On-One Fatty Wheelset and Floater Tire Tubeless Setup (How To)
This is what I did to eliminate the tubes from my fatbike. I was able to save about 14 ounces (390 grams) per wheel. This procedure may or may not work with other rim and tire combinations.
Stuff that you need:
- On-One Fatty Wheelset
- On-One Floater Tires
- 1 inch (25 mm) wide Gorilla Tape (2 rolls)
- Styrofoam Sill Foam Gasket (available from Lowes, Home Depot, etc. for about $5)
- Valve stem with removable core (I cut Presta valves out of Q-Tubes)
- Stanís sealant
- Packaging tape
- 2 inch (50 mm) wide Gorilla Tape
- Floor pump or air compressor
- Sharp scissors
- Tape measure or ruler
- Pen or marker
- A small cat to assist (optional)
Preparation Ė The inside of the tires were greasy, my guess is that it they were covered with a mold release agent from manufacturing. I cleaned this off of the tires with laundry detergent and water. Also, each rim has a set of eight small holes in the bead seat. Four are near the valve hole, and four are near the seam in the rim. I plugged them with super glue and used fine sandpaper to smooth out these areas, I do not know if either of these steps is needed. I left the factory tape on the rim that covers the spoke nipples.
Foam Ė The foam serves to fill in the area between the bead seats and makes it easier to inflate the tire. It only adds about 18 grams per wheel. Cut 2 pieces of foam for each wheel. Mine were 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) wide and about 67 inches (170 cm) long. I found that it worked best if the foam was about an inch (25 mm) short of wrapping completely around the wheel. The foam his easily able to stretch to close this gap, and it is easier to tape up later if the foam isnít loose and moving around. I used a piece of clear plastic packaging tape to join the two ends of the foam. The outer layer of foam may need to be a little longer than the first wrap. The valve stem will easily punch a hole through the foam.
Gorilla Tape Ė This forms a seal between the tire beads. It is important to take your time and avoid any creases or wrinkles that may leak air. The Gorilla tape is pretty easy to work with, so thatís not too difficult to do. It will take three wraps to cover the foam; one under each bead of the rim and one in the center. I started near the valve hole. The idea is to stick the tape to the aluminum bead shelf of the rim, then on to the foam to form a relatively flat surface. I used a plastic tire lever to make sure that the tape adhered well. I overlapped the ends by an inch or so.
After the three wraps were finished, I added a single piece of 2 inch (50 mm) square Gorilla Tape to the spot where the valve would go. I then heated a piece of metal on the kitchen stove and melted a hole in the Gorilla tape for the valve to fit through. Next, add the valve stem and tighten the knurled nut on against the rim. I used a valve (with a removable core) cut from a Q-Tube brand inner tube. I previously tried a Stanís valve stem for a tubeless wheel, but it pulled through the tape and leaked.
Next, mount the tire onto the rim. Line up the valve with the Floater logo (this is critical!). I was able to mount the tires by hand; I didnít need to use a tire lever at all. Once both beads are mounted, the tire should not be able to spin on the Gorilla tape. If it canít spin, that indicates that the foam and tape are in contact with the tire bead, and it should air up easily.
Pump up your tire. I had no problems using a floor pump. I pumped mine to 30 or 40 psi in order to make sure that the beads were seated all around the tire. If so, you should be able to see some reinforcing all the way around the tire bead like below.
Let the air out of the tire and remove the valve core. Add your Stanís sealant. I added about 3 fl oz, or approximately 100 grams worth.
Reinstall the valve core. Pump up the tire again. Make sure that the bead is seated again, then do the ďStanís shake and spinĒ to make sure that the sealant is spread around. If you have any leaks, put it at the bottom and slosh the sealant around until it seals. This was my worst leak below (worringly right at the rim seam!).
Let it sit for a while to be sure that everything is sealed. Reduce the pressure to what you plan to ride it at (Iíll try about 8 psi, myself) and do the Stanís dance again to make sure that everything is sealed. Put the wheel on your bike and go ride!
Weight Data (Ready to ride including skewer and rotor, cassette on rear)
Front Wheel w/Tube 8 lb 7 oz 3.83 kg
Front Wheel Tubeless 7 lb 9 oz 3.44 kg
Front Weight Savings 14 oz 0.39 kg
Rear Wheel w/Tube 9 lb 11 oz 4.40 kg
Rear Wheel Tubeless 8 lb 13 oz 4.01 kg
Rear Weight Savings 14 oz 0.39 kg
Approximate weights by item
Valve Stem Ė 7-8 g
Foam (one layer) Ė 8-9 g
Gorilla Tape Ė 65-70 g per wheel
Stanís sealant Ė 3 fl oz = 100 g per wheel
Total per wheel Ė 180-187 grams
OEM Tubes - 593 g each
Cat - 5 lb 9 oz
I would appreciate if some folks could read the above and provide feedback if anything is not clear or doesn't make sense.
I'm crunching the numbers on the weights and will add that in an edit.
They might be the clearest instructions for a fat-tubeless set up I've seen so far. Nice job.
Well done Joe. I'm interested to know if this method will work with just the tape, rim strip and no foam. Maybe people's concerns about tyre hops could be alleviated with a narrow strip of tape on the bead seat.
When I eventually get a Fatty, I'll be doing drilled rims with clear windows.
I'm going to try this with my marge set up. I have tried every combination of tape and weather stripping and such but never anything I was comfortable using in a situation where i might need to seat the tire with a pump or CO2 cartridge in field. This looks like what I was looking for and less finicky than Mendon's method. Thanks!
Great job and explanation of the process.... I run tubeless on all my other bikes but not interested in converting my On-One (yet).... I changed the stock tubes to Schwalbe FR ones and dropped 400g per wheel... same weight savings as going tubeless but a lot less complicated... :)
nice work. i'm definitely going to try this once my fatty finally arrives.
But actually more likely to flat at low psi than stock tubes....weight savings isn't everything.
Originally Posted by gretch
OP, nice write up. If I hadn't already done the same thing, I'd go do it right now.
Beautiful job. I hadn't thought of the sill foam. Perfect!!
For someone wanting to use no foam, there is really too much space between the tire bead and the rim to ever get it to seal. I know, it can probably be done, but at a huge hassle. This is a very elegant solution.
Great thread! I'm stupid when it comes to reading instructions/how to's. you really put up great Picts to go along with instructions-thanks! I may try this on my wheels.
Thank you, great howto.
I've a question, a friend of mine has successfully made tubeless an on-one rim-tyre with the same system* but without the Styrofoam.
So, why do you use the foam?
*quite the same, they only put some gorilla tape over the junction of the rim and that's all, no need to put the tape on the rim (they've leave the on-one standard tape)
i finally got around to trying this for my fatty.
i did one wheel, pumped it up without sealant liquid. it leaked air but sat well enough. then i added some stan's and after some shake it was fine.
next day wheel number two. worked just as good. pumped it up to 2 bars and didnt't leak at all for hours.
day three: wanted to go out for a nightride: shock! one of the wheels was completely deflated. the following hour i was fighting for it to get seated on the rim again. without success. the first couple of times i had no troubles getting the tires to pop on the rims. this time no way. i wonder why. i had to go with tube in the back and tubeless front. later in the middle of the woods i lost my front tire too. different reason this time. it seems the tape i used (european duct tape) got loose because of the sealant.
i have two suspects:
1) wrong tape. next time i'll try to find something like your gorilla tape
2) maybe another layer of foam to get the tire seated. -> my observation: the tire seems very soft and elastic once it's been in contact with stan's sealant. first try i had no problems inflating it with a floordrive. next day it didn't work at all. even with helping hands and a spanner belt around the tire etc.
anything else i might be doing wrong?
EDIT: JoeG: how has your system been holding up so far? what kind oīf riding do you do with it. flats or steep trails
My front tubeless has been perfect. I rode it again yesterday on frozen ground at 5 psi and it held just fine. That pressure was too low for good steering, so I'll bump the pressure back up a psi or two. I generally ride wooded singletrack trails; not many rocks but some roots and such. Terrain is hilly; lots of twisty ups and downs. Oh, and some snow riding, too and mud at times as well.
I took the rear gorilla tubeless apart to try a Stan's rim strip and split BMX tube combo. The glue holding the rim strip to the split tube failed, and I just put a tube back in because I plan to try it again. Still looking for the right glue.
As far as not being able to reinflate your tires, did the foam compress a lot? The sill foam that I use compresses and doesn't spring back, so its really a one time use kind of thing. And wrinkles in the tape are a no-no as well. The gorilla tape is easy to get on without any wrinkles.
I've used Stan's sealant in regular mountain bike tires for many years and have never seen it soften the tires or anything like that. If it softened the tires, they wouldn't last. Stan's is mostly latex rubber and forms a skin on the inside of the tire over time. I don't see how it could soften or eat into the rubber tier at all.
Originally Posted by flobukki
The biggest thing to remember whenever converting something to tubeless is this:
If you cant inflate it with a hand pump, its not a good enough seal to hold its bead.
I have converted countless tires to tubeless and this fact always remains. Like you said, build up your base a bit and get that 'tire to tape gap' to almost nil and I suspect that will solve your problems.
Well, I pinch flatted my rear tire yesterday. :sad: It had the heavy On-One tube in it, though. It won't any more! :)
JoeG: how has your system been holding up so far?
Tubeless front wheel has been fine.:thumbsup:
I notice a lot of people use Gorilla brand tape.
I just got some and noticed it is significantly thicker and heavier than the 3M brand black duct tape I have.
Who can quantify the weight savings by using standard 3M duct tape compared to using Gorilla tape.
I have both, and just wondered which would be better to use.
I also have seen someone on here using a blue tape that looked like non-reinforced vinyl or something. Maybe a non-reinforced tape will seal better, since it doesn't have as much texture as cloth backed tape.
I don't know, so go ahead and start arguing about which tape is better. Go ahead and throw in any other tape you may have used, like stan's yellow, schwalbe, velocity, Wtb etc.
Used gorilla tape it was heavy as sh$% and I had to do a few extra layers cause it was leaking through the cutouts & unused spoke holes. Have 'blue' tape in mail to redo wheels :)
Nice job on the tutorial!
yikes......593 grams for the OEM tube!?!! The OEM inner tube alone weighs more than a carbon fiber 80mm fatty rim. http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/car...ms-846713.html
had a go at tubeless everything ok apart from when i let tyres down they come off the seat and when pumped up if i press side near rim it will leak air i know the problem is there not seated properly but i get to 35 psi and darednt pump anymore ,should i here it pop on to the bead what should i look listen for thanks ,
what pressure can i pump to without blowing me nuts off
The problem I see is,
Originally Posted by stesteste
Your tires will probably always leak, when you air them down.
Some tires are not suited for such a thing.
Some pop into place, others don't.
I gave up on tubeless for a reason ... It just ain't worth it, to me.
I have not found that to be the case with Floaters at all. There are very, very few pinholes in the tire casing where sealant leaks out when new. The ones that I have leak a lot less than most other standard (tube type) tires; they're almost as good as some tubeless ready tires IME.
The problem I see is,
Your tires will probably always leak, when you air them down.
Some tires are not suited for such a thing.
No tube or tire holds air indefinitely.
I've just converted a stock standard Fatty front wheel with the On One Floater tyre. However I haven't done ANY mod's or extra tape etc, I simply put a valve from an old tube in, added Joes sealant, and pumped it up. I admit I uses a compressor, and it took a few minutes for it to hold pressure and seat into place. I did all the usual shake and rolling it around deal, and it's held air no problem at all. I guess I used about 100ml of sealant, and not much left the tyre. Overnight it hasn't leaked any air either. Impressive!
Now I just need to give it a go with the wheels that I've drilled. That;ll amount to a saving of about 1.3kg per wheel over the original, making the bike much more manageable and fun to ride.
Good pictures, nice instructions, and good weight savings.
It isn't the way I do it and I would change some things but if this works for you, that's great.