless it inflated well and seems to be holding well but only been about 20min. Think this is ok? Should I proceed to back tire?



    Sounds like you are headed in the right direction – the keys are that (a) the tire is holding air, and (b) the bead is solidly locked. You should over-inflate the tire a bit (40-50 psi) to ensure a proper bead seat/seal (and also helps to tell if it is holding air) and leave it there for a bit before reducing PSI to your riding level.

    I have never had an issue with a bit of tape creep up the sidewall, as long as it does not interface with the actual tire bead, which could cause it to not seat properly. Monitor the completed tire for air leaks and proceed to the back!



    Hmm. Yes it is holding air. Yes I inflated above 40psi. But there is tape covering the entire inside of the rim. I would have had to cut about 2mm off the width of the tape. It seated with a tube so I gave it a go and seems to have seated without but did not pop. Am I at risk of a massive burp then? No sealant has leaked out.

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