I last did a tubeless set up when it first came out using yellow tape on stans rims. I quite liked but did often find it a faff getting tyres on and sealed etc.
Skip forward 5 years and I have a new bike with standard spec Bontrager wheels and tyres (29) both say there tubeless but have tubes.
Question is has setting up tubeless improved and whats he best way to go about it ?
TaPosted 5 years ago
Bontrager rims are generally taped from factory, the bike should’ve come with tubeless vavles.
Just whip the tubes out, fit the valves, tyres on, sealant in and inflatePosted 5 years ago
If the rims and Tyres are tubeless ready, it does seem ridiculously easy now. I remember much fun and games in the early days before many companies were on board with it.Posted 5 years ago
Honestly, there’s no excuse to be using tubes on an MTB these days and if you do insist on it, and get a puncture, I think your riding mates are quite within their rights to leave you to fix it and keep riding… 🙂
Even today, I find some rims and tyres are easier to seat than others, but if you have some form of rapid inflation system (compressor, modified fire extinguisher, CO2) then this is no real problem and once seated and inflated will work fine.
I have WTB i29 KOMs and they don’t seal to my Ikons quite as well as I would like, but within a few minutes they stop seeping air as the sealant takes effect. Other bikes I’ve built recently have had Ardent + Stans rims and they’ve been much better, often sealing perfectly even without sealant.Posted 5 years ago
Oh, should have added that I always use this kit which is the Hope OEM tubeless kit. Has everything you need for £18, which seems a good deal to me:
Question is has setting up tubeless improved and whats he best way to go about it ?
IMO you want the rim strips. For this you’ll need to buy the strip from a Trek&co dealer, and a valve. Then it’s fit tubeless-ready tyre, put Stans in and pump. Simple. The Bontrager strips are made to fit Bontrager wheels, but there are a few types so you need to get the right one. They make symmetric or asymmetric versions, but this refers to the spoke bed on the inside not where the holes are on the outside. I have some that have off-centre spokes but the bed is symmetric.Posted 5 years ago
It can still be a bit hit and miss – I’ve had tyres go up no problem just using a track pump then one tyre simply refuses to seat properly. Same make and model of tyre on the same rim as before, same procedure, just doesn’t want to know without a lot of effort.
Using an Airshot or similar makes this less of a problem though.Posted 5 years ago
Cheers sounds like it’s definitely something I should do but giving it some thought I’m going to take it to the shop and let them set it up. I know it can go easily enough but I have memories of sealing fluid everywhere and half a dozen canisters used etc so I’ll le them do it the first time.
Thanks again.Posted 5 years ago
If the rims and Tyres are tubeless ready, it does seem ridiculously easy now.
+1 never had any problems when using TR rims/tyres, everything’s always gone up easy first time. Never bothered with rim-strips, just get some Tesa 4289 off eBay (same as Stan’s but WAY cheaper). I would also recommend an Airshot, etc.Posted 5 years ago
My general procedure is:
Unfold tyre and allow to take its new shape, basically leave overnight
Prepare rim with tape and valve
Put tyre on rim
Remove valve core
Inflate using Airshot
Remove Airshot – tyre will deflate but should stay on rims
Depending on time available, reinsert valve core and use track pump to inflate to around 40psi and leave for a while, this helps force the beads into the rims. Remove valve core.
Inject sealant through valve, replace valve core, inflate to whatever pressure you want to use. Shake to get the sealant spread around.
Go for a ride.
Depending on the tyre some will stay up but others will slowly deflate and need a few rides before everything is sealed properly.
Sounds more faff than it is TBH, the first step can be done anytime really and just gets the kinks out of the beads from when the tyre’s been folded up.Posted 5 years ago
I basically use the same process as Whitestone above. It works and is reliable. These days I expect the taping and tyre mounting to be the time consuming parts – and these should be quite quick really. Actually airing up and putting the goop in is now the work of minutes. It’s perfectly possible to do a pair of wheels in your kitchen with no special equipment apart from the right tape in an hour without rushing. It’s still normal for a fresh set up to deflate overnight if you haven’t ridden it. So long as there’s no obvious leak then pump it back up and go for a ride. It’ll probably never do it again until the next tyre.
The potential problems are:
Tape faults. The tape is a gastight seal and needs to be as wrinkle free as possible. If you have a wheel that just won’t stay up, take a look at the tape when you take the tyre off. If there’s goop under the tape (or you saw goop coming out of the spoke holes) then your taping is bad and it’ll never work. Frequent offender is the hole you made for the valve. Do it again.
Not being able to supply enough air to seat the bead. This depends on your tape set up, tyre choice and rim choice. I can easily do a WTB tyre on a WTB rim with a track pump with no sweat inducing ‘pump as fast as you can’ now. I also have Schwalbe tyres on WTB or Stans rims that won’t seat without an Airshot or some other way to deliver a bulk hit of pressure. There is variability here, but you can work around it with a pop bottle, screen wash hose and a couple of old valves if you need to – Airshots and compressors are nice to have but non-essential.
Tyre and rim choice. Newer rims are almost certain to play nice. Older rims like Mavic 3** series are possible but a nightmare. Tyres: some are just better at seating and sealing than others. This is partly bead design and partly sidewall construction. The WTB TCS tyres have a squarer bead like a true UST which is why they work so easily (and why Stans don’t recommend them on their rims although they do actually work). Sidewall design is tougher – some are less porous than others. This isn’t completely about tyre weight but a lot of lighter tyres will show more porosity while setting up. Tyres you’ve had a while may be impossible to set up as the rubber changes with age and can become damaged through under inflation/being ridden flat.Posted 5 years ago
I’ve got some conversions, and some running UST rims. With compressed air (I use a ghetto tubeless inflator) and valve core removed, the tyres go up no problem on the UST rims, and once the beads have pinged into position over the lips, the tyre will stay in place even if it deflates.
On the converted rims, it can be a bit more of a faff as the tyre doesn’t necessarily stay put when it deflates, so getting the valve core back in can let it deflate and then you have to start again, swore at a (to be fair, not tubeless ready) tyre for a good half hour or more the other week trying to get it on one of the rims – but I did have problems with valves too (one was gummed up with dried up sealant, the replacement I put in just didn’t hold air for some reason, 3rd time lucky), which I didn’t realise until quite late in the whole process!
It’s still a bit messy with sealant, particularly re. changing tyres over. But worth it for lighter and faster rolling tyres, and no thorn punctures any more due to sealant.
Edit – should’ve added that with the proper rims, there was no faff with trying to build up the spoke bed to an adequate height or anything. And in my case the spokes don’t penetrate the rim bed, so no faffing with tape, just put a valve in – no idea how bontrager rims work re. this, but they have been doing tubeless a while so should be fairly sensible I would assume!Posted 5 years ago
As has been said use the Trek rimstrips but make sure you get the correct ones for your wheels , trek valves and make sure your tyres are tubeless ready and they are an absolute doddle to set up with sealant in them.Posted 5 years ago
In the old days tyres were pretty porous which made it harder, but I’ve not had any problems since using tubeless ready aka TLR aka 2Bliss etc etc.Posted 5 years ago
just get some Tesa 4289 off eBay
Thanks for the hint. It does look very similar indeed! 🙂Posted 5 years ago
Tubeless has been around a lot longer than 5 years – I’ve been using it off and on since maybe 2003 and it had been out a couple of years before that.
As to faff – its not generally an issue but an Airshot does help with potentially problematic combinations of rim and tyre.Posted 5 years ago
Job done..did it myself but the gents at the bike shop went above and beyond by taking a look at the wheels and making sure I had the right bits.
A bit of sealant on the garage floor and the rear tyre on the wrong way round(its staying that way) and the jobs done with a floor pump.
Ta everyone.Posted 5 years ago
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