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  • Tubeless set up – please help me with my shopping list!
  • Premier Icon mrb123
    Free Member

    Going to be attempting to set up a bike tubeless for the first time for the Dirty Reiver in April. I’ve already got the tyres ready to go (Gravelking SKs) but am after a bit of advice as to the best and most economical bits and pieces I’ll need to buy. Rims are Pacenti SL25s which I think are 20mm internal.

    Valves – these seem to vary massively in price and some of the prices seem pretty outrageous for what they are. I note that Malcolm at the Cycle Clinic does 2 for £6 so wondering if I should go for those (https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/tubeless-bits-and-bobs)

    Tape – what would be the best to go for and in what width? I’ve seen some guidance suggesting adding 3-5mm to the rim width so I guess some 25mm may be best.

    Sealant – again, what would people recommend? I anticipate returning the bike to different tyres and inner tubes after the event so won’t need gallons of the stuff.

    Other things – will I need a valve core remover or will pliers and/or fingers do the job? Will I need a syringe type device to get the sealant in or not? I see that some sealants come in a bottle with a nozzle that will presumably go in the valve hole anyway.

    I have seen that Stans do a kit which seems to have everything in it for about £25 so could just go for that unless I can do it better or more cheaply by buying the bits separately. Or I could just get the LBS to do it all for me instead!

    Any advice gratefully received!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    In my experience, valves are valves. I just find the cheapest ones I can off ebay etc.

    Good idea to go up on rim width, so 25mm tape in 20mm rim sounds fine. I’m happy with Stans/WTB/Tesa tape. Goes in easily and the glossy surface helps tyres slide into the bead.

    Needle nosed pliers will deal with the valve cores, though sone valves come with a wee tool.

    I’ve kept a wee Stans bottle for filling up through the valve, no syringe necessary..

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    If you’ve a multi-tool then the chain tool often has a slot that fits removable valve cores – I think it’s meant as a spoke key.

    I’m happy with Stans as sealant. I use Gorilla tape but if you are thinking of going back to tubes it may not be the best option. Go with tape the external width of your rims – when you fit it and it pulls into the well of the rim you’ll end up with everything about right.

    Premier Icon simono5
    Full Member

    You may need a pump to get the bead onto the rim. Mine were OK with normal track pump, others I’ve seen have needed more effort.

    I’d recommend once you’re set-up tubeless, don’t go back. It’s made a big difference for me, no more worries about flats. Got four punctures due to the farmer cutting the local hedges on the last ride. All sealed quickly with little air loss.

    Premier Icon mrb123
    Free Member

    Thanks all.

    Looking around I reckon it might be hard to beat the Stans kit for £25 that has the valves, tape and sealant all included.

    Simon – I hear what you say but TBH punctures aren’t much of an issue for me fortunately. I’ve maybe had 2 or 3 total in the last 5 years, doing about 5000 miles per year on my road bikes.

    I do have my MTB set up tubeless but the shop did that for me when I bought it.

    Premier Icon petercook80
    Free Member

    I would recommend MUC Off No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant – it does not dry into snot in the tyre and is easy to clean out old sealant with water and seems to last well in my experience.

    Valves – I guess any valve will do

    Tape – My wheels came taped so I have not so far needed to re-tape

    Valve Core remover is a handy item to have and does not cost much

    Other tips, I get the tyre seated with no sealant (I use a rapid inflation air tank thing) and add sealant with the valve core removed. I also try not to remove the tyre again unless I really have to, as I feel the more the tyre comes on and off the less well it fits and seals. I top up sealant after removal of valve core and do that every 6 months. I also feel that a new tyre works better than an older one that has been used with a tube for some time (just my experience)

    Premier Icon mrb123
    Free Member

    Yeah, I’ll get them taped up and try to get the tyre seated first and then get the sealant in via the valve.

    Looks like Wiggle/CRC have a Lifeline valve core tool for a couple of quid so may get one of those as not sure I’ve got any pliers that will do the job.

    Premier Icon nickfrog
    Free Member

    Instead of buying the stuff for such short term use why don’t you tell us where you are and perhaps someone will set them up with using existing supply and tools for a few beers?
    They might even show you the ropes.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Never mind buying a tool for Schrader cores, just get a valve cap with the remover tool built in:


    I had no idea these existed but the cap on my tank valve that arrived today was one of those. Presta versions are also available (at a premium).

    Premier Icon hardtailonly
    Full Member

    If you’re not going to carry on tubeless after the Dirty Reiver, is there any / much point doing it in the first place? I’ve done the DR twice with tubes (although pinch-flatted twice on both occasions 🤔 … But pump enough air in and it will be alright. Probably 🤞)

    If you struggle to get the beads seated (I have, on road and gravel tyres, even using an airshot), it can be worth seating them with a tube and leaving 48 hours, whipping the tube out and then re-seating seems much easier.

    If you’re going to do it, I’d say keep I tubeless after the event.

    Premier Icon mrb123
    Free Member

    Well I’ve got the tyres already so may as well have a bash.

    The bike is ordinarily my winter road bike running 30mm slicks but it will be handy to have the bigger tyres and tubeless bits and pieces for any future gravel based activities.

    Premier Icon shortbread_fanylion
    Full Member

    If I’m organised enough once I’ve taped the rim I’ll fit a tyre with a tube for a few days to really get it adhered to the rim.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Valves are valves, but the little rubber seats that come with the valves can make all the difference between easy life a hard work when you come to fit the tyre and first blow it up. Muc off valves come with three different seats. Look here.
    Prepare Inflate Maintain (PIM)
    Similar from PX

    Tape I’m using cheap blue PX tape which is the best I’ve had so far. Better than the branded stuff, Stan’s etc, and cheap. But they may be down to 45mm now.

    Plus 1 for the fit a tyre to clamp it all down from the previous post.

    Oh yes, one last thing the winter/commuting bike has 32mm tubeless GP5000 on it. Fantastic tyres. At a price.

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