Gorilla Tubeless KH Freeride Rim

Between thorns and pinch flats, I hate running tubes…
I decided to give the gorilla tape tubeless a whirl on my KH Freeride rim. I wasn’t sure how well it would work with a drilled rim, but I figured I’d try.

The 44mm Gorilla tape from Home Depot was a perfect fit! I laid the tape on the outside edge to get a measurement so I could cut to length.

Once I had it cut to length I started applying the tape directly to the center of the pre-existing rim tape. This allowed for a slight overlap on the bead. This would ensure a seal around the rim strip and tighten up the bead a bit, since neither the Ardent, nor the rim are tubeless ready.

I found that I had air pockets forming over each drilled hole, since the rim strip had already stretched and bulged through.

Once the taping was complete, I did what I could to get the tape seated around the edges and in between the drilled rim holes.

here’s the valve I’m using from 949 Racing. It got good reviews from some mountain bikers.

I threw some extra layers of tape over the valve hole.

cut the hole.

Applied a final layer and cut an X. Smoothed the tape down into the hole to clean up the seal.

The 949 Racing valve has one draw back. With double walled rims, the nut is too long.

After cutting the nut down:

it installed quite nicely:

I then mounted the tire back up, pulled the valve core

put in about 120ml of Stans

Replaced the core and inflated with a compressor.

My initial inflation held (poorly) about 10 pounds. I slowly sloshed the sealant around until the air leaks stopped. I repeated this process: 18 pounds, 38 pounds. It’s holding well there. I did hear some air leaking a few minutes later. Sloshed the Stans again and it stopped. I noticed I did have some stans leaking around some of the drilled rim holes. I was hoping that I wouldn’t see that, but I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.

I’m sloshing it around every 15 minutes or so for now, but the 38 pounds are holding well!
I capped the valve and am waiting patiently for this to seal up and dry.

I was running 13-15 PSI on my last ride with a tube. It seemed to be just enough to prevent rim strikes and sloppy handling. I’m not sure how the soft sidewall of the Ardent will hold up to such low pressures without a tube, but I’ll report back when I find the “sweet spot.”

Nice write up and getto tubeless setup :slight_smile:

I played with getto tubeless on my mtb but didn’t warm to it and prefer to run a tube with sealant in (I use some agricultural tyre sealant stuff).

I was always lead to believe that tubeless tyres and low pressures do not mix well as they are prone to burping as there is not much pressure keeping the tyre bead into the rim hook.

I also found no real weight advantage after you ad more and more sealant once it has sealed the tyre surface and bead etc, a light tube with sealant in will be about the same.

To me if you are hitting your rim and getting snake bites your tyre pressure and or tyre size isn’t suitable for the terrain or riding style, as even running tubeless you are still striking your rim!

Suck it and see though, if it does everything you want then that is all that matters, lots of people run and love tubeless :slight_smile:

GORILLA TAPE! The strongest tape on earth :stuck_out_tongue: I repaired a flat once with Gorilla tape, I rode the same tube for like 2-3 weeks on my Trials uni with a piece of tape on it!

I thought about going tubeless a few times, but I change my tires way too often for that. If I ever do, I’ll probably do it your way.

Please tell us how it holds :slight_smile:

Thanks for the great write up!

Had a rainy day here so i went out and got everything to go tubeless on my KH rim/ maxxis 2.4 ardent folding tyre. I have the morning off tomorrow so i’ll hopefully get it done for then. I’m going to experiment with the split tube method (to hopefully avoid burping). I’ll post a report once i’ve got it all together.


Thanks all!
Feisty, I’ve had only one experience with tubeless. It’s a 5 year experience with UST tires on UST rims. I’ve burped air twice, never flatted. This is my first ghetto tubeless. I’m hoping my good experience continues!

Napalm, good luck! Let us know how it goes.

update: it’s still holding fast at 38 psi after hanging overnight. I can put all my weight on it too!

I think everyone hits the rim once in a while. I tend to hit the rim when I’m running a lower pressure than I should, usually when conditions are a mix of wet and dry so I run low pressure for the wet and pay the price on the dry.

I have played around with the tubeless, but in the end it is still a lot of mess and has no weight adavantage over a tube, lots of set up time, hard to swap tires (I do that a lot), and a tube with sealant is nearly as good.

Maybe on a bigger tire, like a 36er, where the tube is soooo heavy, but then the new Foss ube is soooo light that even on the big wheel it’s not a big issue.

We don’t have thorns here, but I do occassionally go into thorny areas. If I was going to road trip to “thorn land”, would a purpose made self sealing tube be a decent “quick fix” or is a DH tube with added sealant better?

I don’t think a DH tube would make any difference. if a thorn’s going straight through your tire, the DH tube isn’t going to stop it.

I’d take a standard tube and add sealant.

I was able to give this thing a quick test…

Overall, i’d say it’s successful if you ride 20psi or higher.
Unfortunately, I don’t and it starts burping air when hopping at about 20psi. :frowning:

If you don’t ever hop, you could probably get away with 20.

On to the split tube method, I guess!

Napalm, How does the split tube prevent burping? is it just a tighter seal? I pondered running it inside the tire rather than between the tire and the rim, but I don’t think it would hold air very well.

I may just go the route of putting sealant into a tube.

The idea with the split tube is that the sealant glues the inner tube’s flaps (which pop out each side of the rim) to the tyres bead. This means that instead of burping, the inner tube will lift and move with the tyre and (hopefully) keep the air tight seal.

I converted my wheel to tubeless this morning. It took all of about 30 minutes (and most of that was because i had to go down to the petrol station to use the air compressor). It inflated first go with no leaks. I am letting it all settle in over night and i’ll go and trim the excess inner tube off (at the moment it pokes out each side of the rim and fouls the machined braking surface of the rim).

I used a light weight 20x2.125 BMX inner tube for my rim strip on my G26 wheel and used 3.5oz of Stans no tube sealant. I’ll be able to take it for a ride tomorrow evening and will let you know how it goes.


Looking forward to your review! :slight_smile:

Ok so i just got back from a really fun 20km thrash through the Glenrock MTB reserve testing out my new split tube tubeless set up. So here are a few impressions after my first ride.

Firstly, the wheel felt much easier to get up to speed, and easier to push in high gear too. There are a few really steep pinch climbs along the trail system that I often run out of steam/momentum on and usually clear about 2/3rds of the time. With the wheel easier to accellerate I actually made it up all of these on both laps I did. These were climbing situations where I could not rely on momentum and was grinding in 1:1, standing up on the pedals, and reefing on the handle out the front.

I did have one instance of burping. In a section of DH trail where there are a series of 6 1-1.5 foot drops that are made up of odd shaped rocks. I came over the 4th one and needed to change my line quickly because the best line for the next set of rocks was to my right. As i landed and shifted my weight to one side the tyre must have rolled and it burped a bit. I only lost a small amount of air- about 15 pumps of my mini pump. I think that with time, and more smaller burps, the inner tube rim strip will glue to the tyre bead and burping would become decreasingly frequent.

I did the 10km lap twice and the 2nd time i hit the DH section no burping occurred- but that was probably because my line was better.

I think it’s one of those things that will need to be tested long term to give a proper assessment of it. I think the main issue is reliability and longevity. As for ride characteristics- I like it. It feels light, responsive and nimble.

It was cheap and easy to do, so if you are interested, give it a go. It might just suit your riding style/ favoured trail conditions.


Thanks Napalm!
good review! what’s the rim, tire and pressure you’re using?

I am using the 26" KH free ride rim (47mm) and the Maxxis ardent 2.4 folding bead tyre. Not 100% sure of tyre pressure- don’t have a pressure gauge, but I do prefer it to be a bit firmer than other riders.


Hi Napalm,

It’s been ages since you posted here, but I might as well try!

I have been reading threads on tubeless and I have seen that you have used both the gorilla and the split tube methods. I was wondering what your preferred method is, and why? How does the burping hold out on the split tube vs the gorilla tape?