Tubeless Conversion - Act 4: The Cheap Way

Tubeless Conversion - Act 4: The Cheap Way

I'll be straight with you - this process is pretty much exactly the same as The Proper Way. The only difference is you pretty much use whatever garage/shed supply tape you have laying around. Because of this, I will skip right to Step 3 - Taping the rim. I have had great success with electrical tape (aka PVC tape), gorilla tape (aka cloth tape) and even outdoor painters' tape, so maybe reach for one of those first.

Here is a link to the first 2 steps from Act Two, The Proper Way to refresh your memory.

Taping the rim

  1. Measure the inside diameter of the rim using your Vernier callipers or a trusty ruler.
  2. If the tape you have on hand is wider than the internal diameter of the rim, measure out the width measurement and mark it with a pen. A few mm narrower than the measured width is also acceptable.
  3. If the tape you have on hand is quite a bit narrower than the internal diameter of the rim that is also ok and will be helpful if your rim has a deep valley in the internal profile.
  4. CAREFULLY cut the tape with a Stanley knife along the marked line.
  5. You will most likely have to do multiple passes with the knife to cut the tape deep enough into the roll to allow enough passes of the rim.
  6. Now for the actual taping part. I find it easier to tape a wheel on the ground rather than in a truing stand.

  • Place your wheel on the ground pinched between your legs. Locate the valve hole, and place it straight up looking you in the face.
  • Start your rim tape AT LEAST two spoke holes past the valve hole (this should be two spoke holes further away from you than the valve hole).
  • Depress the tape into the rim with your thumb or fingers and begin to pull the rim tape tightly as you lay it into the rim profile.
  • Take your time. Really, take your time. You want the tape to go down firmly, wrinkle-free, and straight. If you get this bit right it could prevent disaster later.
  • Rotate the wheel away from you and repeat the process until you have completed at least one lap of the of the wheel passing the valve hole again by at least two spoke holes (this time the spoke holes are closer to you than the valve hole). This should result in two layers of tape over the valve hole.
  • If you've got the time and the rim tape, do two laps. If your rim has a deep valley in the internal profile do 3 or more laps down the middle of the rim. By filling in that valley it will be easier to ‚ "pop" the tyre beads out of it when inflating. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing though‚ Fill it up too much and you may struggle to push your tyre beads onto the rim itself. If your tape is grossly under width compared to the internal rim diameter that is ok.
  • Start on one edge of the rim bead, do a full lap of the wheel, then pass over to the other rim bead and do another lap, then come to the middle of the rim well and do another lap. Continue this until you have completed many, many laps.
  • Pierce the valve tape. I like to pierce the valve tape with a sharpened spoke or sharp scribe. Take your time once again to ensure you are piercing the valve hole and not a spoke hole.

Great work! Click on the link below to move on to step 4 and the rest!

Act Two, The Proper Way - Step 4

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