Tubes Ghetto Tubeless Method

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by mabman, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. mabman

    mabman Member

    It is entirely possible to do away with your tubes on your bikes. The tubeless systems that work for mtn. bikes can be adapted to any wheel. Here is a method that was outlined by a man who rides a tandem bicycle along with his wife.

    Not really much effort involved in trying a ghetto set-up. Buy a couple of BMX tubes (schraeder) and a bottle of sealant. split the tubes around the outer diameter, stretch them over the rim (you might need to drill out the valve hole if your rim is presta only). Install the tire (rub a bit of water around the bead) and air it up with a compressor (this was the only slightly troublesome part). After it seats well air it up to about 50 to seat the bead really well. Then remove the core of the stem , put in about 4oz of sealant, air it up and vigorously shake it around a while. Trim off the excess tube if you desire. Done. You can also put in the sealant before you air it up the first time, but I accidentaly blew Stan's all over myself with the compressor when I wasn't careful. Overall, I was suprised at how easy it was.

    And some good recommendations for sealant to use here:

    This type of system is working extremely well for DH mtn bikers allowing them to run crazy low pressures for ultimate grip and control. MAB's can be run with higher pressures so it should make the system even more reliable.

    No more flats but with as supple a tire as possible, sounds good to me.

  2. sparky

    sparky Active Member

  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    So you're making what amouts to tubless tires here?

    As I was reading it I was wondering what advantage there would be in it.

    But you mentioned lower air pressures. I can see that that could be useful.

    but maybe not for many of us since we're a largely pavement riding bunch.

    But maybe I'm overstating it; I suppose there's some dirt riders here.
  4. mabman

    mabman Member

    The advantage is that those folks on here complaining about flat tires while running tubes would be quieted somewhat. Afterall how long has it been since auto tires have run with tubes? And this has the added benefit of the sealant properties which alleviates the smaller punctures altogether caused by thorns, nails etc.. It is a pretty cheap fix actually if done the ghetto way described, the most important thing is to seal the center of the rim which can be done with some packing tape prior to stretching the split smaller tube on there, especially with the cheaper steel and alu rims that come on the big box store bikes so popular here.

    I wish I had pix to share and will take some when I get to doing this but I am a bit pre-occupied with a family emergency right now. But in the end it will just look like a tire mounted on a wheel. This is not new technology but an adaption that has been working now for a number of years in the bicycle industry.
  5. seca40

    seca40 New Member

    I'm an avid mountain biker and I live in New Mexico. Goat head are a plague here. About a year and a half ago I got a flat tire every time I went for a ride something like twelve times in a row. I finally broke down and bought the stans tubeless kit. $80.00 ouch. But you know what? I didn't get a single flat on those tires. I completely wore them out without a flat. When pedalling a bike the wheel weight is crucial because rotating weight feels like four times that of dead weight. Taking most of the tube out of the wheels made a huge difference. While you may not feel it as much on a MB I'm sure it would make some dif in performance. The $80.00 dollar kit is very steep but the process described above will save you about $70.00 of that if you want to mess with it. All you need is a BMX tube and the sealant. Frankly, I was so happy it worked, I was happy to have spent the money. Also the sealant dries up after about six months so you have to unbead the tire in one spot and pour a few ounces in once in a while. I have not converted my motorbike to tubeless. FWIW. Check out this video. It's no joke.

    Also the ghetto tubeless tutorial
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  6. mabman

    mabman Member

    Thanks for the additional info. That pretty well sums up what I was trying to portray. The only thing they don't show is the initial sealing of the rim over the spoke heads. You can use tape to do this and use a couple of layers even but not too much because it will make it hard to get the tire on. This is done before you install the 20" tube.

    You have to admit that video of the track of death is pretty impressive? Should go a long ways towards showing folks that this type of system may be a big benefit for all you out there in motorized bike land.

    Stan's sealant is a brand name product. Basically it is just liquid latex and some other type of coagulant. Some people mix Slime and liquid latex together but you really only need 2 ozs in there at any given time of liquid total.
  7. TWalker

    TWalker Guest

    I still have no idea how this would keep one from getting flats, in fact it would seem if you did get a flat it would complicate things, you cant patch a tire...or can you?
  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Thank you so much. I've been waiting to hear a review on this stuff for the longest time. I posted some other videos of Stan installing his tubeless sealant and riding over that track of death, but that refilling every six months kinda bothered me.

    Again, thanks a bunch. I'll have to try that someday. Videos say a trillion words.
  9. Revorunner

    Revorunner Member

    How do you clean up that mess once the tire is worn out and needs replacing?Adding some every 6 months does not impress me much either.

    Is it biodegradeable(GREEN)?

    I can buy alot of tubes and patches for $80.00.IMO
  10. seca40

    seca40 New Member

    The "mess" only consists of a little latex film. Maybe some liquid. I suppose it's at least a "green" as the tire. Although I don't think the tire will do your compost heap much good.
    Buy a lot of tubes and patches and patch a lot of tubes if you are not impressed.:whistling: This is a good alternative for those who live in stickery areas and have a lot of flat tires. Take it or leave it.
    Besides if you read the title of this thread you will see that it refers to ghetto (inexpensive) ways to make the system work and work well.
  11. mabman

    mabman Member

    I tend to agree with Seca40, tough crowd here. Concern for green elements by someone that uses 2 stroke oil and gasoline seems strange, but to each his own.

    Liquid latex is not something that you would eat on ice cream surely, but for its intended use I don't see any problems with it. Having to add an ounce or two once a year isn't that bad and would take only minutes compared to the amount of time you spend even changing a tube or the amount of tubes you would need in replacement.

    Tires have been patchable since the availability of vulcanization.

    Investing in something that will keep your tires whole even when hitting sharp objects at speed instead of instant deflation seems to make alot of sense to me from a safety standpoint alone.

    This thread is not about telling you TO use this system, it is about telling you about the system and others success with it and so of course as usual YMMV.
  12. Revorunner

    Revorunner Member

    Sorry Mabman,
    My BAD!!!!!!!!!
    To the Moderators,please deleate my last post on this tread.This post should be in another thread.:whistling::whistling:
  13. I like this idea. In my experience most of my leaks happen around the valve stem because the tire moved the tube causing the stem to pinch. With a tubeless setup,NOTHING is resisting against the valve like any tubeless tire it will always stay where it's supposed to be. Then I would assume the bead would be actually stronger than a tube type but that's just a guess.
    I would try this on a mag wheel. All those spokes and areas air can escape frightens me. A mag wheel would be rather close to a tubeless wheel found everywhere though.

    If I was a designer,being a prior mechanic busting tires in my sleep I would design a tubeless tire with a STRONG sidewall just like an automotive tire with a mag wheel and make it that when you inflate the tire on the rim after installing it with 4 or 5 spoons because it's a rather tight fit just like an automotive tire when it seats it will make a loud "POP" sound also just like an automotive tire this tire will not be off alignment. Spin this wheel and the thread will not hop.
    Design a tire like this and you can throw away all that goop.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2009
  14. BoltsMissing

    BoltsMissing Active Member

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009