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So my "Tubeless Ready" rims are actually...not?

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So my "Tubeless Ready" rims are actually...not?

Old 03-26-22, 05:53 PM
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pbass
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So my "Tubeless Ready" rims are actually...not?

I have a 2019 Kona Rove ST I bought new, and the bike spec said the rims were "WTB Asym i23 TCS". Well, getting tubeless tires (all WTB--Byways, Ventures, and now Senderos) to mount to these rims has been a nightmare every time. I've never once been able to do it myself - I have one of those Blackburn pumps with the compression chamber, and have even tried the gas station high powered air pump. Always had to take it to the LBS. The last time, it took 2 guys wrestling it for an hour to get the then new Senderos to mount.
So, the Senderos have been on now for a year, and I just popped one side off because something was clogging my valve, so I could clean it out. Now, that side will not mount again.
I took it to the LBS and they tried for a good while and basically gave up---they said these rims don't appear to actually be tubeless compatible. That would certainly explain why it's always been a struggle and apparently just luck when they do actually mount. They were sold as "TCS". However, the rim does not say "TCS" anywhere on it. See the pic. Is it the case then that these really aren't TCS rims?

https://konaworld.com/archive/2019/rove_st.cfm



EDIT: I also tried a different tire, the Venture that had previously been on it, and still no luck. Tried the soapy water trick...nada.

Last edited by pbass; 03-26-22 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 03-26-22, 06:15 PM
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You should be able to tell by looking at the rim profile:


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Old 03-26-22, 06:55 PM
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It does have the center channel -- see this pic. I had put a tube in earlier and inflated it way up and the bead totally seated. But, I now take out the tube, put my tubeless valve back in nice and tight, pump up the air cylinder to 160psi and let 'er rip, and....nothin'.
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Old 03-26-22, 07:18 PM
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Everything I read about this rim indicates that it's tubeless. Try a different tire?
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Old 03-26-22, 07:21 PM
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Iíve never used tubeless on a bike. But Iíve seen tire techs and car mechanics put a strap around the tire and tighten it to get the bead to seal when they begin inflating. Something like that might work on a tubeless bike tire. Maybe a long piece of cord tied tightly around the tire. Then once/if the bead sets, remove the cord and fully inflate.


Dan
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Old 03-26-22, 07:36 PM
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Yep, tried a tire that had previously been on that wheel. Still no luck.
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Old 03-26-22, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Everything I read about this rim indicates that it's tubeless. Try a different tire?
Yep, tried a WTB Venture that was previously on this wheel. No luck.

This has always been an issue with these WTB rims and all three of the WTB tires I have used with them. LBS's have always had to struggle to get them to mount. It seems like it's just luck when it works. Sucks, because, I want to be able to change my darn tires myself! I got the tubeless cylinder pump for that very reason. As I say I even tried the gas station air compressor. I feel like it shouldn't be this hard. Would springing for new/better rims mean I'd have a greater likelihood of more ease of tubeless maintenance?
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Old 03-26-22, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
Iíve never used tubeless on a bike. But Iíve seen tire techs and car mechanics put a strap around the tire and tighten it to get the bead to seal when they begin inflating. Something like that might work on a tubeless bike tire. Maybe a long piece of cord tied tightly around the tire. Then once/if the bead sets, remove the cord and fully inflate.


Dan
The mechs at the LBS tried that trick too, putting straps around it. Two mechanics were working on it, just like the last time----it took 2 guys over an hour to finally get it to seat.
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Old 03-26-22, 07:55 PM
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roll firmly the tire while on the rim during inflation.
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Old 03-26-22, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Yep, tried a WTB Venture that was previously on this wheel. No luck.

This has always been an issue with these WTB rims and all three of the WTB tires I have used with them. LBS's have always had to struggle to get them to mount. It seems like it's just luck when it works. Sucks, because, I want to be able to change my darn tires myself! I got the tubeless cylinder pump for that very reason. As I say I even tried the gas station air compressor. I feel like it shouldn't be this hard. Would springing for new/better rims mean I'd have a greater likelihood of more ease of tubeless maintenance?
I've had no issues with the two WTB tubeless wheelsets I own (only one uses WTB tires), so I can't really say if other rims would necessarily work better -- and that can be an expensive experiment!

Maybe try mounting a non-WTB tire? Or ask if the shop has a non-WTB rim they'd let you try to mount your WTB tire on, just to see?
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Old 03-26-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I've had no issues with the two tubeless wheelsets I own (both have WTB rims, one uses WTB tires), so I can't really say if other rims would necessarily work better -- and that can be an expensive experiment!

Maybe try mounting a non-WTB tire? Or ask if the shop has a non-WTB rim they'd let you try to mount your WTB tire on, just to see?
Yeah, I mean, that's the only reason I would spring for new rims. It's not a ride quality issue for me. And as you say, sounds like an expensive experiment.

I'd be down to try other tires, but then as with new rims what am I chasing? It just seems like something is off here--"tubeless ready" WTB rims and tubeless WTB tires that don't play well together. And it's been true w the Ventures and the Senderos, so it's not just one particular tire. Maybe I just got a crappy pair of WTB rims?
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Old 03-26-22, 08:08 PM
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This technique works for me:


I have WTB KOM Tough i25 rims and Gravelking SK 700x50. I pull half the bead on each side up on the "shelf" and that puts a lot of tension on the beads so it holds air well enough I can pump it up with a regular floor pump - I don't even have to take the valve cores out.

Last edited by tyrion; 03-26-22 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 03-26-22, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Maybe I just got a crappy pair of WTB rims?
Yeah, I don't know. I want to think there's a technique that would solve it, but if the shop wrestled with it for an hour, maybe it's time to cut your losses... Ugh. How frustrating.
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Old 03-26-22, 08:52 PM
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We just had major problems w/ WTB rims and getting tires to hold air. Their center channel is pretty deep. We taped the rims probably 5-6 different times and then gave up. We called WTB (they're right down the street from us) and they brought some silly little bits that were supposed to go between the valve lockring and the rim. They didn't help at all. I had mentioned to the guy working on it originally that I've seen some narrow (width of the center channel basically) red tape w/ some WTB rims. We called, asked for that and boom...no more leaks. It goes under the normal tubeless tape. That would help w/ seating as well. I'm pretty much convinced that their stuff just kinda sucks.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
We just had major problems w/ WTB rims and getting tires to hold air. Their center channel is pretty deep. We taped the rims probably 5-6 different times and then gave up. We called WTB (they're right down the street from us) and they brought some silly little bits that were supposed to go between the valve lockring and the rim. They didn't help at all. I had mentioned to the guy working on it originally that I've seen some narrow (width of the center channel basically) red tape w/ some WTB rims. We called, asked for that and boom...no more leaks. It goes under the normal tubeless tape. That would help w/ seating as well. I'm pretty much convinced that their stuff just kinda sucks.
Man, I think maybe that's the case here. Maybe it's time upgrade. I did really make sure the valve was super snug. I even put a little sealant around the base of the valve and let it sit. I have not tried more tape. The fact that my LBS guys who are really top notch are just throwing up their hands on it makes me feel like it's a losing battle with these WTB components.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
This technique works for me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rkb...=SydFixesBikes

I have WTB KOM Tough i25 rims and Gravelking SK 700x50. I get pull the bead on each side up on the "shelf" and that puts a lot of tension on the beads so it holds air well enough I can pump it up with a regular floor pump - I don't even have to take the valve cores out.
I'll give it a go!
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Old 03-27-22, 12:59 AM
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When I changed my gravel bike tire I had a hell of a time, much worse than Schwalbe tires on my Scraper rims, and I think the cause is the rim width. It's a WTB this size though not this model. MTB rims are much wider so the shelf from the inner channel to the bead seat is a lot more forgiving of the technique shown in the video above. I had a similar problem once with an asym rim whose channel was off center, not the usual arrangement. (Diamondback Blanchard, fwiw.) The wide side went easy, the narrow side was just a pain in the ass. It definitely does help to pull as much as possible of the bead into place as you can so it's good and tight before you start to add air.

WTB rims also have a ridge between the "shelf" and the bead seat which is supposed to guide the bead over and lock it in, but definitely does also present an obstacle that literally must be overcome. Called "On Ramp" in their ad copy.

When I use a compressor I have the valve core out and use the blowoff nozzle.
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Old 03-27-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
When I changed my gravel bike tire I had a hell of a time, much worse than Schwalbe tires on my Scraper rims, and I think the cause is the rim width. It's a WTB this size though not this model. MTB rims are much wider so the shelf from the inner channel to the bead seat is a lot more forgiving of the technique shown in the video above. I had a similar problem once with an asym rim whose channel was off center, not the usual arrangement. (Diamondback Blanchard, fwiw.) The wide side went easy, the narrow side was just a pain in the ass. It definitely does help to pull as much as possible of the bead into place as you can so it's good and tight before you start to add air.

WTB rims also have a ridge between the "shelf" and the bead seat which is supposed to guide the bead over and lock it in, but definitely does also present an obstacle that literally must be overcome. Called "On Ramp" in their ad copy.

When I use a compressor I have the valve core out and use the blowoff nozzle.
Interesting--thanks. Unfortunately my Blackburn Tubeless pump has a head that only locks onto the valve if the valve core is in. I'm going to see if they make a different one I can swap out. But aside from my amateur attempts, I mean, the the pros at the LBS struggle with these rims every...damn...time. I'm going to see if they'll take one more crack at it (since they did successfully mount it originally, albeit with lots of aggravation). But I will buy new rims of a different brand if it means I won't have to go through this every time I want to change a tire!
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Old 03-27-22, 12:37 PM
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Well, we have a happy ending. I took it to another LBS and after a few tries w the compressor the mechanic theorized that maybe the tape had gotten compromised when I pulled the bead off, and also noticed my valve wasn't seated ideally in the rim(which might have been from my frustrated tightening it w pliers). He re-taped the rim and put in a new valve and voila! It popped right into place with barely a squirt from the compressor. Total relief and something new for my noobie education.
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Old 03-27-22, 02:10 PM
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I always had a hard time sealing tubeless road tires after they had been used, and removed for cleaning. A few times I had to use a new tire even though the old tire had many klm left. I tried straps, soapy solution, pressing the tire into the rim, a compressor, nothing worked. I was always able to seal the new tires with a floor pump.
The combination was Shimano tubeless rims with Hutchinson fusion tires.
Once I changed to Conti tubeless I was able to seal used tires using a compressor..
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Old 03-27-22, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by yannisg View Post
I always had a hard time sealing tubeless road tires after they had been used, and removed for cleaning. A few times I had to use a new tire even though the old tire had many klm left. I tried straps, soapy solution, pressing the tire into the rim, a compressor, nothing worked. I was always able to seal the new tires with a floor pump.
The combination was Shimano tubeless rims with Hutchinson fusion tires.
Once I changed to Conti tubeless I was able to seal used tires using a compressor..
That's interesting, because my assumption is that the opposite would be more likely, that a used tire would easier to mount back on its same rim than a new one. That said, I was just reading on the Rene Herse site about how their "supple" tires can be trickier to mount than stiffer ones, so perhaps the used ones lose stiffness with use?
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Old 03-27-22, 06:48 PM
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Not sure if I missed it but did you try some soapy water on the rim?
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Old 03-27-22, 07:50 PM
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Here is your solution.

FattyStripper Tubeless Fat Bike Solution and SkinnyStripper Tubeless CX & DH Solution <link rel="image_src" href="https://fattystripper.com/media/FattyStripper_Logo_320.jpg" / ><link rel="image_src" href="https://fattystripper.com/media/FattyStripper_L
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Old 03-28-22, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
That's interesting, because my assumption is that the opposite would be more likely, that a used tire would easier to mount back on its same rim than a new one. That said, I was just reading on the Rene Herse site about how their "supple" tires can be trickier to mount than stiffer ones, so perhaps the used ones lose stiffness with use?
True, used tires are always easier to mount.
However, I was not talking about mounting the tire on the rim, which was not a problem, but sealing the used tire to the rim.
I changed all my valves to core removable valves so I wouldn't have to break the seal to add sealant. Breaking the seal either to add sealant or cleaning the tire-rim was a major problem for me with the combination mentioned.
It was even a reason to abandon the tubeless road tires altogether apart from the experienced rim corrosion,but that's another story.
I did not have this problem with mountain bike tires with the much large volume.
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Old 03-28-22, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Well, we have a happy ending. I took it to another LBS and after a few tries w the compressor the mechanic theorized that maybe the tape had gotten compromised when I pulled the bead off, and also noticed my valve wasn't seated ideally in the rim(which might have been from my frustrated tightening it w pliers). He re-taped the rim and put in a new valve and voila! It popped right into place with barely a squirt from the compressor. Total relief and something new for my noobie education.
glad you got it sorted. I was gonna say I have the I23's on my sutra and they seem to set up super easy like one of the easier wheels I have done.
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