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Axis Elite wheels - rim tape needed for tubeless?

Old 08-15-19, 07:51 PM
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GeogreHudetz
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Axis Elite wheels - rim tape needed for tubeless?

I have specialized Axis Elite wheels on my 2018 Diverge. When converting to tubeless (using Specialized Trigger Pro 2Bliss tires) I noticed what looked like pretty robust tape already in the rim; indeed, Stan's tape won't stick to it.

So I converted without adding tape. Initially the results were OK, but one week in the tires won't hold pressure at all (flat overnight; immediately noticeable pressure drop from even 35 psi). Using Stan's sealant & valves. The bead seems to be well seated.

Did I make a mistake by not using additional tape? If so, any suggestions on tape that will stick to the tape that is already present in the wheel?

TIA.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:05 PM
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Don't mix tapes. Remove whatever's there, put down one or two layers of Stan's, WTB, etc. They're all pretty much the same. Tubeless tape requires the rim bed to be as absolutely clean as possible prior to application.
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Old 08-15-19, 08:40 PM
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Thanks. I was hoping that wasn't going to be the reply - that tape has a pretty strong adhesion. But if that's what it takes...
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Old 08-17-19, 05:52 PM
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OK, I submerged a wheel in a tub of water, and it was clear the leak is coming from the valve stem - not the spoke holes. So, thinking that the Stan's valve was just a little too small for the specialized wheels, I bought some Serfas stems, which have a slightly larger diameter rubber grommet where the valve seats to the rim. Same problem. Fast leak clearly visible when submerged.

However, when tightening down the lock-nut of the Serfas, I noticed what I think the problem is. The valve hole in the rim is drilled off-center, and/or at a slight angle. Thus the stem - once installed - points to the right of the centerline of the wheel, instead of directly at the center of the hub. Just looking at the hole on the outside of the rim, without the stem installed, the hole is clearly asymmetrical. This, coupled with the slight deep-dish profile of the rim, causes the Serfas rubber grommet in the locknut to bulge badly out on one side as I tighten the locknut down. Sadly, I'm not yet able to post images.

So, is this uncommon? A QA issue on Specialized part? Anybody have luck sealing a rim with an off-center valve hole like this?




TIA.
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