Tech Tuesday: Gorilla Tape Tubeless Conversion

Jul 31, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
I was faced with a dilemma recently when Syntace sent me their new XC wheelset with super-wide 35-millimeter ID rims. I wanted to convert them immediately to tubeless for the review, but the widest Stans No-Tubes kits I had in my personal stash would not span the monster rims. Help came from an unusual source. The CEO of One of the world's most prestigious carbon wheel makers mentioned that they tested a number of wheel sealing tapes and discovered that over-the-counter Gorilla Tape performed better than anything they found. The wheel maker ships its tubeless wheels with Gorilla Tape - albeit, custom cut and rolled to exact specifications - but Gorilla Tape nonetheless. I had heard the same tip from Pinkbike readers, so I bought a roll and the stuff worked beautifully. So here it is, another Ghetto Tech Tuesday. Photos by Lucas Aguilera

What you ll need One roll of Gorilla Tape don t substitute any other brand all you potential cheapskates a pen a box knife with a brand new blade tubeless valve stems we used American Classics your favorite wheels and a measuring device.

What you'll need: One roll of Gorilla Tape (Hey Cheapskate! Don't substitute any other brand.), a pen, a box knife with a brand new blade, tubeless valve stems (we used American Classics), your favorite wheels, and a measuring device.

Tip: A roll of Stans No-Tubes tape is designed to fit standard-width rims perfectly and is a tried and true tubeless conversion. Use a Stan's kit unless you are short on cash or need a custom tubeless conversion. That said, a roll of Gorilla Tape costs about ten bucks US and will seal a lot of rims - and there is always Ghetto tubeless bragging rights to consider.

Danger! When you are working with razor-sharp knives, like the box-knife depicted in this how-to, take extra safety precautions. Move the knife slowly and deliberately and work away from your opposite hand or body when possible.

How to Convert Your Wheels to Tubeless With Gorilla Tape

Measure the width of the rim outside to outside. This is how wide your sealing tape will need to be sized in order to span the ID of the rim surface and seal correctly.

Step 1 - Clean the rims and then measure the width of the rim, outside to outside. This is how wide your sealing tape will need to be sized in order to span the ID of the rim surface and seal correctly.

Measure the width you will need and mark the tape with a pen.

Step 2 - Measure the width you will need and then mark the tape with a pen.

Brace the pen with your hand against a table so that the tip lines up with the mark on the tape and then spin the tape roll to mark the entire circumference.

Step 3 - Brace the pen with your hand against a table so that the tip lines up with the mark on the tape and then spin the tape roll to mark the entire circumference.

Find a New York Times Best Seller or piece of wood that will space the box knife blade to the line on the tape. Hold the knife securely and slide it across the book about an inch at a time to slice the tape to the proper width. Go around two or three times to ensure that you ll have enough length to get around the rim.

Step 4 - Find a New York Times Best Seller or piece of wood that will space the box knife blade to the line on the tape. Hold the knife securely and slide it across the book about an inch at a time to slice the tape to the proper width. Go around two or three times to ensure that you cut deep enough to provide enough length to get around the rim.

Line up the end of the tape about two inches beyond the valve stem hole and begin taping the rim.

Step 5 - Line up the end of the tape about two inches beyond the valve stem hole and begin taping the rim.

Stretch the tape from the roll and use a subtle side to side motion to encourage the edges of the tape to settle evenly below the rim beds.

Step 6 - Stretch the tape from the roll and use a subtle side to side motion to encourage the edges of the tape to settle evenly below the rim beads.

Overlap the tap about three inches over the valve stem hole.

Step 7 - Overlap the tape about three inches over the valve stem hole.

Use your finger tips to set the edges of the tape below the rim beads. Then push the tape down to adhere to the center of the rim.

Step 8 - Use your fingertips to smooth the edges of the tape below the rim beads. Then push the tape down to adhere it to the center of the rim.

Use top of box knife to cut an X in the valve stem hole.

Step 9 - Use tip of box knife to cut an X through the tape at the valve stem hole.

Insert valve stem and hand tighten.

Step 10 - Insert valve stem and hand tighten the stem nut to a secure, snug fit. Repeat the steps for the next rim and you are gold.

Past Tech Tuesdays:
TT #1 - How to change a tube.
TT #2 - How to set up your SRAM rear derailleur
TT #3 - How to remove and install pedals
TT #4 - How To Bleed Your Avid Elixir Brakes
TT #5 - How To Check And Adjust Your Headset
TT #6 - How To Fix A Broken Chain
TT #7 - Tubeless Conversion
TT #8 - Chain Wear
TT #9 - SRAM Shift Cable Replacement
TT #10 - Removing And Installing a Headset
TT #11 - Chain Lube Explained
TT #12 - RockShox Totem and Lyric Mission Control Damper Mod
TT #13 - Shimano XT Crank and Bottom Bracket Installation
TT #14 - Straightening Your Derailleur Hanger
TT #15 - Setting Up Your Front Derailleur
TT #16 - Setting Up Your Cockpit
TT #17 - Suspension Basics
TT #18 - Adjusting The Fox DHX 5.0
TT #19 - Adjusting The RockShox BoXXer World Cup
TT #20 - Servicing Your Fox Float Shock
TT #21 - Wheel Truing Basics
TT #22 - Shimano Brake Pad Replacement
TT #23 - Shimano brake bleed
TT #24 - Fox Lower Leg Removal And Service
TT #25 - RockShox Motion Control Service
TT #26 - Avid BB7 Cable Disk Brake Setup
TT #27 - Manitou Dorado Fork Rebuild
TT #28 - Manitou Circus Fork Rebuild
TT #29 - MRP G2 SL Chain Guide Install
TT #30 - Cane Creek Angleset Installation
TT #31 - RockShox Maxle Lite DH
TT #32 - Find Your Tire Pressure Sweet Spot
TT #33 - Three Minute Bike Preflight Check
TT #34 - MRP XCG Install
TT #35 - Stem Choice and Cockpit Setup
TT #36 - Handlebars - How Wide Affects Your Ride
TT #37 - Repairing A Torn Tire
TT #38 - Coil spring swap
TT #39 - Trailside help: Broken Shift Cable
TT #40 - Installing a Fox Float Air-Volume Spacer
TT #41 - Replace the Seals on Your 2011 RockShox Boxxer World Cup Fork
TT #42 - Clean and Lubricate Your Fox F32 Dust Wiper Seals
TT #43 - Thread Locker Basics
TT #44 - Install a SRAM X.0 Two-By-Ten Crankset
TT #45 - VPP Suspension Bearing Service
TT #46 - Rotor Straightening
TT #47 - Finding and fixing that creak
TT #48 - Bleed and Service Magura Marta Disc Brakes
TT #49 - Cup and Cone Hub Basics
TT #50 - Install and Adjust Pedal Cleats
TT #51 - Cup and Cone Hub Rebuild
TT #52 - Converting Mavic Crossmax SX Axles
TT #53 - Cassette Removal and Installation
TT #54 - Cane Creek AngleSet Installation
TT #55 - American Classic Tubeless Conversion
TT #56 - Wider Rims Are Better and Why Tubeless Tires Burp Air
TT #57 - Pedal Pin Retrofit
TT #58 - Bleed RockShox Reverb Remote Lines
TT #59 - Cutting Carbon
TT #60 - Silence That Squeaky Disc Brake
TT #61 - Five Minute Wheel True
TT #62 - Removing Bike Rack Rattle
TT #63 - Inside Shimano's Shadow Plus Mech and How To Adjust It
TT #64 - Steerer tube length
TT #65 - Marzocchi 44 Rebuild
TT #66 - RockShox BoXXer TLC
TT #67 - Ghetto Tubeless Tire Inflator
TT # 68 - RockShox BoXXer Seal Replacement
TT #69 - Ghetto Dropper Post
TT #70 - FSA Orbit Option Install
TT #71 - How to Bleed Formula Disc Brakes
TT #72 - Crankbrothers Kronolog Cable Replacement
TT #73 - Three Ways to Save A Leaky Tubeless Tire
TT #74 - Chain Length Basics
TT #75 - Tech Tuesday: DH Helmet vs. Motocross Helmet
TT #76 - RockShox Vivid Air Tuning 2012
TT #77 - Cartridge Bearing Service and Re-Grease
TT #78 - Bleeding Hayes Prime Brakes
TT #79 - BB30 Bottom Bracket Overhaul
TT #80 - Specialized Command Post Blacklite Maintenance
TT #81 - Fixing Rim Dents
TT #82 - Swapping Brake Lines

Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
974 articles

  • 180 5
 Lol stuff white people like
  • 15 75
flag blackjesus (Jul 31, 2012 at 0:24) (Below Threshold)
  • 37 0
 Look at the book
  • 25 1
 Note that in that photo the guy is cutting towards his body...exactly what the warning at the top says you shouldn't do.

Classic example of: do as I say, not as I do!
  • 10 1
 casual racism :')
im definitely ghetto tublessing my next wheels!
  • 4 1
 Ha, I have that book! Everything in there is true.
  • 2 1
 Do you put tape around the tube stem?
  • 11 5
 can people in the ghetto afford super tape?
  • 11 0
 roberm hes not cutting towards himself as the blade is stationary. There nothing wrong with the blade pointing at you as long as your not pulling the edge towards any body parts.
  • 13 0
 did anyone notice the "why" comment from "blackjesus" lol
  • 61 1
 Don't waste your time with trying to slice evenly all the way around the roll. Just cut a nick in the end at the right width and just tear it off. It'll tear perfectly straight everytime.
  • 98 1
 trust the canadians to know ALL the duct-tape tricks!
  • 82 1
 there is a class in highschool, it's mandatory
  • 20 0
 I love the Red Green Show. He's Canadian, eh?
  • 21 0
 No doot aboot it!
  • 16 1
 Ooooot and abooooot!
  • 4 0
 ever see the when they made the hummer? one of the best uses of duct tape i have ever seen
  • 5 0
 I was an extra in the Red Green movie. We're hardcore up here.
  • 2 0
 how bout the mid-engined car? classics.
  • 20 1
 I used a 20" (bmx) innertube for my ghetto tubeless. Marginally cheaper at £4 an end...

Inflate, stretch onto rim and then cut it around the outside edge (around the tube opposite the rim). Trim with scissors or a knife and you're done!

Dunno how it compares with gorrila tape but I've never had an issue. As the valve is pre-installed to the tube you know you won't get any leaks there though...
  • 2 1
  • 4 1
 Used that mod for ages ...never had a problem.
  • 6 4
 Pretty hard to find prester 20" tubes if you don't want to take to your rim with a drill. and it's heavier than Gorilla tape. Does make loose tyres fit tighter though.
  • 2 0
 noskidmarks, any bmx shop should sell 20 inch presta tubes, all expert size and smaller bikes run them.
  • 5 2
 I've used the 20" tubeless set up for years. It seals the best out of any other method i've tried because it is a rubber on rubber seal (bead on tube). I set up a pair of Schwalbe Big Bettys this way and there was still liquid Stan's in the tire a year later. And to any haters out there 20" presta tubes are widely available.
  • 5 3
 The beed of the tire doesnt set as well with a 20 inch tube ghetto set up,thats why they burp easy..
  • 2 1
 I always used 24" tubes for this method. never had problems with burping, maybe it works better? also way easier to find presta 24" tubes (though not "easy")
  • 2 1
 ive been debating using a cut 24 inch tube for a while, nice to hear it works... looks like ive got some more stuff to go buy then, itll prob save me a fortune in tubes though!!
  • 1 0
 20 inch for the ghetto has never burped for me. Super tight seal once the rubber on rubber mates with the stans sealant. Presta sucks because of the small tube diameter makes it harder to set up.
  • 2 1
 Schwalbe, Continental, QBP and others all make 20" presta tubes. The Schwalbe and QBP ones even have removable valve cores making it easy to add more sealant with a notubes injector.
  • 18 1
 The 24-inch tube was the original Ghetto tubeless setup and it works awesome - but when you rip a tire and have to change to a tube to get out, it leaves your rim without a rim strip and the emergency tube cuts into the sharp edges of the spoke holes on the rim and eventually flats. Tape is better because it doubles as a rim strip for tube emergencies. RC
  • 3 1
 What's great about the guerrilla tape methond is: if you ever get a flat, just take out the valve and pop a tube in.. when you get back home to fix the tire, the valve goes right back in, so you don't need to cut up a new tube..

Guerrilla tape also comes in 1" wide rolls, I use that size so I don't have to cut it to width. Fits my AM/ DH rims nicely. What ever width you use, the thickness of the guerrilla tape is nice, helps the tires to seat easily.
  • 6 11
flag Enduro27 (Jul 31, 2012 at 10:57) (Below Threshold)
 Honestly ghetto tubeless is such a waste of effort with not that much money saved, just go to any bike shop and buy some stans tape and valves, its not that expensive...
  • 5 2
 have you guys never heard of blue Roval (Specialized) tubeless tape?

about 1/2 the price of Stan's, much stickier (more adhesive), much wider (will easily fit all-mtn, fr and dh wheels) and you get more length for your ££ $$

I used to work for the UK's original Stan's distributor and we noticed their prices creeping up, they started selling to numerous other distributors in the UK whilst we were still buying, which is not good bizniz!

then we started noticing Roval tape and numerous valve cores from other companies which worked just as effectively at lower prices

The Stan's "Solution" is worth using, although after years of running their Solution I have switched to using Bontrager Super Juice the past season and found it just as capable for initial installation and long term sealing, plus on-trail repair from penetration / gash punctures, its also cheaper here in the UK

and most importantly does not gum up the tubeless valve cores and end up solidfying into a spiky "alien ball" like Stan's does after 6 months in your wheel!
  • 12 1
 Did nobody actually READ Richard's opening paragraph? He was sealing rims for which he had no "notubes" branded tape available when he needed to do it. And since many bike stores do NOT stock notubes tape, while practically every hardware store in every town stocks gorilla tape.

There are all sorts of alternative tape solutions, I listed a bunch of them in a message below but to repeat... notubes tape was originally just fiber strapping tape. You can buy it by a roll of 50 yards for $6 and do all the wheels for several teams of riders, or a few yards to do 4 rims from Notubes for twice that. There are other tapes sold by other bicycle brands yes. The best of which for converting any width rim is the hutchinson one, as you mount the tire and then just cut a notch in the overlap on each side, and it peels away like duct tape does when you tear it. Of course the fact that Stan's did NOT invent tubeless conversions, or the use of taping rims, or rubber rim strip conversions or anything else people now think he and his notubes brand did first is probably why everyone just drinks the koolaid and goes to stan's first for their tubeless solution. The first anyone ever heard of Stan was on the save some weight forum of mtbr, and within days of his talking about his new invention, he was spamming the forum to sell his conversion kits. I and a handful of others finally had enough and told him flat out to just start a website to market his notubes idea and stop spamming the forums.
  • 4 1
 And besides there are rims/tire combinations where gorilla actually works better since the tire sits tighter on the rim. I have Stans tape and i still put some gorilla tape on top of it on some rims/tire to seal them easier/better.
  • 3 1
 I left the velox on my rims when I went to using the 24" tubes, so i never had the emergency tube problem.
  • 4 1
 ive always done it this way and never had a problem with it burping. untill i broke my rim that is. then it all burped out at once\
  • 4 3
 I don't get why you guys don't have any rim strip /tape under a 20" Ghetto set up, or why you think a complete inner tube would tear any easier than a 20" set up ghetto on valve holes. Your running the same pressure. Tube wall thickness of a 20" stretched over a 26 wheel wouldn't be any thicker than even a super light weight tube and not much in it if it was.
I tape the holes first myself if running Gheto 20" set up.

20" Ghetto set up will burp less than just tape, no matter what you're smoking. I can't fathom how some of you guys say you never burp. Are you running 50+PSI, riding like a girl, or just riding to the shops? I'm a light weight, and mine are always wet around the rim from sealant burping out. Rarely enough to make tyre go flat, but I still burp heaps. On the DH bike it's wet the whole way around usually.
  • 1 1
 Really. I mean, spoke holes always need to be taped, ghetto or no. But had a problem with the valve stem starting to rip off, and patched it successfully with a well a patch- and I was running literally 4 psi on the way home. Never burped. Well even if it did, I am not sure 10 psi would squirt sealant out. But it did not burp, even when the tire started wrinkling like a drag car.
  • 2 1
 No skid marks- why the way i've seen it done doesn't burm is the tire seals to the tube and then pushes into the bead and not directly to the rim like the tape way would so if it move its still sealed to the tube and the goes back into the bead channel
  • 2 1
 @noskidmarks...... maybe you should just learn how to set up ghetto tubeless
  • 3 1
 WTF are you talking about Wilkey?
I no how, have been doing both styles for years. I use tape with a tight tyre, and 20" with a looser tyre.
My point was why are people saying they need rim tape for a tube, but not a Ghetto set up with 20" tube, it's the same material and pressure on the same spoke holes.
I'm also saying I don't get how people say they don't burp at all. It's not because of set up, it's because of lack of rocks on tracks, riding too hard a pressure, or riding soft.
It's the same with any tubeless set up, be it UST rim and tyre, or any combo of tubeless set up.. And it's not just at dents they burp.
  • 1 1
 @noskidmarks. obviously you are setting you tubeless with a 20" up wrong. please see Cglasford's replay just above mine
  • 1 3
 "Obviously". Maybe you're not reading what I'm writting correctly. Reread it, and see what I'm saying/asking.
Mavic rims are worst, as they're small diameter compared to others. Although the 823 works well, but still burps as much as either Ghetto set up.
  • 2 2
 Well, I don't know how it could burp unless the actual seal breaks on the 20" ghetto, it seels rubber to rubber and basically makes a giant tub with the tire. if it pops out of the rip it still is holding air, I've see the set up be deflated taken out of a rim and re-inflated and no air loss.... the tire is not sealing to the rim it is sealing to the tube that is laid in the rim. you split the tube lay it in there with the extra on the out side put the tire on fill with stans, add air it sets in the tire in the bed of the tube and spin... stans seals tire to tube, you run a razor around the rim cutting the extra 20" tube off .... to burp that would be really hard because if the tire pulls out of the bead tray the tube comes with it and then goes back in.... rim tape is needed tho
  • 2 2
 I know how to do it. The tube/tyre junction is still the path of least resistance for the air to excape under increased pressure. The rubber isn't welded, it's just stuck with sealant. As I said, I do run 20" set up with looser tyres. It is the better set up, but if I can save weight using tape, I will. Neither hold air as well as a tube, but they have all the other benefits(90% less pinch flats, better traction, faster rolling, some puncture repairs)so I use it instead of a tube.
  • 1 2
 2vs1 skidmarks. you lose
  • 1 3
 WTF are you smoking man? Stick with facts or STFU!
  • 3 0
 Sounds like some of you folks don't know why a tire burps. It burps when you rail a berm so hard that the tire gets pulled sideways, which pulls the bead out of the seat. 20"ghetto or tape it's going to burp. I used to glue my tires on to the 20" with polyurethane caulking, that helped some. lately I've just been using dh tires for xc and dh, with normal tubes pumped really hard. it's less fuss.
  • 2 1
 Sounds like you(foghorn) didn't understand how we said the tire seals to the tube not the rim. So if the tire gets pulled off the rim-wall the tube (which is in fact just a continuation of the tire at this point, because its NOT SEALED TO THE RIM!) stays connected to the tire and you don't burp. Your tire just moves. duh. And don't start to pretend you don't ride like a woman and can hit a turn hard enough to unseat a tire.
  • 3 0
 Wilkey, either you have some magic that defies the laws of physics, or you could be cornering harder.
Choose a line- grow up and quit with the name calling, or stay a petty child and bring on with the "your mom is so fat" jokes. Just don't tell me what I've experienced. You weren't there.
  • 2 1
 I know some serious women shredders and it is possible to burp a wheel in a corner but with the ghetto tubless set up it almost impossible to do it, as the tire will slip out of the bead but most likely go right back in and it will not loose are if done right because the tube is connected directly to the tire and not just in there like rim tape or a stans rim strip
  • 3 0
 I've been running Gorilla tape setup for about a year without issue on F630 rims and 2 cups of stans in cheap 2.4 CST BFT's.

However I've taken the cheap aspect 1 step further.

I use FREE threaded/locking shraeder valves from my local Motorcylce shop from torn inner tube throw aways. Just cut a 3/8" of rubber past the metal portion of the valve in a circle on the inner tube. Although harder to cut, I found the thicker street bike tubes to work better than moto/ATV tubes.

Also, it easier to just remove the core after you've taped and installed the valve and installed just the tire W/O SEALANT. At this point, you can blast a bigger shot of air from the compressor to seat the bead. The air will leave once you remove the air chuck, but the bead will still be set. Then, you can squirt your stans directly into the valve with the valve core still removed. Once filled, just install the core and air it up.

Keep in mind, Running $15 Non-tubeless tires took about a day of rechecking the air and alot of shake'n'bake to get the sealant all over, but I haven't an issue yet. Can't imagine how easy it would be with actual, but pricier TR or UST tires.

Seems like a lot, but tires and complete set-up for under $50 can't be beat IMO!
  • 3 4
 Hey foghorn. did you know they used to call a trampoline a jumpoline.... untill your mom jumped on one
  • 20 1
 I've been using gorilla tape for a couple of years now and I have tips!

TIP 1: Make sure you clean the hell out of the inner rim surfaces, I use simple green and then clean it a second time with alcohol to remove any left over degreaser.

TIP 2: After applying the tape and making the valve hole install a tube and tire then pump it up to about 40 psi and let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight. This allows the tape to setup really nice and rim. It takes time but it helps in the long run.

  • 7 0
 I really like tip 2, that is a very good iea
  • 4 0
 Tip 2 also helps seat a tight or stubborn tire...
  • 14 0
 I need carbon valve stems!!!
  • 14 0
 I want to quote you every time a new carbon part comes out. That is hilarious. You were joking right?
  • 19 1
 I want a Ti 29er specific valve stem for perfect fit, and kashima coating inside the presta valve. Outside I want to be coated with Keronite like on Boxxer to keep the mud away. Top cap from carbon fibre off course, but i want it to be not screwed on but open/close with the use of handlebar mounted remote. Everything electronicaly activated via IPhone / Android, no cables with pressure indicator. Outside diameter of valve stem incompatible with any current pump - must come with specific pump as research has proven that thicker one can be up to 25% stronger
  • 10 0
 Instead of cutting an X hole for the valve stem, take a bic or zippo or other lighter to the end of a phillips or robertson screwdriver (or a leather punch), heat it up, then just push it through the tape at the valve hole. It'll melt away the tape into a perfectly circular hole the same diameter as the screwdriver shaft and you'll get a better seal with the tubeless valve stem. This method works for any other sealing tape you're using for the rim including notubes tape, other fiber strapping tapes, heat shrink tape, etc.

As to the valves and people saying to cut a valve stem out of a tube, make sure its a valve stem that has a removeable core (Schwalbe and QBP presta tubes have them) so you can add more sealant later on without popping the tire bead from the rim.
  • 1 0
 I usually just use a pencil or the tip of a pen and open a hole, then push the valve through it, it usually ends up making the hole the perfect size for the valve ( works better with presta valves ).
  • 8 0
 Been doing this for years whilst getting laughed at by my fellow riders. Who's laughing now?
  • 33 1
 still those same people probably...
  • 6 0
 some people just cant appreciate a good bodge.. Frown
  • 3 0
 Me too, Chauncer.. the G-tape method is legit. I've given out maybe 15 tubes in those years to those that use tubes, and I've only needed one once. Pinch flat thru the case, which was my fault.. not enough air that day. As the happy recipient pumps their tire, they always say, "Tubeless is too much hassle".. for me, stopping on a trail to fix a flat is way more of a hassle! I'd rather keep riding.. ah well. some day they'll come around..
  • 11 6
 Mmmmmm, go ghetto at your peril!

I've tried most ghetto methods and there are two recurring problems:

1) If its not a UST specific rim the bead/rim interlock isn't great and the tyre burps or comes completely off the rim when cornering hard.

2) If you add a sealant into the tyre it sometimes messes with the duck tape/ gorrilla tape glue and de-bonds it. Also, depending on what tape you use, the tape material sometimes absorbs the sealant liquid!

Just get proper UST rims and tyres - ghetto is more trouble and hassle than its worth IMO!
  • 9 1
 "The wheel maker ships its tubeless wheels with Gorilla Tape - albeit, custom cut and rolled to exact specifications - but Gorilla Tape nonetheless"

"One roll of Gorilla Tape (Hey Cheapskate! Don't substitute any other brand.)"

Might want to read everything before knocking the method suggested. Given the fact that this is the exact same tape used by the most name branded tubeless company, I think your points are pretty much moot. This is basically a self-built stans kit, and the writer doesn't suggest using non-UST tires or rims, just that if you have extra-wide rims (given how common that is now a days this could be a fairly broad concern) this is a great way to set yourself up tubeless.
  • 2 0
 I can inflate my ghetto setup with a floor pump. That hard huh?
  • 5 0
 Have been using 20" tubes for a few years now for dh with no burps. The tyre seals to the tube with the stans.

Use spongy tape (draft sealing tape for doors / windows) under the 20" tube if you have deep drop centres on the rims. You can inflate without a compressor.
  • 1 0
 So true. Can also use pipe insulation. When you cut it comes out trapezoidal, so it will lay flat on the drop.
  • 4 0
 Opened up a box with $5000 worth of ENVE rims at work one day, and was blown away to see that these millionaire-only rims are supplied with Gorilla tape... If you're feeling rich you can buy it straight from ENVE, and it's cut to width.
  • 3 0
 Done this for over 2 years and it works great! Forget everything but the Gorilla tape. Clean the rim, tear the tape at the right width, apply, and punch the valves straight through the tape. The best thing is that I have never had to re-tape a rim except to replace broken spokes.
  • 3 0
 if youre having trouble getting your tires to seat/blow up. use several layers of tape to sort of "build up" an area for the bead of tire to sit on. also as usual lube the hell outa the rim and sidewall of tire soapy water works pretty good. if they really wont inflate (like with a new tire) then put a tube in and leave the tire overnight or longer so the tire will get its shape. also on step 8 he reversed the order. when done work the stans around the rim and check for leaks in hot water. hot water helps stan's seal better
  • 2 1
 Or just us a 20" tube. Probably lighter and better sealing.
  • 1 0
 yess i keeep telling myself "on my next tubeless wheel build im going to try that"
  • 2 0
 If you're having problems getting the tire seated/started, buy one of the best investments I ever made:

Instant seating every time. Completely makes the entire bead seating process automatic.
  • 1 0
 hmm looks legit as long as it has a high enough volume of flow
  • 4 0
 you can do the same thing if you dont have any rim tape handy if running tubes !
  • 4 1
 Don't use playboy or hustler magazines to space the box knife blade to the line on the tape, you won't be able to cut the Gorilla tape, you might cut something else...
  • 5 0
 Ah you can buy Gorilla tape thats already 1" wide.................
  • 1 0
 Most hardware stores in the Vancouver, BC area only carry the 2" wide version. The only store I found with the 1" tape was KMS Tools (
  • 1 0
 Try Walmart for the 1" size.
  • 3 0
 Is Gorilla tape gaffer tape? With fabric threads in it, I have never seen Gorilla tape before over here.
  • 3 0
 Canadian tire in Ontario 1".
  • 2 3
 Yes it's pretty much the same. Electrical tape works just fine and is only 2 bucks a roll. For valve stems cut a presta valve stem out of an old tube. Put some silicon sealant around the base put it through the rim put the retaining nut back on finger tight. Then let it sit a few hours then put your tire on with some Stans. Then hit it with the compressor. Your good to go.
  • 2 0
 Gaffer tape is black, has a much tighter weave in the fabric, and has no shiny plastic coating. The glue is different too. Gaffer tape can be left on way longer before it leaves a sticky gummy mess, if it even does at all. I don't think gaffer tape would work for ghetto tubeless as it has no plastic coating to keep the liquid in.
  • 2 1
 so whats the advantage to tubeless ,im always hearing people i race with complaining of how they just burped out half of their psi smashing out of a this tru and does it happen often? Facepalm been racing downhill for 2 years and i just now decide to ask about tubless when the ghetto rigging secrets are revealed Salute LOL thanks for the cool tech Tuesday tup
  • 3 0
 Yeah on the back it's not ideal if you're a power house or monster. Still saves you from pinch flatting though.
  • 4 0
 Why does everyone always leave out the soapy water? This is the easy part. The hard part comes when you try seal the tires.
  • 2 1
 The soapy water only lets you see quickly where the bead is leaking and to shake the sealing fluid towards it. Its strictly a newbie thing though. Anyone experienced will know to just brush some sealant right onto the tire bead edge before inflating the tires.
  • 3 0
 Soapy water also helps the tire pop and leave the centre ridge of the rim, there are some rims where the soapy water really helps the tire pop into place.
  • 1 0
 I agree and can vouch for the effectiveness of soapy water. It must be very concentrated to be effective though. Can't count how many times I've gone too diluted first and as soon as I pour it out and mix a more concentrated batch of dish soap and water it seals the first time. I haven't tried brushing it on before but I'll give it a go next time.
  • 1 0
 Funny, I just sealed up the same exact rim and valve stem combo using the same method. Instead of Gorilla tape I use yellow polypropylene strapping tape (non filament). I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff Stans sells. The difference is it's $8 for a 60 yard roll from McMaster Carr vs $13 for 10 yards from Stans.

I've done four wheelsets this way without a problem. I even used this stuff as a rim strip on my DH wheels that I put tubes in.
  • 2 1
 I don't understand why do you need wide tape for wide rims. The only thing you need to seal is the holes (in case the rim is welded and this is the case in Sytace rims). The holes are the same in all rims so you can still use narrower tape.
  • 1 0
 gorilla tape comes in one inch with co cutting for this application was unneeded. also another geto tubeless setup is (for a 26"wheel) use a 24" presta stem tube and cut the tube open all the way around the tube oppsite of the stem. wrap the rim with the cut open tube and let the flaps fold over the rim (outwardly). then when mounting the tire put the bead on the inside of the open flaps. add sealent and inflate. the extra flap of innertube is trimmed off and the tube becomes a "gasket" works great on cheaper rims (my seam , where the hoop is connected to it self, was always leaking without the "gasket"of my tube. so for 27.5 use a 26"tube and a 29 use a 27.5 tube. no matter how you do it go tubeless way better if your a flat king like me! albeit no more with ther tubeless setup!
  • 3 1
 Or you can go pay $15 at your local shop and get Stan's tape that will do up to 5 rims, and it wont leave a mess of glue on the rim when you take it off.
  • 14 1
 Did you read the article at all? Those rims are wide, stans tape is not wide enough (yet). Thus the WHOLE reason they did this. Come on man, make us look good in front of the Canadians.
  • 1 0
 The WTB rims in the TT piece are only 23mm ID. I'll show you the Syntace wheels with the 35mm ID rims in a few days in the upcoming review. Wild looking for XC trail riding, but wide rims rock. (look at the roll of tape - the wider cut was used for the Syntace wheels. Huge difference.)
  • 1 13
flag GabeMyers (Aug 1, 2012 at 16:43) (Below Threshold)
 "Come on man, make us look good in front of the Canadians."

stupid dickhead...did you really just say that bullshit! f*ck canada...dont like the USA..but f*ck canada and their expensive import bike parts. f*ck THA NORF
  • 4 0
 I don't understand why do you need wide tape for wide rims. The only thing you need to seal is the holes (in case the rim is welded and this is the case in Sytace rims). The holes are the same in all rims so you can still use narrower tape.
  • 4 0
 why not brace the pen on the best seller too?
  • 1 0
 i started with ghetto tubless, then gorilla tubless, then even bought a stans kit and NONE of them would seat a tire. I finally gave up and put a tube back in... Frown
Kenda sb8 tires on Alex DC 4.5 rims
  • 2 0
 Put some foam underneath the ghetto tubeless method, it will allow you to stretch the tire on and then will provide enough force to seal the tire and inflate with a hand pump. And SB8 are ridiculously loose. A lot of foam underneath would help. It eventually compresses, so you will need a lot to be able to reinflate the tire after long periods of inactivity.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic post. I had problems with Stans tape leaking and tried this in a last ditch effort before going back to tubes - and it has worked beautifully. Thanks for the help!
  • 1 0
 Just as an update to this old, but useful thread, 1" Gorilla tape is sold at common online retailers like Amazon. Just a heads up to reduce time and hassle and increase safety a touch.

  • 1 0
 I'd cut the tape a bit wider. Do a small sample piece, and work out the right width to run it from wall to wall and down into the valley so it doesn't tear after time.
  • 3 0
 Gorilla tape tubeless method has been around for years on you tube
  • 1 0
 Definitely never thought of trying that. I guess the next step is to try Gorilla Tape on my road rash? Tegaderm is awfully expensive.
  • 2 0
 It's been almost a decade now. Anyone figured out how to clean the rims afterwards, yet?
  • 2 0
 Definitely liking those red presta valves....
  • 2 0
I don't think that these are the same ones RC used, but they are the only anodized valve stems I know of.
  • 1 0
 Thanks dude, but I ordered some of the American Classics valves from Universal Cycles last night.
  • 1 0
 curious.......wont the air escape at the valve through the hollow part of the rim???
  • 4 0
 There is an o-ring at both ends of the valve stem to prevent that from happening. But I swear by cutting BMX tubes as described by slimboyjim above.
  • 4 0
 The inside of the valve has a rubber seal.. the liquid sealant plugs any micro-leaks..
  • 2 0
 probably won't have micro leaks if you tighten it hard enough. After all rubber does seal pretty well. And some don't run sealant when using ust rims and tires.
  • 1 0
 considering doing this but do you need ust tyres or can you use normal tyres?
  • 1 0
 non ust tyres dont seal as well but will seal. it may (depending on the tyre) take up to a few dayss to seat and fill all the micro pores om the tyre. once seated and sealed way kick ass. no flats on my tubeless setup. dont run too low pressure or you will fold your tyre and burp the seat, all bad. offically not a flat but my psi dropped to nearly 0 but i didnt lose the bead seat so i was able to re inflate with out a compressor (on the trail). still carry a tube and a pump
  • 2 0
 Gorilla tape ftw. Thousands of set ups no problems. Cat is out . Lol
  • 1 0
 Also if you use a heat gun to put the tape on the wheel you will have no adhesion problems at all....
  • 1 0
 Using a 24" inner tube cut into a strip and stretched onto a 26" rim works perfect, and even comes with it own valve!
  • 1 0
 and acts as a gasket if your rims are less than perfect (my seam would not seal with stans goo)
  • 2 0
 I have a question!
And what is the stuff that white people likes?
  • 2 0
 use toobs...much less hassle
  • 1 0
 $2.49 at Home Depot. Roll already cut to 1" and it's 30 feet long.
  • 3 2
 Just use tubes. Much easier .Smile
  • 4 0
 Overall NO it's not. I'd guess you'd get several pinch flats to a tyres life set up tubeless.
  • 2 2
 in the past year i have zero flats using tubes. by riding buddy has had two flats in the past two months with his tube less.
  • 1 0
 I strongly doubt you're running the same set ups with same weights and riding styles. Or he has no idea what he's doing with set up. Tubeless is factually better, unless you're enough of a powerhouse to roll the tyres enough to blow them off or burp.
  • 1 1
 same type set ups GUY. And uses a pro mechanic for all his set up. could be shit tires?
  • 2 0
 No idea of how they flatted. XC tyre for DH will pinch flat easy. I should have said, If done right tubeless is better. 90% of punctures are from pinch flats, no tube means virtually no pinch flats. Trade off is a sh!t fight to set up, and falling pressures from burping.
  • 1 0
 gorilla tape fixes my bike at least once a weekend
  • 3 5
 hey guys....great debate on methods of mounting a tire on a rim. guess what i use?????

i use an inner tube!

the method has been used for years and years and years. i find it still works brilliantly personaly.
  • 1 0
 not update PinkBike Tech?
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