Question for the tubeless crowd...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Question for the tubeless crowd...

    For those wishing to go tubeless.
    Has anyone tried that stuff on the latenight infomercials - Flex-Seal.c
    The stuff used to seal a screen door in a rowboat.
    I am not going tubeless but for those that are this may help with the sealing issues if it works as claimed, at least on the tape sealing part of the build.

  2. #2
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    ^This guy!

    Says he isn't going tubeless, but wants to help those who are? Suspise

    I think that stuff could work, untill you needed to turn a spoke nipple then SOL.

  3. #3
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    Yeah... I want to spray that nasty crap on my wheels.
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  4. #4
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    Someone tried it and posted photos on FB. It did not adhere well to the alum wheels, thus failed. But because it didn't stick it also peeled right off.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  5. #5
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    I finally found tape that works well for me after trying several. Thanks to bpd131 (IIRC).

    I don't really understand the problem with tapes not sticking to the rim though. It's more important to have the tape stick well enough to itself versus to the rim. With split tube we don't stick the tube to the rim do we? We go up and out the rim sides, which can be done with tape that's wide enough and conformable enough.

    I think this guy on FB saw the coating tear and not a failure from adhesion to the rim. He went up the sidewall of the rim, so how the heck does adhesion to the rim even matter?

  6. #6
    rda
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    use split tube and no tape needed.

  7. #7
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    I tried this stuff first. I think I a) did a crappy job of applying the tape and b) didn't let it sit long enough with a pressurized tube to press everything together. I gave the front wheel about an hour before trying to put sealant in it and the sealant wormed its way between the tape layers. When I pulled the tube out of the rear a day later, the tape looked like it had formed a better seal. I didn't even give it a try, though.

    Ordered a pair of 24x2.4-2.75 q-tubes, split them and put them in. After a minor explosion that left my arm covered in Stans, both tires sealed up nicely and have held air.

    Seems silly to use a product that can't be maintained if it fails or leaks.

  8. #8
    horseman
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    Curious... Friends use split tubes and it seems to make sense and work well. Major benefit there, ability to run lower pressure, but wouldn't tape work better if add'l benefit being sought was weight reduction? Split 24 weigh less than full size, but tape even lighter, no?

  9. #9
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    Skip the heavy split tube and rund a few loops of plastic wrap instead. Seals perfectly.
    Referred to as RTL setup, it is all the rage among the many hardcore Norwegian fatbikers these days. Makes for easy inflation with a mini pump, ie. much easier than factory tubeless ready that requires a burst of air to get the bead over the beadlock/hump.
    Here is how to set up the RTL:

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espen W View Post
    Skip the heavy split tube and rund a few loops of plastic wrap instead. Seals perfectly.
    Referred to as RTL setup, it is all the rage among the many hardcore Norwegian fatbikers these days. Makes for easy inflation with a mini pump, ie. much easier than factory tubeless ready that requires a burst of air to get the bead over the beadlock/hump.
    Here is how to set up the RTL:
    Thanks Espen. It looks like there was a strip of foam for each side of the rim - and then as that a 2-sided tape or something?

  11. #11
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    Yeah maybe foam weather strip followed by 1 inch double sided tape and around the rim with about 3 layers of cling wrap...Brilliant!
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  12. #12
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    Couldn't you just use the three layers of cling wrap without the weatherstripping?

  13. #13
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    I've just done my Fat Boy front and rear with Gorilla Tape and it has worked

    Front was a little troublesome but rear worked first time - I did the rear after the front, so there maybe something there

    I had done a Rabbit Hole rim a few weeks before with Gorrilla Tape too, which has held fine, so felt confident to try the FB rims

    Here's what I did:

    One strip straight against the cut outs sticky side in
    Then one strip either side (sticky down of course). I made sure the each of these were right up against the beads inner radius, but not up it, and left the rest hanging.
    I then fitted the tube and tyre and inflated to 20+ psi and left in the sunshine for 20 minutes

    Removed tube after breaking one side of the tire and pressed down any wrinkled edges of the tape. At this point you could see the tape's adhesive on the edges, and pressing the wrinkles oozed some more out, effectively sealing the edge

    Add fluid, do the dance and then use soapy suds to find leaks. Keep shaking over these areas till no more bubbles

    This was three rides ago, and air has held

    Bike felt very noticeably lighter to pick up after this

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikernks View Post
    Couldn't you just use the three layers of cling wrap without the weatherstripping?
    The weather stripping keeps the tire centered on the rim. Without it, the tire is off center and it is impossible to get the bead to seal due to the gaps.

    I went to split tube after trying tape and foam with no success. No issues with split tube. I even replaced my Vee Mission's with Floaters and reusing the circumcised split tube.

  15. #15
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    Trying to pin down this RTL method. The foam creates a bead channel? The wrap functions similar to split tube method, makes for a nice airtight seal? Is it difficult to get the tires on the rim withoit disturbing the wrap? I guess I'll give it a try, just need the foam tape

  16. #16
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    Question from a non-fatbike owner (yet), so apologies...I'm fatbike shopping and I will convert to tubeless before I ever ride it. I'm gorilla tape tubeless on 3 bikes currently (2 29ers and a 27.5). I've never met a bead I couldn't get to seat (but I do have a compressor). Is a fatbike tire harder to get to seat? (ie: why the foam?) Can anyone who has wrestled with tubeless on a regular MTB speak to the difficulty of seating a fatbike tire vs. a regular MTB tire? Seems like needless extra weight to me?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Question from a non-fatbike owner (yet), so apologies...I'm fatbike shopping and I will convert to tubeless before I ever ride it. I'm gorilla tape tubeless on 3 bikes currently (2 29ers and a 27.5). I've never met a bead I couldn't get to seat (but I do have a compressor). Is a fatbike tire harder to get to seat? (ie: why the foam?) Can anyone who has wrestled with tubeless on a regular MTB speak to the difficulty of seating a fatbike tire vs. a regular MTB tire? Seems like needless extra weight to me?
    To me the tire is a bit harder to seat on a fat bike rim due to the larger gap between the tire and rim. I have Rolling Daryl rims with holes and I've not needed anything beyond tape to seal them.

    To inflate the tires without tubes:

    1. Inflate the tire with a tube installed. This seats the tire.
    2. Let out the the air and remove the tube by breaking only one side of the tire bead. This leaves half the tire seated.
    3. Lay the wheel on it's side (90 degrees to how it will mount on your bike) so that gravity pulls the non-seated tire towards the rim. I normally do this with the wheel laying on top of a trash can.
    4. Give the wheel a blast of air and generally the tire inflates easily.
    5. Let out the air and add sealant through the valve stem.
    6. Reinflate the tire as normal.
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  18. #18
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    ^^ Thanks. That's kinda what I figured. I will try skipping the foam first. Super curious about the saran-wrap approach too. That seems like a lightweight genius idea... wonder how well it holds up.

    Gorilla tape is great on a MTB wheel, but on a fatbike, the weight would add up!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ Thanks. That's kinda what I figured. I will try skipping the foam first. Super curious about the saran-wrap approach too. That seems like a lightweight genius idea... wonder how well it holds up.

    Gorilla tape is great on a MTB wheel, but on a fatbike, the weight would add up!
    There are some (few) rims that are tubeless ready that you don't need the foam tricks. Sunringle Mulefut seems to be a good option and decent price.

  20. #20
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    Specialized Fat rims are excellent for tubeless, they have a good ridge to hold the bead in place.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ Thanks. That's kinda what I figured. I will try skipping the foam first. Super curious about the saran-wrap approach too. That seems like a lightweight genius idea... wonder how well it holds up.

    Gorilla tape is great on a MTB wheel, but on a fatbike, the weight would add up!
    I have used shrink warp for a couple of year, I think it is better than saran wrap because it is a little thicker. I get the 5 wide from your local hardware store put at least 6 wraps a stans valve stem and 4oz. of sealant. I use a ratchet strap around the center of the tire with a compressor, RD 80 mm wide air up pretty easy, CS 100mm wide you will have to work a little more.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by exp18 View Post
    I have used shrink warp for a couple of year, I think it is better than saran wrap because it is a little thicker. I get the 5 wide from your local hardware store put at least 6 wraps a stans valve stem and 4oz. of sealant. I use a ratchet strap around the center of the tire with a compressor, RD 80 mm wide air up pretty easy, CS 100mm wide you will have to work a little more.
    Exp18
    Are you using the six wraps in addition to a rim strip? Or just the wrap? Do you trim the wrap edges on the outside or do they just cling to the rim?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoosh View Post
    Exp18
    Are you using the six wraps in addition to a rim strip? Or just the wrap? Do you trim the wrap edges on the outside or do they just cling to the rim?
    Yes, with the rim strip the shrink warp is not strong enough to keep from blowing out of the rim holes. I let the shrink wrap hang over the edges of the rim, I try to keep all layers over the edge of the rim. After I air up the tire I use a razor blade to trim the excess off.

  24. #24
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    ^^ Sweet, thanks for the info. Do you get any sealant seepage at the bead?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Question from a non-fatbike owner (yet), so apologies...I'm fatbike shopping and I will convert to tubeless before I ever ride it. I'm gorilla tape tubeless on 3 bikes currently (2 29ers and a 27.5). I've never met a bead I couldn't get to seat (but I do have a compressor). Is a fatbike tire harder to get to seat? (ie: why the foam?) Can anyone who has wrestled with tubeless on a regular MTB speak to the difficulty of seating a fatbike tire vs. a regular MTB tire? Seems like needless extra weight to me?
    Just like with non-fat tubeless it depends on the combo. I have the Nextie rims with H-Billie (Tubeless ready) and it went in super easy with my compressor. I did have tubes in it so that helped it form to the tire. I'm using the Stan's tape, valve, and sealant. No problems at all this season with any leakage our anything like that. Saved close to 2 lbs. going to tubeless so it was a pretty major upgrade in my book.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ Sweet, thanks for the info. Do you get any sealant seepage at the bead?
    I have done it with just the shrink wrap it works okay but did have a little seepage I think it will depend on what rim you have, I have RDs and CSs so I have the hooked bead. I use this double sided foam tape and it has worked well, easy to install and remove. I get it from a glass replacement shop but it is used for many applications the one I use is wide and a 1/16 thick it comes in different sizes.
    I apply it to the rim before the shrink wrap
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Question for the tubeless crowd...-20150305_080632.jpg  

    Question for the tubeless crowd...-20150305_080718.jpg  


  27. #27
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    No joy so far. I think I have a bad combo, weinmann 80 (O8UL) & snowshoes. I tried the 5" stretch wrap a couple times before realizing that the only way was offsetting the layers, otherwise I just couldn't get full coverage. Burped the bead the first time, got a seal the 2nd time but it was short lived. Will try tape on the shelf, as I'm sure the bead is outsizing the bead seat area.

    exp18, it looks like you apply the foam tape to the rim edge (not the seat)?

  28. #28
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    Thanks for the advice in this thread... I found a Mukluk on Craigslist with the non-drilled Darryl rims and tubes... Searching led me to the Scotch Transparent Duct tape as a light-weight alternative to Gorilla Tape (which I use on my MTB).

    See here: Tubeless Fatbike Conversion Update | Cycles In Life


    I haven't ridden the bike yet, but I drilled out my Darryls and converted to tubeless, using Scotch Transparent Duct Tape, with a colored duct tape rim strip. I didn't do any foam or 'bead helper' of any kind. I used a tube to set the beads, only broke one, and inflated while holding the tire horizontal with the broken bead down to reset the bead I broke when removing the tube. This is my first experience with fatbike tubeless, but I have done it a lot on my other bikes. the bead took about 7 seconds to pop in place using a compressor. With these fat tires and one bead already set, gravity puts the other bead right where it wants to be if you hold the tire horizontal. PssssssshhhhhhhPOP easy peasy.

    Question for the tubeless crowd...-screen-shot-2015-03-14-12.52.27-pm.jpg
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoosh View Post
    Trying to pin down this RTL method. The foam creates a bead channel? The wrap functions similar to split tube method, makes for a nice airtight seal? Is it difficult to get the tires on the rim withoit disturbing the wrap? I guess I'll give it a try, just need the foam tape
    Tried this on my HL80s. I was pretty confident in it, but IMO, this system isn't quite there (at least for these wheels). I wish it had worked...the weight savings were super.

    The foam doesn't do anything from what I can tell. I used 7/16" thick X 1" wide weatherstripping. Skipped the double sided tape because the weatherstripping had adhesive on both sides anyway. The wrap itself makes the tire super easy to inflate. The bead seats easily and instantly because the wrap "ramps" up to the rim edge. Foam might help....I doubt it. What I can tell you, is that after 24 hours at 10psi my 7/16" thich foam was less than 1mm thick. Unless your tire/rim interface is already pretty tight.....it ain't helping for much of a seat.

    Slightly difficult to avoid destroying the wrap when mounting the tire, but far from impossible. I left the wheel mounted on the bike and had my wife roll it around to apply the wrap. This helps make sure its centered which in turn gives you the most overlap on both sides. I doubt you'll have any problems.

    Like I said....tires air up super easy and were instantly leak free. I rode it around with 8 in front and 10 in the rear and couldn't get it to burp...but I had my collarbone put back together with a titanium plate last week and can't exactly push the bike like a normal adult. Squeezing a 10 PSI tire bare handed will empty them in short order. Maybe that's normal for fatbike tubeless pressures, but not good enough for me.

    I may try again someday...but I need to find a much better way than foam to build up the bead shelf. Foam isn't going to cut it on my wheels.

    One more thing....the wrap sticks to absolutely nothing other than itself. After a day I already had Stan's leaking under the wrap where it overlapped itself for a distance of at least 10". I doubt it would make it through all four layers, but I still wasn't crazy about it. The clear tape over the valve hole doesn't stick either.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoosh View Post
    Will try tape on the shelf, as I'm sure the bead is outsizing the bead seat area.
    I feel like the bead on the Snowshoe is waaayyyyyy bigger than the shelf on these rims. Or vice versa.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dledinger View Post
    I feel like the bead on the Snowshoe is waaayyyyyy bigger than the shelf on these rims. Or vice versa.
    Agreed. And having tried the stretch wrap a few times, I'm thinking the weight gain versus tape is't worth it. Tyvek rim strip is only positive I've taken away from this project thus far.

  32. #32
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    I have a question that might be dumb... But with all of the inflating and deflating of tires that is inevitable on a fat bike if you're doing it right, do you guys have any issues with your sealant drying out quicker than on a skinny MTB where you're not deflating/inflating all the time? Exposure to air is a factor for sealant, for sure... Seems like deflating/inflating at least a little on almost every ride could dry that stuff out quick.
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  33. #33
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    I haven't noticed any issues. I do, however get HUGE Stan's boogers in my fat tires.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I have a question that might be dumb... But with all of the inflating and deflating of tires that is inevitable on a fat bike if you're doing it right, do you guys have any issues with your sealant drying out quicker than on a skinny MTB where you're not deflating/inflating all the time? Exposure to air is a factor for sealant, for sure... Seems like deflating/inflating at least a little on almost every ride could dry that stuff out quick.
    I set up my LB carbon rims back in early November. For the first two weeks, it seemed like I was getting some leak-down and a little burping, but I figured out that I had left the valve-cores really loose due to hand-tightening and adjusting the pressure, so I don't think a few rides and leak-downs initially were really indicative of the sealing process.

    Fast forward to today, I kept good pressure all the time. I've never had to add air until three days ago due to leak-down. I left for a week (I do this for work semi-frequently) and came back to find the front was pretty low. No problem, added 1.5oz of fresh sealant and got out and rode, seems great. This is with all kinds of adjustments this winter, up and down with pressure, and never having to add pressure due to leak-down until this time. I'm pretty happy with this. I may pop the tires off in a month as we get out of the studded-tire season to see what's going on in the tires, but no-news is usually good-news in this case, everything has worked great and I haven't had to make any adjustments.

    So maybe, but not enough that I'd say it would cause any issues over the course of a season. I'm at low altitude and cold temps though, it's the opposite of what would cause moisture to evaporate.
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