Cheapo tubeless conversion…tape and sealant??

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  • Cheapo tubeless conversion…tape and sealant??
  • bigbloke

    Being a tight wad currently, is it possible to convert standard rims and tyres to tubeless using just tape and sealant?. Or are the kits a better avenue?


    Youtube says yes:



    Split BMX tube and sealant is how I gave it a go on standard rims.

    Worked well enough that I went to proper tubeless rims after the old wheelset became warped beyond repair.


    Since getting a new bike that isn’t set up tubeless I have been wanting to go back. Cheapest stans conversion kit I can find is £45 from Merlin. It seems like a lot but it give you everything you need. You could go ghetto tubeless (google it). Cheaper but more faff.

    If you check the Stans website it will tell you if your rims are compatible with their kits. Having gone down this route before I found it worked out a bit cheaper than buying the valves, strips and sealant separately.


    Running my CX wheels tubeless this year doing this.

    Mavic 719 rims with Schwalbe CX Pro tyres.

    Used insulating tape to build up the rim well. You need to get it so that the bead is tight on the rim seat. You also need to make sure that you build up the centre well enough that the tyre bead is air tight as this make inflating the tyre easier.

    Puncture a hole in the tape for your valve (one cut out of an old tube is fine). Once you have the valve in it is a good idea to put more tape over it to help with sealing (remember to put a hole in the tape for the air).

    Fit the tyre to check that it is tight enough. You can sometimes actually get it to start to inflate with a track pump without sealant if you get the rim taping just right.

    Unhook a section of the bead and pour in your sealant. Refit the tyre and then spin the wheel, rocking it from side to side to get the sealant around the tyre.

    Pump it up to about 40 psi using the track pump (if it won’t inflate you need a better seal, add more tape). Once it has been inflated you should see sealant sealing the bead and any holes in the tyre casing.

    Do a short ride up and down the street to help get the sealant into all the nooks. Leave it overnight and hopefully it will be sealed.

    With my CX tyres the front sealed first time, the rear leaked about 20psi on the first few rides. It sealed after that, sometimes it does take the extra rides for them to fully bed in.


    No tubes sealant £15
    Insulating tape £2
    Valves free



    I’ve successfully converted wheels to tubeless using gorilla tape (the one inch wide roll) and sealant.


    1″ wide gorilla tape for me. I tried electrical tape, but didn’t stay up. Probably just me though.

    Premier Icon somafunk

    As others have said use gorilla tape, we use it in the shop to set-up wheels tubeless and i’ve used it for years on my bikes, works better than stans tape.

    Make sure your rim well is cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and try and fit the tape in a warm room or heat the rim up with a hairdryer.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    Ghetto with bmx tube. Fun bit was slicing the excess off without slicing holes in the tyre. Three years old now with no problems.


    Thanks for the replies. Food for thought. Might give it a go. How reliable has the gorilla tape conversions been?


    Gorilla tape here bought cheap from Wilko’s. Been up for months with Joe’s no flats sealant.


    Got rims converted with insulation tape and stans valves. Been like it for over 5 years and fine.


    Well , just converted my rear wheel . Cleaned internal rim, fitted Gorilla tape (one layer), put in a tubeless valve (Superstar), fitted a brand new Michelin Wild Grip’R2 Tubeless Ready and pumped up all went well so popped valve out put in Stans sealant and pumped up again. No leaks on sidewalls and holding air, fingers crossed its worked. Will leave it for a day or so. I can’t believe how easy it was to pump up just using a track pump, I think as the tyres were a tight fit that helped. Result………so far.

    For info…

    Rims…Fulcrum Red Power XL 29


    Nice one.

    [thread hijack]

    How’s about the other way? I’m interested in a vintage roadie with Mavic tubs – possible to use regular clinchers? I’m not sure I can be arsed with tubs.

    [/thread hijack]

    Premier Icon jonathan


    Tubeless isn’t tubular.

    Premier Icon sazter

    Have two bikes set up ghetto, first one I used a bmx tube and liquid latex watered down, worked great but the rims on the other bike wouldn’t allow use of bmx tube so used gorilla tape. Best advice is to paint the sidewall of the tyre with latex and inflate, let it dry and it creates a seal then you can add latex and spin/rock/sloosh the latex about the inside to your hearts content. I used Schwalbe tubes as they have removable cores.


    Split BMX tube, 4 wheelsets, without any issues. Two are Sun rims, two WTB. The WTBs are tubeless ready, so I could have used gorilla tape – but its all done now, so not going to dismount and set up again.

    Rims…Fulcrum Red Power XL 29

    Not sure I’d use standard rims with gorilla tape unless they were tubeless ready, and the tyres were also. You’re relying on the bead seating very nicely, and yes, it might do, and then again, it might not do.

    See how it goes. If you get any issues with burping, go to a BMX tube.

    How’s about the other way? I’m interested in a vintage roadie with Mavic tubs – possible to use regular clinchers?

    not a chance, rim profile is all wrong.



    Ride out in the woods yesterday for just over 2 hours, no loss of air pressure, no off the rim moments it all held up superbly with me (94KG) plus riding gear. All seems good and I was very sceptical, I was admittedly a bit cautious for the first hour expecting a catastrophic failure 🙂


    About to try this…. surely if you find that it doesnt seal right after youve put the sealent in youve wasted it? To add another layer of tape means taking the tyre off and cleaning the rim up doesnt it?

    Premier Icon chrisdw

    Did ghetto conversion with duct tape to build rim well up.
    And a BMX tube.

    Works great. I do have access to a compressor which helps a lot!

    Tyre is a high roller 2 exo casing. Non tubeless ready. Went up first time.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I gave up with Mavics- either 717 or 719, not entirely sure which it was now! Got it to seal up etc but had burping/rolling issues, basically just swapped flats for burps unless I ran higher pressures. I’d done enough faffing so just moved on, so maybe if I’d put in a little more work it’d have been good.

    DT78 – Member

    About to try this…. surely if you find that it doesnt seal right after youve put the sealent in youve wasted it?

    You’ll waste a bit but you can recover most of it.


    I’ve found the 1″ Gorilla tape to be superior to Stans. Will try it on my Stans Crests next. £2.50 a roll is a quarter of the price too. Had no joy with electrical tape.

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