Tubeless conversion, anybody done it?


Well travelled
if you can get past the swearing he has some valid points, i wont be doing it, may be better to squirt in some of the slime stuff they use on dirt bikes, not sure if you can use it with tubes, rich


Getting there...
Yes, I've done a tubeless conversion to spoked wheels on two Moto Guzzi 1100s and the front wheel of my '21 Interceptor. It must be done carefully, but I've had no problems so far. I'll do the rear wheel of my Interceptor when the rear tire is worn enough to replace.

The secret to a successful tubeless conversion is, of course, proper sealing of the heads of the spoke nipples and of the tubeless valve stem. Rim surface must be surgically clean. I use solvent and a stiff brush and wash following with soapy water and dry with compressed air. Then I put the tireless wheel back on the axle or on my balancing jig and seal about 6 spoke nipples at a time with Shoe Goo, a ferociously-tenacious sealant , costing bout $5 a good-sized tube. You do just the topmost 6 nipples at a time or the sealant will run off the nipples due to gravity on the lower spoke nipples' sealant.

When all spokes are sealed and the Camel brand 3/8" diameter tubeless air valve is fitted and sealed, too, I then cover the spoke nipples in the rim's "valley" with 3M sealing tape 1.5" wide, two layers and press this down into contact with the rim all the way around.

Refit the tire and inflate to 60-80psi and immerse in a bathtub full of water, rotating the tire so that all nipples are immersed sequentially. You're looking for tiny bubbles coming from any spoke nipples. If you find any, place a twist of grocery store plastic bag sealers around that spoke and remove the tire. Re-do the offending nipple (there should be none if you've done this correctly). Pump the tire back to 60-80 psi and allow it to sit for several days. Then, ensuring that the wheel's temperature is about the same as when you first inflated the tire, check for loss of pressure and run through the bathtub again. No leaks? Balance and re-fit the wheel and you're good to go. If you have a small tank bag or tail bag or panniers, put a tubeless tire flat repair kit in there, complete with CO-2 cartridge inflator.

Happy motoring.

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