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DIY tubes to tubeless conversion - easy?

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DIY tubes to tubeless conversion - easy?

Old 08-15-18, 11:26 AM
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Plainsman
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DIY tubes to tubeless conversion - easy?

Long time road cyclist, new to the MTB scene. Thinking I would like to convert my tubed 29er to run as tubeless. Is this an expensive/difficult conversion? I'm pretty handy with my bikes, just not that familiar with what's involved with going tubeless (as opposed to buying a new wheelset). Any actual difference in rims between the two, or is it all really about how they are sealed and the valve stems? Thanks for any links/advice pertaining to my newbie question!
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Old 08-15-18, 12:47 PM
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RubenAlonzo
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Hi there Plainsman, I tried to do the conversion on my Scott Aspect 970 but could not for the life of me get the tire to seat. I taped the wheel, used a good screw down stem and Slime. I just could not get the tire (Kenda Slant Six) to bead up. Yes it is possible, but WAY harder than the YouTube videos I saw make it out to be. In the end my LBS and Scott dealer will get my business for converting my tubed tires to tubeless ($40 for both wheels) this weekend. You do NOT need a new wheelset, ANY tube ready wheel can be converted according to my LBS.
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Old 08-15-18, 02:01 PM
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$40 total? Really? Wow, that seams like a slam dunk to me. I assumed I would spend that or more just on materials.
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Old 08-15-18, 04:06 PM
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I did it on my fuji, I started with using gorilla tape to seal the rims. start with 2 inches from the stem hole wrap slowly around pressing down as you go till you cover the wheel to another two inches beyond the stem hole. Get a tubeless ready tire it has a tougher side wall and is sealed so not leak out sealant. I found inflating with a tube for a week or so helped a new set of tires seat. also get a bucket put some soapy water if you cant get them to inflate the soapy water might help. don't waste sealant by trying to seat the tires first time, make sure they will seat before adding sealant. take the valve core out when inflating for the first time. then let out the air put in sealant and reseat with valve core in. It certainly isnt as easy as the videos but its not terrible. It certainly is easier to pay someone.
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Old 08-15-18, 10:41 PM
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Do you have an air compressor? If you you do that makes it fairly easy. If not you just have to hope you have one of those lucky combos of rim and tires that are easy.
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Old 08-16-18, 06:01 AM
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Do you have tubeless rims? Tubeless tires? Why make it harder trying to get non-tubeless tires and rims to work?
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Old 08-16-18, 07:50 AM
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IMHO not worth the hassle if you donít have tubeless tires and rims.
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Old 08-16-18, 09:38 AM
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I just bought a new MTB that came with tuebless ready tires. I did the conversion myself, without too much hassle with about an hours worth of work.. I think I spent ~$50 for the tape, valve stems and sealant from my LBS. 1 tire went smoothly, the other needed some help. After taping and adding sealant I could still hear a leak. I had to lay the wheel flat on both sides for an hour then keep swirling the sealant around and adding air. Right before I went to bed I adder air one more time, when I checked in the morning the tire was holding pressure. If your tires are tuebless ready It's a pretty simple task.

But if your LBS will do it for $40, that's a hell of a deal. I decided to give it a shot, then have my LBS if I couldn't get 'er done. Luckily I prevailed.
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Old 08-19-18, 04:53 PM
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Plainsman:

I've converted three sets of wheels - it got easier each time. I prefer to use the Cafelatex rim strip rather than tape as it goes on easy and can be removed, switched to another wheel, etc.

To facilitate seating the tires, I took an old presta core and removed the central post/valve/finger nut (just cut the central post with diagonal cutters below the finger nut). That leaves a clear tube with greater air flow to "pop" the tires up onto the rim seats. Sometimes I can seat with vigorous use of the floor pump but if that fails I use and air compressor with a presta chuck.

All of the tires I've used have been "tubeless ready".

Howard Snell
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Old 08-20-18, 08:14 PM
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In a pinch, a C02 cartridge works pretty well to seat a tire.
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Old 08-22-18, 03:27 PM
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All of the above....
running some sealant around the tyre bead made it easier for me.
Good seal, fast air flow seem to be the 2 critical factors.
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