How to change to TUBELESS TIRES on your bike

How to change to TUBELESS TIRES on your bike


– Morning Trainiacs. We have a special project in mind today. The world is going to tubeless tires. That means taking the inner tube from inside of a tire, now you can’t do this with all tires but taking it out and sealing the rim so that you don’t even
need the tube in there. Now, why you do this is
very well illustrated by these fat bike tires. The two tubes inside these
fat bike tires amount to a total of four pounds. Because that four pounds is on the outside of a spinning wheel, that four pounds is actually
more like about 16 pounds, it’s multiplied by about four times depending on the speed that you’re going, so taking weight out of
the exterior of the wheel with tubeless tires, with disc brakes and not
having to have that big rim makes a huge difference on
the performance of a bike but instead of just giving
this to the bike shop, I am going to try to do it myself and we’re gonna have a bit
of a learning experience and come back to you with what I learned for an absolute beginner’s guide to going to tubeless tires. (upbeat music) All right, just three hours and 20 minutes later and the tubes are gone. Allow me to go inside and
I’ll explain the process of doing this. Whoa. (banging) I wouldn’t say that this is hard but I also wouldn’t say that’s it easy. However, for the
dollar-for-performance change, by far, one of the best
changes that you can make. Cost me maybe about $60 to take the tubes out of there, probably about a 12 to
15-pound rolling weight kind of difference and think about it, if you lost 12 to 15 pounds
how much faster you could go. All right, let me explain. The really nice thing
about this change over is that you don’t really
need any specialized tools. And you don’t need any specific tools. You might need some
specialized the brand tools. First thing you’re going
to need is a rim strip and you can just get some gorilla tape or a little bit of duct tape
from your local hardware store. Then you’re gonna go and want to get some tire sealant. If you’re up in cold weather where I am, get the Bontrager tire sealant whereas other tire sealant
might not be so good when it starts freezing. You’re also going to need some
tubeless-specific valve stems and those are valve stems that have a gasket on the top inside end, what goes inside the rim and then that gets
sucked down onto the rim and creates that airtight seal. You also definitely need
a pump of some sort. If you don’t have tires that
are meant to be run tubeless like these are, the tires
might not be very tight on the rim, so it’s gonna be hard to snap those tires into place and you’re going to
want to get a compressor that can attach to your Presta valve so that you can just
pst, hit it really hard and instantly fill up that tire and snap the bead into place. You can test this by just taking off one of the tires and if it’s
extremely tight like these, you know that it is
probably going to be okay for a floor pump, if it’s fairly loose and
you can snap those tires on and off fairly easily, you’re going to want the compressor. So, step one, you’ve
got to take the tire off and get that tube out of the wheel. However you need to do it, just get it out, start
working your way around using tire levers, not
using anything sharp and not using anything metal because you might puncture the tire, the tube, you might scratch the rim, so stay with just regular tire levers no matter how tight it is. That is what turned this
into a three-hour job. Next thing you wanna do is clean the rim and you do
this with a rubbing alcohol, just put a little bit on a cloth and clean the inside of
the rim all the way around. While you’re at it, if
you’ve got disc brakes, take that rubbing alcohol cloth and clean off the disc brakes while you’ve got the tire out and you can easily access them. This’ll stop a little bit of
the squeaking that happens from disc brakes and just make them run a little bit smoother. Once that rubbing alcohol is dry, then take the duct tape or gorilla tape, whatever you’re using and run two beads on the inside of the rim and you take one bead and run it up close to one edge, making sure to cover any of the holes that are running down
the middle of the rim. The other strip of tape, make sure you’re covering an overlap in the middle and go all the way around. Once you’ve done this,
really, really press down that rim strip very, very tightly, especially in the middle and the edges because this is where air might seep out. So, go around maybe a couple
of times pressing down over and over and over, getting that tacked on
there really tightly and working out any air bubbles. After you’ve done that, locate the hole for the valve stem, take that specific valve stem for the tubeless setup and puncture a hole with a pen or a punch, something sharp and
then put that valve stem through the rim and make sure
that you tighten up the nut on the other side, whereas with tubed tires, you can actually just leave that nut on the other side completely off, in this case, we need that on there and we need it fairly tight, even more than hand tight, take a pair of pliers and turn it a few extra times so that you get that
gasket of the vale stem sucked right down to inside the rim. Then take the tire,
put it back on the rim, trying to snap it as close to the bead on both sides as you can. We wanna get the edge of the tire close to the edge of the rim so it’ll snap into place really easily. This is where you might need a compressor. First thing you can try
is just a floor pump and if it’s accepting air and not leaking out air too quickly, use that floor pump to pump up the tire up to the maximum pressure that the tire and the rim allow. Don’t go over that or you
might be losing an eye. That’s going to allow that
tire to snap into place, all that pressure of the air is going to snap the tire into the bead. If the tire isn’t that tight, you’re probably going
to need a compressor, in which case, you put the compressor to the maximum PSI that is allowable by the tire and the rim, pump it up really instantly and that should then snap it into place. At this point, what you do
is you go to the valve stem and you take off that vale stem core, that’s the very, very end and you can do this with a
pair of needle-nosed pliers and you take off the very
end, let all of the air out and then you bring the tire sealant. A lot of these tire sealants have a very thick particulate in them, a lot of sediment that sits in the bottom so you’ve got to shake it up a ton, take however you are
inserting this into the tire, whether it’s a syringe or just a nozzle that attaches onto the edge of this, get that all ready, then pore as much into the tire as is recommended on
the tire sealant bottle. This says in the case of a 29-inch tire, these are 27.5, I’m
looking for 51 milliliters, a 700 C tire is 25 milliliters, so that gives you a range of tires depending on what you’re using it for. Once you’ve poured all of that in, put that valve stem core back on, putting on a little bit of
plumber’s tape around the edge to get a nice tight bond in
between that valve stem core and the valve stem. At this point, you’re close to done. Then take the tire, pump
it up to about 10/15 PSI, we just wanna get a little
bit of pressure in it and then at that point, you
have to start washing around all of the tire sealant. What we’re looking to do
is constantly be coating the sides, the bottom, the back, the outside of the tire, the inside of the rim, the area where the valve stem hits, all of the surface area
of that rim strip tape that you put on, you want to get it sloshed around so that it covers absolutely everything and seals up all those potential cracks, so slosh that wheel all the way around before you can put it back on the bike and then once you have
both wheels on the bike, go for a ride. Repeat this every two to three hours. As it’s drying, we don’t want
it to just dry in the bottom of one of the tires, we want it to constantly be washed around so as it’s thickening up, it’s thickening up and
coating all different sides of your tire. I gotta do that right now, so now, even if you’ve done it right, you’re probably gonna have a slow leak over the next couple of days. That’s why you keep pumping up the tire, sloshing it around, pumping up the tire, sloshing it around. It takes a while for this
stuff to completely dry and get into all the cracks. If after a few days you still can’t get it
to hold tire pressure, you might have to do this again, in which case, you call in the pros. I hope I don’t have to call in the pros. So, now let’s go see just how much weight we pulled out of the bike. Scale says oh, 160, I’ve been eating all day, I am off season weight. I’m wearing jeans and a shirt, don’t think less of me. Now, let’s get these in our hand, it’s like six pounds
we took out of the bike by taking out the tubes. Now, rule of thumb, after you get your bike
to around 18 pounds, say with a road bike, it costs another one to $2,000 for every additional pound of savings but in this case, we just spent $60 and spent
three hours getting six pounds out of the bike and it’s
rolling pounds around the edge of a wheel, so we’re talking
maybe a performance improvement of I don’t know, call it
12 to 20 pounds easily. That is probably going to be
the single best investment that you’ll make on the
performance of a bike per dollar you spend and the bigger the tires are, as you start getting into mountain bikes, gravel bikes, cross bikes, fat bikes, the heavier these things are, and the more difference
it’s going to make. So, there you go, Trainiacs, we finish where we start. If you aren’t already subscribed, hit the Subscribe below and if you are subscribed, go and detube yourself. I gotta go clean myself, I’m filthy now. Later, Trainiacs.

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  1. Hi Taren, another nice vid, now the big player in road cycle tyres has joined the tubeless tyre market, still wondering to switch from clinchers on the TT bike all views welcome ?

  2. Good video Taren. With fatbike tires, 200mL of sealant would be more normal. 55ml would be for a skinny (e.g. 2.4 x 27.5) MTB tyre.

  3. I am a huge proponent of tubeless tires, running Schwalbe Pro Ones and am super excited about the GP5000 TL that just launched. I'm glad you put out a tubeless video and think you should do more!

    That said, got a little bit of the science wrong on tubeless. The Tour likes to say rotating weight is worth 3* static weight, but that's in reference to quick, bursty sprints where you need to accelerate or lose the draft. Weight matters significantly less on steady efforts. I also really hope you have enough sealant in there, and the sealant also serves to plug any punctures in the tire – shouldn't be drying out inside the tire. Tubeless ready tires are also really important, because the thread and rubber compound need to be such that they don't bleed out air. Not all tires will hold air without the tube.

    When you get around to riding it, I sure hope you talk about if you notice the tires feel better or if the rolling resistance is a little less. I found that the interface between the tube and the tire resulted in some unnecessary friction, and going tubeless resulted in everything feeling just a little more supple and quick. It was also a big tire upgrade though. Really interested to hear your thoughts as you continue this tubeless experiment

  4. Love ya Taren but this has to be the worst video you have ever done and I'm going back to your "A race" days too!
    So many glaring errors. You're suggesting that people can switch any rims/tires to tubless is severely negligent at best. You need to have tubeless ready rims and tires or you're going to have a high risk of blowing the tire off the rim, at best in your shop whilst airing up the tire, at worst on a fast downhill risking severe injury!! Tubeless tires have a much stiffer bead on them to hold them in place without a tube.
    Rim tape is designed just to seal up the bottom of the rim covering up the spoke hole areas, plastering duct tape all over your rim does nothing for you other than adding unnecessary weight. Your tires already had rim tape in place, that's what the blue tape was. And finally, your suggestion that the sealant dries out is completely wrong. Sealant stays liquid in the tire, that's how tubless tires seal themselves up when you get a puncture. Depending where you live you need to replace dried up sealant every 4-6 months or so as it does dry up over time.

  5. Where was this video last week! I just converted my Surly Ice Cream Truck and it was so worth it. Fatbikes are a triathletes best friend in cold weather climate training.

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  7. Great video, definitely something I'll look into….I just keep thinking of gplama's hilarious tubeless debacle : https://youtu.be/KYBM-WCAcsE

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