Converting to Tubeless Tires (With Stan’s NoTubes Kit)
If you want all the benefits of tubeless tires, but don’t want to fork over the cash for new UST wheels and tires, you can convert your current wheels and tires to a tubeless system with the help of the Stan’s NoTubes conversion kit.
The Stan’s NoTubes kit comes with rim tape, two special rim strips, and tire sealant.
You will need:
- Stan’s NoTubes Conversion kit
- Drill with 3/8″ or 7/16″ drill bit
- Hand file
- Air compressor (or floor pump)
- Soapy water and brush or sponge
1. Remove tube.
The first thing you’ll have to do is remove your tire and tube from the wheel. Set the tire off to the side, and put the tube back in storage.
You will probably want to leave your existing rim strip in place. But for some rims you will need to remove the rim strip and put a couple layers of spoke tape down instead. And for other rims you might want to put the spoke tape down and reinstall your original rim strip.
2. Drill out the valve hole.
Now comes the scary part – taking a drill to your rim! It’s actually a very easy step, as long as you know how to work a drill.
Take the required drill bit (3/8″ for Presta valve holes and 7/16″ for Schrader valve holes) and enlarge the inner valve hole in the rim bed. Put the drill bit down in the hole just far enough, for one quick spin.
Then take a small hand file to clean up the hole. Remember, whether you are running tubes or tubeless, sharp bits of metal are not welcome!
What this does is create space for the little extra bump on Stan’s special rim strips.
Don’t worry – if you ever go back to tubes, the rim will still be fine for that.
3. Install rim strip.
Part A: This will vary by rim, but let’s say you have a typical rim like the Mavic x317. Remove the current rim tape, but don’t discard it.
Now apply one or two layers of this rim tape to the rim bed, pulling it tight and pressing it down into place as you go along. Once finished, cut a hole in this tape for the valve.
You can also put your regular rim strip back in place, over this rim tape. (The tighter fit should help hold the tire bead more securely.)
(See NoTubes.com for details about your specific rim. Those instructions, plus trial and error, will give you the best idea on what combination of tape and rim strips to use in your wheel.)
Part B: Moving on to the actual NoTubes rim strip…
First, coap the rim strip with a light layer of soapy water, which will help it slide into place.
Then start by pressing the valve stem into the valve hole. You can install the valve nut to hold it in place, but just tighten it lightly.
Now pull the rim strip lightly to fit it around the entire rim, making sure it is stretched out evenly. It should look uniform around the entire rim, and it should cover the entire rim bed.
You also want to make sure the rim strip is pushed up under the bead lock of the rim, on both sides. If it bunches up anywhere, you can use a plastic tire lever to push it underneath. (Just don’t rip it.)
4. Mount the tire.
Wipe some soap suds onto the rim and rim strip, and then mount the tire as usual (but starting opposite the valve.)
Wipe a bunch more soap suds onto the tire’s sidewall and bead for good measure.
5. Practice inflating.
Hang the wheel on a hook or over your bike repair stand, so that there is no pressure point on the tire.
Hook up the air compressor or floor pump and inflate the tire to 10 psi. It will leak air, but you should be able to inflate it.
6. Add sealant.
Dismount one bead of the tire. Pour in one scoop of Stan’s sealant.
Remount the bead.
7. Inflate again.
Now you can inflate the tire to 30-40 psi and begin the sealing process. (You might to do this a few times during the sealing process.)
8. Shake and seal.
To start this process, hold the wheel in front of you and shake it back and forth. Every few shakes, rotate the wheel a few inches.
Next, lay the wheel over the bucket, giving the sealant a good chance to seal any holes in the sidewall. After 5 minutes, you can reshake the tire, and then lay the wheel over the bucket so the sealant can hit the other sidewall.
You can repeat this process a few times and everything should be ready to go. If not, try leaving the tire for a while and flip it over after an hour or two.
Eventually all the small holes will seal.
9. Test ride.
Once you have seen the tire actually hold air for a while, you can take it out for a test ride.