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.
Tools and Materials:
-Xacto Knife/Razor Blade
-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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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