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Advice on how to convert a bike to tubeless tires

Hello out there, hope everyone is safe wherever you are. 

I have a MTB specific question. I want to take an older bike of mine and make it tubeless. I know that I will need tubeless compatible tires, rim tape, sealant and valve stems. The only thing I don't have is tubeless wheels. Is it trial and error to see if my non tubeless wheels will hold or not? Or should I start shopping around for a set of tubeless wheels? (I am also looking to go mullet with a 27.5 up front) I am looking for success / failure stories honestly. The type of riding for me is not extreme at any level but I learned that fixing a flat on the trail is more of a bummer than the road. The bike is a 26er with disk brakes and aluminum rims. Any advice would help out. Thanks for your time. 

2 Replies

Hey there @Kevho!

Thanks for sparking this conversation in the Community!

I thought you might enjoy this article about  tubeless conversion from our expert advice page!

I’ll also tag some of our bike experts to see if they might like to weigh in with some advice. 
@REI-JimL @REI-BryanV 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hey @Kevho thanks for reaching out. Sounds like a fun build! I currently run a full tubeless set up on my mountain bike, but I've had some experience in the past with conversion kits. It's definitely a great improvement in ride quality too. You can see an example here on Stan's No Tubes which also has a handy chart to help you match the correct kit to your existing rim width. I used this on an older bike to convert to tubeless (old Santa Cruz superlight). You'll need some type of kit like this to make your non-tubeless wheels compatible. You can also get the rim tape from us here stans rim tape 

I will say- I was lucky and mine held quite well (they would loose a good amount of air over a couple days). You are correct that it is a bit hit and miss, even with conversion kits. 

Hope this helps,


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.