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“Ghetto tubeless” on a ‘cross bike.

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“Ghetto tubeless” on a ‘cross bike.

Old 07-30-12, 08:53 AM
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“Ghetto tubeless” on a ‘cross bike.

I managed to convert my mountain bike to tubeless a few years ago by following this YouTube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRM7gq1fcoQ
I’m not sure how it will work with a cyclocross tire/wheel. Like many cross bikes, I’m running a road wheel with cross sized tires which are wider than what rim is rated for. I worry that the extra width of the tube on the inside of the bead in combination with the fact that the tube is squishy might make the tire more likely roll off the wheel. Has anyone had success setting up cross tires on road wheels this way?
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Old 07-30-12, 10:06 AM
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The overly wide tires can can be squirrely when cornering, especially if ridden at somewhat low pressure. But I don't think they're any more likely to pull off the rim if the fit at the bead seat is correct. A hook edge rim, combined with a tire made for it (slight pocket above the bead wire) is very unlikely to get pulled off.

So your concern should be with the handling, something you should be familiar with if already riding them with tubes. The risk of pulling off the rim, should be the same with or without tubes.
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Old 07-30-12, 10:12 AM
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If the narrow rims are an issue, there are a lot of wider road rims these days.
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Old 07-30-12, 10:18 AM
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Mind you, there is the 'burp' of all the air out in a corner,
as others have mentioned..
might as well just build up a set, or 2 of sew up wheels.
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Old 07-30-12, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
The risk of pulling off the rim, should be the same with or without tubes.
The consequences, however, are much worse without a tube. If the tire moves off the rim a little bit with tubes, you don't lose all your air.

You can't tell how bad the risk is for tubeless based on experience with tubes because if the tire lifted off the rim a little bit, you might never notice it, or you might get a pinch flat which you would chalk up to bottoming out. So you could already have been operating in the danger zone, but taking the tube out of the picture could eliminate one of the safety nets.

I disagree with the assessment that the risk is the same, however. A tire and tube is held to the rim by the pressure bearing on the tire (through the tube) above the bead, but the tube is also being pressed against the rim below the bead, and to move the bead off the rim you have to stretch the tube while it's being pressed against the rim by pressure.

A tubeless tire is only held to the rim by the pressure acting above the bead.
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Old 07-30-12, 10:59 AM
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with a tube in the tire, people have finished races with grass trapped in their wheels,
between rim and tire, that they picked up on the course.
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Old 07-30-12, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
The consequences, however, are much worse without a tube. If the tire moves off the rim a little bit with tubes, you don't lose all your air.

True, especially if dealing with only a bit of squirming, but generally if a tire has enough force to lift slightly, it tends to go all the way. so there is a difference, but IMO not enough that'd I factor it either way.

Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
You can't tell how bad the risk is for tubeless based on experience with tubes because if the tire lifted off the rim a little bit, you might never notice it...

I disagree with the assessment that the risk is the same, however. A tire and tube is held to the rim by the pressure bearing on the tire (through the tube) above the bead, but the tube is also being pressed against the rim below the bead, and to move the bead off the rim you have to stretch the tube while it's being pressed against the rim by pressure.

A tubeless tire is only held to the rim by the pressure acting above the bead.
There's always room for disagreement. IMO the forces involved in pulling a tire off a rim are staggering in comparason to the elasticity of an inner tube, so the added tension provided by the stretch of the tube's belly isn't going to be meaningful.

As I originally posted, I believe that the handleing effects of oversized tires will be more material than the blow off effects, so the OP can test that before going forward. He can also see if the tire stays on.

If the tire doesn't clear these two hurdles, there's no point going farther, but if it does he can try tubeless. There's no gauranty it'll work, but at least there's no guaranty it won't.
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Old 07-30-12, 12:35 PM
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I watched both of the videos on how to make a ghetto tubeless and I really enjoyed the DIY attitude but honestly, what is the advantage of the ghetto tubeless wheel?

I don't imagine that the weight savings is there after the sealant is poured in. Quick tire changes are going to be hard to do. And the tires almost seem more susceptible to damage considering there is no inner tube protecting against punctures (sealant notwithstanding, I could say you could put sealant in tube as well).

What am I missing?
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Old 07-30-12, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I watched both of the videos on how to make a ghetto tubeless and I really enjoyed the DIY attitude but honestly, what is the advantage of the ghetto tubeless wheel?

I don't imagine that the weight savings is there after the sealant is poured in. Quick tire changes are going to be hard to do. And the tires almost seem more susceptible to damage considering there is no inner tube protecting against punctures (sealant notwithstanding, I could say you could put sealant in tube as well).

What am I missing?
It's usually the ability to run lower pressure without the risk of a pinch flat. On a race with uneven terrain, it's a very good thing. Plus, the weight savings (at least from normal tubeless) are not insubstantial, if you're into that thing, and I've heard very good things about the increase in ride quality, but that might be from the lower tire pressure.
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Old 07-30-12, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I watched both of the videos on how to make a ghetto tubeless and I really enjoyed the DIY attitude but honestly, what is the advantage of the ghetto tubeless wheel?

I don't imagine that the weight savings is there after the sealant is poured in. Quick tire changes are going to be hard to do. And the tires almost seem more susceptible to damage considering there is no inner tube protecting against punctures (sealant notwithstanding, I could say you could put sealant in tube as well).

What am I missing?
Well, the advantage of not running a tube (any tubular or tubeless system) is the ability to run lower pressure without pinch flatting, the advantage of tubeless vs tubular is the ability to carry an extra tube, pull out the valve stem and use the tube to fix a flat temporarily, the advantage of ghetto tubeless over a ready-made tubeless wheel & tire is not having to buy a new wheel and tire. I already have the sealant and some old tubes from when I used to have a 26 inch Mountain bike so my total cost of the conversion would be $0.00 and I'm cheap.

I ran Ghetto tubeless on a mountain bike for a while, but since selling that bike, I haven't bothered to set it up on my new one. I ran it for a season at 20 psi in the front and 25 in the rear with no flats. The only thing preventing my from doing it again is the main disadvantage of going tubeless; it's a pain to set up. I knew of several other people who ran ghetto tubeless on their Mountain bikes and I'm under the impression it's quite common, but I don't know of/have not heard of people doing it on cross bikes, and wondered if it had to do with the fact that most people who use clinchers on Cross bikes are using 33-35mm tires on road rims that are only made for 19-28m tires and I wondered of the lack of DIY tubeless setups on cross bikes had to do with that.
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Old 07-30-12, 11:02 PM
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This DIY video is an interesting approach to tubeless for sure, and I might even be inclined to try it out...if not for one question....The "base tube" that you've stretched into place is being held in place nicely by the bead when fully installed. However, unlike a true tubeless rim/tire combo, if the tire is ever unseated for any reason at all, the base rubber (that's had all it's excess cut off) will pull itself down below the bead. You'd have to pick up another base tube, re-cut and basically do the entire job over again. I've ridden with guys running tubeless and occasionally they do have puncture and/or seating issues...but rather than simply re-seating and re-sealing as they do, tubeless done this way would require you to do the whole base tube install over again, just to get the rubber back up in between the bead. It sounds like a bit of a hassle. Am I missing something?

-Jeremy
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Old 07-30-12, 11:47 PM
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Thanks for the info regarding tubeless wheels, I didn't know that they allowed much lower pressures to be used. I only ride on the road so that kind of desire never crossed my mind.
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Old 07-31-12, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Tunnelrat81 View Post
This DIY video is an interesting approach to tubeless for sure, and I might even be inclined to try it out...if not for one question....The "base tube" that you've stretched into place is being held in place nicely by the bead when fully installed. However, unlike a true tubeless rim/tire combo, if the tire is ever unseated for any reason at all, the base rubber (that's had all it's excess cut off) will pull itself down below the bead. You'd have to pick up another base tube, re-cut and basically do the entire job over again. I've ridden with guys running tubeless and occasionally they do have puncture and/or seating issues...but rather than simply re-seating and re-sealing as they do, tubeless done this way would require you to do the whole base tube install over again, just to get the rubber back up in between the bead. It sounds like a bit of a hassle. Am I missing something?

-Jeremy
When I was running it before, I always imagined that in the case of a flat, I would probably end up yanking the base tube out anyway and using a regular tube until I got around to setting it up again. The flat never ended up happening to me, and I sold the bike to some poor Craigslist stranger whose eyes glazed over when I started trying to explain that the tires are tubeless, and then pointed to the valve and said "So... you put the air in here, right?" Anyway, yes this would be something to do with a relatively durable all-conditions kind of tire that would last all season, and would be redone as part of an annual overhaul and/or tire replacement... not something for the folks who like to change their tires every time the weather changes. It is hassle to make a new rim strip every time, but theoretically, flats would be few and far between. If there weren't any disadvantages to doing it this way, nobody would spend the extra money to buy a tubeless system.
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Old 07-31-12, 08:09 AM
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I raced on ghetto tubeless last year. Some of the lessons I learned during the season are: (1) rim and tire sizing important, I first used a set of kenda kwicker tires and they were great until I ran over a razor blade on some single track and switched over the rear to a specialized the captaincx. After that I rolled the tire off the rim on some off camber sections. (2) While you can run much lower pressures, you chance burping the tire on remounts and bumps and turns. This happened twice and is just as bad as a pinch flat. (3) You dont save any weight. The weight of the sealant and heavier rim tape atleast equal the weight of the tube it is replacing. (4) a few months ago I finally decided that I would build my self a set of tubular rims, and I have to say that with some Challenge Grifo tires, some take off hubs and 25 $ rims I have something lighter and much less prone to failure than ghetto tubeless.
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Old 07-31-12, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There's always room for disagreement. IMO the forces involved in pulling a tire off a rim are staggering in comparason to the elasticity of an inner tube, so the added tension provided by the stretch of the tube's belly isn't going to be meaningful.
The tube is under pressure though.
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Old 07-31-12, 09:43 AM
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I wish more people would switch to tubeless for CX. With the amount of burps I see it would take out half the field. Find a cheap tubular setup, really the best way to go.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by math is fun View Post
I raced on ghetto tubeless last year. Some of the lessons I learned during the season are: (1) rim and tire sizing important, I first used a set of kenda kwicker tires and they were great until I ran over a razor blade on some single track and switched over the rear to a specialized the captaincx. After that I rolled the tire off the rim on some off camber sections. (2) While you can run much lower pressures, you chance burping the tire on remounts and bumps and turns. This happened twice and is just as bad as a pinch flat. (3) You dont save any weight. The weight of the sealant and heavier rim tape atleast equal the weight of the tube it is replacing. (4) a few months ago I finally decided that I would build my self a set of tubular rims, and I have to say that with some Challenge Grifo tires, some take off hubs and 25 $ rims I have something lighter and much less prone to failure than ghetto tubeless.
Good info, thank you. What was the width if the rims you used mostly successfully with the Kwicker tires?
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Old 07-31-12, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Debusama View Post
Good info, thank you. What was the width if the rims you used mostly successfully with the Kwicker tires?
they were mavic CXP 22 rims
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