Ghetto Tubeless on a 36er

One more question, sorry guys.

Has anyone done a Ghetto setup on a 36er using the split tube method? I’ve done the split tube on my 26er, and prefer that setup to the standard Stans tape or Gorilla tape.

What size tube should I use, 26 or 29?

Also, I recall the Stealth2 rim having an abnormally large valve hole (even for a Schrader). Going Ghetto, what would be the best workaround for this? Previously I used a seperate valve stem sandwiched in there with some nuts, but it was ‘technically’ loose in the hole.


I’m going to try this, just for the heck of it, next week. I ordered a 29" tube, but the only one I could find that has a fully threaded inlet valve was in the UK. (Seemed like that would be a useful feature.) So that’s why I’m doing it next week, and not this weekend. Takes a little longer to ship. I was planning on posting a write up on how it goes when I’m done. The more I read about this, the more intriguing it sounded, so what the heck, I’m fiddling around with the wheel and tire anyway (with the Foss tube set up). Might just as well fiddle some more.
Edit: I’m using my stock Coker rim and Nightrider tire.

Lance, I’d run a regular 36er tube, before I put a Foss back in. Or a 29er tube. Or go tubeless.

I’ve done tubeless on a 36er before with Stans tape and seperate valve stem. It worked decently once set up, but where I’m building a Muni wheelset, I’m not crazy about having the smaller valve stem in the larger hole.

UNLESS, someone can say whether or not the newer Stealth2 rims have a smaller valve hole in them?

On my previous setup, my 36er tube had a fairly thick rubber coating around the valve stem that fit the hole fine. But a normal Schrader would still be loose in it.

If i worry about valve holes in rims i have always used rubber grommets to reduce the hole diameter.

Worked wonders, never a leak from Stan. Most valves are still plenty long enough to see the depth of the grommet and rim to seat a pump on the valve.

Schwalbe 29 schrader tube should be a full length threaded valve i believe…?

That was the tube I bought! I should have it next week some time.

Good idea, RE: the grommet in the valve hole. I think I’ll add that to the mix, since I have few days to wait and think about it.

Side note: I get stuff like that from McMaster Carr. I love that place! Their prices are not cheap, and you usually have to buy a package of whatever it is (like, I now have 25 of the plastic washers, 24 of which I will probably never use), but they have almost every size of every type of hardware (I know they will have the exact size grommet I want), and when I place an order in the morning (over the internet at work), I get the package that same day! And the delivery charge is less than most shipping services, just a few dollars! (We now return to your regular programming…)

Yes, definitively Stealth2 has smaller valve hole than Stealth (1), I cannot tell you how much as all my 36" have already tube inside. Ask Roger, he must know this detail

Cool. Then it should just be plug-n-play for either my Ghetto method or a tape job.

I specifically remember NurseBen’s Stealth2 rim had a smaller valve hole than mine, so I’m thinking I had the older Stealth(1) rim or something like that.


I can’t say what it was on the old ones, but I just grabbed a set of calipers, and the hole on my new Stealth2 rim is .420" in diameter. The stem on the heavy tube that came with the uni (long since removed) measures .410" in diameter. So, pretty close. I wouldn’t worry about that difference in diameter for a ghetto tubeless setup.

I’m currently running mine with a 29er tube that has a presta valve on it. I just put a little grommet around the hole to support the tube and it seems to be doing fine. I’m into it over 100 miles now, all road, 45+ PSI.

FWIW, they do also make schrader/presta adapters you could look into if you wanted to do ghetto tubeless with a presta valve. Your LBS should have one.

With the valve hole being normal sized, a normal schrader tube should work. Thats what i did on my 26er, and the valve stays plenty tight. And presta valves give me heart burn :).

Thanks for the measurements Will.

Im going to be running the coker nonskid tire. We’ll see how it does tubeless.

After reading a bit about manufacturer tolerances with 36er rims im beginning to wonder…

I checked my Coker rim today as I was installing the new (replacement) Foss tube. It’s a little hard to say, because the surface is curved, but it’s about 12mm. Looks like there isn’t exactly a standard size for this. I used the plastic washer around the valvle nozzle (mentioned earlier), and after about a 20 mile ride so far, so good.

Good news, the valve hole on my S2 rim is normal!

Bad news, the Coker Non-skid is an absolute bear of a tire. I just went out and tried to inflate it, and it ain’t happenin’. I had planned on setting one of the beads with a tube, but the 36" tube I bought, has the super big valve stem I was talking about. Even after hacking on it with a knife it won’t fit.

I tried using a tie down strap around the tire to press it into the frame, but that did’t work. The stiff sidewall of the tire push the beads into the center of the rim.

So I’m going to have to sit down and think about this one. May have to use weather stripping I guess, though I hate to resort to that.

One of the videos about “the tubless process” I watched gave this tip: how easy the tire seals against the rim depends on how much space there is between the inner diameter of the tire and the “flat” part of the rim (perpendicular to the side wall) (I’m sure there’s a proper term for that, but I don’t know it). He built it up with tape until there was very little play, and it sealed easier.
OK, I just went and looked up the video, and here’s the link:
It’s a pretty long video, but I found it instructive. Don’t know if it will help your situation or not, but that’s about all I got.
Good luck!

Good thought. Maybe I’ll add another layer of tape tomorrow.


I did the split tube method of tubeless two years ago. I used a 29er tube. It worked but my Nightrider tire blew off the rim twice in twenty miles. The bead was very loose. I had 6 tube failures until I realized the supplied rim tape was to thin for the lightening holes. I have had a stretched 29er tube installed now for two years. I used mini blind slats for a rim strip. John Foss mentioned he used them on his rim. If I have thorn problems while I’m in Utah I’ll try the ghetto split tube tubless. I have a Coker road tire now. As far as the valve holes go the Coker rims are the largest. I use two rubber grommets and a piece of clear vinal tubing to center the valve stem. In Washington I can’t seem to find 29er tubes with Schrader values. They only sell presta valve tubes. The grommets and tubing cost ¢.64 at Ace hardware.

Ghetto tubeless didn’t work at all. So I went with the ol’ 29er tube, and so far it feels pretty good. Pressure is just right, and I think the 4 ply casing of the coker non-skid ( :astonished: ) will provide plenty of puncture resistance.

I wanna see this beast when you get it done!! :smiley: