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  1. #1
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    Gorilla Tape Ghetto Tubeless, How much is to much?

    I am in the process of converting my rims to tubeless using with Schwalbe Rocket Ron Performance tires and gorrilla tape.

    It took alot of effort, but i finally got them to seal up using 4 layers of tape. looking at it, its not any thicker than using a split tube and 2 layers of tape. However, how much is to much?

    Also the layers of tape have run up on the wall of the rim. They don't interfere with the bead hook, but they do reduce the clinching effect it may have. How big of an issue could that cause? Considering with the split tube method the tube covers the bead lock completely and people have no issue, I should expect the same with the gorilla tape right?

    **Edited to make my question more clear***
    Last edited by W.J.Christy; 11-10-2017 at 08:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    If your rims were not designed tubeless ready, you'd need rim strip on top of tubeless tape.


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    I would think that too, however, my when i looked into it i am not sure that is the case.

    Need to clarify, the tape acts as the rim strip. In this case it replaces the split inner tube or the Stans rim strip. From what I have read Gorilla tape is used for ENVE rims (By ENVE) as the rim strip/tape of choice. The question I have is how much is to much....

  4. #4
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    I use one layer on my wtb and nobl carbon wheels . From your post it sounds like your are wrapping multiple times because the tape is not wide enough ? I bought the wider gorilla tape and cut it down. It should be against rim edge on both sides.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.J.Christy View Post
    I would think that too, however, my when i looked into it i am not sure that is the case.

    Need to clarify, the tape acts as the rim strip. In this case it replaces the split inner tube or the Stans rim strip. From what I have read Gorilla tape is used for ENVE rims (By ENVE) as the rim strip/tape of choice. The question I have is how much is to much....
    I don't know how much is to much, but I used the 1 inch wide on my Spank Oozy 295. It went into the bead lock a bit, but not too much and didn't go up the wall of the room at all. One layer was enough. Has held for weeks that way, while riding park and local rough trails.

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  6. #6
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    For my tire I am wrapping 4 layers of the 1" wide tape around the rim to get the tire to seat. The tape is wider than the ID of the rim by about 5mm so it does go up the sides a bit to just under the bead hook.

    In some places I have had to trim the width of the tape down a little to get it to sit below the bead hook after it has been installed.

    At this point I am not to worried about it going up the wall as it seems even the Stans tubless strip does that, however, I am a bit worried about whether or not 4 layers of tape over the spokes to get a tire to seat is a good idea.....

  7. #7
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    Thatís way too much tape! First things first: make sure the rim is extremely clean! Wash it with soapy water and a brush, then rub it down with alcohol (90% isopropyl) and a clean rag to remove any sealant residue or glue from the tape. Measure the width of your rim bead to bead, then cut the tape to that width. Then, starting 3 inches from the valve hole, tape over the valve hole and continue around the rim until you overlap the valve hole 3 inches on each side. If you over tape, or the tape interferes with the bead then it will have difficulty sealing. Also, make sure it isnít leaking through the valve hole or through the tire sidewalls. If the tires are new, sometimes a air compressor helps blast the tire on and stretch the bead. Use soapy water in a spray bottle to help tire slide into place and leak check. You donít say how wide your rim is, but wider rims can be harder to set up (more air volume, more surface area to tape perfectly). Also, I find Stanís (or equivalent polyurethane tape) works better than gorilla tape: it is thinner, stretches more, weighs less, and doesnít leave residue when you need to replace it.

    Good luck!

    Edit: double check that your Rocket Ron Performance is tubeless ready. If it has a wire bead it is going to be so, so hard to set up tubeless.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhammer View Post
    Thatís way too much tape!
    I installed the tape as you describe, that part went well. I do need to ask though, what makes that to much tape?

    The gorilla tape is .4318mm thick. So at 4 layers that is 1.72mm thick. Which is just thicker than a Stans rim strip. If its to much, that's cool but why is it to much. What is the down side?

    I am sure you could say burping, or tire movement, but these are the same down sides to any non-tlr/non-ust tubeless set up. (FWIW I have a stans conversion get on another set of tires)

    I am using a non-ust rocket ron and a non-ust rim. I was able to get the Rocket Ron to seat and seal (bead wise that is) on the rim with the 4 layers of tape. I have not added sealant so it leaked like a sieve, but it mounted and held air for about and hour or so with no sealant.

    So with that, and I ask in earnest, is 4 layers to much and if so why? Are the possibilities of burping or having a tire come unseated greater than that of using a stans kit? And if the tape does go up the wall of the rim but stays below the bead hook is that ok? or do i need to trim it so its close to the intersection of the wall and bead seat profile?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.J.Christy View Post
    I installed the tape as you describe, that part went well. I do need to ask though, what makes that to much tape?

    The gorilla tape is .4318mm thick. So at 4 layers that is 1.72mm thick. Which is just thicker than a Stans rim strip. If its to much, that's cool but why is it to much. What is the down side?

    I am sure you could say burping, or tire movement, but these are the same down sides to any non-tlr/non-ust tubeless set up. (FWIW I have a stans conversion get on another set of tires)

    I am using a non-ust rocket ron and a non-ust rim. I was able to get the Rocket Ron to seat and seal (bead wise that is) on the rim with the 4 layers of tape. I have not added sealant so it leaked like a sieve, but it mounted and held air for about and hour or so with no sealant.

    So with that, and I ask in earnest, is 4 layers to much and if so why? Are the possibilities of burping or having a tire come unseated greater than that of using a stans kit? And if the tape does go up the wall of the rim but stays below the bead hook is that ok? or do i need to trim it so its close to the intersection of the wall and bead seat profile?
    Downside 1: weight! Gorilla tape is heavy. Like 100g per layer heavy. You don't want to be adding 400g of weight per wheel.

    Downside 2: Reliabilty. If you're adding 4 layers of tape to get your tires to seat, and they're still not holding air you'll never get rolling again if you have a puncture or burp on the trail.

    Here's my advice: stick to tubes until your Rocket Rons wear out. Then replace them with tubeless ready tires, use 1 layer of Stan's tape (not the rim strips) and your sealant of choice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.J.Christy View Post
    I installed the tape as you describe, that part went well. I do need to ask though, what makes that to much tape?

    The gorilla tape is .4318mm thick. So at 4 layers that is 1.72mm thick. Which is just thicker than a Stans rim strip. If its to much, that's cool but why is it to much. What is the down side?

    I am sure you could say burping, or tire movement, but these are the same down sides to any non-tlr/non-ust tubeless set up. (FWIW I have a stans conversion get on another set of tires)

    I am using a non-ust rocket ron and a non-ust rim. I was able to get the Rocket Ron to seat and seal (bead wise that is) on the rim with the 4 layers of tape. I have not added sealant so it leaked like a sieve, but it mounted and held air for about and hour or so with no sealant.

    So with that, and I ask in earnest, is 4 layers to much and if so why? Are the possibilities of burping or having a tire come unseated greater than that of using a stans kit? And if the tape does go up the wall of the rim but stays below the bead hook is that ok? or do i need to trim it so its close to the intersection of the wall and bead seat profile?
    Which gorilla tape are you using? Best to make sure we're talking about the same stuff.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhammer View Post
    Downside 1: weight! Gorilla tape is heavy. Like 100g per layer heavy. You don't want to be adding 400g of weight per wheel.

    Downside 2: Reliabilty. If you're adding 4 layers of tape to get your tires to seat, and they're still not holding air you'll never get rolling again if you have a puncture or burp on the trail.

    Here's my advice: stick to tubes until your Rocket Rons wear out. Then replace them with tubeless ready tires, use 1 layer of Stan's tape (not the rim strips) and your sealant of choice.
    Thanks for your input

    I agree with much of the information but I feel there is a little misinformation/understanding in my current situation.

    1. The weight of a roll of gorilla to go is 4.2 ounces with the roll and package (amazon listed shipping weight so it may be less) which equals 120g including the cardboard roll and packaging. A whole roll was required to get to the 4 layers on my 29" so at worst I am adding 120 grams to the wheel tire set. For comparison sake a continental 29" presta valve tube is 225g, so with the addition of valves (18g) i am 87g lighter per wheel (of course the addition of sealant will change that but I am not doing tubeless for weight savings). Looking at the weight it seems as if it will be pretty close to running with a tube....

    2. The tire did seat properly on the rim. There were several leaks around the bead and pin holes in the side wall that caused it to deflate as I did not add any sealant yet. It held air for a good 1+ hours, which given the number of leaks isn't bad especially since none of this set up is tubeless ready or UST..... For comparison, I put a stans kit in another pair of the same rims with some continental Xking 2.4's and they had leaks in similar locations that the sealant took care of quite nicely. Add to it i was able to seat the bead using a track pump without an "Air Blast" canister attached. BUt you are correct a puncture or burp on the trail could spell doom and is a consideration (might have to swtich to CO2).

    You have helped me narrow down my area of concern though, and I appreciate that. I guess I really want to know if burping, or having the tire roll off the rim would be a larger concern with the additional layers. I have heard of people using 3 layers, and with a compressor or an "Air blast" type track pump (on the way) I am sure I will get the bead to seat. But last night, to get the bead to seat with a standard track pump, 4 layers was the magic number. Does that extra layer really matter?

    EDIT : the main purpose for going tubeless for me is air pressure. I get alot of pinch flats using tubes on the roots and such here when i run 30PSI. MY goal is to run 30Psi but not get pinch flats and hopefully no burping or tires rolling off the rim.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPunchCholla View Post
    Which gorilla tape are you using? Best to make sure we're talking about the same stuff.

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    I am using the 1" wide gorilla to go black duct tape. Its the regular duct tape cut to a nice 1" wide strip

  13. #13
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    Last I checked the "performance" series of Schwalbe tires are not Tubeless ready. I have run them in the past and they are touchy to set up, even on tubeless rims.

    You figured it out.....you need extra tape because your rims are not designed to run tubeless.
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  14. #14
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    I am running Pure XM SL rims (Pure XM SL 29er Wheel Set) not the most expensive, but I have put them through hell and they have survived. Thant and they are sub 1800g for the wheel set.

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    If you got the tires to seat and hold air I wouldn't worry. Just fill them up, ride around a little, let them sit overnight, and ride them until they wear out if they stay inflated. I find that gorilla tape peels up easily if I try to change tires. I often times have to retape them to change tires.

  16. #16
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    You definitely should be worried about blowing your tire off the rim. It sounds like you've created a ramp that will help the tire creep up and blow off.

    I'd be worried. I would very strongly suggest putting a tube back in for safety alone.

    I've seen tubeless rims for under $10. It's worth it.

  17. #17
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    A lot of things going on here.

    I agree with everyone, one layer of gorilla is a enough. If thinner 8898 or 1mil kapton I feel more comfortable with a second layer. Maybe a better floor pump? high volume mtb pump or even a fat bike pump.

    Also what rim? If one with that inner bead lip 1/4" from the edge, I find going edge to edge caused leaks for me. I just laid tape in the trough.

    These newer hookless rims fit the tire really tightly and the basic reason the split tube method worked so well despite covering the bead hook is that it did make the tire fit more tightly to the rim by filling the space below it. So you maybe on the right track here.

    30psi and pinch flats? I think you need to step up to a thicker casing and dh tubes and get away from the cheap tires you are using. The higher end tires have better casing and rubber compounds in them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt View Post
    A lot of things going on here.

    I agree with everyone, one layer of gorilla is a enough. If thinner 8898 or 1mil kapton I feel more comfortable with a second layer. Maybe a better floor pump? high volume mtb pump or even a fat bike pump.

    Also what rim? If one with that inner bead lip 1/4" from the edge, I find going edge to edge caused leaks for me. I just laid tape in the trough.

    These newer hookless rims fit the tire really tightly and the basic reason the split tube method worked so well despite covering the bead hook is that it did make the tire fit more tightly to the rim by filling the space below it. So you maybe on the right track here.

    30psi and pinch flats? I think you need to step up to a thicker casing and dh tubes and get away from the cheap tires you are using. The higher end tires have better casing and rubber compounds in them.
    I stretched out 26" DH tubes and ran them for about 5 years on my 29er. Prior to that I averaged a pinch flat like every other ride. I was riding rocky rooty terrain on a rigid single speed.

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    try using a cut bmx tube

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    A lot of good advice, I appreciate it all.

    I think what I am going to do is attempt to roll with the increase layers of tape (they are already on and it will be an absolute mess to take them off so why not try it.)

    IF all goes well I will have ghetto tubeless in this wheelset. If it goes to crap well, I know the limits.... either way I'll learn something and report back.

    Worst case, I wreck. Best case cheap tubeless.

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    A proper tubeless has extra rubber at the bead to prevent air from escaping. The split tube method is doing similar function to non-tubeless bead - it is compressible and can close up all those tiny crevices. Unlike Gorilla tape which is made from cloth is not really smooth and quite uneven - which is not very good for sealing for already rough non-tubeless bead.

    Finally, every 1mm increase in tape thickness, it will stretch the bead by 6.28mm...go figure.

  22. #22
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    Setting up tubeless is really straight forward and easy. Using 4 layers of Gorilla tape is crazy and Gorilla tape is not the best tape to use.

    I find 2 layers of Tyvek tape to work the best, its strong, light, thin and seals/sticks well.

    So pick up some Tyvek tape, and follow the Pinkbike article on cutting it to size and installing it. It works great, cheaper than Stans and others, can do like 10 rims with one roll.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/TYVEK-Ho...1470/100422453

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/Tech-T...onversion.html

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