Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Converting non-TLR rim to run tubeless

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Converting non-TLR rim to run tubeless

Old 10-05-22, 09:58 AM
  #1  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,536
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 789 Times in 476 Posts
Converting non-TLR rim to run tubeless

My son has been riding a MTB with 26" wheels and I've had to patch his tubes 3 times already since school started. I am thinking of changing to a tubeless setup. The rims in question are not TLR, but they do have 'shelves' under the beads. The shelves do slope slightly down towards the center of the rim though. If I convert this to tubeless, is there any danger of the tire beads coming unseated if the tire pressure runs down? Can you build up tape to form a 'ridge' so the tire bead doesn't get unseated?
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 10:51 AM
  #2  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,489

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4616 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 505 Times in 340 Posts
It takes very little pressure to push a tire outward against the sides of rims. That's what keeps it trapped on the shoulders. That property is the same with or without a tube.

The air pressure does the work. The tube only holds the air, and doesn't make a difference to the tire.


FWIW if your concern is flats, you can get the same or, at least, very comparable benefit with tubes and liquid sealer.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 11:00 AM
  #3  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,536
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 789 Times in 476 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It takes very little pressure to push a tire outward against the sides of rims. That's what keeps it trapped on the shoulders. That property is the same with or without a tube.
Right. My question is what happens when that pressure runs down? Say I let the bike sit unused for a few months and the pressure runs down, will the tires unseat?
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 11:07 AM
  #4  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,489

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4616 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 505 Times in 340 Posts
Like everything in life, it boils down to the details.

If the pressure only runs down low, odds are it'll be okay. However, if the pressure goes to zero, especially if the bike is on the floor, then there's a greater chance of the tire unseating.

In that scenario, a fluid-filled tube might serve you better because it won't require the high flow burst of air to reseat the tire.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 01:30 PM
  #5  
Barry2 
LR÷P=HR
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,599

Bikes: Holdsworth 1979 Special, C-dale 1993 MT3000 Tandem & 1996 F700CAD3, Cervelo 2022 R5 & 2018 R3, JustGo Runt, Ridley Oval, Kickr Bike 8-)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 620 Post(s)
Liked 795 Times in 461 Posts
Using non-tubeless wheels as tubeless, is so common they have a name for it... Ghetto Tubeless
I personally won't do this (safety concerns), but many do.

Barry
__________________
Recovery ride….. If you're not waving to small children as they pass you on their bikes, you;re goin too fast,
Yuri (cyclezen)
__________________
Barry2 is offline  
Likes For Barry2:
Old 10-05-22, 01:43 PM
  #6  
redcon1
Senior Member
 
redcon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 542

Bikes: Focus Arriba, Specialized Roubaix Expert, Bianchi Impulso Allroad

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 53 Posts
Ghetto tubeless was very prevalent BITD for the MTB world before manufacturers made tubeless-ready wheels. The link posted above is a good starting point. I did it BITD using the split tube method. Gorilla tape method was also popular.
redcon1 is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 02:11 PM
  #7  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 3,719

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1923 Post(s)
Liked 2,839 Times in 1,452 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Right. My question is what happens when that pressure runs down? Say I let the bike sit unused for a few months and the pressure runs down, will the tires unseat?
Does it matter? No. Pump them back up.
cxwrench is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 02:25 PM
  #8  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,489

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 130 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4616 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 505 Times in 340 Posts
Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Does it matter? No. Pump them back up.
-s

With respect, it might.

While conventional tires can be pumped from zero with a typical hand or floor pump, that isn't the case with tubeless.

First of all, a flat tubeless tire sitting on the floor for a long time might lose sealant. The other issue can be inadequate air flow to re-seat the tire, and establish the seat so it'll hold air. Of course, these aren't insurmountable, but can be inconvenient. I assume the OP is thinking about that factor in asking his question.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-05-22, 11:35 PM
  #9  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,536
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 890 Post(s)
Liked 789 Times in 476 Posts
Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Does it matter? No. Pump them back up.
with ghetto tubeless , most likely it will be a struggle getting it to seat every time.
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Likes For icemilkcoffee:
Old 10-06-22, 01:11 AM
  #10  
cpach
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mt Shasta, CA, USA
Posts: 2,062

Bikes: Too many. Cannondale SuperSix, Trek Remedy 8, Trek Crossrip+ get the most ride time.

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 497 Post(s)
Liked 275 Times in 209 Posts
I would generally recommend against it, and will not do it for customers as a professional mechanic. This can obviously be made to work OK with relatively low offroad pressures, but generally takes some experimentation to see how much the rim bed needs to get built up to get a good tolerance fit between the bead and the rim and is still more prone to failure.

The most practical option (particularly if the bike is mostly a commuter and not used very much for actual mountain biking) is more puncture protective tires.
cpach is offline  
Likes For cpach:
Old 10-16-22, 11:21 PM
  #11  
Sorcerer
Junior Member
 
Sorcerer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: '16 StumpJ, Salsa Mukluk, Soulcycles SS, Dean Colonel HT, BMC FourstrokeTrail, Dean Torres CX, Santana Visa Tandem, Trek T2000 Tandem, Cupertino MTB Tandem, FreeAgent26"Xtracycle, Dirt Drop Dingle, Jamis Dragon Dingle, Airborne Skyhag SS, SSDean Cols
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
My son has been riding a MTB with 26" wheels and I've had to patch his tubes 3 times already since school started. I am thinking of changing to a tubeless setup. The rims in question are not TLR, but they do have 'shelves' under the beads. The shelves do slope slightly down towards the center of the rim though. If I convert this to tubeless, is there any danger of the tire beads coming unseated if the tire pressure runs down? Can you build up tape to form a 'ridge' so the tire bead doesn't get unseated?
Hi,

Since I have a lot of experience trying to use various 26" and also mainstream tubeless conversions and using tubeless tire systems I think I can offer some good suggestions.

First of all, if the tires are not manufactured to be used as tubeless tires they might not be suitable for a tubeless conversion to begin with. In this case the cheaper heavy casing tires are better because the high end tires which are built to be lighter will not hold air due to the thin casing and typically higher thread-count.

That said, if you want to try anyway, there are methods.

However in the case of getting a kids school commuter bike to not get flats, going tubeless is probably not a good idea because of the installation and maintenance an unorthodox conversion will require. Instead running a Slime innertube and maintaining tire pressure is a good idea. Alternatively a tire liner is often a good tactic against thorns, wire, and fasteners (nails,staples, screws).

In the case of caltrops or goatheads, going tubeless is a good idea.

You didn't describe the type of puncture or flat tire causes. This information could be important. For example pinch flats come from riding low pressures and hitting hard edges like rocks and curbs.

My favorite way to go tubeless on non-tubeless rims is to use UST tires. I use this on mountain bikes that see real heavy duty use on dirt trails. I use sealant and tubeless valves and maintain wet sealant inside the tires and keep the tires aired up. If the tires are ridden with too low a pressure the beads will come unseated. Unfortunately these UST tires are no longer manufactured and remaining NOS stock is pricey with few choices.

Ghetto tubeless and it's drawbacks have already been mentioned.

This brings me to the system that is excellent: fattystripper.com

These are latex ribbons which stretch over the rim. There's a hole for the tubeless presta valve stem. There are also tubeless schrader valve stems on the market if needed. Rather than trying to explain the system in detail I'll refer you to their website and at the bottom I'll paste in a quote. I've been using this system on a couple of 29" non-tubeless rim wheelsets for two years. One of the key features to this is that it facilitates inflating and seating the bead.

From the website:

"
2 pairs SkinnyStripper Latex Bands$10.00
75mm wide version of the FattyStripper bands for use on 24, 26, 27.5 & 29/700c rims up to 50mm wide. SkinnyStripper bands provide a more reliable tubeless solution for CX, Enduro and DH wheels when lower pressures are desired for traction but the off-camber and technical nature of the trail tends to encourage "burps". The latex will bond with the tire's bead after a week or two to create a "tubular-like" solution. This is "burp insurance" for your CX and DH wheels! 22g/band before trimming... or ~10g for a CX rim & ~15g on a 30mm DH rim after trimming."
Sorcerer is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:25 AM
  #12  
tFUnK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,018

Bikes: Too many bikes, too little time to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 112 Posts
Been said twice already so I'll say it a third time: on a 26" fat tire (low pressure I assume) I would just add sealant to the inner tube. BITD Slime was the goo of choice. I'm not sure about modern sealants in terms of in-tube applications but I assume they've only gotten better over the years.
tFUnK is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 11:42 AM
  #13  
Eric F
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 3,228

Bikes: 2019 Trek Procliber 9.9 SL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2017 Bear Big Rock 1, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1939 Post(s)
Liked 2,983 Times in 1,435 Posts
I'm running 26 x 2.1 Panaracer FireXCPro TLR tires on 20-year-old non-tubeless Mavic rims. The rims were wrapped with a layer of electrical tape and a layer of tubeless tape. Even after they go flat from non-use, I can get them to re-seat and inflate without an issue, using just a floor pump.
Eric F is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 02:29 PM
  #14  
tFUnK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,018

Bikes: Too many bikes, too little time to ride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 112 Posts
Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I'm running 26 x 2.1 Panaracer FireXCPro TLR tires on 20-year-old non-tubeless Mavic rims. The rims were wrapped with a layer of electrical tape and a layer of tubeless tape. Even after they go flat from non-use, I can get them to re-seat and inflate without an issue, using just a floor pump.
Nice. The key here is your that tires are tubeless ready.
tFUnK is offline  
Old 10-17-22, 02:34 PM
  #15  
Eric F
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 3,228

Bikes: 2019 Trek Procliber 9.9 SL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2017 Bear Big Rock 1, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1939 Post(s)
Liked 2,983 Times in 1,435 Posts
Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
Nice. The key here is your that tires are tubeless ready.
Correct. That is an important part of the equation for my setup. It was an experiment with non-tubeless rims that paid off very nicely.
Eric F is offline  
Likes For Eric F:
Old 10-17-22, 06:07 PM
  #16  
Inusuit
Full Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: SE Wyoming
Posts: 423

Bikes: 1987 Diamondback Ascent, 1995 Specialized Rockhopper,1989 Specialized Rock Combo, 2013 Specialized Tarmac Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Liked 393 Times in 191 Posts
Weight weenies will object, but I haven't had a flat since installing "thorn resistant" heavyweight tubes. Also don't need to pump up the tires before every other ride.
Inusuit is offline  
Old 10-19-22, 03:27 PM
  #17  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 10,661

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3165 Post(s)
Liked 2,429 Times in 1,614 Posts
This could be a good help:
https://theradavist.com/vintage-mtb-tubeless-wheels/
https://theradavist.com/an-update-to...h-more-photos/
veganbikes is offline  
Old 10-20-22, 11:03 AM
  #18  
oldbobcat
Senior Member
 
oldbobcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 3,795

Bikes: '79 Gios, '80 Masi, '06 Felt, early '60s Frejus

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Liked 242 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by cpach View Post
I would generally recommend against it, and will not do it for customers as a professional mechanic. This can obviously be made to work OK with relatively low offroad pressures, but generally takes some experimentation to see how much the rim bed needs to get built up to get a good tolerance fit between the bead and the rim and is still more prone to failure.

The most practical option (particularly if the bike is mostly a commuter and not used very much for actual mountain biking) is more puncture protective tires.
If you're looking at ghetto tubeless for performance reasons, you know the risks now, so go right ahead. If you're doing it to make your life easier, you're barking up the wrong tree.
oldbobcat is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.