Tech Talks: Tubeless Conversion, Presented by Park Tool - Video

Jul 27, 2016 at 15:10
by Pinkbike Staff  
Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool


Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool is a monthly video series hosted by Park Tool's own wrench whisperer, Calvin Jones. The new series will cover the A to Zs of some of the most prevalent repair jobs, with the first episode tackling both tubeless tire installation and conversion in two easy to follow videos that will have you feeling like a pro.

Have you ever struggled to seal the bead of a tubeless tire? Had to wash sealant out of your hair or off the walls? Calvin is here to make sure that won't happen again.


Tech Talks - Tubeless Conversion


Views: 17,386    Faves: 53    Comments: 6




Tech Talks - Tubeless Installation


Views: 9,473    Faves: 36    Comments: 1



Stay tuned for more mechanical how-to videos with Calvin returning on the last Thursday of every month to show you the easiest way to get the job done. Want to know more? Park Tool's how-to section has you and your bike covered.

www.parktool.com / @ParkToolCompany


86 Comments

  • 61 2
 That tool wall is pure bike porn.
  • 9 0
 bike tool, bike porn?

a fetish inside a fetish
  • 23 2
 Calvin rocks. I've been watching him on Parks YouTube channel for awhile now. Always straightforward and easy to understand.

Side note for those wanting to get into bike repair or DIY your repairs. Save up and get yourself a complete toolkit online, you'll save a ton of $$ over buying them individually and a few hours on YouTube watching tech vids like this can teach you how to use tools you may not be familiar with.
  • 6 0
 This guy is a badass. Hell yeah.
  • 4 0
 honest newbie question. is it actually worth it to get a park tool kit for house repairs over a b list manufacturer that esentially has the same stuff only cheaper? the up argument I always get for more expensive tools is that they last longer but I dont think just me and my bikes will represent much abuse.
  • 13 0
 @fercho25: In my opinion it depends on the tool and how much you are going to use it. The Park Tool stuff is real nice but often times the cheap stuff will work just fine too. If you are working in a shop or doing repairs for a team or something like that, you likely want to buy the higher quality tools. But if you are only working on your own bikes, you likely might only use certain tools a few times a year. I mean how often are you switching out cassettes or changing bottom brackets, things like that? Its not all that often and for just occasional use the B list brand is going to work just as good.
  • 9 1
 @sino428: +1 to that. I would also suggest you look into your local auto parts store or wherever you buy automotive tools for most of the wrenches, pliers or anything that is not a bike specific tool. In my honest opinion based on my 10 years as a car mechanic plus doing my own bike repairs, I just really think Park tools are greatly overrated and overpriced. I've never seen a park tool that is made half as well as it's automotive counterpart.
  • 3 0
 Agreed. I've moonlighted as a basic tech in a box store for awhile and while I can get deals or use shop equipment, if you can find a kit or set somewhere it's worth it over piece-meal. You may think you don't need them all but if you start doing more of your own work or want to experiment with new parts you'll see the how nice it is to have a tool instead of the pain and frustration of not having a tool.

I'll have to start upgrading if I ever get a newer bike with newer stuff since all my tools are geared for 26" 2012 or way older. as for @MaxAlary he's sort of correct. Automotive has Snap-On, bike has Park. I give props to Park as their selection seems second to none and they often are willing to provide a tool that no one else does. @sino428 is also correct...the "non-mechanical" tools (those with no moving parts) are typically ok if you go no-name (cassette removal, chain whip, that sort of thing). There are also lots of ways to diy a perfectly acceptable and usable tool if you only need it once in awhile and that money can be put toward something wayyy better (diy race removers and such are an example). However, I like my Park truing stand, and if I needed a precision tool I'd consider budgeting the money for a Park piece.

If you start upgrading your wrenching tools with these vids and experience doing it you'll find a lot of satisfaction and confidence in it. You'll know your bike better and feel better riding it. Do not, under any circumstance, feel bad about jacking anything up. Be patient, but mistakes will happen. Even in shops mistakes happen. Enjoy @fercho25!
  • 2 0
 @MaxAlary: I was talking more just about the bike specific tools but you are definitly correct. Non bike specific things like wrenches, pliers, cutters, etc can usually be found at similar quality for a better price at your local auto or hardware store.
  • 1 0
 @fercho25: A lot of Park stuff is made by Bondhus. Find them on amazon
  • 1 0
 hey thanks for all the great advice guys.
  • 14 0
 Pouring the sealant into the cup left a lot of the (useful) latex bits in the cup afterwards. I prefer to eyeball it and dump the sealant straight into the tire.
  • 8 0
 The Stans Syringe works great because you can measure and when you push the sealant in it keeps all the good particles. I do what you said though, eyeball it and dump it straight into the tire.
  • 9 0
 My opinion in ghetto and proper tubeless tips;

Before you fill with fluid and stem, I instal a tube to set the bead. I find you waste a lot of fluid if you go straight to installing fluid first. Than you carefully remove tube on one side of tire while maintaining bead on other side. Than instal stem, close tire carefully to keep other side set, than fluid. I find your chances are better of instant inflation and bead set.
Did you notice he used gorilla tape as rim tape. I only use that. It's the strongest and stickiest. Cheaper and easier than Stans, Orange, etc.
  • 1 0
 Yup, I always inflate first to get the beads seated before adding liquid.
  • 5 0
 Rather than using a tube, just remove the valve core and inflate with a compressor. Not having the core in let's more air volume enter rapidly. Once the bead is set take the syringe and add your sealant of choice (Cafe Latex is pretty fantastic) through the valve, then reinstall the valve core. Easy and clean setup 99% of the time.

Also when it's time to add additional sealant, do it thru the valve rather than breaking the bead and having to re-seat your tire.
  • 2 0
 I'll add one for for those DH tires...my Magic Mary's (I've done a few sets now) always seem to be pretty stiff after sitting in the box for a while. I don't have tubeless specific rims, and I've had great luck, but what I end up doing is using a tube to inflate the tire and let it sit overnight in the house...about 60 psi. This lets the bead of the tire take shape, and ensure that all of the tape seats with air pressure/force of the filled tube. Then when you go to use the compressor to get the tire to seat, it airs up and seats nicely because it has some shape to it..

I've tried doing it a couple of times with tires right out of the box, and it's hit or miss whether the tire will seat because of how stiff some of the tires can be when new (even with my compressor setup).
  • 3 0
 @timkoerber: Amen - a compressor isn't all that expensive, and comes in handy on any number of things. If you have a garage, a compressor is one of those things that over its (rather long and usually totally trouble free) lifetime will make you glad you spent the reasonable price to purchase it (you can get a decent compressor for under $100). Especially if you ever want to us things like nail guns, don't want to go to the gas station to check/inflate your car's tires, clean stuff out with high pressure air, etc. To me, the list of good things to have in your garage includes a compressor, a shop vac, a power washer, and of course some basic power tools. YMMV...
  • 2 0
 @krashDH85: I don't know - with a compressor, it took me all of two minutes to mount Maxxis DHFs. Pull on the rim, remove valve core, inflate (they seat rather nicely with a couple big pops), inject Stan's (I'm partial to the 2 oz bottles over the whole syringe and cup mess - they're reasonably priced in 12 packs), swish around, install valve core, inflate, done. Probably partially a function of the way they make their beads (shop techs have told me that Maxxis tend to mount/seal easily; I can't remember the next time I've even needed a mounting level to get on on or off), and probably also a matter of the rim (WTB).
  • 1 0
 @krashDH85: As a snowbird wintering in AZ from MI I have had to replace several tubeless tires and find it difficult if not impossible to get the bead to seat with my 12 volt DC carry-along compressor, not enough volume or pressure to push the bead out to seat properly. I can first seat the bead with a tube and remove it after a while, then of course installing the tubeless stem and hope it seats again. If not, I peel the bead off a bit on one side and put in the sealant. Then I just use a CO2 inflator, which does seat the bead well enough to hold air until I can get it properly inflated with my 12V compressor. I know CO2 is not recommended with at least some sealants, but when you need it you need it and it gets the job done. I believe a large part of the problem is inherent to the stupid presta valve, which does not allow much flow through it, compared to the superior Schrader valve. If I could find tubeless Schrader valves to fit my rim holes and with the proper countour to match the drop center of the rim inside, bye bye presta. Back home I do have a real compressor with lots of flow and pressure so no problem.
  • 1 0
 @bart882:
Take the valve core out on the presta valve to seat the bead. Lots of flow! Then place core back and smooth sailing! I have used tubeless schrader valves. I just drill the rim on a wide rim, of coarse...
  • 1 0
 @FunctionalMayhem: Thanks, next time I will try that, not sure why I didn't think of it. The chuck on my portable 12V compressor is for Schrader and the remaining part of the presta should depress the little actuator on the chuck. Then I could use the syringe or old Slime bottle (from tube days, and Slime actually works pretty well with tubes, not so much with tubeless) to install the sealant before returning the core to the presta stem. Actually though I think the problem is not enough volume of air quickly to force the beads against the rim for at least a rudimentary seal. As an aside I have been using Continental Revo Sealant because of Trail King tires, and I find it easier to clean up than Stan's; it seems more water-soluble.
  • 9 2
 I appreciate the videos but can you title them better?
If you put the lesson learned in the video in the title it makes it a lot easier to search when I'm 3 beers deep working on my bike and have finally decided to give in and ask the internet for help.

Thanks!
  • 6 0
 Calvin is the master!!! 2 additional tips - for stubborn sealing Contis brush some sealant on the sidewalls and let it dry. This usually helps fixing the seeping problem faster. 2nd tip - grease the threads of the valve to avoid nut seizure by corrosion. It may take a good while until you need to remove that valve and if it happens on the trail it may be a hassle or even impossible to unscrew the valve nut with your fingers. Thanks Pinkbike for this great material!
  • 7 2
 I find it pathetic that "some tubeless systems take days to seal" come on tyre and rim companies get your shit together as this sucks. I have never had to wait days for my cars tyres to be air tight.
  • 4 3
 Can be so annoying. Used to find it worse with Conti's/Schwalbe. Them bastard just don' wanna seal, yet Bonty, Maxxis & Michys are bang on!
  • 3 1
 @steviestokes: Honestly Bontrager make the most simple and fool proof system out it's a joy to work with on a daily basis
  • 3 1
 @Benread: Amen to that. That snap-in rim bed is a dream. but even just the tyres on a tape system are good!

I'm well impressed with the Maxxis Evo stuff.. Tight not too tight, and you can almost seal them with a hand pump!
  • 8 0
 Tech Tuesday is back! In monthly form!
  • 2 0
 TBTTOT- Throw Back Tech Tuesday On Thursday
  • 4 0
 Nice to see some tech articles back! I do disagree that you couldn't ride right after the installation though! Whenever I convert a wheel to tubeless, I advise the rider to take it for a ride right away, and I do it myself whenever I can. It's the best way to spread the sealant everywhere in the tire, and helps even those slow leaks as you keep moving the sealant around and it has more chance to stop it from leaking. That's my experience anyway. I do take a pump with me for the first ride or two as it does indeed leak a bit but never fast enough so that I couldn't ride, and after the ride it's always better than even after a week without one.
  • 5 0
 Calvin's videos are always great. I end up watching his video's on things I don't want to do or I know how to do as they are so good Big Grin
  • 4 1
 Couple of tips for those really stubborn tires:

1) If you don't have an air compressor try to get two CO2 canisters to blow the tire on the rim firmly. Especially with ghetto tubeless setups I have found a single cartridge is never enough. I have also had success using a cartridge then quickly slamming a pump on there and rapidly pumping.

2) I generally don't use the expensive tubeless valve stems. Cut a small square or rubber out around a presta valve from an old tube. This works much the same but, if your rim allows, the valve can actually be put under the gorilla tape preventing those annoying leaks around the valve stem. I have never had valve stem leaks on a setup doing that but have had several on my actual tubeless setup that used tubeless valve.

3) If you have fresh folded tires puts them on the rim with tubes at 50PSI and leave them at least overnight (or a few days). I have even used tubes for a couple weeks of riding then gone tubeless. This moulds the tire bead to the rim shape and helps a LOT with sealing.

4) Put more Stans in after you finish seating the tire. Your success may vary but I usually end up with about the recommended volume of sealant covering my face/hands/house by the time I manage to get the stubborn tires seated. To do this I use cheap drugstore syringes and go in through the valve if possible, or around the bead with a straw if not.
  • 5 1
 While i disagree with #1 (co2 isnt good for sealing purposes

#2 and #3 are vital, number 4 can be avoided by installing presta's with removeable cores
  • 3 0
 Another good video that seems to miss one of the greatest challenges that I have had...applying the tape. I have used the clear Gorilla Tape, I have used E-13, and now Stans, and the challenges always present themselves. All these videos show a guy simply pulling tape off of a roll and placing it on the rim. It's never that easy. Keeping the tape centered while adhering it to the center channel of the rim is a pain. The width of the tape doesn't seem to addressed very clearly either. Finally, they don't show how to properly ensure that the tape is fully sealed to the rim. I have had tape migrate from side to side, I have had tires pull the tape off when it is unseated, and I have had tape rupture from expansion into the spoke hole. A few more details would be helpful, otherwise a nicely filmed basic tubeless video!
  • 2 0
 If your tape is shifting side to side, then try the correct width tape. I was fighting substandard tape for a long time. It's way easier with the right stuff.
  • 1 0
 @husstler: exactly! This point is not covered very well in most videos or walk through articles. WTB recommends 30mm tape for their i25 wheels. Good luck finding that locally. And when you don't, the kid at the shop will try to convince you of the different ways narrower tape will work. I used e13 and it went sideways in a strange way. I won't blame the tape, but just want to reinforce the point that the taping procedure is often more complicated than what is blown through in the videos.
  • 1 0
 @Moto4fun: Like anything that involves a bit of craftsmanship, the better mechanics, whether pros of do-it-yourselfers, pay very close attention to, and sweat, the details. Laying the tape in there nicely and pressing it down thoroughly while inspecting same very closely will pay long term dividends. Also, the preparation of a used rim is paramount to getting the tape to stick properly--get it spotlessly clean first. I used to work as a tradesman (autobody repair and painting) with a couple of guys who had a lot of comebacks. I used to say "there was not enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over, when a customer complains.
  • 4 0
 Darn excited for this. Calvin has helped me solve many a challenging bicycle maintenance issue over the years.
  • 4 1
 Does anybody know if the glitter trick the Syndicate mechanics use is for a permanent solution or if it is just a one run thing that they can get away with?
  • 3 1
 @Vudu74
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJl_Z8198JI
Check this out. Seems to work in the short term for sure, I don't know what it would do to the sealant longer term.
  • 3 1
 @jeffreyelias8: I'd rather buy a new tire than deal with the inevitable mess that comes with doing anything involved with glitter.
  • 3 0
 There are some dudes getting crazy on mtbr with commercial latex, anti-freeze, glitter and lord knows what else. Google homemade tire sealant and you'll see some of their creations. They claim it works much better than mtb specific sealant.
  • 1 0
 @Vudu74 I always put around a tablespoon on glitter in with my sealant. It's helped seal some bigger punctures that wouldn't close with just the sealant. Not too messy either; the glitter usually dries "inside" the sealant if you will, so it all comes out at once when it's time for a fresh dose.
  • 1 0
 @chadgmail: doesn't orange already have glitter in it? they use little rectangles of silver plastic, certainly looks like glitter
  • 2 0
 @WestwardHo: I posted my recipe below
  • 2 1
 I tried to convert my tire to tubeless using duct tape. When I seat the tire most of the air is leaking around the valve. I guess that the tape is not holding the air, which enters the spoke holes then quits on the side of the valve. Does anybody have a good tip for me to fix this problem?
P.S. I use Mavic Crossride disc wheels and Conti Xking tires.
  • 3 3
 use a split tube. that way the valve and rim strip are one.
  • 3 1
 I've has this problem on every tubeless setup I've done with gorilla tape. To solve it, I just bought some rubber cement and I put some all around the rubber part of the valve stem and the tape, making sure the seam is airtight. So far it's worked every time. Works best if it is allowed dry overnight. Done this on 4 wheels.
  • 1 0
 @alloydix: I have the same issue every time. Yours sounds like the intelligent solution. I solved the problem by tightening the valve down harder using the collar ring.
  • 2 0
 I do gorilla tape twice around the rim, three times over the valve. Then for extra valve sealing I buy some tiny rubber o-rings at the hardware store for the inside and outside of the valve. I actually ripped the rubber right off a valve trying to tighten it enough to stop leaking once. After that I just started doing more tape and o-rings.
  • 4 0
 The cheapest and easiest fix I've found for this is to wrap some PTFE tape around the valve stem before doing up the nut
  • 5 4
 Homemade tubless 101

Buy latex mold builder (16oz), i use the one by castin craft which is $18-50% off michaels coupon=$10

Add the latex (immediately) to 16oz of antifreeze otherwise it dries fast, I use a wisk to make sure its well dispersed, remember if you care about it being non toxic, use pg/eg free antifreeze, I don't myself

Fill the castin clay container halfway with cold water and shake the piss out of it to remove leftover latex, do this twice to make 16oz of water,

Add 16oz of slime $8 (save the container as its awesome to use for application) and a small tube of .6 oz glitter $1.29 from micheals, in a container that can hold at least 64oz, mix the shit out of them. Now store them in air tight containers with the least amount of empty space possible.

You should have $40-$60 of sealant for $20 or so, I call mine TUBELESS JEWCE, and its super green.

Other variations:
no water all antifreeze- now the stuff never dries, so your tires will weep coolant

No slime: this works like stans, its super thin and gets everywhere, also dries up quicker.

I live in socal so i want it to last, but not weap out the sidewalls forever. So far for non- tlr tires, kenda has the least sidewall leaks, maxxis is middle, and specialized tires are the worst.....sooo bad I have to use 6-8 oz of sealant
  • 4 0
 Last step: Dance to the bead!
  • 2 1
 If you're having trouble getting your tyres seated with just a pump you can make a budget air compressor with a 2l soda bottle, two old valves and some hose. It works surprisingly well.
  • 1 0
 The soda bottles being a storage reservoir for a big shot of air quickly to blow the tire out enough to seat the beads? If so ,a great idea......
  • 1 0
 I personally recommend American Classic valve stems. I have tried the Stans type, and I always seem to have leaking problems. Then, if I tighten too much, the rubber seal breaks.
  • 1 0
 Have been waiting for this Smile sitting here in the office and can`t swich on speakers. Do they mention how to seal the valve properly?
  • 2 0
 no puns/jokes intended.... my spoke nipples although sealed now, seemed to leak a lot, is this normal?
  • 8 0
 no- you have a bad rimstrip
  • 1 0
 @axleworthington: thanks il get it sorted
  • 3 1
 After many many years of struggling to install tires into my Kona Operator this finally makes sense to me. I'm also a male.
  • 1 0
 Maxxis DHF and DHR on Stans Flows. 3oz Stans sealant in 29er hoops and inflate with a gas station air pump. Easiest tubeless combo Ive ever had and never leaks.
  • 4 2
 support your local LBS !! .. but learn how to fix/ maintain your bike
  • 8 0
 hahah. Shop rates are always higher after you try it yourself first Wink
  • 3 2
 Pro-tip: only use new tires when converting to tubeless, and make sure they are tubeless compatible.
  • 6 1
 I'm sure that helps a little if the tires are new but there is no reason not to just use your current tires if that's what you have. I just changed over a wheelset last night and remounted a set of tires that had about 60/70% tread left with no issues at all. If you clean up the bead properly before you really install them it should not be an issue.
  • 2 0
 Not true, you can run non tubeless tires tubeless. I've been doing it for years now, just a little harder to seat the bead an you need to put in a bit more sealant an coat the inside brushing it around and use a air compressor.
  • 3 0
 You're not as cheap as i am
  • 2 0
 @jewpowered: #heebspeed
  • 2 0
 Stans RACE sealant. Better stuff than standard. Try it.
  • 1 0
 great tech video get rid of the music distracts from the quality information being showin
  • 2 0
 Free charge information!
PinkBike and ParkTools Thank you very much)
  • 1 0
 gorilla tape is nice however good luck removing the glue it leaves on the rim after you remove it.
  • 1 0
 Sweet! I'm glad they brought back TT!
  • 1 0
 Very nice video
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