Amy McPherson tests out Muc-Off’s Ultimate Tubeless Setup Kit. Is going tubeless as easy as they say?
Since their introduction to the market, tubeless tyres are becoming increasingly popular for their lighter weight and resistance to punctures, and according to a recent Muc-Off Puncture Survey of 46 nationalities, Aussies are the most prone to punctures! More the reason to switch. Although more than 90 per cent of those surveyed would like to convert to tubeless, one in four people say they know how to.
Muc-Off has now created an Ultimate Tubeless Setup Kit to give riders a guiding hand to start on their tubeless journey, so we thought we’d see if it lives up to its promises.
Other than the wheel and the tyres themselves, the Muc-Off kits have everything you need to make the tubeless conversion, and come in five options with different valves/tape combination choices that would suit all disciplines of bikes.
In each ‘Ultimate Tubeless Setup Kit’ there is the following:
10m roll of tubeless rim tape
2x seal patches
2x black CNC-machined tubeless valves and caps
2x locking nuts
3x pairs of rubber bases for size choice
2x pouches of No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant
Valve core removal tool
There are also instructions to watch an online video for further tips, particularly useful for conversion beginners.
So, I thought I’d give it a try to see just how easy it is to convert to tubeless tyres.
Firstly, if not already set up, wheels that are tubeless ready can mostly be identified by the letters ‘TLR’ or ‘TR’. Before you begin, you’ll also need a pair of tubeless tyres.
Easy As 1,2,3?
By appearance, the conversion process should be as easy as 1-2-3. Once it is established that the wheels are Tubeless Ready, simply remove the old tyres and accompanying inner tube, as well as the original rim tape.
Having given the whole wheel a good clean (to avoid dirt trapped in the new rim tape causing leakage of the sealant), it’s time to break out the Muc-Off kit.
The application of the bright pink rim tape is easy and straightforward, and I found there is plenty of tape to go three rounds on each wheel, even after a small mistake causing me to cut off a little. (Tip: if your rim bed doesn’t have spoke holes, you don’t really need the tape.)
Next came the fitting of the valve. The most difficult part was probably puncturing a hole through three layers of rim tape, otherwise it is a simple insert and screw-on job.
The supplied valve core removal tool which also works as a cap works a treat once I’ve secured the valve and set my new tubeless tyres onto the rim, I promptly used to remove the core for the pouring of the sealant.
Muc-Off’s latex-based and ammonia-free sealant is one of the best on the market, and the nozzle on the pouch is designed to fit well onto a presta valve with the core removed.
The hatch marks along the side of the pouch is a thoughtful feature for measuring the amount of the sealant required for different sized tyres, although I had found the pouring process was rather messy, unfortunately lacking practice and mis-fitted the nozzle to the valve as it is designed to do which meant unnecessary waste on sealants, and not knowing exactly how much I’ve used.
Sealant Into Tyre or Valve?
In hindsight, I probably should have poured the sealant directly into the tyre prior to fitting. Lesson learned for another day. The leftover sealant is easily preserved with the cap replaced on the pouch for topping up later.
Seating the tyre and blasting it with compressed air was the most awkward part of the process. Unlike having an inner tube to shape the rubber, it took several goes to get the tyre to seat and properly inflate.
Although once the pressure took on, a shake and several spins of the wheel to make sure the sealant is eventually distributed internally within and some cleaning up after. It’s also wise to take the bike for a short ride once it’s all back together, just to help spread the sealant. I have now nicely converted to tubeless with minimum stress!
The Muc-Off Ultimate Tubeless Setup Kit made the tubeless conversion a relatively easy process. Now I’m just waiting to see how the sealant and the tyres respond to punctures.
A tubeless neophyte prior to this review, Amy McPherson found the conversion kit simple to use and has since reported succesful results.