Surly Knard & Rabbit Hole Tubeless…

Surly Knard + Rabbit Hole tubeless...

Surly Knard + Rabbit Hole tubeless…

I’ve been thinking about setting up my Krampus’ wheels tubeless for a while, but it really only made sense at the start of the spring/summer touring season. That slipped by last year without getting the project done so when this spring rolled by I jumped on it.

Going tubeless has a number of advantages:

  • less likely to flat
  • better traction
  • less rolling resistance

You’ll notice I didn’t mention weight savings. I didn’t do the math to 8 decimals places, but my feeling is that going from a 29er MTB tube to this method of tubeless doesn’t save much weight.

Why the split tube method?

  • easiest and most reliable method for rims/tires not designed to be run tubeless
  • reliability is critical on a touring bike
  • easy to remount bead and seal on the trail with a small pump


What I used...

What I used…

What you need:

  • Surly Knard tire [I use the 120 tpi version]
  • Surly Rabbit Hole rim
  • duct tape or other rim strip material
  • a 26″ bike tube
  • tire levers
  • scissors
  • sharp knife
  • Stan’s sealant
  • CO2 cartridge x 3 [1 is minimum, but having some spares is nice]
  • floor pump
  • bucket or something else to lay wheel on its side to seal up
Sealing tire/rim after seating bead...

Sealing tire/rim after seating bead…

How to:

  • remove tire from rim
  • remove existing tube [save it as an emergency spare for your pack]
  • inspect rim strip and replace if needed
  • cut 26″ tube in half so it forms a rubber strip with a valve stem in it
  • lay split 26″ tube in your rim roughly centered
  • install one side of tire bead so that bead pinches split tube against rim [excess split tube can flap around for now]
  • then install most of the 2nd bead inside the split tube
  • I find the next step easier if the wheel is hanging off a work stand or get a friend to hold it
  • shake your Stan’s bottle really well and fire 3 scoops into your Knard through the section of bead still open
  • pop the 2nd onto the rim
  • make sure the split tube is showing all the way around [doesn’t have to be even]
  • use a CO2 cartridge or a compressor to inflate the tire and seat the beads
  • optional – lube beads with soapy water before you seat them
  • tip – if bead won’t seat [CO2 blowing out sides] use a cargo strap of tape all the way around the tire to compress it a bit
  • use more CO2 or a floor pump to get tire nice and hard – say 30psi
  • shake tire for 3-4 mins to get sealant well distributed
  • let wheel sit on each side for 10-15 mins at a time
  • shake well and flip to other side
  • trim excess split tube with a sharp knife [sharper the better]
  • open beer and celebrate being finished! 😉