Tubeless 36er

I have a tubeless setup on my MTB, and have stans sealant lying around, and time on my hands during the holidays, and I’m thinking of making the KH36 tubeless. However, I have not done this by myself before, so I have some questions.

Rim strip
I prefer taping as opposed to the split tube method. Is the 25mm wide stans’ tape wide enough?

Can I use a presta valve, even though the rim is drilled for schrader? I have no real preference.

I’ve run tubeless on my MTB since before any ready made kits were available - based on instructions provided by Stans before he sold stuff, so have some experience of non-standard conversions. I am in fact considering converting my 26" muni wheel using tape and a valve.

All the tape needs to do is cover the spoke holes, so 25mm should be plenty wide enough provided the holes are in the centre of the rim - if they’re offset then you might need wider. It does also depend on the shape of the inside of the rim though and how the tape fits in that - in general it’s a good idea if the tape covers the whole of the well in the rim (to prevent it getting lifted when fitting and removing tyres), so that may be a bit narrow. As an alternative,
is what Stans originally recommended for sealing rims before he started selling stuff - I’ve just sealed a couple of rims with my old roll of that, and it works just as well as the yellow tape, with the advantage that you can make it whatever width you need. I suspect I’ll use that to convert mine as the yellow tape I have is narrow stuff for Olympic rims.

It should be possible with one cut from a tube - I think all the proper tubeless ones will be too narrow to stay in place. Personally I’m looking at using a schrader as despite always being a Presta fan there’s no particular disadvantage now I have a dual head pump (which is getting use with my unis - the only place I have schrader valves).

Thanks for sharing that interesting fact. I’ll see if I can find some of that scotch tape. It seems that gorilla tape is also very popular with mtbers.

Finished my exams yesterday night, woot! I can’t find any gorilla tape or scotch packing tape, so I will probably order 25mm stan’s tape online.

Took the tire and tube off to take a look at the rim. Looks like 25mm is more than enough to cover the holes.

Original rim strip, 29mm

Mock paper rim strip, 25mm

Just for fun, weight of tire and tube.

While cleaning out the rim to put stans yellow tape on, I found out that there is a join in the rim, and it doesn’t look welded. It runs across the rim. Should I tape across the rim for that short section? Or will stan’s goop seal the space in between?

Don’t worry about it - the latex will easily seal any tiny airgaps in that. I’ve sealed rims with pinned joints like that and it’s not been a problem.

Ken Looi (GizmoDuck) did a tubeless 36er - do a search for Diet Coker. Worked well for him (and saved some weight because Coker tubes are so heavy).

Thanks for the super quick reply! As soon as I read this, I went to do the tape job.

Put the tube and tire back in, and will let the tube put some pressure on the tape. Waiting for the tube I bought (for the threaded schrader valve) to arrive. Should take a week or two.

Thanks. I see that He also made some guides On how to go tubeless, with rim strip or split tube method. I think he used Stan’s rim strips, the ones made of rubber and has a built in valve. Hopefully the yellow tape works as well as those methods.

It’s definitely a bit more of a faff getting the tyre seated when using tape rather than a rim strip. On a DIY conversion with tape it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get a seat using just a track pump - I never have - so you’ll need a compressor of some sort. Many people use a garage air line, and I know some people have bought compressors just to use with tubeless tyres. I made myself a compressor with a lemonade bottle:

In theory using just tape also makes it more likely that you’ll burp the tyre with side loading when using low pressure - potentially a big problem with muni where you’re hopping about, so I’ll have to bear that in mind with my conversion. Not such an issue with a 36er I’d have thought. Other than that, no big downsides.

Regarding valves, as I wasn’t sure I got some advice from people who might have actually done this - it seems presta should be possible

That bottle compressor is impressive! :astonished:

I have a tube (part of my mini pump) that is schrader one side and presta the other, could use a tire to fill up a tire, lol! But I think I will just go to a nearby lbs and borrow their pump.

I’ve also read on mtbr forums that some people put a strap around the tire, to flatten it and push the bead towards the rim. Seems like a great idea, may make a floor pump much more feasible.

I’ve finally started on the tubeless project again. But I’m stuck at inflating the thing. Went to a gas station to pump it up, but the air pump didn’t give a continuous flow of air, only a bit at a time… and it was not doing the job. Air is leaking out from everywhere. I need to find a rope to compress the tire with…

try to remove the valve core with the specific tool, il should help


I see, I will try that. I actually have the tool already. I used a syringe to inject the sealant.

Had to use a washer, the hole in the rim was too big.

Probably doesn’t need the 2nd layer of tape, but just to hold the rubber down…

I don’t know that you’ll get a good seal around the rubber tube “remainder” as the edges need to be covered with tape or it’ll leak. A ghetto set up uses an old tube that is splayed open and then trimmed once the tire is seated; you might be able to use a 29’ tube vs ruining a 36er tube. A tubless valve assmebly is designed to be used with the tubeless tape.

If it doesn’t work out, consider a Foss tube, they work great, are super light, and flat resistant.

Post pics when you get it done.

I used a valve cut out of an old tube for my original tubeless setups along with tape and it worked just fine - was what was recommended by Stan in his original “ghetto” tubeless system before he sold kits (the method using an old tube is far more recent). The latex seals any gaps you might have. I cut the rubber around my valve a lot smaller though, and definitely no need for the second layer of tape covering the bit of rubber around the valve.

I’d suggest using a normal washer rather than a split one though.

I’ll replace that washer if I happen to find one with a suitable size. I was sloppy with the 2nd layer of tape because I read some comments (about mountain bike tires) that it wasn’t needed. Really hope it works out!!

Went to the gas station to use the air compressor, but it wasn’t giving a constant strong stream of air… so it didn’t work.

A while ago, I spent another hour trying to air it up at home. Almost passed out trying to pump it. My arms are extremely sore now…

Used zip ties to prevent the wire from slipping off the tire.

The air leaked from all over even when the tire was compressed.
Another failure… I’m wonder if the local bike shops are willing to accept this job??

The problem you have is with getting the beads seated. Once you have those in place it will still leak (until you get it all sealed with latex), but slowly enough that you can inflate with the track pump.

One thing to try is to inflate with a tube in place first. Then only pop the bead on one side to remove the tube. This means at least one bead is in place when you come to inflate, halving the problem. Of course before you put a tube in you’ll need to remove the latex you already have in - it’s recommended to only put latex in once you have the beads seated, but a bit late now (though don’t put it in again after taking the tube out until you do) - as mentioned above, it will still leak, but slowly enough for you to inflate.

The other thing to do is make up a mix of soapy water (I usually add a bit of washing up liquid - any sort of soap will do) and smear this along the sidewall of the tyre down to the bead. This helps with lubricating the bead to allow it to snap into place.

Though even with those tricks, as I mentioned above I’d be surprised if you can get it to inflate with a track pump - I’ve never succeeded with a tape job like you’re doing. Either find a garage air line which provides a better stream of air (you need something more old-fashioned - sounds like the one you found is a modern clever one), make a DIY compressor like mine or use a CO2 cartridge.

I am going to borrow an aircompressor, but am not sure when I can get it. Will post updates when I get to try again. If it doesn’t work well enough, I will try adding in a tube for a day, plus the soapy water trick. (Thanks!)