So the package says you can convert tubeless ready rim to tubeless. The kit comes with Gorilla Tape, Slime Tubeless Sealant and a CO2 pump with 2, 20g cartridges as well as valve stems.
From the way it looks, it’s a basically a Ghetto Tubeless kit that’s been neatly packaged. So I asked the rep I’m dealing with if this can be used with non-UST wheels and tires. He said to stick with UST since he wasn’t quite sure. Unfortunately, I don’t run UST gear, so I may just see how well it works for “ghetto” applications. Stay tuned for the review.
A few years ago we did a video showing how we converted standard tires and rims to tubeless, or some might call it “Ghetto Tubeless.” Since then I’ve converted a number of my bicycles to this tire system. One of them was my downhill bike, the Airborne Taka. I had raced 2011 and part of 2012 with the ghetto tubeless and never had I flatted during those events. In fact, I had never flatted with the Ghetto Tubeless with the Airborne Taka.
Fast forward 3 years later, I’ve maintained the ghetto tubeless on the Taka and found myself at Snow Summit Adventure Park in Big Bear, Ca. This was actually my 2nd trip up there with the Taka with this tire system.
During our second run through the trails I distinctly remember my rear tire hitting hard against a sharp rock. I recall hearing the “DING” on the rim. Sure enough, I had a flat…or so I thought.
Here I am trying to pump the tire back up. I was planning on changing to a tube, but the Taka has bolts on the rear wheel and I didn’t bring a wrench. So I sat there pumping and pumping in hopes the Stan’s Sealant would start to work its magic. I kept hearing air hissing out of the tire, but I kept at it.
Eventually the sealant found its way to the leak and did it’s job by patching the hole from the inside out. You can see where this occurred on this photo. From the looks of it, I had “burped” the tubeless. This is means the tire broke apart from the bead and the seal came apart, causing air to come out. Lucky for me the tire resealed it self and within 10-15 minutes I was back on the trail!
This was taken 4 complete runs after I had initially flatted.
If I may add, Lady P was riding the KHS Lucky 7 with the same Ghetto Tubeless system on the tires. No flats that day!
So why do I keep my DH bikes (Taka and Lucky 7) with Ghetto Tubeless? Couple of reasons, for one you saw that its self sealing in most situations. Secondly, I like to run my tires at low pressure when riding downhill. Low means 27-32psi on the tires. This allows me better control and grip on some of the terrain that SoCal dirt has to offer. Not all my bikes have tubeless, but for my DH bikes, it’s something I make sure they have installed for situations like the one above
This past weekend was another fun filled weekend of riding. As you have read some of the previous posts from the other MtnBikeRiders’ staff, we’ve all had a fun filled weekend on two wheels. This past Saturday I took my friends, who I have been riding with on most of my Saturdays, to my backyard trail called Skyline trail. I’ve written a ride report in the past describing Skyline. It’s a six mile grind to the top, where we will branch off to another trailhead where we will descend back to our car. This downhill trail is called Skinsuit, which is 2.5 miles of steep and flowy downhill run. It’s has nothing technical…just steep. Imagine taking 6 miles to get up, then descending back to the car in just 2.5 miles – that’s a quick way to get down!
The group met at JensonsUSA’s parking lot in Corona as 14 of the 16 guys riding haven’t been to Skyline. From here we caravanned to the trailhead. one of the easier parts of our cimb
Going up Skyline was a tough climb. Majority of us, if not all, had 6” travel bikes. Climbing up to 1300 feet was no easy task on a long travel fork. Along the way up, we took several breaks to regroup and take a little breather. We also passed another popular DH run where many Pro riders frequent. As a matter of fact, there were quite a few of them getting dropped off on our way up.
Getting closer to the top
Just a little over six miles later we reached the trailhead for Skinsuit. We took a few minutes to gather ourselves and strapped on the minimal armor we carried. After a brutal climb, now the fun begins!! Just before the trailhead, we stopped at our landmark – the giant golf ball
FAST – is the best way to describe it. The trail snakes down the mountain through solid dirt with some small loose gravel in certain areas. Now the last two times I’ve ridden down Skinsuit, I crashed, which one was an OTB (over the bars). I was a little timid coming down, but could not pass up the good pace we were riding. We regrouped a few times to let the others catch-up or if when a steep section was just ahead. We did this to warn the others guys who haven’t been here before. One of my friends was also riding a singlespeed and had the least travel on his bike. Although slow on the descent, he was riding most of the steep sections. Some of the guys looking back at a section we just came down on
Somewhere towards the middle of the descent, we approached another section where we needed to slow down. There were four of us upfront that were leading the pack. The first three started slowing down. It appeared that they started to bunch up; not wanting to stack-up behind Myles (3rd guy), I veered to the left a little bit. At this point, I must have hit something because OTB I went! As I was going over my bike I heard my front tire lose air. Fortunately I landed on some shrubs but I rolled on my left arm/elbow which pressed onto my ribs. I laid there for a few minutes to gather myself. I checked myself and my bike… all was good. Added air to my front tire with CO2 cartridge and off we went to finish the ride. Below is a video of my crash. All in all, it was an epic ride. There were two of us that went OTB, but we finished the run to laugh and talk about it. The long ride was rewarded with an awesome lunch at a buffet! Steep section towards the end of Skinsuit where most of us walked
On Sunday, Val and I headed back to one our favorite downhill spots. For about a month we’ve heard that it has been closed down… well we wanted to see for ourselves. Sure enough it was still open; no indication of the contrary. One thing that I wanted to do was look for the 3ft ladder drop on one of the runs. On our first run down we took a wrong turn and missed it, but were still on a cool run. This particular run ended at a playground at the bottom where there were jumps, doubles and berms. Sweet! Too bad I don’t know how to ride them yet 🙂 one of the practice runs
On our second run we found the ladder. We stopped and examined it for a few minutes, trying to motivate ourselves. In reality, it was nothing, but there’s something about leaving the ground with both tires… yikes. Also if you’re like us who don’t normally jump things – 3ft is pretty high! Apprehensive but driven at the same time, we decided to make a go at it. Val went first and I wasn’t too far behind him. Having the video camera rolling, we were now committed… gotta do it! In total we hit it 4x. To tell you the truth, after going over it the 1st time, my fear quickly went away. The FUN-factor kicked in!
On our last run, Val and I went through the same section but hit every single jump along the way. Approaching the ladder, we flew over it as if it wasn’t there 🙂 During this ride, I was was using my Intense Socom DH bike where the two tires were the DIY ghetto tubeless. Safe to say it works!!! These last two days of riding were totally awesome!!! I can’t wait to go back to either of the trails.
A few weeks ago RL and I hit one of the secret DH trails in LA. RL’s bike, the KHS Lucky 7, was equipped with his Do It Yourself (DIY) tubeless tires, aka ghetto tubeless.
Having a set of UST on one of my bikes, I am a true fan of the tubeless system. In our last two trips to Mammoth Mountain, several of the guys pinch flatted as we hit the rocky sections of the mountain.
Always willing to try something new, I decided to give RL’s DIY tubeless a shot. His “How To” video, located at the right of this page, walks you step by step on what to do and what you need. Already having some tubeless sealant leftovers from my UST tires, all I needed was a pair of smaller tubes to use as rim strips / liners. So one day after work I stopped by my LBS and picked up a pair of 20” tubes.
Installation was a breeze. It took me literally less than 15 minutes for each tire. On one I had difficulties getting the bead to sit on the rim but with patience and the air compressor 🙂 all worked out well.
First ride on the DIY Tubeless Tires was a pretty mellow ride. My son and I rode around the Back Bay in Orange County. Relatively flat as this place is more of an extension for roadies from the river beds and also utilized by hikers. First true ride was this past Wednesday at the Fullerton Loop. Night ride at the Loop. Kenda Small Block 8 on the rear.
How did it work – perfect! I have them mounted on Easton Havoc wheelset. Front tire is a Panaracer Fire 2.4” and the rear is a Kenda Small Block 8 2.35”. They are currently mounted on my Intense 6.6 but I’m planning to use them on a more aggressive bike such as my Intense Uzzi. Yesterday I rode at Whiting Ranch which hosts a more rugged terrain than the Fullerton Loop. I mounted a camera on my downtube to see the front tire in action. In the video you’ll see the excess of 20” tube I used as a rim strip/liner sticking out between the tire and rim. It’s ugly, but I didn’t want to trim it down yet until I knew for a fact that the tire was holding air. Panacers FR 2.4s + Easton Havoc… DIY Tubeless System
This Labor Day Weekend, we busted out the new jerseys for 2011 during a few rides. The photos below are from a DH session in a super secret location.
Here’s the rear of the jersey.
A frontal view of the jersey (RL and Joe) with the KHS Lucky 7. By the way, you know that ghetto tubeless video I made, well it’s applicable to DH/FR bikes. The Lucky 7 has it currently set up and it worked just great on the trail.
For the last 6 months I’ve been riding with a Ghetto Tubeless Conversion. Yah its called GTC because its a cheaper version of the Stan’s Tubeless Conversion. Before I start, I need to say that if you attempt to do any of this, you’re on your own. We’re not responsible nor do we recommend you do anything to void the manufacturer’s warranty as well as place your self in harms way by modifying your bicycle in any way.
I’ll be doing this in a multi part series to help you understand what we’re about to do. There’s a few things you need.
20 or 24″ tubes (2) Stan’s Sealant
Air Compressor or Co2 inflator
We’ll be using stock rims and tires. No need for UST stuff.
Ok, that we got your parts list on hand. We’re ready to start on the project. But we’ll do that on the next post.
Make sure you check back every few days as I’ll be updating this series.