I left last year behind in the middle of a project. I made the attempt to go tubeless on my studded tires. It was a stretch to think I could pull it off. Well, I am still working out the details. I will describe my experience.
Last year I bought a set of Velocity Deep V (yellow) rims. I set the Alfine up for the winter commuter and I used one of those rims to do so. I never got around to lacing a front wheel so I was riding with a wheel I got from my friend Jim. I believe it is a Mavic. All along I didn't like how difficult it was to mount a tire on the Velocity.
I started with the Mavic wheel. To prep for the conversion I cleaned the rims with brake clean and applied the Stan's yellow tape. I then put the rubber rim strip on and mounted up the tire. I tried to inflate it without sealant to see if I can get it to hold some air. It wasn't happening. I called Tech @ Stan's and they said try wrapping the wheel with Velox tape under the rimstrip to get it closer to the tire. I took a brush with some soapy water and wet the bead. I was able to inflate it with a floor pump so I knew that I could add sealant. This wheel went well. I did manage to get it sealed up pretty quickly. There is not much air getting through the thick rubber of a studded Nokian tire. After it was sealed up, I tried to increase the air pressure to 65 psi (my riding pressure) and I noticed a leak of sorts at or around the valve stem. I'm not sure what caused it but my only solution was to add more sealant and try the process over. We'll see how it turns out.
|letting the sealant do its job|
I am looking forward to see how these tires perform tubeless. I'm hoping for some good thoughts on it.
|holding air, waiting for a performance test|
Next I did the same set up process with the Deep V. This proved very difficult. The tire was already hard to get on the rim before but it went to a whole new level when I put the rubber rim strip on the rim.
It was pretty hard to get the first bead on the rim but the second bead was murder to get on. I proceeded to test if the tire would hold air. No luck! I went down to the Old Spokes Home to use their compressor. The hopes was to shoot a quick amount of air in to seal the bead. It worked but I wasn't looking forward to removing a section of the tire to get the sealant in. Luckily OSH has a injection syringe to add sealant through the valve stem. I got 2oz in with no issue. The second 2oz didn't want to go in and shot all over the place. I assumed I had enough in there and moved forward. In the end it seemed I had two issues on my hands. The first was that three of the 106 studs were leaking pressure and sealant. How was this possible? The studs don't even go through the tire to the inside. The second issue was the likelihood of not enough sealant in the tire. For whatever reason there was leaking from the studs, the sealant should have been effective to stop it. Not the case. Since that discovery, I have added more sealant but now I await a trip to the LBS to use the compressor to get this wheel sealed up again. If it fails to seal up, I will put a tube in it and get back on the road!
IN OTHER NEWS.....
I have a tentative schedule set for 2012. It is aggressive but I think with a clear plan and a solid effort to build my fitness, I will be able to accomplish it all or most. Here it is.
- one training century in each of the months of January through March
- Gravel Grinder Spring Dirt Road Ride - April 21
- SSapalooza* (single speed mtb race) - April 28
- 200km Brevet - May 12
- 300km Brevet - June 9
- Dynamic Duathlon (team w/ my wife) - June 24
- 400km Brevet - June 30
- SSUSA2012* (single speed USA) - July 28
- DarkHorse 40 (mtb race) - August 5
- 24 Hours of Great Glen (mtb race) - August 11-12
- Vermont 50 (mtb race) - September 30