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Tubeless - lessons learned

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Tubeless - lessons learned

Old 12-12-17, 05:03 PM
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Tubeless - lessons learned

My first "upgrade"was going tubeless. I have tubeless ready Mulefut Sunringle 80 SL rims and tubeless tires. Should be easy, and it kind of is, but has some pitfalls. The internet is full of ideas:


This Video is a bit different, but shows me the "26" inner tube trick"

I installed Schrader valves, which required me to increase the hole to 8 mm (original Presta). This is much better for me (less chance of damaging valve, works with pressure gages, easier to use on most pumps and compressor), but Presta also will work.

60 mm rim strip is already in the wheel from the original tube setup. I only needed to buy the 78mm tubeless Tape. Others have used all kind of tape, but i felt better not cheapening out on that.

the bare rim should be cleaned with alcohol and or some mineral spirit. Install the rim strip and center it. Careful since it slides off-center easily. You see how the spoke imprints make it stay where it originally was, which is not necessarily in the center:


I then cleaned another time the exposed rim to remove fingerprints. Then I installed the rim tape. I kind of screwed that up because I focused on getting it tight on the exposed rim, which lead to wrinkles over the rim strip. OVerlap the tape by a foot or so. I put some tape over my brake lever to keep the wheel from spinning while applying the tape.


Then install the valve and put a stainless steel spacer under the nut and TIGHTEN it. TIGHT.

Then I put the tire on. first one side to hook the tire into the rim and kind of press the tire to do the same on the other side. Some people install an inner tube and inflate it, but that still leaves the one side to "convince" to seat properly. Some soap sprayed in may help for the tire to slide better.

Then I tried to inflate with my compressor and it didn't work. Catch 22, you need pressure to seal the tire, but without sealed tire you can't create enough pressure. I also made the mistake to leave the valve core in for that since that limits airflow somewhat. It just didn't work. then i put a 26" inner tube around the tire to squeeze it on the rim and that helped. Some people use a bungee cord or similar. The tire inflated to 20 psi and the tire popped audibly on the rim. i squeezed it around to make sure the tire is tight. It still lost some air, but with sealant it worked well. i injected 4 oz of sealant into the valve (core removed, inflated and rolled it around. Not sure how long you need to roll it, but you want all sealant to get all around and seal all holes. I then moved to the other wheel and turned that one every few minutes.

Result:


It worked well for 3 months and when installing studded tires i recovered about half the sealant. since my rim tape job wasn't great i was fully prepared to re-do that. but the air pressure put out all the wrinkles and i just left it since it looked much better now and it apparently had worked for long:


This time I did the first inflation with the valve core removed but forgot the inner tube trick. Of course it didn't work and I remembered the inner tube trick , which worked right away. Not sure I could do it in the field without compressor, apparently some people can do it with a pump.

For rides I take with me:
- spare inner tube
- Plug Patch Kit, which doesn't require me to remount the tire. this should help with large holes the sealant can't seal.
- Tire Patch Kit, which requries re-mounting of the tire. So I'm not sure it would help in the field, but that is what the spare tube is for unless I'm lucky.

I use this 15 psi gauge and run front at aroudn 6 psi and rear at around 12 psi. My first few rides is tarted out at 15 psi and dialed it down. My thought was with new sealant it may take some days to seal all holes 100%, and it is easier to lower pressure in the field than to increase it.

This is my experience and advice. I'm sure there are different ways.
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