Before winter, everything gelled. Two sets of wheels set up tubeless – a pair of Shimano XT UST wheels on the singlespeed and the DT Swiss on the Canyon with the addition of the DT Swiss kit.
Winter came though and the rear tyres on both were swapped out for some Conti X-Kings which performed well all winter but weren’t tubeless compatiable.
Spring returned and it was time for tubeless to join it. A simple job surely…….
(L)UST Maxxis Crossmark back on the XT, sealed and inflated in 5 minutes. Maxxis Ikon back on the Canyon…..an hour later and it still wouldn’t play ball. It appeared that the tyre had stretched a bit so it wasn’t tight enough to create a proper seal anymore. It didn’t help that the edge of DT Swiss’ PoS rim strip had curled in slightly. I was fighting a losing battle and pissing sealant away all over the garage floor.
So, plan B……(L)UST Crossmark back off the XT and on to the DT Swiss. Ikon onto the XT. The Crossmark went up fairly easily, after a little faff. The Ikon on the XT….still no joy but confirmation that it had indeed stretched.
Plan C? Raking through the garage….a pair of old and very skinny Conti Vapors (dating from the days of minimal 29er tyre choice), a slightly used Bontrager thing (great but not tubeless friendly), a set of F+R Schwalbe Rocket Ron (F) and Racing Ralph (R) – ‘tubeless ready’ according to the sidewalls, anything but based on painful experience.
I found my spare Crossmark – wire bead, but it had run well tubeless last year so on it went and…….no joy. Still, it was tighter than the Ikon.
Time for plan D. I made a makeshift rim strip out of a buggered 26″ tube, cut out the valve and trimmed it all to fit. The thinking was simple enough – create a better seal and compensate for any stretching. I chucked a pile of sealant in (meaning I had managed to use way over 3/4 of a bottle on these two wheels….) and inflated.
Lots of air seepage but lots of bubbles too and finally, after too many hours of pissing about, I had two wheels back in tubeless guise.
So much for it being easy.