Another tubeless cry for help
I know there have been a few threads of late and I have been monitoring them, it is my first bash at it so gee us a break 😛
WTB STi25 rims, Bird tubeless tape, Uberbike valves and Peatys (possibly a bit shite) sealant.
It has gone down like this, first 2x wrap of Bird tape=fail, then 3x, still fail. This evening i went and purchased some 25mm Gorilla tape and did 1x wrap of Gorilla + 2x wrap Bird tape more fail. The rim was washed and cleaned thoroughly between each re tape because I could see some soapy bubble remnants coming through some spoke holes as the air pissed out of them.(and the valve)
The tyre bead seats onto the rim no problem, but the crux of the matter is I just can’t seem to make this rim remotely airtight…I didn’t bother with sealant this time, so I can just fling a tube and go riding tomorrow.
What in the name jeebus and his flipflops am I doing wrong?Posted 2 months ago
I’ve just setup some WTB st i25 rims like you are referring to – did 2 wraps of wtb own brand tape (its yellow – I assume it’s like Stans tape) – 30mm diameter for a 25mm internal diameter rim
Used a Stans valve which I tightened in with a pair of pliers to make sure it sealed tightly.
I think the Bird instructions suggest you do at least 3 wraps of their tape?
With mine the first attempt the tape wouldn’t stick properly to the rim. I wound a second layer round and it did go up but hen went flat in about 10 mins. I decided not to risk wasting sealant so took that tape off and did it again without any further cleaning – figuring the first lot of tape might have removed anything stopping it stick and leaving some glue behind. I did two really tight wraps of tape and then had another go and it also went up and stayed up a few hours before going flat. So I filled it with sealant and reinflated and it’s been up a couple of days now ok.
How wide is the tape you’ve got?Posted 2 months ago
I did it as per the Bird site
- PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST USE THIS TAPE DOUBLE OR TRIPLE WRAPPED.
- Available in 25 or 32 mm widths. If you want to do a rim between 25mm and 30 thats fine too, just apply 3 wraps of the tape, one left, one right, and one through the middle.
The Gorilla tape is 25mm as well, I didn’t want to waste sealant either as I could hear air pissing out the spoke holes.Posted 2 months ago
Wtb recommend 30mm tape for 25mm rims. There is a deep middle Channel that you’re meant to try and get the tape to sit down in. I could only get anywhere near doing that by really pulling / stretching the tape tight. The tape just still sits up the inside of the rim walls when I’ve done that.Posted 2 months ago
I mean it probably should, but any slight bit missed / not stuck properly gives the air a chance to escape – plus you need to make sure you don’t lose air out of the valve hole too.
I would remove the tape you’ve got on there now, and try not cleaning the rim first – if it’s new itncould be really slippery.
One hint Insaw online suggested with the wtb rims to rough up the bottom of the inner surface with a kitchen scourer (but not the inner side walls) – no idea if this is worth a try or not.
Really wrap the tape down tightly – I think I’d go central with the first wrap to pull it down into that v shaped channel in the middle, then work to the left and slightly up the side wall a couple of mm, then over to the right and the same up that side. The roll is 66m from Bird so you’ve got plenty to play with right?Posted 2 months agotwicewithchipsMember
have you tried taping the rims, then putting inner tubes in and pumping up really hard (like 80 psi hard). Leave overnight, then remove tubes and fit valves and tyres. You seem to be saying you are getting the bead mounted ok, which is always the bit I find tricky (soapy water for that).Posted 2 months ago
lol Joe, well you certainly seem to be coming across with some expert advice.
My last failed attempt was with 1 wrap of Gorilla tape down the center channel, and then 2 full wraps of Bird tape going from the edge of the rim, then the other edge (in a continuous pass, crossing over after the valve). The tyre is a Purg Grid and the bead snapped on no problem. I have a cheap ass sealant injector as well.
No sure whether I can be bothered trying again, or to just go get some 30mm tape. I’m abit dissapointed with the Bird tape and method didn’t work, maybe i’m just an incompetent moron.Posted 2 months agowhitestoneMember
One tight layer of Gorilla tape with about 150mm overlap at the valve works for me. I use tape that’s the external width of the rim so that when you pull it down into the central channel it still buts up against the base of the bead mounts. I’ll really press down on the central section either with my thumb or with the end of a spoon/fork handle (providing it’s a plain profile) – you almost want to see the outline of the spoke holes in the tape.
The next trickiest part of tubeless is getting the tyre to seat. Compressors/Airshots and similar have made this much easier but a lot depends on the tyre and rim, some combinations just don’t work.
If I’ve had any problems with tubeless it’s because of the tape not sitting correctly or having been caught when changing tyres. Nearly always easiest to start again. If you do it right then the tyre will stay inflated for a reasonable time without sealant – I mounted a WTB Riddler CX tyre on a non-tubeless ready rim and it kept pressure for two days. You might hear a bit of air escaping but once you add sealant that soon stops.Posted 2 months ago
If you do decide to get 30mm tape the Wtb one from CRC seemed fairly good value / arrives quickly / you get 11m on a roll which gives you a good few attempts per wheel.
I’ve got to build my new front wheel tonight and spend a few days tweaking it until it’s vaguely straight / true / tensioned before I have younger that one tubeless setup too!Posted 2 months agorockhopper70Member
Try not to despair…..
I went through this converting the wheels on my new bike. WTB i29rims.
First attempt was with some Halo brand tape off eBay, this didn’t work as I couldn’t get the tape to sit in the concave spoke bed. I blamed the tape!
I ordered the proper WTB tape and tried this. Again, it wouldn’t seem to sit in the spoke bed leaving huge air bubbles all around the rim.
Having taken more advice, another attempt.
However, this time, donned a pair of rigger gloves and pulled the tape roll sooooooo tight I was sure it would snap. It was ruddy hard work and I got a bit of a dab on but the tension saw it sit right into the spoke bed and butted up perfect to the rim walls.
So, my advice, pull the tape really really really tight. If it’s stuck and there is air around the spoke holes I can’t see it being able to be pressed in, the tape is just too strong. If you try “squeezing”out the air the tape is likely to tear.
Mine have been fine since this.
Edit, just to add, I only did one wrap, starting three inch or so from the valve hole and finishing the saw distance beyond the valve hole so apart from the six inches or rim which was double, the rest was a single wrap.Posted 2 months agoStevet1Member
The bird tape sounds like it should work just fine, I’ve set up wheels tubeless with electrical tape no problems before now. Are you pulling it tight enough? I mean, do you thumbs ache? Can you see any air bubbles? I always just tape the central channel and don’t go up the sides, I think the tyre can catch it more easily if you do.
Maybe a photo of how it looks currently would help diagnose your problem?Posted 2 months agopdwMember
Sorry to contradict the previous poster, but make sure you tape all the way to the rim walls. If you’ve got a single piece of tape running from rim wall to rim wall there’s only 3 places that air can get out: where the rubber touches the tape (doesn’t generally happen and seals quickly if it does), around the valve and through the tyre itself. It doesn’t really matter if the tape is stuck well to the rim bed, or if there are air bubbles or whatever, because the seal is formed entirely between the tyre and the tape.
If you don’t tape to the edge or use multiple pieces of narrower tape then there’s a possibility of the tape lifting. It’s also more likely that the tape will get dislodged when removing tight tyres as they can catch the edges of the tape. I’ve tried tape that was too narrow before and it was fine for weeks, then failed when left in the car on a warm day and the tape lifted. If the tape is wide enough, it’ll be pinned down by the beads and this can’t happen.
I’ve not tried the the Birds tape. They seem to support multiple wraps of narrow tape. Maybe because it’s thinner it’s not a problem, but I’d always be worried about tight tyres catching an edge when removing.
+1 for getting the tape on tight though. I used to make a real meal of getting tape on until I realised you just need to pull it harder.Posted 2 months agoStevet1Member
It doesn’t really matter if the tape is stuck well to the rim bed, or if there are air bubbles or whatever, because the seal is formed entirely between the tyre and the tape.
Makes sense, I’ll try that next time as I can see the benefit even if I haven’t had any issues up to now.Posted 2 months agodaernMember
Tesa 4289, wrapped once + 6″ overlap either side of the valve. It has to be wrapped insanely tight – this isn’t like taping with electrical tape. I literally pull the tape as tight as I possibly can, and am sweating buckets from the effort after two wheels. If you’re not doing this, it’s likely you’re not getting the tape tight enough. A big advantage of super tight tape is that it’s less likely to be snagged if you use a tyre lever on the trail, so you’re more likely to be able to swap tyres over without needing to re-tape again.
Then, hot soldering iron to make the valve hole (tip: mark the correct spot with a thin pen through the valve hole) and make the hole a little smaller than the valve so it’s a tight fit.
Chuck it together and it will work a treat. Once you get the tyre inflated anyway!Posted 2 months agogreyspokeMember
I have never bothered with having the tape overlapping the inside of the rim wall. I make sure it gets to within a mm or so. With tubeless ready everything, I am pretty sure the seal happens between the tyre bead and the flat shelf bit on the rim, not the inside of the rim wall.Posted 2 months agodaernMember
I have never bothered with having the tape overlapping the inside of the rim wall. I make sure it gets to within a mm or so. With tubeless ready everything, I am pretty sure the seal happens between the tyre bead and the flat shelf bit on the rim, not the inside of the rim wall.
Same here. The tape’s job is to seal the spoke holes, not the tyre bead. Ideally, the width should go right to the end of the flat rim section, but if it’s a little short, or a little overlap, this is fine. I have three different widths of Tesa tape in the garage and this does pretty much everything I’ve seen.Posted 2 months agoscaredypantsSubscriber
multiple wraps can’t offer a benefit unless your tape’s too thin/stretchy, as far as I can see
I do what someone suggested up there:
have you tried taping the rims, then putting inner tubes in and pumping up really hard (like 80 psi hard)
but not 80psi, 40 here works just fine (with the yellow TESA stuff)Posted 2 months agocx_monkeySubscriber
Most brands tape is just polypropylene strapping tape (the Tesa type yellow stuff anyway) and you can pull it super tight and it won’t snap – you’re never going to put as much tension on it as a badly packed pallet been thrown around a truck!
I use the WTB tape pretty much all the time, and one wrap is absolutely fine – but i do always make sure the tape is poked firmly into the rim hook ‘elbow’ – I use a tyre lever and run it round both sides of the rim. Then I’ll mount he tyre and use a tube in it to compress the tape down firmly. I normally leave them an hour, but I’m sure it doesn’t need that long. But I think it definitely makes sure that evrything is nice and firmly stuck down before you introduce the sealant – which can get under the tape and lift it gradually if it’s not stuck down properly.Posted 2 months ago
Thanks for all the replys, i’ve ordered some wtb 30mm tape and see how I get on. Lot of conflicting advice as expected with this mountain bike malarkey, I probably didn’t do myself any favors by thinking a rim was just a rim eh? I was not being gentle when applying the tape previously btw.
After popping an inner tube in to bed in the tape, how do I know if the seal is good enough to put sealant in?
I shall report back with more failing’s and wailing’s probably.Posted 2 months ago
I decided as long as the tyre stayed up for 15 mins or so it probably wasn’t pissing air out of the spoke holes or it would have gone down quicker.
Whacked a load of sealant in the bottom of the tyre then reseated the bead with my airwave pump. Got a little bit of sealant bubbling out between thevtyre and the rim in one little stop but it sealed almost immediately.
Still up for days with no leakage 😃
Should get a quick go on the pump track this weekend to test it a bit and see what occurs 🤞Posted 2 months ago
Well im sure you’ll all be delighted to see me revive the thread, and have been eagerly awaiting an update in my tubeless misadventures.
30mm WTB tape, wrapped around once over lapping the valve by 6″ or more, I put a tube in to bed the tape in, went for a ride….tube out, valve in , re-seat the(brand new) tyre and pumped up.
In terms of how long the tyre stayed inflated this was the worst attempt yet, went flat in 10min. I can still see some remnants of soapy bubbles from the last time I cleaned the bike leaking from around spoke holes and even the rim sleeve join. TBH at the valve hole I could see the tape had fractionally split so wasn’t expecting it to hold. I’m wondering if I should reinforce the tape around the valve hole with some Gorilla tape, I don’t even know If I can be bothered trying again.
Thoroughly defeatedPosted 2 months ago
How did you make the hole for the valve? I just got a tiny tiny micro screwdriver and made a really small hole. I then pushed the valve through it and tightened that down with pliers.
In terms of the tape I stretched it as I went round the rim – I didn’t press it down initially – I used how tight it was and rotating the wheel to get it in place (wheel was in a truing stand at the time which helped). It sort of popped in as it went past the top of the rim. I started on this 2nd wheel about 3 it 4 inches one side of the valve, and finished the same distance past the valve once I’d gone round once. I then pushed the tape really down into the rim bed (it didn’t go fully in the v but I don’t see that matters) and then went round and pressed it tight down onto the side walls so I knew it had stuck.
When starting it with this wheel I initially wrapped it with electrical tape after isopropyl alcohol wiping it then ripped that tape off. It meant the tubeless stuck a lot better than my first attempt at the first wheel.
Where are you based?Posted 2 months ago
I’m getting all that and i honestly don’t think I’m doing anything different really, ..like this
I dont have a wheel truing stand but im horsing that tape as tight as i can, pressing the tape into the tyre bead with a lever etc,etc. I’m thinking that the WTB rims possibly have a deep rim valley so for my next and quite probably final attempt before i lose my shit and pack this whole charade in I’m thinking of one wrap of 25mm Gorilla tape in the rim valley then the 30 WTB over the top? Does that sound like a plan?
My thumbs are ruined taking tyre’s on and off
im in Glasgow btwPosted 2 months ago
Isn’t it a Wtb st-i25 you have? That’s exactly the rim I’ve just built up on both wheels – in 26” – although wheel size shouldn’t make a difference.
Assuming that’s the case the Wtb should do it without gorilla tape. Have you got enough for another go? When it’s stuck down is it definitely stuck down right?
Assuming it is maybe you’re damaging the tape with the valve?
You couldnt be much further from me in the UK then or I’d have offered to have a go (Bristol) 🤪Posted 2 months agowobbliscottMember
I suspect it matters what tyre rim combo you have. I went tubeless for the first time recently and was quite apprehensive about it and firstly tried a dry test to see if the tyre would seal without sealant and it did so was quite confident after that.
I used gorilla tape from a wider roll. I cut the tape down so the tape not only covered the bottom of the rim but also went up the sides under the hook, the idea being the bead of the tyre would sit on the tape on the bottom of the rim but also up into the hook providing a better seal. Once I had seated the tyre dry and established it was sealing I then put the Stand sealant in via the valve using the syringe – the tyres are a pretty tight fit on the rim so didn’t fancy having to pull out the tyre again just to pour in the sealant. So maybe try some wider tape that goes up the side of the rim a bit (assuming you haven’t already).
Edit: just read the bit about cutting an x in the tape – maybe try an awl and poke a hole in it then push the valve through. I thought about cutting an X but was worried it wouldn’t seal properly as the triangles of the X folded back – seemed better to me to punch a hole of a smaller diameter than the valve so the tape sort of more evenly surrounds the valve as you push it through and the rubber bung on the end seats onto a sort of circular funnel shape instead of 4 small tears/cuts. Again, not sure if any of this made the difference in my case or I was just lucky, but worth trying.Posted 2 months agodannyhMember
It’s so bloody random. My first tubeless conversion (after five pinch flats on one ride and a lot of nagging from my riding buddies) went swimmingly. So good, in fact, that I was utterly sold and totally blasé about future adventures. Since then, I’ve had more of an education. Seemingly infallible is Stan’s, neat fairy liquid on the beads and a very good track pump.
Twice (Hope Hoops) I’ve had to go to a good mechanic who is an occasional riding buddy. On both occasions I’ve asked what the required PSI has been to seat the bastards and on both occasions the answer has been in excess of what I’ve been comfortable with doing myself.
It is why I prefer stuff like fork servicing (you can’t really put it back together wrong) to stuff like sorting out gearing (vague, works in the stand, not necessarily under load etc).
Ultimatley, though, it is worth it.Posted 2 months ago
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