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Going tubeless

Why Should you convert to tubeless?

Going tubeless has become much easier in recent years. The creation of tubeless conversion kits and the increasing popularity of factory fitted tubeless ready tyres amongst manufacturers mean that you’re only a rim strip a valve and a bit of sealant away from a conversion.

It isn’t just the tyres and conversion kits that have improved over the years. The quality of sealant has drastically improved giving a better over all coating on the inside of the tyre helping to clot larger punctures and even sidewall tears.

Primarily you’ll save money on one of the most common consumable items that cyclists use. Secondly you’re more likely to get away with the odd ripped tyre Thirdly you’ll save valuable riding time you would have otherwise spent at the side of the trail fumbling around in your bag for a patch kit.

Method & Solution

Ok so you’re convinced that going tubeless is the future and that not only will it save you time but probably some hard earned cash as well. The only thing in question now is the method.

A quick search on You Tube will probably bring up a professional mechanic in a nice clean & warm workshop showing you how the seat tubeless tyres with a compressor and a myriad of different tools but the reality is you’re probably outside with a track pump some sealant and cold hands.

Installing the rim strip is best done inside with a hot beverage you won’t be using any sealant at this point so the indoor mess will be kept to a minimum ready for the next step. Start by thoroughly wiping the entire rim clean using a damp cloth. Once clean wait for this to dry then start to install the tape.

Starting opposite the valve hole start to apply the rim tape. Keep tension on the tape whilst you wrap the entire inside of the rim. To finish the taping process overlap by around 5 inches from where you began. Finally press the tape down firmly using a dry cloth to ensure good contact.

Continue by cutting an x at the valve hole on the interior of the rim to give space for the valve.

The next step is a little strange but please bear with us. Put your tubeless ready tyre in place and install your old tubes. Inflate your tyres to the maximum rated pressure stated on the sidewall of your tyre. This should seat your tyre now leave your wheel for at least 5 minutes whilst you put the kettle on. This will help seat the tyre in place and shape the tyre.

Next step, taking care not to disturb the seating of the tyre by placing it on the floor deflate your tyre and then remove one side of the tyre and take out the tube, The least amount of disturbance to your tyre at this stage will benefit you so take your time.

So now hopefully you’ll have one seated side to your wheel and one open side. Now is the time to install the new valve and pour in the recommended amount of sealant in the bottom of the tyre. Carefully pop the open side of your tyre back in place and spray both sidewalls using soapy water.

The preparation in these stages should make the inflation of the tyre much easier so now is the time to grab your track pump and go like a mad man. The combination of soapy water and an already half seated tyre should make the tyre much easier to inflate.

Finally once your tyre is inflated fully. It is important to shake up the sealant within the tyre allowing it to coat the inside of the tyre evenly.