I’m a fan of using kapton/kapten tape when going tubeless, but my only roll at home was 50mm and the i40 rims are 40mm and WTB recommends going 5mm wider. I wanted to set my son’s tires up this week while it was still warm out and didn’t want to wait for cheap bastard kapton eBay tape to arrive, so I procured Whisky Parts Co. tape locally thanks Now Bikes & Fitness.
I pulled off the Krampus’ front wheel and removed the tire and factory tube, an Innova 29″ x 2.5″ – 3″ with a presta valve weighing in at 14.2 ounces:
I wanted to buy some solid strip rim tape, but WTB has been out of stock for weeks, so I’m stripping width off the existing rim strip and taping over that. There will be no more than 1.2 ounces of tape per wheel:
and 0.3 ounces/wheel for a Stans No Tubes presta valve:
Here’s the rim strip while reducing its width:
Which saved another 0.2 ounces:
Here’s the rim taped up, one pass and overlapped at the valve:
Next, place the tire back on the rim and manually pushed one side of the tire into its seated position. The loose side of the tire was left hanging downward with the wheel laid over a 5-gallon pail. Fire up your compressor (mine is set to 120 psi to get a nice burst of air) and used 3/16-inch diameter polyethylene tubing to connect the compressor to the presta valve with its insert removed. After the blast of air, two snaps/pops, the tire is fully seated!
At this point, a large amount of air stills leaks out around the rim and tire beads. Pull off the polyethylene tubing from the presta valve body and fill with sealant: I used 3 ounces of leftover homemade sealant from about a month ago, it was still in liquid form. Blow up the tire a couple times to make sure the tire is still seated and to spray the sealant around. Reinsert the valve core and continue a few blasts with the air compressor until you think you can keep it inflated long enough to start riding it. I found that riding the tire around is when the tire really starts to hold air, but if you can’t do it safely, just spin it or bounce it next to the air compressor. Here’s how one side of the tire looks after sealant has been leaking for an hour.
At this point I left it for the night and will reinflate in the morning. I also might need to give it more sealant, as you can see nearly all of it seems to have blown out and there’s more on the garage floor and some spray on my trusty Beetle.
with the blew the rim up without using a tube.
The material After two passes of tape and pressing out all the creases after each pass that I could, I tossed tubes back in and blew the tires up for 30 minutes. After that I poured in my homemade sealant (3 parts windshield washer fluid and 1 part molder builder) and reinflated to 35 psi. It went flat again several times, but each time I added air it would hold for longer. The tires may have taken extra inflating because I was possibly too latex-skimpy on the sealant – others recommend 3 parts windshield washer fluid to 1.5 parts mold builder.
Liam left for Levi’s, riding the now-tubeless Krampus and was blown away how light they felt. I tried it myself while trying to get the sealant spread around the inside of the tires, wheelies felt much easier than they use to, but I may have just been giddy to have air staying inside of them.