EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › How to do "Ghetto" tubeless for finndog and anyone else who wants cheap tubeless tires.
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How to do "Ghetto" tubeless for finndog and anyone else who wants cheap tubeless tires.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

repost since the old one has dead photo links. Also going to add recommended tire list.

I figure I would write alitte how to with some pictures on this pretty simple task.

so how to do tubeless the "ghetto" way

Stuff you will need

1.your wheels - 
2.tires of your choice, UST is nice but you do not need to use UST
3.stans tubeless or any other liquid latex sealer will work
4. x2 20inch Schrader BMX tubes
5.floor pump
6.compressed air
7. something to cut the 20inch tube
8.a open mind


tire levers

1.Take the wheels off the bike - duhhh

2. remove your old tube and tire from the wheel

3. clean the wheel off

4. take out the ringlets that make you wheel work with a presta valve, if you wheel is not drilled wide enough for a scrader valve. Take it to a bike shop or drill it yourself if you feel comfortable doing it.

5. streach the 20inch bmx tube around you wheel, this may require a partner.

6.(pictured below) inflate the 20inch bmx tube so you can untwist it and get a centerline. By centerline just follow the rubber seam line.


7.(pictured below) take what ever you want to cut the tube with(i used scissors) and cut all the way around the tube.



after you are all the ways around the wheel streach the remaining tube over the sides, it should look like this.




8.(pictured below) install the tire, making sure to keep the flaps extended on both sides. water could help here as the rubber to contact isnt excactly slippery.


9. take your sealant(I used stans) and put a ample amount in the tires, if you not concerned about weight the more the better. I do this though the sidewall. but if you use schrader like  I recommend you can do this later with out breaking the bead.

10. Using a very strong air compressor(auto repair shop should have this) inflate the tire, the high pressure air should set the bead. IF you are having trouble try put water on the tire bead, if your still having trouble find a stronger air compressor. UST tires should mount up with a floor hand pump

this is what the tire will look like afterwards
if you notice there is sealant coming out of the bead this is ok. The sealant will eventually clot and seal the air in.

11. Those flaps of excess tube hanging off the edge it time to get rid of those. Just take the scissors and cut around them making sure to leave some excess there. This isnt a beauty contest and with a little hanging out you will be able to use your "rim strips" again should you decide to change tires


12. repeat for the other wheel and enjoy.

caring for you tubeless wheels

the only thin i have noticed that is weird is that the first fews days the tires will leak air. make sure you keep them filled with air so you dont have to reset your bead.

IMO tubeless ghetto or not is the ONLY way to go on a MTB its is one of those things you do and ride better because of it.

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Tire list, these are tires I have tried most work some do not. Its a short list but a start.


Tire that work with out compressed air.


any tire marked tubeless


Tires that work with compressed air. All non tubeless



2.4 fire freeride

2.1 Fire XC

2.35 Razor MX

Rampage all size


the above I have tried but I feel all panaracers will work whether they are tubeless or not.




all work but watch out for sidewalls tear on rocky terrain

Ignitors have been know to do this quite a bit.


doesnt work or doesnt hold air no matter


all non tubeless hutchison

all non tubeless kenda






post #3 of 9

I'm not sure I would do it this way... at least when it comes to cutting tube. When I was riding tubeless (nowadays I'm back to tubes) I didn't make my own rim strip, but I used No flats rim strips, and they didn't go over "edges" (same as Stan's notubes on this photo). But since someone at No flats can't think, it's pain in the a** to get rim strip on wheel right way. So if I would go tubeless today again, I would do it your way. Instead of getting 26" tube (like No flats, or Notubes have them), I would get 20" tube and cut it same way as Noflats/Notubes strips are cut. It's much easier to get it on wheel when it's much smaller then wheel.

Only difference is, that I would cut it before putting tire on. And I would cut it so, that it would fit just under the "edges" of rim, not over it.

And last thing... Reason 8. is not necessary :) This procedure is exactly same as if you buy "real" tubeless conversion kit. So if you are happy with "real" conversion kit, you will be even happier with this "home made" one :) Afterall only difference is rim strip, which is better then real one anyway, if you get 20" tube.


PS: My tire list is even shorter. Non UST Schwalbe Racing Ralph works without problems, but you need compressed air. On the other side, I couldn't make non UST Schwalbe Rocket Ron to work... even with compressed air. In case if it maters, both, Racing Ralph and Rocket Ron were Evolution line tires, which means foldable/kevlar bead tires.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I make them go over the wheels because its seals up non UST tires much easier and if the tire shifts or burps its not the end of the world.


and FYI if you read I was using 20 BMX tubes so they stay in places.

post #5 of 9

I didn't have problems with tire shifts and/or burps, but I believe you.

PS: I saw you wrote about using 20" bmx tire. And that's why I said, your version is better then "original"  :)

post #6 of 9

I used to do this 'poor-man's' tubeless set-up:


1) Use strapping tape to cover the spoke holes. (The kind with threads in the tape)


2) Put wide electrical tape over the strapping tape. Make sure the electrical tape covers the strapping tape and eliminate any air bubbles.


3) Carefully cut open the valve hole.


4) Insert tubeless valve cores. I used the Bontrager type (around $15 retail).


5) Tighten valve cores carefully, not to wrinkle the tape.


6) Start fitting the tire, on one bead.


7) Add 3-4 scopes of stan's liquid.


8) Finish seating the tire.


9) pump up the tire and seal. It is easier with an air compressor, or a preta-inflator.


I really doubt that Finnius is so cash strapped he can't afford a full stan's kit though.... : )

post #7 of 9

I'm riding a 29r.  Should I use a hd 26" tube?

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I'm riding a 29r.  Should I use a hd 26" tube?

yes or 24 both work.


post #9 of 9

I think in general UST tires work better setup as tubeless. The sidewalls are stiffer and give better feed from the trail and feel more bomber at lower pressures. I always get a weird flexy feeling when I run 1 ply tires (standard bead or tubeless ready bead) at pressures much below 25 psi, but running them higher defeats some of the purpose of tubeless.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Off-Season Sports & The Lighter Side › Cycling › How to do "Ghetto" tubeless for finndog and anyone else who wants cheap tubeless tires.