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  1. #1
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    How To: Tubeless Wheel Windows

    Disclaimer:
    There are easier ways of doing a tubeless fat setup. You have been warned. The purpose of this is to be able to see inside the tire so one can check the condition of the sealant…… Also, it’s pretty cool.

    Step 1
    Tools and Materials:
    -Xacto Knife/Razor Blade
    -Tape Measure
    -Tubeless Valve
    -Tubeless Tire Sealant
    -Tape 1: Duck HD Clear
    -Tape 2: Gorilla
    -Tape 3: Scotch ¾” (standard scotch tape)
    -Foam: Super Firm Closed-Cell Sponge-Rubber 3/8” x ¼” x 10ft (for windows. Good for 1 rim)



    Step 2
    Making the Rim Strip
    The rim strip is 2 pieces of 2” clear tape with the sticky sides together. One is cut exactly 70” long and the other is cut exactly 65” long. The short piece is centered on the long piece which leaves 2 ½” of sticky tape on each end. It's easier if you have an assistant here. Ashley is holding the tape for me while I press it together.




    Step 3
    Installing the Rim Strip
    Place the 2 ½” sticky part of the rim strip centered over the valve hole of the rim and push out all the bubbles. Tightly pull the rim strip around the rim and attach it to the rim with the other 2 ½” sticky part. It should also be centered on the valve stem hole. Check to ensure that the entire strip is centered on the rim.




    Step 4
    Sealing the Rim
    Next is the Gorilla tape. For the Marge lite rims you are going to want 11/16” strips of this stuff. Just measure that distance from the side of the roll and tear it along the roll like so. Do not remove it from the roll. You will use the roll as a handle for pulling. Install the tape around the rim with the edge of the tape going up tight against the rim edge. You are going to want to pull this tape incredibly hard when you are installing it. You want it to stretch and be nice and smooth all the way with no bubbles or wrinkles. Repeat for other rim bead.





    Step 5
    Compressing the Tape and Setting a Bead
    Cut open the valve hole and install a tire and tube. This is done for 2 reasons. One is to use the tube to compress the tape to make a good seal between the gorilla tape and the rim and the gorilla tape and the rim strip. The other reason is to seat one of the beads. It’s much easier to seal this up when you only have to deal with one side of the tire. I usually let the tire sit for a few hours at 30 psi to ensure everything is sealed up nicely.

    Step 6
    Foam Prep
    I do this while I’m waiting for the tape to seal up. The foam needs to be cut at an angle to aid in sealing up the tire. Cut the foam at this angle the entire length. You will need enough to go around the entire rim, so about 6 ft.



    Step 7
    Foam Install
    Let the air out of the tire, remove the tire from one side of the rim, and remove the tube. I emphasize one side of the rim. Leave the other side seated. Install the tubeless valve stem. Install the strip of triangle shaped foam around the rim like so.




    Step 8
    Scotch Tape
    The scotch tape is used to make a smooth transition for the tire bead. Install it over the foam and up nice and tight against the rim side just like the Gorilla tape. You should pull this tape somewhat tight but not so tight as to compress the foam. It should look like this. It’s hard to see the tape in this picture….. Because it’s clear.



    Step 9
    Air!!!
    Pull the tire bead up over the foam and onto the bead lock about halfway around the rim. Then, while ensuring that stays on the bead lock, start pulling the tire bead just up onto the foam. The reason for the foam is that you can’t pull the tire bead entirely onto the bead lock by hand so you need an intermediary location to hold it tightly enough so it will hold air until the air pushes it onto the bead. This is the half of the tire bead that is just on the foam.



    Next, put that pump to work. If you did everything right up until now, it will take air right away so crank it up to 25-30 psi. If it’s not taking air, listen for where it is coming out. Once you get it up to pressure check to ensure that the bead is seated evenly by looking at the tire sight line. It’s the little line on the rubber right next to the rim. You should be able to see it evenly all the way around the tire. If you can’t, the foam is probably caught in the bead. This is the sight line right next to the rim edge.



    Step 10
    Sealant
    If all is well, let all the air out and pop the foam side bead off again and install sealant. Or remove your valve core and install sealant. Either way, it’s time to pump er up to high pressure and do the sealant dance! Shake it, turn it, shake it… till nothing comes out.

    Enjoy.

  2. #2
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    w00t! thanks.

  3. #3
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    Awesome! You rock. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Good work !
    Trek 9.9 Superfly SL
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  5. #5
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    Dude. Awesome fat tubeless instructions. Seemingly dumbed down for us “not as techy as the others” folks. Now I think I will try this again on my wife’s fatbike.
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  6. #6
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    If i didn't weigh around 270#, i would start drilling my rims by now !
    Good step by step instructions with pictures, what more could we ask ?


  7. #7
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    Very nice write up, thanks for sharing all your secrets..

  8. #8
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    Thank you!

  9. #9
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    I do have a question, where do you buy the Duck HD tape..??

    Is this just so thick packing tape or something more sophisticated like Mylar tape

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    I do have a question, where do you buy the Duck HD tape..??

    Is this just so thick packing tape or something more sophisticated like Mylar tape
    I used this tape because it is super clear and yet quite tough. It is sold at menards along with most everything else for this setup.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPcycles View Post
    I used this tape because it is super clear and yet quite tough. It is sold at menards along with most everything else for this setup.
    Cool thanks for the leads, I need to pay a visit to that store anyway to get the latex mold builder.

  12. #12
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    What do you think of this Mylar tape is super duper strong, for sure stronger than packing tape and use to repair sails on boats so I'm sure is very sticky and also waterproof.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    What do you think of this Mylar tape is super duper strong, for sure stronger than packing tape and use to repair sails on boats so I'm sure is very sticky and also waterproof.
    I dont know anything about that mylar. The stuff that I recommend is very strong, very clear, and very available locally. The materials that I chose are easy to acquire and cheap.

    2 pieces of the HD Clear stuck together the way I do it is probably much stronger than you may think.

  14. #14
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    On a side note, if a person is concerned with the strength of the rim strip just add more layers. The roll is wrapped many hundreds of times from the factory and is as clear as a single piece of glass. Plus it weighs almost nothing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPcycles View Post
    I dont know anything about that mylar. The stuff that I recommend is very strong, very clear, and very available locally. The materials that I chose are easy to acquire and cheap.
    Mylar is crazy strong stuff use on many things like the leading edge of hanglider wings (that was my first encounter with) but maybe you are right and is much to fancy for this application..

    2 pieces of the HD Clear stuck together the way I do it is probably much stronger than you may think.
    I think I'm going to give your method a try since your tape is transparent when my material is only translucent (even if is really resilient) for added effect..

  16. #16
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    Do you have any photos looking thru the cut-outs to see the sealant?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Do you have any photos looking thru the cut-outs to see the sealant?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Do you have any photos looking thru the cut-outs to see the sealant?
    That's the only good pic I could get. I tried taking one of the sealant on the bottom of the tire looking thru the window but my camera couldn't focus on it. It kept focusing on the window itself.

  19. #19
    R.I.P. Pugsley.
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    Try taking the photo outside with good lighting.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabies010 View Post
    Try taking the photo outside with good lighting.
    I had really good lighting and used it in a multitude of ways. I have one more trick that ill maybe try tonight.

  21. #21
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    That is a cool idea. Ever think of adding food coloring to the sealant since its visible now?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlongfx View Post
    That is a cool idea. Ever think of adding food coloring to the sealant since its visible now?
    Thats what I was thinking

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlongfx View Post
    That is a cool idea. Ever think of adding food coloring to the sealant since its visible now?
    Adding food coloring could definitely be a nice touch.

  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Open up a few glow sticks! You have to store wheels in the freezer and snap em before use

  26. #26
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    Oh, crap! I just thought of a great way of doing lighting inside that would be super easy!! Back to the store.

  27. #27
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    Pleas tell us what it is.....

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Do you have any photos looking thru the cut-outs to see the sealant?
    The sealant doesn't really do anything cool, but here it is. Again, It's easier to see in person than thru a camera.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How To:  Tubeless Wheel Windows-tubeless-fat-bike-002.jpg  


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabies010 View Post
    Pleas tell us what it is.....
    I will happily share if it works and I find the right lights.

  30. #30
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  31. #31
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    I end up ordering Monokote from amazon (because is easy)

    I think the material offer the perfect blend of features, this variation of Mylar is use on model planes, is thermoformable so you just need a heatgun to mold it to shape, it adheres to other surfaces really easy and is also really strong (for how tin it is) so hopefully will not puncture to easy, plus is design to use with corrosive gasoline (nitrometane) so my hope is the chain lubricants will not damage the finish of fade the clear view..

    I tell you more in a few days when I get it install..

  32. #32
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    Ok now we need hot chicks in fur coats on fat bikes that look like extras from a Fast and Furious movie deciding to bike commute for a day. Better get Adaptrac in on the deal for the "hydraulics" effect.

    VSSHHT VSSHHT!

    Haha... ah, I shouldn't make fun. Sorry, couldn't help myself. I'll go back to my own equally strange devices... Carry on.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  33. #33
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    I shed 1.5lbs on my Mukluk by going tubeless tonight. We'll see how well it holds up. I didn't end up doing the clear window method. The rim strip was adheared quite well to the rim, so I just removed the tube, added tubeless presta valve, 3 scoops of Stans and it's all sealed up.

  34. #34
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    sail repair tape is just expensivly branded packaging tape...
    same base material, but the glue on the sail repair type is most likely better then of packaging tape, also, tape itself will be thicker

  35. #35
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    I got the aluminum valve stems today, very nicely made.

  36. #36
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    I install the Monokote tonight but I'm not super happy with the results, the material is just to thin and I'm afraid it will get puncture to easy (even if is suppose to be really strong)

    On the other hand the aluminum valves are great.


    The search continues for a really strong transparent material..

  37. #37
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    What about that heavy nylon you can buy at Joanne Fabrics the stuff for making tablecloth covers? I'm not going tubeless now but just a thought.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    The search continues for a really strong transparent material..
    Really? Have you even tried my suggestion? I'm betting no.

    Quote Originally Posted by f00g View Post
    What about that heavy nylon you can buy at Joanne Fabrics the stuff for making tablecloth covers? I'm not going tubeless now but just a thought.
    Is it clear?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPcycles View Post
    Really? Have you even tried my suggestion? I'm betting no.
    Yes I did but I'm kind of picky about this things, first I did not like it was only 48mm wide (they say 2" inches but is not) and then I did not like that is was so "Brittle" and easy to cut..

    Today I when to Joann fabrics (I'm pretty sure everybody has one close by) and I purchase 2 yards (70" are require) of Vinyl, the kind that you use to make windows on tents, sadly I don't remember the gauge but it was the $4.95 thickness (one thinner, one thicker).

    In fact if anybody want some just send me a PM and I will send you two lengths (60mm by 70" long) I only ask you to pay for the shipping cost (needs to be a box so the material is rolled with out kinks)

    I just install one on my rear wheel and it when great it adapts perfect to the curve of the rim and the concave segment of the rim profile..

    Thanks EP for all the inspiration, with out you I will not have the vision to make it happen.

  40. #40
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    I guess it boils down to "whatever is available to you, suits your preference and works".

    I'm looking forward to getting my own Clownshoes so I can set them up like this. With lights.

    Just a thought about getting the loose bead to hold air when installing the tire: I've found it helpful to put the wheel on its side with the seated bead upwards, so the weight of the tire comes down on the unseated bead. This is with 29er tires. Do you think it would work on fat bikes as well or is the foam trick mandatory?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post

    I'm looking forward to getting my own Clownshoes so I can set them up like this. With lights.
    I want Lights too but I just don't know how to turn them off, a Motion sensor will be wonderful

  42. #42
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    Ps: the Vinyl is 6" by 4" so I have a ton of the stuff that I can cut in different widths depending it you have clown shoes or 80mm rims..

  43. #43
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    this is a cool thread...i'll just mark it for now til it all sinks in.
    roccowt.
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  44. #44
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    So I take it the vinyl from Joannes worked? I thought about it because I was there the other day looking for some nice orange vinyl, sadly they didn't have any. It's a good idea to get on Joanne's mailing list they are always sending out 40 and 50% off coupons. My wife keeps getting upset because I keep steeling her coupons.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by f00g View Post
    So I take it the vinyl from Joannes worked?
    Yes the transparent Vinyl works awesome, I even got lucky with the right thickness and everything

    I thought about it because I was there the other day looking for some nice orange vinyl, sadly they didn't have any. It's a good idea to get on Joanne's mailing list they are always sending out 40 and 50% off coupons. My wife keeps getting upset because I keep steeling her coupons.
    I use to have a great Huck up when I live in San Francisco with tons of great fancy materials (goretex, corduras, mylar, etc) but now I'm relegated to buy retail like anybody else and Joanne fabrics is not a bad place to start..

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    I want Lights too but I just don't know how to turn them off, a Motion sensor will be wonderful
    How about the lights and battery inside the tire with a magnetic reed switch? Turn the lights on by putting a magnet in a certain place on the rim.

    Another thought would be to ground the system to the rim (most feasible at the valve I think), lead one wire through and along a spoke to the hub, where the battery and switch would be located. This way only one wire needs to pass through from the inside of the tire.

    Just throwing ideas.

  47. #47
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    Another tape thought if you don't like what the OP is using is scotch 3850 heavy duty packaging tape. I just used a roll to pack a bike up for shipping and that stuff is seriously thick and strong. Definitely the heaviest and nicest packaging tape I've ever used. Picked it up at the LHWS but here's the link to it on walmart Scotch 3850 Heavy Duty Packaging Tape, 2" x 55 yards, Clear: Office : Walmart.com

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPcycles View Post
    Adding food coloring could definitely be a nice touch.
    nah, fill it up with glow stick sauce! :-)

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    Just a thought about getting the loose bead to hold air when installing the tire: I've found it helpful to put the wheel on its side with the seated bead upwards, so the weight of the tire comes down on the unseated bead. This is with 29er tires. Do you think it would work on fat bikes as well or is the foam trick mandatory?
    I tried that trick and it didn't work for me, but I'm sure someone else could have better luck knowing that all tires are a little different. I bet that if I had used a compressor it would have worked, but I didn't want to have to resort to that since not everyone has access to one.

    Try it without the foam first and no sealant. I'm sure it'll work for some people.

  50. #50
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    The strips of Vinyl are all cut out and pack, hopefully tomorrow I will be able to ship them, one set of them is for a Moonlander (80mm wide strip) will see how that works out..

    I will let you guys know the cost of shipping after I come back from the post office.

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