The pictures below are work in progress, this is my first successful conversions and obviously still need trimming but first a little history:
I have read a couple of blogs and web forums about converting Fat Bike/29+ tyres to tubeless but wasn’t able to find anything specific about the Northpaw rims. I decided to try the the ghetto split tube method….it didn’t work. As soon as I took the tube out and remounted the tyre I realised that it was going to need some tweaking, the tyre simply feel off, it was too loose on the rim.
A bit more research and I found the solution, foam placed down the center of the rim to stop the tyre dropping in. I found that pipe insulation works well as its quite firm and naturally rounded so it pushes the tyre out towards the edge of the rim (I taped this in place). Okay as I said before this is work in progress, I only had a 26″ tube so split this and placed it over the rim (covering the foam and flowing over the rim sides). Mounting the tyre was hard as there was now no central channel but it was still possible with just my thumbs…with a little patience! The tyre didn’t sit perfectly on the rim initially but I decided to see if it would inflate anyway (I hadn’t put any sealant in) and it did! The tyre inflate straight away, after a couple of pumps the tyre bead fell into place on the rim and popped into place once I got to about 10psi.
Now I know this method works I can do it properly, I have ordered some 24″ inner tubes and Wheelgoo are sending me some sealant. I will post a better “how to guide” with pictures in a week or so once I get the bits and some spare time!
Quick run down of method:
- Place a rim strip on as usual
- Run a layer of duct tape around the rim to add a layer of sealant and protection
- Measure and cut pipe insulation, then place on rim and tape into place (so it fills the channel)
- Split innertube (24″) in half and place over the rim so it overlaps the edges
- Mount the tyre and either leave a part of the tyre off or put tyre sealant in through valve
- Inflate tyre
- check the tyre has seated properly
- trim the excess innertube with a knife…be very careful not to damage tyre