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Thread: Tubeless won't hold air

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    nashville tn

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    what----your wife won't let you use the bathtub?? what i've found is as time goes on the aluminum wheels build up a white corrosion on the surface and causes most leaks. i usually clean them with a wire brush and that fixes the problem. also the little rubber washer on the inside of the valve stem gets dry rotted and causes the leak

  2. Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    Yep, no need to "fabricate" anything, unless you just like to say "fabricate" If the boss won't let you use the bathtub, an old-fashioned round washtub will work very well and let you immerse the whole assembly, or even a plastic laundry basket, anything that will hold some water, and just rotate the assembly in it slowly until you find the leak like you would in the bathtub. The bead areas on alloy wheels should always be cleaned up when a tire is changed to get rid of the oxidation, and the stem checked.
    Another problem that will show up in the dunk, is leakage through casting porosity- a porous spot in the rim will tend to oxidize and get bigger through time, and can start leaking- find the hole, and a little gentle work with a smooth ballpein will fix it right up. An old buddy of mine who's the best front end man in town, been at it 35 yrs, has a little ballpein with the pein polished dead smooth in his box, and the street rod guys bring all their "leakers" to him- I've seen him gently pein an American mag wheel, on the polished outside face, and you couldn't see where he touched it- you don't have to hit it very hard

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  3. #13

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    In my shop I put on about 200 tires per yr part time. I dont like tubless tires on motorcycles, the only bike I have with mags and tubeless tires, a 1986 FXRD grand touring edition, I have put tubes in it because it was always losing air. Plus I think a tubeless tire is more dangerous on a motorcycle, if your tire got low enough to break the seal while riding it would more than likely come off the rim, a tire with a tube in it will not.

  4. #14

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    spray bottle with dish soap and water will find most small leaks

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Barnesville Pa

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    I agree with the tire tank idea, you cant fix the problem unless you know exactly where its coming from. Im curious about these alum. rims. Its always a debate between me and my uncle. He likes mags, i like spokes. Let us know where the bubbles come from!

  6. Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    besides this being an old post that was revived,

    use a windex bottle or similiar with a mixture of water & dish detergent, spray while on bike, it is best way I have found while still on bike.

    both wheels have their good & bad faults, but if you like to go off road? explore, like us old school bikers used to, & some still will, & hit a rock or curb, or a gully, the bent spoke wheel with a tube, your more likely to ride home, & a hammer can beat rim to rough shape if needed while on the path, even if you bent it real bad, while with the mag if you just bent & probably have a flat & cant go anywhere if you try to straighten with a hammer, they usually break, & you cant seat a tire as easily. so overall yep I prefer spoke wheels, unless I know I will never explore? HMMM? ducking head down, I always explore when I see a trail I want to head down, & yes I have owned a few mags, but I try not to.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    new britain pa

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    don't they make tubeless spoke wheels?

  8. #18

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    Quote Originally Posted by kajutisg View Post
    Only issue I have with running a tube is that if I pick up something that punctures the tire, the air goes out a LOT faster with a tube than with tubeless. Could lead to interesting times on the road.
    I don't think the air would leak out faster in your case. Running a tube on a tubeless rim, the air would still have limited paths out of the wheel (unless your rim is in such bad shape it is a porous as a spoked rim). The air has more paths out of a spoked rim that is why it deflates faster than a tubeless not because of the tube its self.

  9. Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    my favorite inner tube flat, a piece of rubber flaked off inside the tire and punctured my tube during the life of the tube & tire, when I removed tube I had a piece of tire ruber into tube about the size of a big toenail trimming.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beautiful Northern NM

    Re: Tubeless won't hold air

    don't they make tubeless spoke wheels?
    Several modern bikes are built like that. BMW GS models for one, the rim is designed so the spoke heads are outboard of the bead area. Tubeless tires have several things going for them. They can be plugged and run enough to get you home. They are lighter and run cooler, although that is not too much of a consideration on old iron, it definitely is on bikes that can run well over 100MPH for extended periods. Ask the iron butt guys how many tubed tires they use!
    Tubeless tires are mostly in modern sizes though and don't lend themselves well to vintage bikes. Tread designs and profiles are wrong for most old bikes. The general rule of thumb in the tire trade is go up one speed rating when using tubes in tubeless tires to allow for the added stresses of more heat. All modern radials are tubeless and do not like tubes in them. Conventional tubes will get eaten by the tire, they need radial rated tubes.
    Most older cast wheels were not very airtight and came with tubed tires, bikes like BMW, Moto-Guzzi, H-D, etc, all used tubes in early experiments in cast wheels.
    For old stuff, the period technology works just fine, and any bias ply tire works well with a tube. Carry a spare, learn to fix flats on the side of the road!
    Last edited by Rubone; 04-18-2012 at 09:17 AM.

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