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.
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.