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  1. #1
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    problems with ghetto tubeless

    My first post!

    I have DT swiss d485's rims with schwalbe rocket Rons. I converted them to tubeless with some very strong yellow tape my cousin has that is designed for tubeless conversions as I understand it. We taped up the spoke holes with it. I cut the presta valves out of my old tubes. we soaped up the beads and the tires popped right on the beads with an air compressor. We added sealant through the valve and the tires held air for about 3 months. Easy.

    Now I cannot get the beads to seat back on the rim. I have tried 2 different air compressors, removing the core of the Presta valves and using an air nozzle, putting a strap around the tires. Nothing works. The beads on the tires are touching each other and nothing I have tried will get them towards the rim. I even had one of the tires mounted with a tube in it. If I air up with a tube then slowly let the air out the beads still fall off without touching them. There is not enough friction to hold them on.

    The problem as i see it is that the tires are far too big for the wheels in a tubeless application, even though the tires are supposedly tubeless ready. Can anyone shed any light on this? Would I be better off with a rubber rim strip to hold the beads on? Am I wasting my time with this tire/rim combo? I'm very frustrated with them since I know we were able to get them mounted previously. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    odd that they worked okay at first, but maybe they stretched out some.

    Anyway-If you haven't make sure the rim is clean. As for rubber rimstrips, Bontrager road tubless rim strips have saved me twice now. if you run AM wide rims maybe try the MTB version of the strip. Last time they worked I was building up some Vuelta's and tape was not working-I was having the same issue as you. I tried a Stans strip I had lying around and it did not work. I got some of the Bonty strips because they were cheap and tires popped on so easy I laughed out loud after spending a couple hours trying other things! May work out for you. Giving advice on tubeless setups is so dicey because of all the variables between tires, rims, strips, tapes, valves and sealants-plus add in technique and ability=hard to diagnose online! Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tips! I'll look into the bontrager strips. They may force the bead of the tire out to the rim, or help hold it near the rim. At least its a cheap experiment!

  4. #4
    hispanic mechanic
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    So, ghetto tubeless usually refers to using a smaller diameter tube (24 or 26",) split to form a strip that covers the rim from bead hook to bead hook. If you do this, you'll likely not have problems seating your tires.
    ghetto tubeless how to.

    Los
    Last edited by sslos; 03-18-2013 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Added link
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  5. #5
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    Thanks Los that gave me an idea. I used a tube like the actual Ghetto setup but I put the edges of the "strip" inside the tire, that way it forces the bead out towards the rim. It aired right up with the compressor. It is a little difficult to get the strip inside the beads of the tire, but I think its going to work. I added sealant and so far its holding air.

    I tried airing it up with the strip pushed down into the rim, but it wouldn't air up, so I pulled both sides of the strip to pull it out of the rim and up against the tire beads and that did the trick. That's also the reason I decided to put the strip inside the tires; I didn't think i would be able to air it back up once I trimmed the strip down.

  6. #6
    hispanic mechanic
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    problems with ghetto tubeless

    Well, I'm glad to hear it's holding.
    When I do ghetto tubeless, I put the tube on the rim, split it down the middle, spread the tube out, then put the tire on. I'll pour in sealant when there's a few inches of bead unseated, finish installing the tire, and air it up. I trim most of the excess, leaving about 1/4" outside of the tire.
    If you can find them, the Q Tubes have removable valve cores which makes adding more sealant really easy.
    I've personally been using the Bontrager TLR strips for a few years, but I've set up ghetto tubeless for a few customers who have rims like yours that don't have easy tubeless solutions.
    You can reuse the strips if you're careful,

    Los
    "Shut up body and do what I tell you."
    Jens Voight

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  7. #7
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    A surprisingly simple trick I have used in the past for hard to seat beads is to turn the tire inside out and hang them up for a few days or even a week. It seems to flex the carcase just enough to seat the the bead.

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