Tapeless tubeless with neoprene backed washers?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tapeless tubeless with neoprene backed washers?

    Apparently some of HED's latest wheelsets are shipping with rubber/neoprene backed spoke nipple washers that provide an air tight seal and allow the rims to be setup tubeless without tape.

    Brief description and photos near the bottom:
    NAHBS 2015: New HED 24? fat bike rims have all the width, a little less height

    Supposedly you can buy the washers from HED, but I don't seem them on their online store.

    Looking around I found these neoprene backed washers originally intended for watertight roofing applications:
    Neoprene EPDM Roofing SIding Washers 18/8 Stainless Steel.
    The inner diameter of the #8 washer is slightly bigger than a DT Swiss nipple.

    Anyone try something like this? I'm in the process of building up a Fatlab wheelset and the rims don't have any cutouts so if the washer plus sealant is air tight, I might be able to get away without using tape. I obviously would need to add to the spoke lengths to compensate for the washers.

    Thoughts? Could the sealant destroy the neoprene?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    Apparently some of HED's latest wheelsets are shipping with rubber/neoprene backed spoke nipple washers that provide an air tight seal and allow the rims to be setup tubeless without tape.

    Brief description and photos near the bottom:
    NAHBS 2015: New HED 24? fat bike rims have all the width, a little less height

    Supposedly you can buy the washers from HED, but I don't seem them on their online store.

    Looking around I found these neoprene backed washers originally intended for watertight roofing applications:
    Neoprene EPDM Roofing SIding Washers 18/8 Stainless Steel.
    The inner diameter of the #8 washer is slightly bigger than a DT Swiss nipple.

    Anyone try something like this? I'm in the process of building up a Fatlab wheelset and the rims don't have any cutouts so if the washer plus sealant is air tight, I might be able to get away without using tape. I obviously would need to add to the spoke lengths to compensate for the washers.

    Thoughts? Could the sealant destroy the neoprene?
    The only neoprene I know is what's in wetsuits. It's really tough stuff, so I don't think stans will do anything to it at all, especially considering most of stans is water.

    Looks like a cool idea. Even if there's a bit of leaking to start, I expect that the neoprene would get sealed up.

  3. #3
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    Actually, HED has been shipping wheels with the rubber washers for about a year now. It's a neat idea and mine have sealed up with no issues surrounding the rubber washers. I have some concern with them in really cold temps, at low pressures, and with some torque being applied to the rear wheel. They are unsubstantiated concerns.

  4. #4
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    My only concern with these would be: What happens on that fateful day when you tear a hole in your casing and sealant won't seal it, and you have to put in a tube to get home. How do you protect the tube from the nipple heads?

  5. #5
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    Good point. Would need to carry a rim strip along with an extra tube.

    In my opinion, UST was way better engineered. Been running LUST Ardents on a Fulcrum Red Metal XLR wheelset with no problems for over 2 years now. Never used sealant and they took the first time I mounted them. Might be heavier but was so easy to setup. Didn't have to worry about tape or anything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    Good point. Would need to carry a rim strip along with an extra tube.

    In my opinion, UST was way better engineered. Been running LUST Ardents on a Fulcrum Red Metal XLR wheelset with no problems for over 2 years now. Never used sealant and they took the first time I mounted them. Might be heaver but was so easy to setup. Didn't have to worry about tape or anything.
    You don't use any sealant in your tubeless set up?

  7. #7
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    No sealant in my UST setup. Supposedly would void the warranty so I didn't use it initially. Never got a flat so I haven't had a need to try the sealant. It's just sitting on the shelf.

    In the summer, I try to do one 7+ hour trail ride per week. Minimum suggested PSI is 35 but I tend to run it between 28 and 30 PSI because I'm not a big guy.

    I carry one of those tubeless repair kits and a tube just in case though. The nipples aren't exposed in a UST setup so don't need to worry about the tube getting punctured.

  8. #8
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    I had UST rims for awhile (Mavic), and I absolutely loved the ease of setup. I used UST tires in them for awhile, but I felt that I got better ride quality out of tubeless ready tires.

    My wife's bike came with UST wheels (DT Swiss).

    While the ease of tire setup is great, and they do indeed have a pretty tenacious grip on the bead of tires, but what I dislike about them is that every UST rim has to use a funky proprietary spoke/nipple setup in order to avoid holes on the inner wall of the rim. Some are certainly better than others in that regard. My Mavics were mostly pretty benign. They were easy to work on, but did require a specific spoke wrench. My wife's DT Swiss Tricon wheels are a completely different story. They needed a very basic truing about 6mo after she got the bike, and the wheels had to be shipped out. The first one (rear wheel) got messed up somehow by the service center and a whole new wheel was sent back to us. The front wheel was also messed up at the service center (different one), but it got rebuilt with all new spokes on the old rim and hub, instead of getting a whole new rim. It was such a PITA and she had no wheels for so long, that I got her new wheels with regular 'ol j-bend spokes. Set up tubeless with a wrap of stan's tape and there's nothing weird about them that would cause any shop any problems.

    I do not like that HED setup because it uses another thing that's weird and complicates repairing a flat simply by stuffing a tube in.

  9. #9
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    Well the complication would be an easy fix, standard rim strips weigh next to nothing, so put them in and leave them. Problem solved

    The idea is cool simply because you dont have to fight with rim tape. Stuff always ends up leaking as it relies on adhesive which will degrade quickly.

    Not using sealant isn't going to work. But no fighting with the tape = win in my book. Ppl fear change, as long as I isn't going backwards im all for it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    No sealant in my UST setup. Supposedly would void the warranty so I didn't use it initially. Never got a flat so I haven't had a need to try the sealant. It's just sitting on the shelf.

    In the summer, I try to do one 7+ hour trail ride per week. Minimum suggested PSI is 35 but I tend to run it between 28 and 30 PSI because I'm not a big guy.

    I carry one of those tubeless repair kits and a tube just in case though. The nipples aren't exposed in a UST setup so don't need to worry about the tube getting punctured.
    That's absolutely nuts. My current front tire has survived 15 or so goat heads in the past 500 miles or so. I could never live without sealant!!!

  11. #11
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    I'll be interested if anyone tries the roofing washers. They need to fit tightly enough around the nipple that when the washer is compressed the neoprene seals both the rim surface and the nipple itself.
    --Peace

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    My only concern with these would be: What happens on that fateful day when you tear a hole in your casing and sealant won't seal it, and you have to put in a tube to get home. How do you protect the tube from the nipple heads?
    I'll be walking. I never carry a tube and have no interest in fixing a flat in the snow on a cold winters day. I'd rather walk.

    None have mentioned another concern equally as bad as a non repairable flat and that would be a broken spoke.

  13. #13
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    Why would a broken spoke be as bad as a non-repairable flat? I've had tons of broken spokes over the years and always been able to still ride. Sometimes an adjustment is needed for clearance, but it's not that hard.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post
    Why would a broken spoke be as bad as a non-repairable flat? I've had tons of broken spokes over the years and always been able to still ride. Sometimes an adjustment is needed for clearance, but it's not that hard.
    In the context of this thread, we are talking about rubber washers under the nipple sealing the spoke holes. Because the spoke tension is what seals the spoke holes in the rim. Zero spoke tension means that you have a nipple that is not sealed and will be leaking a lot air quickly.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    In the context of this thread, we are talking about rubber washers under the nipple sealing the spoke holes. Because the spoke tension is what seals the spoke holes in the rim. Zero spoke tension means that you have a nipple that is not sealed and will be leaking a lot air quickly.
    Which is another reason why people carry that spare tube.
    Latitude 61

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    I'll be walking. I never carry a tube and have no interest in fixing a flat in the snow on a cold winters day. I'd rather walk.

    None have mentioned another concern equally as bad as a non repairable flat and that would be a broken spoke.
    Seriously? Never?

    That just seems like it's begging for a problem at some point.

    I can generally ride a lot farther in a given time period than I can walk.

    Which begs the question: Are you always prepared to walk home from the far end of an all-day loop?

    Broken spoke seems, to me, a lot more straightforward repair. If anything even needs to be done, you can simply loosen two opposing spokes (to the one that broke) and while you may have a hop, the lateral runout should be manageable.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    In the context of this thread, we are talking about rubber washers under the nipple sealing the spoke holes. Because the spoke tension is what seals the spoke holes in the rim. Zero spoke tension means that you have a nipple that is not sealed and will be leaking a lot air quickly.
    Ah -- now I see where you were going with that.

    And Steve beat me to it -- stick in a tube and ride home.

  18. #18
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    Yep, I hadn't considered that either. But wouldn't the pressure inside the tire still require the spoke nipple to remain in place? For instance, it'd have 6+ PSI* of pressure always on it so it would stay sealed? (*I ride 6/8 psi normally)
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Seriously? Never?

    That just seems like it's begging for a problem at some point.

    I can generally ride a lot farther in a given time period than I can walk.

    Which begs the question: Are you always prepared to walk home from the far end of an all-day loop?

    Broken spoke seems, to me, a lot more straightforward repair. If anything even needs to be done, you can simply loosen two opposing spokes (to the one that broke) and while you may have a hop, the lateral runout should be manageable.
    I NEVER carry a tube. I do carry a spot though, and if I was in a real bind, I probably know someone who would help me out. Now days, what's the longest distance one can get from civilization on any given ride?

    I had a flat two winters ago. I was messing around with the stupid Turnagain rims, trying to get them tubeless. The temp was just below zero, it had been snowing, and the snowmobile trail was very soft. I ran out of liquid and stopped near a snow drift to melt some snow. While stopped, the sun had gone down and the temp had dropped below 20 below. I had been running the pressure very low already and before I started out again I knew I should have added some air to compensate for the drop in temperature but I was anxious to get going. Going with the 40 mph winds, I took off and hit a couple bumps and burped the front tire within 100 yards. I took the front tire off and rode the rim back. At that point, I became a sore spot for Borealis until they gave me my already paid for Carbondale rims.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    I NEVER carry a tube. I do carry a spot though, and if I was in a real bind, I probably know someone who would help me out. Now days, what's the longest distance one can get from civilization on any given ride?
    I want to believe that you're joking, or at least yanking my chain: You don't carry the means to save yourself, but you'll carry a device that weighs about the same and takes up the same amount of space, so that you can press a button and summon someone else to help?

    That's completely irresponsible.

    If conditions are good I can easily ride 2 to 3 hours away from a road. Not a building or a house or a store or a person -- just a road. If conditions change quickly, or if my bike becomes unrideable, that means I have more than 8 hours of walking to get back. I've had to do it, on that loop, twice. Once because the trail simply ended (snowmachine track that I was following did a u-turn within 2 miles of closing the loop), the other time because a pack of paddle tracks came by, heavy on the throttle, and obliterated the platform I'd been riding on.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    I NEVER carry a tube....messing around with the stupid Turnagain rims, trying to get them tubeless....I ran out of liquid....I knew I should have added some air....I became a sore spot for Borealis
    ???

    Seems like you made a bunch of mistakes in a situation where you need to be on point and a tube would have really helped you out. And then you got mad at Borealis? Am I missing a "why is carbondale is still backordered" thread circa 2013?

  22. #22
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    It's not uncommon for me to ride 8-10 miles into the woods away from the car. I may or may not have cell reception in my area either. I do have a SPOT, but discontinued the service years ago and never take it with me. I do have the means to rescue myself, however.

    At -20F it's going to be a very long, cold, and dangerous walk out if you went in dressed for riding. Then again, I've known ultra-runners who will go run 30 miles in the White Mountains in winter with no emergency gear because it's too heavy.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post

    At -20F
    You have warm mittens in your pack, chem heaters, ability to make fire, flat pedals and boots that actually work better while you are walking due to circulating blood, heavier balaclava in the pack and an extra layer. It might not be enough to feel great in, but you can most likely stay warm pushing/running with your bike. If you aren't bringing these items/emergency items on a -20F ride, you are pretty much asking for it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post
    It's not uncommon for me to ride 8-10 miles into the woods away from the car. I may or may not have cell reception in my area either. I do have a SPOT, but discontinued the service years ago and never take it with me. I do have the means to rescue myself, however.

    At -20F it's going to be a very long, cold, and dangerous walk out if you went in dressed for riding. Then again, I've known ultra-runners who will go run 30 miles in the White Mountains in winter with no emergency gear because it's too heavy.
    Stoopid ultra runners are not unlike stoopid bikers and stooped skiers.

    In the winter I carry a full kit, whether I'm running, riding, paddling, or skiing: spare clothing, food, water, e blanket, first aid, tools, spares, light, and I tell someone where I'm going.

    Yeah, that'll be the day that I count on electronics to save me from being stooped.

    The other night my dog got hurt, it was on a local trail, I had to carry him out, he weighs ~50#, the trail was unpacked ~12-18", my van was ~1/2 mile away.

    How long did it take me to get him back to the van?

    Then I had to go back and get my bike...

  25. #25
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    Neoprene can be breathable.. I wouldn't depend on those construction washers being air tight. Just because something is waterproof doesn't mean its also air tight.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  26. #26
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    First their compressed under spoke nipple so air leakage is minimal if any. And sealant will take care of the rest.

    And all tires and tubes slowly loose air over time, so none are truly air tight anyway.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    You have warm mittens in your pack, chem heaters, ability to make fire, flat pedals and boots that actually work better while you are walking due to circulating blood, heavier balaclava in the pack and an extra layer. It might not be enough to feel great in, but you can most likely stay warm pushing/running with your bike. If you aren't bringing these items/emergency items on a -20F ride, you are pretty much asking for it.
    Exactly this. I'm not in trouble if I have to walk. Eight miles, ten miles, come on Mike, you've walked your bike further than that. I don't ride in the winter without a stove, without extra clothing, without a way to make fire, without down sweater, or without a headlamp. I don't get why some guys are so against electronics like the Spot. I'm better equipped than most. I so rarely need a tube that I don't see a reason to carry one.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    First their compressed under spoke nipple so air leakage is minimal if any. And sealant will take care of the rest.

    And all tires and tubes slowly loose air over time, so none are truly air tight anyway.
    This is true unless you break a spoke.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terp View Post
    ???

    Seems like you made a bunch of mistakes in a situation where you need to be on point and a tube would have really helped you out. And then you got mad at Borealis? Am I missing a "why is carbondale is still backordered" thread circa 2013?
    I didn't make a bunch of mistakes. I was out of liquid because I don't do one hour rides. I can't carry five gallons of water, but I can carry a stove and melt some when I need some. You apparently don't do 8 hour snow rides. I wouldn't have taken the time to put a tube in if I would have had one. Upset with not having rims that I had paid for, yes, why not? And not happy with the temporary rims that the bike came with that in my opinion were a waste of metal, yes. That's really old news though. I think the Carbondale rims were a good design that I haven't had any problems with.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post
    It's not uncommon for me to ride 8-10 miles into the woods away from the car. I may or may not have cell reception in my area either. I do have a SPOT, but discontinued the service years ago and never take it with me. I do have the means to rescue myself, however.

    At -20F it's going to be a very long, cold, and dangerous walk out if you went in dressed for riding. Then again, I've known ultra-runners who will go run 30 miles in the White Mountains in winter with no emergency gear because it's too heavy.
    You might not always have the means to rescue yourself. I have enough with me to be able to walk for as long as I need to. It's all in the kind of riding that one does.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Exactly this. I'm not in trouble if I have to walk. Eight miles, ten miles, come on Mike, you've walked your bike further than that. I don't ride in the winter without a stove, without extra clothing, without a way to make fire, without down sweater, or without a headlamp. I don't get why some guys are so against electronics like the Spot. I'm better equipped than most. I so rarely need a tube that I don't see a reason to carry one.
    I agree that walking isn't an automatic problem. But few people are prepared to walk for more than an hour, much less 8. I've walked my bike for 3 days straight (with 2 bivies) to get to rideable trail, but that's a horse of a very different color.

    I have no issue with electronics, unless they are someone's first line of defense. We evolved opposable thumbs from solving our own problems, not so that we could dump them into someone else's lap.

  32. #32
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    For some having the correct beverage is one of the most important things when is cold. In this case, Camo Silver Ice 40. From my river ride yesterday.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    You might not always have the means to rescue yourself. I have enough with me to be able to walk for as long as I need to. It's all in the kind of riding that one does.
    As someone who has completed the winter NH48 hiking list and done numerous winter solo expeditions in some gnarly conditions, I am all to familiar with the concept. However, I still cannot grasp carrying all that gear and no tube. I'd much rather ride than walk even though I enjoy hiking. But hey, we all make our outings our own, that's what makes it fun.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    You apparently don't do 8 hour snow rides.
    That is correct. But it sounds like you have put a lot of thought into backcountry expeditions and have your system down so more power to you. But as an outsider it just sounds bizarre to carry survival gear including a stove...but never a bloody tube!

    Since we've come this far you gotta give us a story as to why not. And not "I don't like dealing with them". I'm looking for "a tube stole my high school sweetheart and dumped her on prom night" or "back home in Kyrgyzstan the cartel forced all us kids to work in the rubber mines", etc...

  35. #35
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    Dill, for me it's all about what I think I'll need and probabilities. I can't be prepared for everything. I've ridden for enough years that I know what I'm likely to need. I don't carry derailleur cables, but I had the first one break the other summer 50 miles from home. I called and had my wife bring me a cable. I don't carry one because I've broke only one in 50 years and I knew it was going to break before it did. I would have ridden home on a two speed if I needed to. Because the weather in Wyoming can change so drastically in a short period of time I've always felt it more prudent to be prepared for that. The following picture is from yesterday's ride. The bike is just over fifty pounds as it sits in the photo. I don't normally have all that with me but since I'm trying to be prepared for the Arrowhead I was doing a training ride. Minus the sleeping bag and front pack, I typically ride with the rest of it in the winter.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep01 View Post
    Looking around I found these neoprene backed washers originally intended for watertight roofing applications:
    Neoprene EPDM Roofing SIding Washers 18/8 Stainless Steel.
    The inner diameter of the #8 washer is slightly bigger than a DT Swiss nipple.
    Did you end up trying the #8 washers?

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