A few weeks ago I was ponderin’ about converting my muni to a tubeless tyre system, after being so impressed by how well it works on the bikes. Today I finally got round to trying it…
I was half expecting to not actually be able to install it at all, due to either the rim strip (a cut in half 16" inner tube from the LBS) being too narrow or the tyre not sitting well enough to inflate it. As it happens it was actually the easiest conversion I’ve done so far - the rim strip was a doddle and it inflated first time with no washing up liquid tomfoolery or pumping-like-a-madman at all. I think the funny bead of the Halo Contra helped here, as there is far more rubber in contact with the rim than on normal bike tyres. Fingers crossed this should greatly reduce the risk of burping too…
I’ve been out for a spin and so far it’s been superb - I’m running about the same pressure as I was before, but it’s much smoother over roots and lumps than with a tube. It has been fine with a few sidehops and some crazy rooty bits; next time I’ll take it down some rocky gnarliness and see how it copes with that.
Total cost of the conversion; one 16" inner tube at £3 and about £1’s worth of sealant (the inside of a 24x3" tyre is cavernous!).
I run converted tubeless on my bikes, but I’m just not sure about it on my mUni. I do feel like it will really improve the ride, but I’m worried if I do alot of hopping on it it is going burp the mUni.
I’m interested in tubeless just because I could do this out on the trail.
Besides burning down the local woods, it could break an arm or take off an ear. Having said that, what would be the contents of an inflation kit that could be carried on the trail? Just a disposable lighter?
Inspired by this thread (and a few others) I succesfully converted my 29er to run tubeless this evening. I havn’t taken it out on a proper ride yet but seems to be holding air OK and feels nice and bouncy.
I tried to convert my 24" last week but despite various trips to garages to use air compressors it wouldnt inflate. I put this down to the tyre not being in great shape, the metal bead is broken in a couple of places after being squished in a bag to and from the alps last year.
I managed to inflate the 29er with WTB Stout tyre tonight without a compressor, just a very basic foot pump which is pleasing. The rim strip is actually a 20" inner tube which I just about managed to stretch onto the rim, this is the one I had used for the 24" attempt. I got a 26" tube for the 29er conversion but stupidly bought a very low volume tube which wasnt going to make a wide enough rim strip. If the 20" tube holds up then I guess its more weight lost so cant be bad.
I cant really comment on the ride yet but doing these conversions has been really fun and pretty inexpensive so give it a go. I’m looking to get a better tyre for the 24" now to have another go at that one.
I still haven’t got round to doing my 29er yet. I’m not as confident on it being as successful as the muni, as the tyre on the 29er is the same as some I never managed to get working very well on the bike, IRC Mythos IIs; the sidewall just doesn’t contain enough rubber to seal properly.
A quick note from experience and from Spencer’s attempt; the best way to distribute the sealant around the tyre is to ride it! A few times I’ve found the tyre holds air after installation but by the next morning it has gone down; if you can go for a quick ride before you put it away overnight it seems to work more reliably.
I’ve done a good number of rocky, fairly technical rides on my 24 without any burping issues so far. My experience with bike tyres is that it’s actually quite difficult to burp air once the tyre has been inflated for a while; the sealant sticks the rim strip to the inside of the tyre, so even if you push the bead of the tyre inwards it actually pulls the rim strip away from the rim without breaking the seal.
A while back I accidentally removed the valve core from a tubeless wheel; the wheel deflated entirely but the tyre stayed sealed, so it was dead easy to just blow it back up again.
If I had a 36 i’d love to give it a go too! Check out this thread for a bit of info Tubeless Nightrider!
There are also other tubless 36" threads, I think Ken Looi was maybe the first to try it but had problems using the original coker tyre. Trying it with the Nighrider if possible sounds the best option. From what I read Ken used a custom rimstrip from Stans Tubeless (www.notubes.com). The method described in this thread and the one I linked to uses a smaller inner tube stretchd over the rim and cut down the middle to make a rim strip. This is much cheaper and less hassle than sourcing a custom rimstrip.
If you were REALLY weight concious you could try using a 26" inner tube instead of a 29" to make the rim strip for the 36". I’m using a 20" on my 29er at the moment, they stretch pretty far!
Thought I’d revive this thread. I’ve been running a Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4 on my new xc 29er, which I really like apart from the fact it’s so thin and vulnerable to thorn punctures, which is really NOT what you want in the middle of a race. Another forum member, JAP, reminded me of this ghetto tubeless method and it seemed ideal for my 29er, so last weekend I did the conversion.
I used a big 24" tube (24x2.5 I think it was) and some Stan’s sealant. The Ralph is a very thin floppy folding tyre and it would not pump up at first. Jamie (JAP) had told me of a hint he’d picked up to cure this - put a layer or two of thick tape under the ghetto tube to make the tyre a tighter fit. I used some stick-on foam draught excluder I happened to have handy and it worked a treat, pumped up easily with my track pump. I put the sealant in through the valve (removed the core) after checking it was going to pump up, rather than pouring it into the tyre like Phil did, which was lucky as I had to take the tyre off again to add the foam tape after the first attempt.
I rode it for the first time today on my commute and I’m definitely a convert. I thought all the stories about improved feel were exagerated, but it really is very noticeably better. It feels so good over rocks and gravel that I was convinced it was going down at one point, but it’s actually slightly harder than I used to use it with a tube, making it feel better on the road part of the ride as well. I’m well impressed. My main aim was to avoid puncture problems with the thin tyre, and TBH I was tempted to skip the hassle and just put some Stan’s sealant inside a normal tube, but I’m glad I did the “proper bodge” and went the whole hog. It seems like a really good seal to the rim strip (split tube) and I don’t do any side hopping on that unicycle anyway (it’s strictly a fast xc machine) so I don’t think I’ll get any problems with burping.
I don’t think I’ll do my 26" muni though because I sometimes swap the tyre on that for more clearance in extreme muddy conditions (and I’ve never had a puncture with the tank-like Duro anyway), but if you don’t change tyres then I’d definitely recommend it.
Yeah - thanks for the tips. So far I’m really impressed with the feel and it doesn’t seem to have lost any pressure. And I should be able to laugh in the face of thorns rather than frantically scanning the ground in front of me
Good to hear you’re enjoying it Rob. I love tubeless too but you’re right if you want to change tyres often its not good.
As an update to what I posted before - I tried converting a 36" nightrider tyre to tubeless last summer but failed. I think it was because the rim is quite narrow. I find the two sides of the tyre come together in the middle and its hard to get enough pressure to force them out and seal against the rim. Its a Qu-ax 48 spoke wheel with the ISIS hub. I also tried to convert my 24" Muni which has quite a narrow rim too and had a similar problem.
Another ‘trick’ to try if you’re struggling to get the tyre to seal is neat washing up liquid. Forget soapy water, get the bottle and squirt a line of the neat liquid where the tyre meets the rim on both sides and then get pumping.
I’d like to try a 26" Muni tyre with one of those holey rims next, and to be super flash maybe some clear rim tape like Lunicycle has so you can see the goo spash about.
I wonder if the tip Jamie gave me would work. Rather than using soap/washing up liquid/some other slime to get a temporary seal, put something padded under the ghetto tube (between the rim and the tube). This holds the tube against the inside of the tyre bead enough to get it started. I used a bit of stick-on draught excluder foam that weighs bugger all. Wouldn’t look so good on a holey windowed rim though I suppose.
On that subject (almost on topic)… I’ve always avoided drilled rims because it’s so wet and gritty round here - doesn’t the inside of the rim between the two walls just fill up with grit and crud, which I would imagine would be pretty hard to get out? I know lots of people are using those rims for muni now, so presumably it’s not a problem - or is it?
Not a problem Rob, mine gets filthy (it’s muddy out there!) but any grit/dirt around the holes simply washes away. I guess there’s enough air pressure from the tyre to spot the dirt getting into the rim.
I think that the coloured rim strips that drilled rims tend to come with (KH, Koxx etc.) are quite stretchy and seem to balloon out to fill in the outer holes. But I’ve not got one, so that’s just my passing observation.