Specialized Crave – Stout SL wheels tubeless

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  • Specialized Crave – Stout SL wheels tubeless
  • timb34
    Member

    It works!

    This is mostly to help other people who might be searching to find out if they can tubeless the OEM specialized Stout SL wheelsets that come with the lower model 2014 Crave bikes. The 2014 ones have “Stout SL” on the rims instead of “Carve”:

    Searching on mtbr suggested that the rims sould be OK to run tubeless. But nothing definitive. The craves all come with 2bliss tyres. I’ve had good results running the 26″ versions tubeless on both split tubes and UST rims, so I thought I’d have a go with the 29″ ones before the local trails dry out and get covered in thorns.

    The outer diameter of the rims is 1″, so instead of mucking about with split tubes, I bought a roll of Gorilla Tape from ebay – the “To-go” narrow roll that is exactly the right width.

    Removed the red plasticy rim tape, degreased the rims and added one turn of Gorilla Tape (pushing down the center, then the edges as in the Egde Composites video). I really didn’t think that it would be enough as the tyres were quite loose with the red rim tape, and seemed just as loose with one turn of tape.

    The tyres wouldn’t seat immediately, so I left a tube in at 40psi overnight to push down the tape.

    Next day I installed the Roval valves that the shop had given me, slopped soapy water around the beads and went at it with a track pump. The front Ground Control seated really easily and held air. It even went back up easily after popping a bead to add 3 scoops of Stans.

    The Roval valves didn’t look like they fitted well into the rim – the wide rubber base seemed to stand slightly proud of the rim, but I only did the locknut fingertight and they seem to be airtight.

    The back Fast Trak was harder to inflate, eventually it went on after I’d been round and pulled the bead up as close to the rim as possible. Second time (after adding Stans) was a lot easier.

    That was Sunday and both front and back seem to be holding really well since then (with a couple of short test rides). Just like when I converted the 26″ versions, there’s a noticeable increase in grip, easier acceleration and a different sound… even though my main reason for doing this is puncture protection.

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