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  1. #1
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    Zipp 404's go Tubeless!

    After a lot of searching and measuring and contemplation, I decided to take a shot at making my 08 set of 404 clinchers tubeless. I'm already a convert to tubeless and have a couple of wheel sets running the setup. So this won't be my first time for the process.

    Here they are on my favorite ride a 2005 Raleigh Prestige Carbon/Aluminum frame.




    First I had to put the rim tape on using 2 layers as you would for any other notubes
    installation. But I found that the aluminum on the inside of the Zipp rim to be too slippery
    when I did a trial taping. This was after hitting it with a green scowering pad and finishing
    up with brake clean. So I got a dremel out and used the circular silver metal brush tip
    to ruff up the inside. Took a while, but this did the trick. After a good cleaning with brake clean the tape went on brilliantly.

    Here is a closeup.






    The main problem with a deep aero rim like the 404 is getting a valve stem long enough to
    protrude through the edge of the rim so you can attach the stem nut to it. This will
    hold the stem in place so you can inflate the tire. I used a Conti Race 650 tube with
    the longest stem length I could find. Which is 60mm. The part number was
    CO-650EXP. BTW, I contacted notubes to see if they had a stem long enough for this aero rim and they said the longest they had was 42mm. I have already used this stem with other tubeless wheelsets but they were no more than 27mm aero's. Anyway the 60mm stem would prove to be just barely, and I do mean "barely" enough length.

    I cut the stem from the tube leaving enough of the rubber around the base of the stem
    not let it slip through the stem hole. You also have to cut enough off that it does not
    interfere with the seating of the tubeless tire bead on the rim. It sounds harder than it is
    to determine this, as it is quite obvious how much to cut off when you are looking at the
    base of the stem seated into the rim.

    To get the stem to seat deep enough into the rim I had to drill the stem hole out to about
    5/16th of an inch. It was trail and error and I rounded out the hole a smidge with the drill
    bit to get it just right. Once this was done, I used a small wood block I had laying around
    from some woodworking projects I have done, to press down on the bottom of the stem
    as it was seated in the rim, and at the same time screw on the stem nut. I was able to get about 2 full turns and that was all. It was enough to hold it securely, even though I was
    a little concerned that the nut would strip out and not be able to hold.

    Here is a close up of the stem and nut, you can barely see the brass stem sticking
    out of the rim. It was really close!



    Once I was at this point I was home free as the rest of the process it just the same as
    any other tubeless mounting process using notubes. I did use a Tofu 31mm extension
    as these seem to be a good brand. You could use something else though. I used about 1oz of sealer in each tire.

    I also used a hand pump to put air in the first wheel just to see if it could be done. But I had my wife put pressure on the tire where we could see air leaking due to the soapy water that is applied to the bead of the tire just before inflating. I had to pump like a mad man, but I got it to seat. I would highly recommend
    using an air compressor as it is so easy to inflate and seat the tire with one of those. This is what I used on the front wheel, and won't use a hand pump again for initial inflation and
    seating again. Unless I have no choice. One note on the air compressor solution, if you
    don't have a screw on presta valve adapter to use with your air compressor and you have
    a hand pump that allows you to remove the valve attachment head. You can use this to
    inflate the tire with the compressor.

    I have over 200 miles on the wheels and tires and have had to add a few pounds of air just
    once. I run the tires around 85 to 90 pounds. I weigh 157 pounds and it rides silky smooth and rolls just as easily as when I was running 110 pounds with tubes.


    I just love this setup!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Zipp 404's go Tubeless!-raleigh1_3790.jpg   Zipp 404's go Tubeless!-zipptubless1_3791.jpg   Zipp 404's go Tubeless!-zipptublessvalvestem2_3792.jpg  

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Subtitle...

    How to make heavy wheels heavier...

  3. #3
    banned
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    doesnt it make them lighter if you dont have tubes....

  4. #4
    MING
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    zipps are heavy?

    i went tubeless with the shimano offerings and have been very happy, enjoy the feel on the road
    Fight Like Susan!

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I decided to take a shot at making my 08 set of 404 clinchers tubeless.
    Nice. Thanks for post the info.



    doesnt it make them lighter if you dont have tubes....
    The Fusion 2 tubeless tires weigh about 295 g. A light weight tire and tube, maybe 205 g for tire, 70 g for tube.

  6. #6
    Oh hai there
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    Why would you want an extension made from tofu?

  7. #7
    Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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    I love Raleigh. It's about time seeing someone else riding them.
    '09 Voodoo Wazoo
    '08 Pedal Force RS2
    '06 Raleigh Cadent 5.0
    '01 Trek 4300 MTB
    '93 Norco Nitro MTB Touring
    '88 Schwinn Prelude Fixie
    1 hour of running = 1 hour of wasted time when you could have been riding. - Alaska Mike

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinthesaddle
    How to make heavy wheels heavier...
    Replacing a worn GP4000s + Specialized tube + 9g rimstrip with two strips of Stan's tape, a Stan's 44mm valve stem, Hutchinson Fusion2 tyre and a cup of sealant saved me two grams

  9. #9
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    I have some assaults on the way and look forward to more tubeless tires in the future. I ran hutch fusion comps for a couple years. Very nice tire, but not for training purposes. They get cut up way too easily.
    I'll be the fred trying tubelss on deep cf wheels with a 25 GP4season!
    Do you use the zipps as your everyday wheel, or race only?

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Hey! I thought I was the only one riding a Raleigh! heh

    I use these Zipps everyday for training and on group
    rides. They are my main wheels now.
    I have had no issues since I got them.

    I have hit all kinds of usual bumps and pits on the road and they still
    run as true as the day I got them. Couldn't be happier with them!
    Last edited by 1banger; 10-31-2008 at 01:59 PM.

  11. #11
    cwpromos
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    Tubeless 404 follow up

    I found you post while actually searching for Zipp 404 and Tubeless. I am in the process of building a new bike and I purchased a set of 404's and I am very interested in converting to Tubeless. However unlike you, I probably don't feel comfortable with tampering with the wheel myself. So I have a couple of questions for you.

    1) Are you still enjoying the tubless 404's now after a few months of riding them?

    2) You mentioned you had trouble finding stems: http://store.zipp.com/detail_Extenders__comp.html I found these on the zipp website that go as high as 98mm. Will these work?

    3) Lastly, do you know of any companies that will actually convert your wheels for you? Thought you may have come across someone in your research.

    Thanks for posting and I look forward to your response.

  12. #12
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    Q-Tubes makes a tube with 80mm valve and removable core. FYI.

  13. #13
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    I am still riding and enjoying these wheels. I actually had a sidewall penetration that put a pretty big hole in my rear tire sidewall. Must have run over some metal or something that jumped up and hit the sidewall. But I was able to use my co2 inflator while shaking the sealant around and reseal it, and it got me back home, which was about 5 miles.

    Had to get a new tire though, as the hole was so large that the sealant would not hold it for long.

    The stems that notubes_pete is talking about, can be found here: http://smartbikeparts.com/search_det...b1602beed14cc6

    and probably elsewhere too. Picture shows a box with "32mm" stem printed on it, so I would call them first. I might even order a couple of those and try them. These might be long enough that an extender won't be needed. Shame notubes has not made a stem yet that will do the Aero rims. I spoke with them once about 6 months ago and they said they where looking into it. Checked their website but 44mm is as long as they go to date.

    As far as someone else who would do the install for you, try your LBS. Show them this post string, and they should have no problems, then again they might not want to bother, depends on the mechanics. They will have to cut the valve stems from the tubes and shape the rubber plug a little to make it fit without going through the hole in the wheel.

    BTW, I am running 90psi in both the front and rear. I am at 156lbs. Smooth ride and great cornering!

    Good luck! And let me know how it goes!

  14. #14
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    1 banger... is it necessary to replace the tire? i can understand your unwillingness to do so for a sidewall puncture, but is it not possible to patch a tubeless tire from the inside? using a regular or self-adhesive patch?

  15. #15
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    1 banger... is it necessary to replace the tire? i can understand your unwillingness to do so for a sidewall puncture, but is it not possible to patch a tubeless tire from the inside? using a regular or self-adhesive patch?
    Hutchinson sells a patch kit specifically for road tubeless - Rep'Air. I've used them several times and they work very well. While I haven't tried (didn't feel like bothering with it), I read a review that standard patches do not work very well.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5412

  16. #16
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    Nice project. Ingenious solution to getting a valve-stem long enough to reach through the rim and allow a nut to thread on and hold it in place.
    I have ridden tubeless off-road for many years and really like the performance of tubeless tyres. I'll likely have a go at converting my Dura Ace C50 clinchers using your technique.

    It's strange that Stan's don't make a long valve stem. It doesn't appear difficult. A normal valve extender would appear to work with their 44mm stem if there was an external thread on it.

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