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saddlemeat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had been meaning to convert the lightly used 2 year old exiwolfs on my KM to tubeless using the Gorilla tape and recycled stem method. I proceeded to pull the tire and tube from the front wheel. The yellow plastic rim strip looked sound, so on a whim I just stretched a piece of the 1" wide Gorilla tape centered over it around the rim and lapped it a couple inches. Next I cut an X through the stem hole, then inserted a trimmed recycled valve stem through the slits and snugged up the nut. I then remounted the tire and aired it up til the beads popped into place. That was easy, I thought, as I let the air back out, pushed the tire off the bead a little at the bottom, and squirted in a 2 oz bottle of Open Source Sealant. Aired it back up, replaced the wheel, and spun it up a few times to distribute the sealant. It was then I noticed I had installed the tire in the wrong direction, so I aired down, carefully seperated rim from tire, reversed then, carefully replaced the tire, and voila, success #1!

Next to the back wheel, and in a fit of laziness decided it would be possible to convert the wheel without removing it from the KM's track forks. This also would reduce my risk of reinstalling the tread direction wrong, I reasoned. So I aired down, separated the tube from the tire, then tire from the rim, without removing the wheel from the frame. I had watched a bike mechanic in the Netherlands repair a tube this way once. I figured I wouldn't cut the tube (I'm thrifty) until I successfully got it aired back up after the tubeless conversion. I again wrapped the Gorilla tape right over the rim strip, installed the stem, snapped the tire beads back on the rim, and aired her up with no problems. Aired down, installed sealant, aired up, done. Spun it up a few times, topped off the air again, and cut the old tube off the frame. I happened to take some pictures of the process too. The whole thing took less than an hour.

This was not my first conversion obviously, so I had confidence I could make it work. It illustrates that tubeless conversion doesn't have to be painful at all. If the tires were brand new, I may have had a harder time getting the beads to seal upon the initial inflation. Anyhow, so far so good, I'm off to ride!
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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I did my first ever tubeless conversion about two weeks ago the same way...took the wheel off of the bike though :lol: It was quick and easy even with brand new tires.

I have read a lot of people's opinions on the difficulty of converting a set of wheels to tubeless. I think it boils down to whether or not the person has any mechanical sense or ability to begin with. Sorry to the folks who lack this man-skill, but compared to installing the lift on my Jeep or remodeling my kitchen, this was cake. Took 45 minutes and works great.
 

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i have to agree. given how easy it was for me i really dont understand all the complaining and talk of how much work it is. i will chock it up to getting lucky with the rim and tire combo i am using which is Stans Arch and SB8 29ers.
 

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Congrats. A tubeless ready rim really makes it easy.

Next time I would find a valve stem with a removable core, then when it comes time to add a little more sealant you can do it without unseating/unsealing the bead, just remove the core and use that little 2 oz. Stans bottle you show in the picture.
 

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Bite Me.
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It helps to have a cooperative rim. I tried Stan's and tape and weather stripping on a Salsa Delgado Disc rim and could never get a good bead seat and finally just went back to a tube. I weighed all the bits I used to try the conversion, and it all added up to only about 10 grams less than a tube. With Flows and Bonty rims it's been simple, but a fussy rim ruins it. Unless you pinch flat a lot, tubes are pretty simple IMO.
 

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saddlemeat
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fishlips said:
Congrats. A tubeless ready rim really makes it easy.

Next time I would find a valve stem with a removable core, then when it comes time to add a little more sealant you can do it without unseating/unsealing the bead, just remove the core and use that little 2 oz. Stans bottle you show in the picture.
The rim in this case is a 29mm Salsa Delgado 29er Disc that the LBS tried unsuccessfully to convert with Stan's rim strips a couple of years ago. It always seemed a shame to run tubes in those big fat tires.

Removable cores are cool, I have them on my c29ssmax wheelset. We currently have no LBS so I used what I had at hand, in this case two recycled road tube stems. I may leave them just to experience how much more hassle it is to pull a couple inches of bead aside once or twice a year. Also, once the beads have been seated awhile they will usually inflate easily with a floor pump. When I order new tires I will probably order RC tubeless stems as they also make the initial inflation easier by allowing more air flow.
 
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