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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
G'day all,
My new Avon AM26 front tyre arrived so I took the opportunity to install it tubeless. To me there seems to be no downside to tubeless with ease of repair, less mass and slower deflation in the event of a puncture.

I had already purchased clamp-on tubeless valves out of UK on eBay ,but had I been thinking would have gone for angled stems. Too bad , too late but definitely something for the next swap.
All the research I've done leads to using 3M 4411N Extreme Seal tape to seal up the spoke nipples. So I tracked this stuff down at Blackwoods and paid about 30 bucks for a 35mm wide by 5m roll. This is enough for 3 wheels.

It's also worth noting that some of the cycling types also use plain old-fashioned Gorilla tape for this purpose and they're usually running pressures up about 70 PSI.

I do know that firms which do this commercially will not do so if the rim does not have a "safety bead" . I looked up what was meant by this and it's actually on the T120 rims and is highlighted with arrows in one of my attached images. Once you look at it it becomes pretty obvious what it's intended to do. And the tyre makes a healthy "pop" as it goes over them on initial inflation.

So I hoisted the bike up on the lift. It will lift without damaging the sump guard if done carefully and stays still enough to work on with a precautionary ratchet strap.
You'll need a 17mm internal hex drive to remove the front axle - I thought the project had stalled there until I remembered my set of sump-plug sockets which I got on special at Super Cheap , and there it was !

Wheel taken off and original Pirelli and tube removed - time to clean and degrease in preparation for taping. I started out with Acetone , carefully , and then went to meths. 3M recommends isopropyl alcohol , so meths is close enough. Don't skimp on this - get in there with a toothbrush if you have to - later in the write up it will become obvious why. :laugh2:

The most difficult part of the process is laying the tape into the trough without it grabbing the sides. You could try and keep it on the roll and bending it up both sides but I simply run out of hands . It's easier to do this in short lengths but that's not a lot of help.
Perhaps the 25mm / 1" stuff would be easier?
I went around the wheel massaging the tape outwards from the centre with my thumbs and had the inevitable bubbles form . This after removing the backing plastic . The tape is quite spongy and ductile and as long as you get a good seal around each nipple the bubbles will not matter a lot but they can be pushed to the edge.

Butt joined the ends at the valve penetration and placed a doubler of tape over them, as per the most popular method. I ran one over the other and used a craft knife to trim both. Wouldn't bother doing it again - Just overlapping seems to work fine and the stuff doesn't have enough mass to affect balance.

So after all this I fitted the new rubber and with these Avons there does not seem to be any particular "opposite or next-to " the valve marking , so I 'd assume fairly neutral balance.
What I should have done at this stage after inflation is the soapy water test! It's not like I didn't have it handy and I was to pay for this lapse of judgement and "press on" mindset.

All back together and spinning the wheel on the forks with the calipers dismounted showed what appears to be a nice neutral balance. This seems to hold true while riding up to 100kph.

But in the morning a flat tyre! Out with the soapy water which showed slow leaks around 2 spokes ;- these marked and tyre removed -again! At least I'm getting pretty good at it .
A casual inspection of the tape revealed a couple of decent bubbles going all the way to the edge as shown in the pics. 3M product good / the installer not quite so!

A new section of tape placed after a further degrease and to do the belt and braces thing , some gaffer tape over the lot , if nothing else just to protect the 3M during tyre fitting.
And a thorough going over with the soapy water at 40 PSI reveals no leaks. You'll notice in the pics that air pressure has largely done what thumbs can not in compressing the tape onto the wheel surface. Its all back on the bike now and I'm liking having new front rubber.

I have been hunting road surface joins and linear gouges and the Avons seem to be a lot better at resisting tracking than the factory Pirellis thus far - something I notice with my T140 which also has AM26's , and the ride is nice.
These are bias-ply just like the Pirelli Sportcomp it replaces but you could easily fit any radial you desire.

Pretty sure some of the people that do this for a living might be having a chuckle but it works! :grin2:


Pic 1 DIY bead breaker - all of about 2 minutes to make and it works perfectly with a block quickly nailed to my bench.

Pic 2 Bubbles highlighted with felt marker after first fitting. Arrows to safety beads. Tape definitely more transparent than before inflation.

Pic 3 New section of 3M tape placed after removal of leaky section - about 1" overlap at ends,- gaffer tape over all.

Pic 4 Bonnie on lift . Squiggly plastic coated wires from Bunnings supporting calipers . Wooden wedges separating brake pads. iPad sideways photo - don't know why it does that when it's normal orientation on my device? Anyway you get the idea.

Pic 5 Job done and soaking with soapy water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
There's probably a few substances that could be flowed around the nipples and remain pliable and create a primary seal too and I'm thinking now that liquid rubber insulation would probably be even better and easier to apply. Any hobby electronic store has it. So do I !

That noise is the sound of palm on forehead! :|:grin2:
 

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Nice write up.
Some folks have used a specific type of Locktite (there are about 15-20 different types of this stuff, who knew?) for sealing the spokes to the rim, without any use of tapes or other fussing on the inside of the nipples. I guess having both a tape seal and the Locktite/other liquid-based sealer would not be unwise.
 

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I bought the 2mm version of the 3M tape. I think you need to stretch it a lot more when fitting it, as you shouldn't have all those wrinkles. I'm guessing that's where the leak was?
Looks good though!

The 2mm version is 3M 4412N.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I bought the 2mm version of the 3M tape. I think you need to stretch it a lot more when fitting it, as you shouldn't have all those wrinkles. I'm guessing that's where the leak was?
Looks good though!

The 2mm version is 3M 4412N.
Yes , I expect that's it, and 100% right on the leak. I was after the thicker stuff but really just took what I could get.. Did you go with the 35mm width?

I found it awkward to do anything much with this stuff apart from place it where it was. Extra thickness would have helped and possibly even just removing the release film section by section to get more tension would work well.

For what it's worth I'll probably do it all over again with the thicker stuff and the angled valve stems when my new back tyre arrives. At the same time I'll try the liquid tape deal too.

Thanks for the feedback and it can only get better!:smile2:
 

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I got the 50mm. I wouldn't bother with that liquid tape. I have a bottle of the stuff, and there's no way I'd use it to seal spokes. Just stick with the tape method, but buy a silicon roller like they use for fibreglass rolling, and use it to press the tape properly.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
 

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I got the 50mm. I wouldn't bother with that liquid tape. I have a bottle of the stuff, and there's no way I'd use it to seal spokes. Just stick with the tape method, but buy a silicon roller like they use for fibreglass rolling, and use it to press the tape properly.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
I'm assuming (always dangerous) that the stock rims of the Thrux R are also safety rims? Pardon someone new to making a tube type rim tubeless.
 

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I got the 50mm. I wouldn't bother with that liquid tape. I have a bottle of the stuff, and there's no way I'd use it to seal spokes. Just stick with the tape method, but buy a silicon roller like they use for fibreglass rolling, and use it to press the tape properly.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
Nice tip. Would you have a link to a proper roller. I cannot find one that would be narrow enough to fit in the spoke channel of the rim. They all seem to be 1.750" wide.
 

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Nice tip. Would you have a link to a proper roller. I cannot find one that would be narrow enough to fit in the spoke channel of the rim. They all seem to be 1.750" wide.
You don't have to be perfectly flattened on all the spokes (and you don't want to be, as you might damage the tape on the nipples), but you need a complete seal on each side of them.
I bought a couple of these: https://www.banggood.com/40mm-Silicone-Gel-Seam-Pressure-Roller-for-Hot-Air-Heating-Welding-Tool-p-1072499.html
It's not perfect, but better than using your fingers!
 

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Thinking about it, what would be perfect would be one of those Razor scooter wheels. Silicon tyres, perfect profile for the wheel innards... you'd just have to make an easily-held handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I got the 50mm. I wouldn't bother with that liquid tape. I have a bottle of the stuff, and there's no way I'd use it to seal spokes. Just stick with the tape method, but buy a silicon roller like they use for fibreglass rolling, and use it to press the tape properly.

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
That makes sense - wider gives more surface area. And I've got one of those rollers but thought it a bit unwieldy. I'll give it a crack when the next one happens.:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You may want to add some sealant inside the tire.

This stuff is the poop for mountain bike conversions: https://www.amazon.com/Stans-No-Tubes-ST0061-NoTubes-16-Ounce/dp/B00159O3NU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496593857&sr=8-1&keywords=stan's+notubes+sealant

Go check out Stan's website also, you may find other helpful things for your experiment.
Good info FJ ! I have something similar in the T140, with tubes - a goop that seals and is meant to balance too. There's a bunch of stuff out there and I'm also going to try and run down the Loctite product that may offer a solution. I also have an anaerobic plumbing sealant that's been very effective with fuel systems too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Why doesn't Triumph mske these wheels tubeless to begin with?
I'd hazard a guess at a combination of cost and potential liability. I get the impression that while this spoked/tubeless thing is being quite widely done , it's not quite yet mainstream.
What is significant is that the T120 rims at least have safety beads , either deliberately or as an aside to the manufacturing process.:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK chaps - Just a quick update ;- went for a run today out to Quindanning pub to take the GF to lunch . Took the long way around and probably got in about 200km just tooling about.
The Avon AM26 is just fantastic and I believe the bike is much more surefooted than even from new. It's also holding pressure 😁.

The front tracks perfectly and is oblivious to creases and road surface joins too. Got the old thing up to some fairly respectable speeds on the back roads and have complete confidence in it.
Will be ordering the rear as soon as money allows.
 
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