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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not doing that anymore

My ears are still ringing from yesterdays tire explosion.
I swore off messing with Stans tubeless kits a couple of years ago after the hissing of air and the pissing of white sealant had me "in the red" while attempting a conversion to an old clapped out Cannondale ruining an otherwise nice typical summer day in Tahoe. I haven't thrown a tool for a long time, but I was close that day.
Now, don't confuse a tubeless "conversion kit" with some other misc industry nomenclature for products that actually work such as TCS, TR, 2BLISS... the list goes almost as deep as the marketing people that dream these names up. The heart of a tubeless conversion kit consists of a rubber rim strip with a valve stem attached that is supposed to allow an older non-tubeless rim to be set up tubeless. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the kits can't work. I will, however, say that they are hard (sometimes impossible) to get to seal and most tire and rim affiliated people (other than Stans) that I've talked to cringe at the subject when it's brought up.
So yeah, back to yesterday. When my old neighbor asked me to get some tires mounted up for him on his one speed, I almost turned him down after noticing that his rims had the dreaded tubeless conversion strips in them. But, with his other bike requiring some parts that needed to be ordered I wanted to get him back out on the trails.
One of the curious things with the tubeless conversion kits is that the tires can be difficult to seal while simultaneously being really hard to get the bead of the tire to "seat" properly on the rim. It was a the "bead seating" stage of this nightmare job I never should've taken on in the first place where the 50psi I had in the tire proved too much for the bead of the tire to handle as it exploded off the rim. Aside from ringing ears, the other nasty side of something like this happening is that the white tire sealant mixes with the exploding air and anything within 10' of your workstand is subject to a good splattering of tire sealant.
That being said, I'll leave you now so I can go spend 20 minutes cleaning up what took less that a second to explode over my bench, tools, workstand, other bikes, floor mat and probably some other places that I'm not thinking could possible be effected by the incident.... but surely will be.

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