Velocity Blunt Tubeless Conversion

Q: How can I convert my Velocity Blunt 29er wheels to tubeless?

A: Velocity Blunt 29er  rims are an underrated rim, with a nice width at 28 mm, providing a nice “ballooning” tire for a plush ride.  However, many people have had some trouble converting these rims to tubeless.  Luckily, there is an easy solution that is pretty bombproof.

When first attempting to convert this wheelset to tubeless, I contacted Stan’s to find out what rim strip I should purchase to convert to tubeless as I had always used Stan’s before with previous wheels.  I also had a Stan’s 29er rim strip laying around, and realized it wouldn’t work without some “help.”  The response I got from Stan’s was to use their Freeride Rim Strip.  However, upon further research, I decided to go another direction and use the Bontrager strips instead.  Not only are the Bontrager valves better than the Stan’s, but the strips “snap” into place like they were made for the Velocity rims.  I was truly impressed.  Here is what you do:

1) Purchase the Bontrager 29er rim strips from Trek (don’t forget to add the valve stems) for $9.99 a strip and $4.99 a valve.

2) Attach the rim strip and valve to the rim.  When you “snap” these strips into place, they fit very snug, so be sure to line up the valve stem/hole before you snap them into place.

3) Next, get your tubeless solution ready to go rather it is a home brew, Stan’s, or Slime.  I personally use a 70% Stan’s, 30% Slime mixture.

4) If you have never done a tubeless conversion before, you should watch this video.  Even if you have, it is a nice refresher.  Repetition is the mother of skill.

5) Following is some tips that I have learned from doing numerous tubeless conversions and the tricks I used for this particular conversion.

  • If possible, ride for a week on your tires with tubes to help stretch/form/shape the tires.
  • Take very light sand paper or Scotch-Brite, and gently remove the shine that is around the bead of the tire that most new tires have.  This tip alone has made my life much easier on some tire/rim combinations.

  • Remove the valve core when filling up the tire with air in this preferred order: air compressor, CO2, or hand pump.  I have used all three and all can be used, it just depends on your tire/rim combination and each individual tire and rim as no two are 100% identical.
  • For stubborn to mount tires, use/buy a tire jack.  The [amazon-product region=”us” text=”Kool Stop Bead Jack” type=”text”]B001AYML7K[/amazon-product] is the best $12 you will ever spend if you mount a lot of stubborn tires.  You can also use a hair dryer or throw the whole tire in the dryer to just make it a little more pliable and thus will prevent you from going Braveheart on your rim/tire.

I mounted a WTB WeirWolf on the front and it went on and sealed up very easily.  It was one of the easiest tubeless conversions I have ever done.  It holds air perfectly and loses maybe 2 psi a week.

The rear tire was a different story.  I mounted a Geax Saguaro TNT . . . . .well, I tried to mount one . . . . for three hours, specifically.  It was a typical case of small tire/big rim.  I broke three tire levers and finally had to take it to the LBS, where it took three burly dudes, and some metal downhill tire levers the size of my arm to jimmy the tire on.  Luckily there was no damage and it sealed right up and has held air as well as the front tire now.  I attribute it to the fantastic Bontrager strips that feel like they were made for the Velocity Blunt rims.  I really couldn’t be more happy with them.

11 Responses to “Velocity Blunt Tubeless Conversion”

  1. I have a set of 29″ blunt wheels I’d like to convert, but all i see are 26″ strips on the Trek website. Am I missing something? is there anywhere else to get these?

  2. Interesting. I just checked my invoice from them, and it says:


    You may want to e-mail them the SKU# (406892) and see what they have as I couldn’t find that on their site anymore.

    Good luck, and thanks for the comment.

  3. My local LBS said they were sold out (no more available from Trek). They wouldn’t be able to get a hold of any more until the 2011 line came out. Bummer. I just went to a fully rigid bike and I’ve had more flats this summer (regardless of air pressure) than ever before. I was hoping a tubeless set up would alleviate that. Thanks for the info. I may call them.

  4. Just scored my Bonty rim Strips that were backordered will set up tonight on my Velocity Blunts.

    Check the New Jersey Warehouse with your local Trek store….they had some in stock…

  5. 29er Velocity Blunts with Bonty Symtrical Strips all done with hand pump last night.
    My only tip…follow the video exact, pat the tires all the way around to shape. Soap/water acts like a lubricant and temp sealant for the first seating. Once done, everything went very smooth.

    “Watch the video, then rewatch…Pretty easy, take ur time, drink a cold beer.”

    Great job on the video.

  6. I’m having a tiny problem I cannot seem to be able to subscribe your rss feed, I’m using google reader fyi.

  7. Sorry about that. However, I’m really not active on this site any more as other sites have taken up my time. I did do a post yesterday, but it is very rare that I add anything.

    With that said, I did just add the feed to my Google Reader, through another account just fine. Try doing a search for the site within Google Reader and adding or if that is the method you used, try using the button at the top of the home page.

    Thanks for the comment.

  8. How did avoid the tire sitting in the middle of the strip?

    I have my tires mounted, soaped, patted and ready. However the bead seems to drop to the middle of the rim strip where it is recessed. I was able to seat one side by pressing it in with a lever, but can’t get the second side to seat without pulling it out of the first. How did you avoid this?

  9. It’s all about PSI for that. Are you using a hand pump or a compressor? If you don’t have a compressor, use the gas stations (taking out the core of the stem) or at least a CO2 cartridge. In an extreme case, you can use a strap. Inflator straps fit around the circumference of the tire and have a friction lever or buckle that connects the ends of the strap.
    Tightening the strap compresses the tire and forces the tire beads against the inside of the wheel rim. The strap is removed once the tire begins to fill with air.

  10. Ok, so I have been trying to use a floor pump all week to no avail. Finally took them to the LBS to use the compressor and it took thirty seconds. I am using Schwalbe rocket ron’s. They ended up being a superb fit with this setup. Once I finally got them out of the center channel the beads locked in and held air overnight with no sealant. I recommend not even trying this without a compressor though. Do the smart thing and hit up the LBS.

  11. The Bontrager Strips and valves work perfect with the Velocity Blunt 29er rims. I mounted a Nevegal on the front tire without a problem and the mounted a Small Block 8 on the rear flawlessly. I ordered the parts on Trek Online. I used a mixture of Stans (70%) and auto Slime (30%). The setup has been great, going on my second month without a flat. Follow the directions here, but I would use a compressor to make things easier.