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  1. #1
    Turbo Monkey bullcrew's Avatar
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    Ghetto tubeless conversion DIY: tips and tricks

    Ghetto Tubeless Conversion DIY: Tips & Tricks

    NOTE: Im downloading the pictures now to place in here for visuals...

    First lets start with the premise of what we are doing, we are getting rid of the use of tubes and converting a standard Rim to a tubeless set up to hold air and seal with the tire.
    We will be slicing a tube on the outside center around it and splitting it open to stretch over the rim, then the tire is mounted and some sealant is used to assist us in sealing it up and taking care of any cuts, punctures or impailments from sticks rocks etc...

    Ive been running tubeless in many configurations for the last 5 years from UST set ups to strips and ghetto, I have also used many UST and NON UST tires, DH casings and single ply's as well as different sealants over that time. I have experience on them in 5 degrees to 105, from bombing mtn. snow runs and Ice to hot dry desert and rocky stuff. Id consider myself extremely proficient in tubeless conversions and experience.


    Different types and terms for tubeless are:
    - UST which is a industry standard for tubeless configurations on tires and tubes.
    - Rim strips or conversions are rim strips premade with the addition of a sealant
    - Ghetto is a tube cut down to size and sealant added as well

    I have found Ghetto to be the most reliable under a wide variety of circumstances from rolling and burping in a G-out to rocks and low pressure set ups, next would be a stans rim strip and last is a full UST set. (this is for DH use not XC)
    I have not had good luck with UST specific tires, and being that I want to run sealant and a NON ust tire I use whatever rim I want based on weight. A light weight tube cut down is lighter than a UST rim, or rim strip and I would run stans it either for pucture protection so the weight of sealant is a wash......


    First off the rim: (based on 26") DH/FR wider rims
    Whatever rim you have should be just fine, doesnt matter if it has a deep gully in the center or not. Rim width is not too crucial I have done this on 721's, 729's, syncros 32's, 6.1's, outlaws, I9s, and more and all with great success...A low profile side is not recomended not that I have encountered this but a thin bead channel that doesnt grab a solid hold I wouldnt recomend.

    Tires:
    Just about any tire works decent it does not have to be a UST tire. I dont recomend UST tires, the butyl and rubber comoposite herniateds and blows out stretching the carcass... Ive killed off several by several different manufacturers......
    I have used Maxxis, Schwalbes, Continental, Specialized all with great success.
    Kendas DO not play well with stans at all and they are the only tire I have personally used that had this issue... So I do not recomend Kendas for this with Stans sealant...

    As far as ply I have run Single ply and DH casings with great success, I do not recomend using a off brand or cheap tire, they have a tendancy to have beads that are bigger and will pop off. Stick to the major players and you should be OK...

    Tubes: (20" schrader valve)
    We will be using a 20" tube for this, it is not neccesary to use a DH tube or thick tube. The tube is not there for puncture or snakebites, its to cover the rim and seal to the tire bead.
    I have used alot of different tubes for this and narrowed it down to a solid and LIGHT weight tube that I only use now.

    Schwalbe tubes are what I recomend and not because of priorities but because I have used alot of others and these have been fullproof. A threaded schrader keeps the tube from slipping at all as well as locks it in place with a solid look as well.... By having a ring that threads down it locks that area by sealing the rubber moulding around it to the hole casuing a tight fit.

    Tubes recomended are:
    For AM/FR/DH rims: Schwalbe AV 7C extra light 20" threaded schrader its 95grams before cut and 53 grams after cut (+/- a few G's based on cut)
    For XC and enduro thin profile rims: Schwalbe SV 6A Extra light threaded presta its 65 grams before cut and 42 grams after cut. (+/- a few based on cut) Also this is the recomended for a thin profile rim because it has a thin rectangular filler mould that fits inside the beads without sticking up and covering the bead by the presta not allowing the tire to lock in and seal... It has a thin mould profile.



    Heres the tube for thin XC rims


    This is the XC tube notice the rectangle shape bulge around the presta valve, its skinny enough it doesnt interfere on a thin profile rim... For XC stuff make sure its like this is...

    Note: You can use just about any 20" tube, I prefer these. I have used ALOT of others and its just cleaner and easier with these, the mould profile by the schrader is smaller and fits withing rim profile not obstructing the bead from sealing with the tire. The others were a hit or miss.

    Sealant:
    I have used a couple different sealants now and Im back to Stans, it always works. I have heard a couple of tricks like adding a 1/4 of the sealant with cafe latex and it will foam getting better coverage. I dont know this to be true but I do know cafe latex does foam a bit and does not seal as well as stans so Im sure it would add a bit of foaming action if mixed with stans sealant.

    I know that there is tutorials on Ghetto latex mixes for sealant and I played around with one and it was just easier and less messy to grab a stans bottle. Stans has done a SOLID job on their sealant and I trust it.

    Last edited by bullcrew; 02-10-2011 at 01:48 AM.
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  3. #2
    Turbo Monkey bullcrew's Avatar
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    INSTRUCTIONS:

    #1- take and pinch the tube so the valve is down exposing the furthest seam and slice it, proceed to slice around the outside edge of it all the way around so the tube is split open.

    Snip it to start off with


    Cut down the line around the tube to split it open


    Cut open it should look like this


    #2- Use a rim tape or black tape to make a couple of passes aroung the rims center to seal up the holes to keep the tube from wanting to herniate through a spoke hole or chaffe and cut the strip... The yellow STANS tape works great its durable and light as well as tough....Make sure to pucture a hole for the valve to fit through...



    #3- Put the valve through the hole and stretch the tire over the rim, making sure its pretty centered on the rim.
    (When its on put your finger under the strip between the tube and rim and slide it around the rim edge to equal the stretch pressure. It will have a tendency to be tighter where it started. Pull the sides of the strip up a little so the tube slides in and takes on more of a square profile)
    Make sure to take a mildly wet rag and wipe off the talk powder on the tube so its clean, doesnt have to be perfect just decent.




    #4- Mount one side of the tire on, pour sealant into the bottom (1 - 2 scoops) and then proceed to put the other bead on the rim. When doing so if you use a tire lever put it UNDER the strip hanging over the rim and lever the tire up and over the bead. Once the tire is mounted you can push the tire in a bit and grab the tube, lightly pulling it a little at a time moving forward each time so it is sticking from under the tire and out over the rim again. By doing it this way it prevents you from puncturing the tube with the lever.

    Heres a pic to show the ever under both strip and tire to mount it


    And mounted ready to fill, the strip will protrude out both sides you can grab it and wigle it either way to make it even if it shifted a little when putting tire on


    #5- Use sealant (use tip/cap on bottle) to pour between the bead and the tire on the strip so it gets it coated, this does 2 things. First it wets the area to allow the tire to slide into place easier as well as the sealant ACTS like a glue and glues the tire to the bead so you can run lower pressure or single ply tires with little to no burping issues. THIS HAS PROVEN to be the most reliable tip for set up I have for reliability.............

    Push bead slightly over and run a bit down it all the way around both sides, now on this particular strip it has been used 3 different times so its cut down already and NOT hanging out and over... It is high on the sides and will glue nicely.


    #6- Air it up, I have found most tires air up relatively easy. Some have issues and those tires theres a couple tricks to this. 1 is to build the center low spot of the rim up so it forces the bead to slide to the sides, the other is you can push down the center of the tread with your thumbs and grab the outside of the tire with your fingers on both side pulling the side out. It will not seat the bead but will usually get it there so less air escapes giving the pump a chance to get the seal started...
    Usually air up to 35 - 40 PSI and the bead makes loud popping noises at it pushes to seal with the bead of the rim....

    #7- Once its aired up spin the tire a few seconds giving the sealant a chance to cover the inside and fill in the hissing areas, hold the tire out horizontally from you and flick it up and down like its waiving a little. Rotate the tire and proceed to do this till you have rotated the tire completley around. You will see little hissing bubbles and you can flick the wheel back and forth with the hissing side lower so it splashes the sealant to seal the leaks.

    NOW once its on and aired up look at the outside of the tire bead and rim to make sure its completely even, sometimes the bead will pop a few times and leave a certain spot not pushed out completely... You can air it up a little more try not to go over 40 PSI I have had tires blow and it sounds like a shotgun leaving you deaf as well as needing new underwear....

    One trick is to put the tire at an angle on the ground and step on the tire where its not seated and pry away from yourself using your foot as an anchor point to hold the tire back and assist it to pulling out...

    #8- Mount the tire back on the bike and take a razor, start of at the valve area and make sure you can spin the tire freely as you go. So on a stand or upside down for this part is recomended.
    Slice the rubber sticking out away from the rim and then take the razor and gently apply it to the bead of the rim under the strip barely touching the tire, grab one slit and pull away from the tire. As you do this and the razor sitting there the wheel will spin the razor will cut off the excess hanging and your hand will get further from the tire thats holding the piece of strip thats being cut off...
    Take your time on this, I can literally slice it off in no time but I have done it several times as well, I have yet to slice a tire either with the razor blade. Its proven to be a pretty secure way of trimming the excess tube off....

    Make a slit


    Pull trim away with one hand while LIGHTLY letting the new razor blade trim it off



    This is what a final product will look like with the excess cut off:


    And here it is ready for rockin....


    As I think of more tips or tricks I will update this but for now this should be a pretty solid start, the rest is trial and error as far as PSI and what the magic spot is pressure wise for you and your style...

    Thanks guys!!




    Heres a video Sarutis buddy did on it (thanks)
    http://cycling.menzib.com/1944/
    Last edited by bullcrew; 03-27-2011 at 11:15 PM.
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  4. #3
    Monkey
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    great step by step man
    there are still riders who dont know it is so easy :-)

    I use 18" tubes.
    it is a bit lighter, and sit tighter.
    if you dont need to go riding right after you finish this procedure, I recommend cutting the edges of the tube after a day or two, just in case you need to air it up again,
    and dont go riding with low tire presure when the tubless is new. ittakes some time for the tire to glue to the sides of the tube, and then you can run any air presure. it will hold.

    great step by step man

  5. #4
    Turbo Monkey bullcrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saruti View Post
    great step by step man
    there are still riders who dont know it is so easy :-)

    I use 18" tubes.
    it is a bit lighter, and sit tighter.
    if you dont need to go riding right after you finish this procedure, I recommend cutting the edges of the tube after a day or two, just in case you need to air it up again,
    and dont go riding with low tire presure when the tubless is new. ittakes some time for the tire to glue to the sides of the tube, and then you can run any air presure. it will hold.

    great step by step man
    Thanks!

    Im adding some more pics tomorrow to finish it off. I ride right after and if you pull the tube to make it more square profiled before fillig it up it will be fine to cut right after and I have reused my ghetto strips on 3 different set ups. When cut down they still sit high on hte wall of the bead and grab a little bit pull it up so its even and reinflate new tire...
    24s are too loose and 18s pulled too tight for me to get a nice square profile on the tube to reuse it after being cut.. Not saying it doesnt work I just had alot of luck using 20" tubes they arent too tight and not too loose...

    I just finished doing my I9s, hadley/mavic, deemaxs and loco wheelsets all tubeless with schwalbes 2011 stuff and did it 4 days ago. STILL no leaks and the tires are still solid from initial airing up. Granted Schwalbes 2011 offerings are pretty kick @$$ (review coming soon) and friendly to UST...



    Cracked a 721 on a practice run right before my race run, I aired down to 5PSI and with the stans glueing trick I was able to pull my tire over with the strip still glued to the tire. I got a crescent wrench in there pulled the rim back out as much as possible and let the tire and strip come back into place. It held air the whole time even being pulled over and exposing the whole side and center of the rim...

    Still running the cracked 721, hell even raced on it again....
    Last edited by bullcrew; 02-10-2011 at 01:44 AM.
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    Monkey
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    very nice writeup. i may have to get around to actually trying this for myself. though i have been told by several people that it isnt worth the hassle.

    can tires that have already been taken on/off a few times and the bead is a little funky be used successfully?

    is it unwise to use a regular schraeder valve tube without a locknut? i have several new 20" tubes but they are various cheap brands.

    anybody gone ghetto tubeless on a bmx with 16" tubes and like 80-100psi?

    would it be worth adding a ghetto strip to an 823 when using a regular maxxis dh casing tire or unnecesary?

    have you tried homebrew mixtures such as latex caulk, water, and sawdust? i have these things already.


    RE #6, what i have done with other tubeless type tires(car, motorcycle etc) that do not want to seat is go around the outer circumferance with a strap with a slight amount of tension and they will have uniform pressure on the bead and seat right away. you dont want to get the strap too tight or it will be a bitch/dangerous to release(mainly large tires).
    Last edited by Sonic Reducer; 02-10-2011 at 02:02 PM.

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    Turbo Monkey
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    Man,the guy who invented this is a friggen genius!All I can say is ..wow!
    **Go ahead and assume that most of what I post is intended as sarcasm,comedy,satirical in intent and most likely nonsense. Presume that we are best friends and I love you like a brother.**

  8. #7
    Turbo Monkey zdubyadubya's Avatar
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    Hey Mods or Sandwich; Can we put this in the FAQs?
    Quote Originally Posted by binary visions View Post
    It was like wiping my ass with a bunny rabbit.

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    Turbo Monkey buildyourown's Avatar
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    Got a source on those fancy tubes?
    Meh google gives me nothing.

  10. #9
    Monkey Tomasis's Avatar
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    bullcrew, thanks for the great guide. will test convert 721 for my dual bike and dmr tires.

    You mentioned single ply. I run single ply in front and dual ply at rear. Have you tested single ply in rear and how it holds up in DH? weaker sidewall huh?

    i like idea of more flexy rear with single ply than front.
    Ride for your life

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    Dont know about Bullcrew but my success with single ply has been hit and miss - heavier singleply like Schwalbe Freeride casing have been fantastic and have even held up to dh racing (front and rear). Lighter xc single ply has been hit and miss, notably Maxxis aspen exception casing and really light schwalbe like rocket ron evo casing, they just tend to fold off the rim too easily, leading to a couple of nasty crashes when its the front wheel (on an xc bike - but it gets ridden like its stolen anyway!).
    Sometimes I can reuse the tube, somtimes not. Its a bit hit and miss too, cutting it too large and leaving a few mm of overhang helps if you want to reuse. I do this in race season as we race in winter and we seem to have great weather on Sat practice and it rains all sat night and sunday race day.......

    I have gotten my lbs to order tubes for me from schwalbe but you can get them online at -
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=24639

    Just to add something else - thanks Bullcrew, once I started gluing my tyres on with stans my ghetto success rate went through the roof. Turned it from a good thing when it worked to something I can comfortably race dh on.
    Last edited by weedkilla; 02-10-2011 at 04:47 PM. Reason: details....

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    Turbo Monkey no skid marks's Avatar
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    http://www.rotorburn.com/forums/show...u-need-to-know.
    I say put in the effort, and cut the tube to fit inside the rim up to the edges on each side, takes patience, but much neater, and lighter, and better. Ghetto Pro, Basicly just make a rim strip.
    Last edited by no skid marks; 02-10-2011 at 07:00 PM.

  13. #12
    Turbo Monkey buildyourown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no skid marks View Post
    http://www.rotorburn.com/forums/show...u-need-to-know.
    I say put in the effort, and cut the tube to fit inside the rim up to the edges on each side, takes patience, but much neater, and lighter, and better. Ghetto Pro, Basicly just make a rim strip.
    I have doubts that will work well. The author even mentions that he has never tried it.
    With true ghetto, you get an extra 3-4mm of seal per side, plus a tighter bead. I don't see and advantage to spending the great deal of time it would take to make a rim strip. If you want to go that route, buy a stans strip.

  14. #13
    Turbo Monkey bullcrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no skid marks View Post
    http://www.rotorburn.com/forums/show...u-need-to-know.
    I say put in the effort, and cut the tube to fit inside the rim up to the edges on each side, takes patience, but much neater, and lighter, and better. Ghetto Pro, Basicly just make a rim strip.
    Once you trim out the strip it doesnt show at all and when you swap tires it sucks back in rolling just a smidge up the bead which is whats wanted...

    -Yes cheap 20" tubes will work
    -I use a Ghetto tube set up on my Deemaxs that are UST because the glued side of the tire to strip is SOLID...
    -I have succesfully run single plys on rear (schwalbe) I still have 2.5 MM freeride GGs ghettoed on my hadleys and raced them 3 times as well as they have been on a ton of other rides.


    I cracked my 721 rim on a practice run and the rear was single ply it held fine...I aired down pulled it to the side and pulled the dent back out and the tire was still stuck and held air while I worked on the rim. I raced with it cracked and dented I aired up to 30 PSI to give the bead a little more strength around the wheel and no issues at all.....
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    Turbo Monkey no skid marks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buildyourown View Post
    I have doubts that will work well. The author even mentions that he has never tried it.
    With true ghetto, you get an extra 3-4mm of seal per side, plus a tighter bead. I don't see and advantage to spending the great deal of time it would take to make a rim strip. If you want to go that route, buy a stans strip.
    I've been running it on my trail bike for a couple of years now, was running it on DH bike when I was using 721s.
    Works fine, the tyre touches it inside the rim.
    Just tidier and easier to set up I find.
    Most of my tires have real slow leaks, may be due to this set up, might be due to my conservative use of sealant. Might be due to the sealant drying up here in hot Oz. Probably the later.

  16. #15
    Turbo Monkey bullcrew's Avatar
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    Im swapping tires on the hadleys in the next day or so, so I will add a couple of pics from leveraging the tire under the liner and pulling the tube out from under when it pulls. Which is simple and not much of a pain... I will also post a pic or 2 of what not to do and why.. A pic of stepping on the tire and prying away to pop a stubborn bead, Also a pic of cutting away the excess around the tire and blade angle/grip...
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