For the past few weeks I’ve been contemplating changing my incredibly good looking Crank Brothers 29er wheels to tubeless tyres. When I first bought them I made an attempt to put a set of Schwalbes (Nobby Nic front & Racing Ralph rear) on the wheels using the supplied CB tubeless valves.
I was busy Youtube’ing and trying to discover that ‘easy’ way to seat the bead on the rim and get the rubber to seal. I’ve heard horror stories from some people and tales of ease from others. Basically setting up a tubeless tyre depends on the person, the tools, the rubber and the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth. My first attempt resulted in bleeding knuckles, two snapped tyre levers and a pair of tyres that were completely flat in less than four hours. I decided my sexy wheels needed to be shown off so I gave up and went the way of the tube.
Fast forward to last night and I finally took the plunge and converted my rims to full tubeless using a combo of new tyres and new Stans valves. The plan was simple: old tyres and tubes off, clean rims, new tyres on, add sealant, inflate and celebrate!
I did the front first; a Maxxis Ikon for extra grip. The tyre took a bit of work to get on the rim. With the tyre finally on and two scoops of sealant in; after about 10 minutes on the air compressor the bead finally sealed and the tyre inflated; success!
The rear tyre was a Schwalbe Racing Ralph, my favourite rear tyre. This tyre was a dream. In 3 minutes I had the tyre on the rim, sealant added, bead seated and tyre inflated; great success!!
After the tyres passed the overnight test I packed the XTC in to the car with the intention of giving them a test run around Bruce Ridge. They worked a treat on the clean hardpack, gravel covered hardpack, rocky climbs, rocky downhills, loose switchbacks and even the muddy Pub Run. I really like the idea of now being able to run lower pressures for extra grip in order to corner faster.
After less than an hour on the new set-up I’m now looking at converting my stock rims to tubeless.