What you need:
- Tubeless Valve Stems (ensure compatible valve stem height and that it comes with proper rubber grommets and orings on the valve nuts to ensure a good sealing)
- Tubeless Rim Tape (1-2mm wider than the internal width of rim) (Stans No Tubes)
- Tubeless Sealant (optional: syringe / tube if filling through valve)
- Presta Valve remover tool (if necessary)
- Tubeless Patching tool / kit
- Remove the stock rim tape
- (this is not designed to seal, its just to prevent tube from puncture)
- Clean the inside of rim & tires
- Remove old gunk/sealant/etc likely if tubeless was previously used – Use isopropyl alcohol or specific bike branded sealant remover
- Install tubeless specific rim tape
- Start the tape opposite of the valve stem (at the weld) and overlap the tape at the weld.
- Install the tape in sections, pulling firmly.
- At the end, overlap the tape 3 – 4 inches.
- Use a clean rag to smooth out the tape.
- Puncture the rim tape to accept valve stem
- Use an awl to carefully puncture a round hole
- Use a round file to remove excess tape around the valve hole if necessary.
- Install the tubeless Valve
- Tighten the valve nut finger tight (do not over tighten)
- Install the tire
- Match tire rotation direction & logo positions
- Set the first bead
- Set the second bead, starting opposite side of the valve
Dry Fit First? Probably a good idea.
- Spray or brush sidewalls of the (installed but deflated) tire with soapy water.
- This will help to lubricate the rubber and allow the bead to seat more easily.
- Inflate the tire and listen for the beat to “pop.”
- If the tire seats and holds pressure without any leaks, proceed to “Adding Sealant.”
- If the fit is too loose, or the tire is having trouble holding pressure:
- Add another layer of tubeless rim tape to tighten up the fit between the rim and tire.
- Use a Stan’s conversion strip for converting a non-tubeless rim to tubeless.
Installation con’t: Adding Sealant
- Remove the valve core, deflating the tire (if the bead doesn’t pop out at all, it’s a good sign)
- Shake sealant well!
- Install applicator to sealant bottle and connect it to the valve stem
- Squeeze in the proper amount of sealant
- This varies as new tires being installed and larger tires require more.
- Measure it out referring to info on sealant bottle
- Stan's Recommendations:
- Tires 1.0 -2.4” wide fill with 60 m- 90 mL per tire
- Tires 2.5 – 4.0” wide fill with 90 – 120 mL per tire
- Riding and climate conditions also affect life span of sealant. It’ll dry out more quickly in arid environment.
- Inflate the tire
- Check that the bead is still properly seated. (A quick air blast may be necessary)
- Ensure the tire is fully and evenly seated
- Shake/rotate/bounce the wheel around to distribute the sealant throughout the tire & rim
- Lay the wheel flat on each side to help seal porous side walls
- Let sit overnight to ensure the tires are still holding air the next day
- Top off the sealant a couple times a year. This is, of course, climate dependent.
- You should be able to hear the sealant sloshing around a bit when you rotate/shake the wheel
- If you can’t hear anything:
- It’s probably a good time to add more sealant
- or -
- Deflate the tire and peel back a portion of the tire to have a look inside
- It’s probably a good time to add more sealant
Temporary Puncture Fix
- Fix punctures on the trail with a tubeless repair kit:
- Reamer to enlarge the hole to fit the plugs
- Plugs aka soft & sticky rubber strips that you jam into the puncture hole
- Sidewall splits on the trail require an inner tube to repair
- After plugging larger holes with a puncture plug, at the end of the day/ride, to ensure the plug is more permanent: Cut the rubber flush with the outside of tire and apply some vulcanizing fluid to the outside of the tire.
- Follow steps below for an even more permanent fix (requires removing wheel and tire)
Permanent Puncture Fix
- Deflate the tire
- Remove the tire sealant (save it to reuse if you want)
- Clean the inside of tire
- Abrade the Patch area
- Apply the vulcanizing solution
- Patch the tire using a good amount of vulcanizing solution (on the inside and outside of tire’s puncture)
- Shoe Goo can be utilized to seal punctures on outside of tire
- Kits with rubber that can be cut down to size make it easy to make custom patches
- Let the patch dry fully before reinstalling
- Co2 inflation can sometimes not play well with sealants. (need to research this more)
- If air leaks from valve, the rubber grommet probably doesn’t fit the rim correctly (there is no standard size for these)
- Tighten the valve nut to ensure proper seal at the valve
- If there is slow leakage, add more sealant and let it sit for a while on both sides to allow the sealant to form a film coating the tire’s sidewalls.
- Latex based sealants dry up quicker
- ETRTO = European Tire and Rim Technical Organization
- These rims are the standard non-tubeless compatible rims
- What makes a rim “tubeless ready?”
- More distinct bead seat (on the rims profile)
- Shorter side walls
- Most non-tubeless ready tires can be converted to tubeless in low pressure applications
- That is, 45 psi or less
- Don’t inflate a tire over 45psi unless it’s explicitly labelled for tubeless use
- Don’t mess with converting high pressure road tires, it will likely be much more annoying
- Mil-kit valves: https://us.milkit.bike/product-category/conversion_kit/
- Terske Valves: https://terske.com/products/gold-titanium-tubeless-valve-stems?variant=39805314695360
- Terske Refresh Kit: https://terske.com/products/tubless-valve-refresh-kit?variant=37873581457600
- Dyna plug: http://www.dynaplug.com/bicycles.html
- Stan’s Tire Sealant (normal kind): https://www.notubes.com/stan-s-tire-sealant-quart
- Stan’s Race Sealant (twice the sealing crystals!): https://www.notubes.com/stan-s-race-sealant-quart
- Stan’s Rim Tape: https://www.notubes.com/shop/tubeless/valves-tape?cat=86