Schwalbe Marathon Part 3: Front Tire

The Sedona not only has matching tires now… but is also 100% tubeless.

Last month, I replaced the stock Kenda tires with a Schwalbe Marathon after the rear tire was damaged. I really liked the look of the Marathon once I mounted it on the bike, so I decided to make it a matching pair and replace the front tire.

The original Marathon… the reflective sidewall really matches the paint on the Sedona’s frame

Not only did the Marathon look good, but it had another “feature” that I enjoyed. Despite the Schwalbe Marathon being a tube-type tire (it’s even engraved into the sidewall,) I was running the Marathon tubeless thanks to the “ghetto tubeless” method. I was able to run the first Marathon as a “dry tubeless” setup – no sealant used. I did some thorough testing – including some jumps off curbs and making some skidmarks.

The Marathon also offers some other features like a reflective sidewall for improved visibility at night and a puncture-protection layer embedded under the tread. While not applicable to me, the Marathon is “eBike ready” for up to 50 km (per hour?)

The New Tire

Since I have two posts dedicated to unboxing, installing and testing the first tire and the ghetto tubeless setup, what about this tire?

This time, it was mostly uneventful. I actually received the right-sized tire on the first try, in contrast to last time where I originally got a 700c tire that I had to ship back. Unfortunately, the sealant I ordered was delayed nearly a week.

Perhaps the only eventful thing was setting this new tire up with my ghetto tubeless setup. I started with a new 20″ BMX tube, cut down the middle, flapping the sides over the lip of the rim.

The 20″ BMX tube stretched over the rim, ready to cut.

The “split-tube” style is just one of the many ways of doing a ghetto tubeless. I’ve seen videos of people using many different types of tape (gorilla tape being the most popular, although I’ve seen people use duct tape and electrical tape) and a valve from an old tube for their ghetto tubeless setups. I personally prefer the split-tube method because I know it works well with this tire/rim combination, it’s fairly easy and straight-forward to setup and it doesn’t take long. It probably take 10-15 minutes to setup one tire from beginning to end. On the first tire I had really good luck with the split-tube method, loosing only ~3 PSI per day on a dry setup. (See my previous post for updates on it.)

In my previous setups I left the talcum powder on the tube. However, I decided to take a wet cloth and wipe off as much of the powder as possible since I do plan on running sealant.

The “cleaned” tube

After that, I went ahead and mounted the brand new Schwalbe Marathon. The first time it’s ever been inflated. I tried to pump it up, but there’s a problem: it wouldn’t hold any air.

After almost half an hour of messing with the tire, I couldn’t get it to take pressure at all. I removed the tire, and noticed a couple things.

I should mention the obvious: tubeless is much less forgiving than tires running with a tube. Ghetto tubeless setups are even less forgiving because you’re running a tire and rim in ways they weren’t expected to be ran. The seal between the tire bead the rim is very important to get the tire to hold air.

The first problem was the new tire wasn’t fitting right because it was new. I took a 26″ tube and inflated it inside the tire to stretch it out, so the beads will make a tighter fit with the rim.

The new tire being “stretched”… excuse the tube being a mess at the lower right corner, it was slightly over-sized despite being a 26×1.75-2.125” tube.

The second problem was I accidentally messed up the tube when I sliced it open. Near the valve I accidentally lopsided my cutting, so one side was uneven. Apparently there wasn’t enough tube on one side to allow it to seal. I tried the other Schwalbe, which has worked perfectly tubeless for a few weeks now, and it wouldn’t even inflate on this rim.

The tube I messed up was “defective” anyways. The valve core was inserted so far in the stem that I couldn’t remove it with my core removal tool, and my frame pump couldn’t even inflate it because it couldn’t depress the valve.

After allowing the new tire to stretch, I installed the new tire on the rear rim – which has a ghetto tubeless setup that is known to work.

After some slight adjusting and finger crossing, I got the new tire to inflate. While it was leaking until around 20 PSI, it eventually sealed. I inflated it to 60 PSI, as usual for testing.

For testing, I usually inflate the ghetto tubeless setup to 60 PSI.
Viola! Another ghetto tubeless success…

Now I know it works. So I bought a new BMX tube to re-do the front so I can transfer the new tire back to the front and reinstall the rear tire.

Now comes the new phase: adding sealant.

For sealant, I chose Stan’s No Tubes sealant. While there are other, cheaper alternatives (including homemade solutions) I’ve found that Stan’s has become the de facto standard and most claim it’s the best.

While I’ve demonstrated that both tires will work without sealant (a “dry tubeless” setup), the sealant helps seal any small punctures that may occur. Unlike Slime, I haven’t heard of any cases where Stan’s will gum up the valve or cause other problems.

I decided to add the sealant to the rear tire. I’d like to let the front (new) tire break in a little bit before I add sealant, just in case there are any issues.

After reinstalling the rear tire on the rim, I inflated it to 60 PSI and took a damp cloth and some dish soap to check for leaks, especially around the bead. I found a couple small leaks, this was the biggest:

Bubbles revealing a leak on the bead

Despite the bubbles, the leak is slow. It leaks about 3 PSI per day, which (as I’ve mentioned quite a bit before) isn’t bad for a dry tubeless setup – at least in my opinion.

After checking for leaks I deflated the tire and removed the valve core. I used a large cardboard box (the one the tire came in) to prevent a mess from happening in case I spill the sealant. Installation is easy: after removing the valve core, just tip the bottle upside down and pour into the valve. Then re-inflate the tire and give it a really good shake and spin.

Adding Stan’s No Tubes to the rear tire.

It’s recommended to use 2 ounces per tire, but I didn’t want to use that much (it’s an entire bottle.) But I ended up putting in 3/4 of the bottle. Then I gave it a vigorous shake and spun it a few times.

Then the wheel is ready to mount back on the bike. The sealant needs to be replaced every 6-10 months, depending on your climate and any punctures that may occur.

Soon, the Sedona will be 100% tubeless.


Check back here for updates to this post.

Mounted: 12/13/2019

After getting another BMX tube to redo the front wheel, I got the front tire sealed up, nice and ready to go. As mentioned, I’m not running sealant in the front (new) tire, just in case something goes wrong. Plus, it’ll give it a chance to break in.

“Light mode”

As mentioned, I feel the Marathon really matches the bike. The matching pair looks really good on the bike and makes it stand out. Especially at night with the reflective sidewalls.

“Dark mode”

I went ahead and trimmed off the excess tube from both tires. On the front tire, I had a problem with the brake pads rubbing against the excess tube. I took it off and cut some more off, and it is still rubbing in spots. I’m not sure how this will affect riding or braking.

Speaking of brakes, this time I was able to get the rear wheel back on without the chain getting all tangled up. Unfortunately, another problem arose this time: the rear brake doesn’t want to go back into its quick release holder. The last couple times I’ve put the rear wheel back on we’ve had this problem, and I can’t find the culprit. There is so much tension on the cable I can’t route it through the holder. I’ve tried adjusting the tension adjustment on the brake lever, but had no luck.

I can’t wait to get this bike out on the street and test out the new tires. The Sedona is now 100% tubeless! Both tires are now ghetto tubeless.

Update: 12/20/2019

It’s been a few days and some mixed outcomes.

First, the front tire held fine. Unfortunately, when I went to add sealant I couldn’t get it to seal back up. So I had to rinse and repeat. I took the tire off and let it stretch again. Yesterday, I mounted it back on with a new tube and it sealed back up. I added sealant and I could see sealant seeping out of the areas of the bead that were looser fitting. It seemed like the front tire doesn’t fit as nice as the rear tire, but then again it’s newer.

Later I’ll be removing the excess tube from the front tire. I’m going to have to cut as close to the tire/rim lip as possible, as the front brakes kept rubbing on even tiny pieces of excess tube. I found out that running the tire at lower pressures (40 PSI) doesn’t cause the brakes to rub on the excess tube. I plan on running the rear tire between 45-50 PSI, so 40 PSI is okay.

Speaking of the rear tire, it leaked. When I reinstalled the front wheel yesterday to work the sealant in by spinning it, I noticed the rear tire was really low. On Sunday I topped it off at 60 PSI. I checked it last night and it was around 20 PSI. So I topped it off at 60 PSI again and spun it quite a while to work the sealant in. So far it seems to be holding again.

Because of the brake problems (I can’t even get the rear brake reinstalled into its quick release holder) and the cold and wet weather (we received some snow this week) I have not had a chance to hop on the bike and take it for a spin.

Update (12/20/2019 – later)

Sometimes I speak (or write) too quickly.

I was checking the pressure in both tires and looked outside and saw that while the sun was quickly setting, it looked pretty nice outside. After all, there were people outside and kids playing. Most of the snow has melted.

I decided to go ahead and strip the rest of the excess tube off the front tire. This time I let most of the air out of the tire and got nice and close to the tire. While its still not perfect and there are some areas where there were more, it was better than before.

I reinflated the tire and reinstalled the wheel on the bike. I also got the rear brake put back in – it was a mixture of adjusting the cable tension and some brute force.

I’m glad I got out and rode the bike today. It was dark, so I had the lights on and going. Most of the snow on the sidewalks and roads has long melted, so there were puddles and a couple areas of snow and slush remaining, but overall it was pretty good.

The bike with some snow. A great evening to test the 100% tubeless setups and the new Schwalbe front tire.

This gave me a chance to test out how the bike handles with both new tires and 100% tubeless setups. It actually handled far better than before. I’m extremely satisfied.

I did some more torture testing, just like I did after setting up the rear tire for the first time. Both tires held up well on cornering, going down a steep stair step and jumping over a curb. The rear was inflated to around 50 PSI and the front was at 40 PSI. Both pressures seemed to be really good. Even at 40 PSI, the front tire is pretty solid and doesn’t really have any deflection when I’m on it. The rear is different, but that’s because it has most of the load (me) on it.

Update (12/26/2019): Pressure Retention Test and Why Tubeless?

I went home for the Holidays on Sunday (12/22) – which gave me an excellent opportunity to see how well the ghetto tubeless system holds pressure over an extended(ish) period of time. Before leaving, I inflated both tires to 60 PSI.

When I returned today (Thursday – 12/26) the news was really good. The front tire lost 10 PSI (down to 50#) and the rear only lost 2 PSI (down to 58 #.) This was over the period of four days, meaning the front lost 2.5 PSI per day and the front only lost half a pound each day. This is actually really good considering neither the rim or tire is designed to be setup tubeless.

So I kept getting the question: why run tubeless? After all, your rim and tire isn’t designed for it. A tube is cheap and easy to repair and change.

I’m going to be honest – tubeless has no virtual benefits for me. In reality, when you look at it – tubeless only truly benefits a small sliver of the cycling population that put their bikes through hell but need those lower pressures. Most of the main pros for running tubeless is debatable – some switch to tubeless and don’t look back, while many cyclists don’t see the use and don’t dream of going tubeless.

For me, I’ve always been interested in trying different (and new) things. I also like tinkering with things – so the setup process isn’t too bad for me. As mentioned all the way back in part 1 of this series, I’ve tried ghetto tubeless setups and never had luck before. It just so happened that it worked when I tried it with the first Schwalbe I purchased.

For a few years now, I’ve been wanting to run a tubeless setup. The former neighbor who helped me get the Pinnacle up and running swore by tubeless and ran tubeless setups on all of his bikes except his kid’s bikes and a Gary Fisher mountain bike he lent me for a summer while the Pinnacle and my Huffy Superia was out-of-commission. Many cycling YouTubers also swear by tubeless, with many highlighting its excellent capabilities – ability to run lower pressures (no pinch/snakebite flats), lighter weight and improved flat protection (most tubeless setups have sealant that seal punctures…

Part 1

You could debate that all of the benefits of a tubeless setup could be achieved with a standard (tube-type) setup. Lighter weight? Run lighter tubes. Improved flat protection? Just add sealant to your tube.

I’ve noticed on the couple of (short) rides I’ve embarked on since going tubeless that the ride is much smoother. As I’ve mentioned in each post (including this one) I’m not sure whether to attribute that to the tubeless setup or the Schwalbe Marathon tires. I have not ran the Schwalbe Marathons in their standard tube-type configuration, so I can’t give a comparison.

Sure, tubeless can be a headache. Ghetto tubeless – running a tube-type tire and rim tubeless – can be an even more headache. I’ve found that if the seal is broken between the tire bead and the rim, you almost always have to start all over with a new tube. Tubeless setups can be difficult to repair or replace, especially on the trails. (Which is why you should always carry a spare tube with you – even if you’re running tubeless.) Tubeless setups also require maintenance – changing the sealant every 6-7 months with fresh sealant.

As mentioned, I’m so far impressed with the tubeless setup. The air retention may not be as good as if I was running a tube, but the ride quality is much better.

Do I recommend tubeless? So far, yes – for most people. Obviously be sure to carry a properly sized spare tube and a frame pump or CO2 cartridge.

Out of curiosity, I did a risky (and dumb) test to see how well the ghetto tubeless on the Sedona handles lower pressures. First, I’m a bigger rider (~330 pounds.) Second, I found out one of the gauges on my pumps is inaccurate. I inflated the tires to 60 PSI (reading on floor pump) but my frame pump registered it around 50 PSI. Third, by the time I returned it was a cold, dreary day with fog and a very slight mist. So I didn’t do the test the way I wanted to do it. (I wanted to start at 60 and do a lap, drop down to 50, do another lap, drop to 45, lap, drop to 40, lap, drop to 35, then drop to 30 and do a final lap. Both tires would have the same pressure. But that wasn’t happening today.) For giggles, I tracked the average speed for each lap. Each “lap” was 4/10 of a mile.

I’ve been wanting to do a proper test to find out what pressures would work best for me. I’ve been running 40 PSI front and 45-50 PSI rear, which seem to be the best combination. The 40/45-50 seems to offer the best of both worlds: the “soft enough that I can’t feel every crack and hole in the road and I don’t feel like the tire is going to explode if I run over something” but “hard enough that I don’t feel like I’m going to roll the tire right off the rim.”

For the test I started at 60 PSI in both tires – which is the test pressure that I normally don’t ride on. The ride, as you can already imagine, was super hard – I could feel almost every bump in the sidewalk. The tire held up, even on the corners. Before going tubeless I ran 60 PSI in the front and 65 PSI rear in the stock tires. At 60 PSI, these tires are rock hard and probably have next to no puncture resistance. On Strava, my average speed at 60 PSI was 9.2 mph, with max at 18.1 mph.

Then I dropped it to ~40 PSI. (Once again, gauge on frame pump wasn’t having it – so I’m not sure what it was actually at.) This was probably the best. You can definitely feel a difference. The tires are soft enough that they are pretty grippy, offer some cushioning and don’t feel like they’re going to explode, yet hard enough that you don’t have to worry about possibly burping your tire (or worse, rolling the tire off the rim) on sharper corners. For this turn, my average speed was 7.5 mph, maxing at 17.2 mph – so slightly lower than the 60 PSI turn.

I dropped pressures one last time. The front was dropped to around 25 PSI, and I’d say the rear was dropped to around 25-30 PSI. Both tire sidewalls had some deflection when loaded, and the sidewalls could be squeezed. This run worried the most – I was concerned the rear tire may roll right off the rim. However, it wasn’t as soft as I was expecting. On the slight bump there wasn’t a single burp from either tire. It handled cornering pretty well. Not bad, but I wouldn’t go this low again. As to be expected, it was my slowest run – 4.8 mph with a max at 16.8 mph.

That last run’s average speed accidentally recorded my final test. I dropped the pressure in the rear tire even more – this time to 10 PSI. (The front stayed at 25 PSI.) I did this test around our building on concrete with no bumps or corners, so there was no possibility or rim/tire damage. I was going pretty slow (which affected the average speed in the above test.) This time, it was super sketchy. The tire was definitely folding, but thankfully it didn’t separate from the rim. It actually held pressure and didn’t burp.

The final pressures: 25 PSI front, 10 PSI rear…

Update (12/27/2019)

2019 must be the year of dumb ideas. Thankfully, it’s coming to an end.

To put to rest my questioning of how much of an impact the tubeless has on the bike’s feel, I decided to test it out today. I installed a tube in the front tire, reverting it to the standard “tube-type” tire it is supposed to be. I was curious, and it looks like it may be some time before I get the next opportunity to ride as its supposed to be a rainy, gloomy weekend before the temperatures plummet. But the forecast looks pretty good for next Wednesday (New Year’s Day) so I may be able to get in my first ride of 2020 then.

After wiping out the pool of sealant and installing the tube, I inflated the tire to 40 PSI. I went outside and rode around with the usual 40 PSI in the front, 50 PSI rear.

I’m glad I did. It’s extremely likely that today’s ride will be the last ride of 2019, as well as the last ride of the decade. While it was cooler out (~45 *F) I got in three miles around town to get some pictures.

As for the tires themselves, there is a very slight difference. The tubeless setups are definitely harder – at 40 PSI there is no deflection in the (front) tire under load, and it is noticeably harder. Yet as for handling, it’s not too terribly different. I’m still going to revert it back to tubeless.

Update (12/29/2019)

After reverting it back to tubeless, I can definitely say there is a difference in the quality of the ride. The tubeless ride is a lot smoother.

The conversion back to tubeless was about the same as the initial setup, but I still had problems getting the bead to seat. To get it to seat, I had to commit the cardinal sin of bicycle tire installation: I had to rotate the tire on the rim so that the logo was no longer above the valve. After rotating the tire, it took some serious pumping (enough to break a small sweat) but I eventually got it to catch and seat. I added more sealant, cut the excess tube off and inflated to 60 PSI. Viola! I’m becoming a master at this.

The split-tube method seems to be very quick and easy to setup (although can be trickier working with looser-fitting tires or, as in my case, tires that have areas that don’t fit as well.) The split-tube method also seems to be pretty durable. As I tested in my 12/26 update, you can run the ghetto tubeless at lower pressures and not have any issues while on a tube-type tire you’d likely end up with a snakebite flat. I haven’t had a burp on these tires, even at the low pressures in my test. But just because you can run low pressures don’t meant you should; too low of pressures can damage your rim and/or tire. Plus, even on tubeless, you may have to make the walk of shame because you went too low. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

Speaking of pressures, I still agree the 40/45-50 configuration is the best.

Update (1/2/2020)

I’m guessing the rear tire didn’t like the new year. I had to make some adjustments and deflated the rear tire. And, unfortunately, it wouldn’t reinflate.

After trying three times with three different 20″ tubes, it still wouldn’t inflate. So now it’s tubed… back to being a standard setup. At least for now. I may try again later.

As for the front tire, it’s still holding air (tubeless) just fine.

Update (1/4/2020)

Still no good news for the rear tire… :/

On New Years, I deflated the rear tire to trim some more excess tube off as it was rubbing on the rear brakes. After trimming it, I couldn’t get the tire to reinflate. As mentioned in my previous update, I tried replacing it three other times and no luck.

Today I went a different route and finally tried the Gorilla Tape method. Using two layers of Gorilla Tape strongly applied to the rim and a valve cut from one of the previous tubes, I took it to a local gas station to see if using an air compressor would do the trick. Still no luck. After fiddling around with it at the gas station, it wouldn’t inflate.

It appears parts of the tire bead don’t seat tight to the rim, so the air leaks right out. Even with the split-tube method it was leaking out. This is one of the big caveats of tubeless: sometimes it is nearly impossible to get a tire to seat and hold air, so the only option is to run a tube.

The sad thing is it was holding air and didn’t have any problems before. I even inflated the tire initially without the aid of an air compressor. Currently the rear tire has a tube in it, so the Sedona is no longer 100% tubeless – at least for now.

Today after reinstalling the tube and getting the wheel back on the bike, I took it for a spin. This time I ran the rear tire at 50 PSI, despite running a tube in it. There didn’t seem to be any problems, and the bike ran fine.

For the first ride of 2020, I didn’t go far. I’m still recovering from a cold. But I did manage to get a 10 mph average speed, maxing at 20 mph. I’m hoping to take another longer trip (like I did 12/27) when I fully recover from the cold.

Update (1/5/2020)

Despite still recovering from a cold that brought me to my knees for a couple days, I braved the wind I took the longest ride I’ve had in a while today.

The ride was over around 3.5 miles long. I had already rode a couple blocks before I realized I forgot to press record on Strava. The average speed was 7.4 mph, and I maxed at 30 mph after pedaling hard while going down a steep hill in 14th gear.

The weather was similar to that of December 27, although much windier today. But the wind didn’t actually pose as much of a problem as it usually does, especially if it’s blowing right in your face.

Before I get to the tires, there has been another issue lately with the Sedona. The handlebars keep becoming loose, requiring me to use a hex key to readjust and tighten it back up. The cheap Huffy toolkit I purchased at Walmart (originally to just get a chain tool… that I didn’t even need in the end) has come in handy for that job, since it has a variety of hex keys and other tools.

For the tires, I didn’t check the pressures until after I returned. Both tires dropped slightly: front at 30 PSI, rear was at 40 PSI on the dot. The ride wasn’t too much different, but still was pretty smooth. Despite still having a tube in the rear, I didn’t encounter any problems – even with the lower pressure.

Update (1/6/2020)

Today I took an even longer ride. Today’s ride was about 4.5 miles, beating yesterdays distance record by about a mile. I also rode to the local grocery store, which has been one of my goals for some time now.

The handlebars stayed tight, and the tires stayed inflated. But the gearing is still having the issue of skipping gears if you pedal too hard, so I either stay in 2nd or 7th gear.

Update (1/7/2020)

Another ride today… right at 4.0 miles. While it doesn’t beat yesterday’s distance record or Sunday’s speed record, I hit a new elevation gain record at 243 feet.

Before giving up on the whole ghetto tubeless thing for the rear tire, I decided to try it one last time. This time – like last time – I sprang for one of the cheaper, thinner “Bell/CST/Acimut” tubes for the tubeless setup just in case it didn’t go through.

The results were similar to the last times… wouldn’t inflate. I decided to take it to a gas station and see what results I could get with an air compressor.

There’s good news and bad news. First, the good news. The gas station inflated the tire right on up with some fiddling and finger crossing. I got got the tire nice and hard before heading back home.

And, the bad news. The tire has a slow leak on the tread which is expected as I tested the sealant and all of the sealant was wiped out for the tube. When I deflated the tire to install the sealant, I couldn’t get it to re-inflate.

Tomorrow I’m going to go back to the gas station and install the sealant there and give it a nice shake. My sealant supply is running low, so I hope I have enough sealant to seal the puncture. Once I get the sealant in there (provided there’s enough) it should help seal the tire/rim area so it can be reinflated without the need for an air compressor.

If it doesn’t, I’ll order more sealant when possible. I purchased some regular 26″ tubes as a spare and a spare spare just in case something happens to the front.

Update (1/8/2020)

After much fiddling with the tire and the split tube at the gas station for about 30 minutes, I was finally able to get the tire to re-inflate again. I added the sealant and sloshed it around. When I got back home I inflated the tire to 65 PSI. I’m going to wait until tomorrow to check the pressure to see how much pressure it drops over a 24 hour period.

I’ve been toying with the idea on whether to keep the tires tubeless or not. I’ve been working on a page dedicated to tubeless setups and explaining the terms, advantages/disadvantages, my thoughts and the split tube process in once place.

For me, tubeless doesn’t yield the benefits that mountain bikers and others enjoy. I’m not a weight-weenie, and I don’t run lower pressures. Since I’m a heavier rider, I usually inflate my tires toward the higher end of the pressure range. (With the Schwalbes, I’m fairly in the middle with 40 front/50 rear.)

But I still have the disadvantages associated with tubeless. Tubeless is now a hassle as I have to take the rear tire to the local gas station to inflate the tire – and even with the gas station air compressor it took a lot of fiddling and finger crossing (and some bad words) to get it to inflate.

Personally, however, there are a couple benefits that I enjoy from tubeless. I’ve talked about the smooth ride, but this can be heavily debated as riding with tubes – as I’ve experienced over the 8 miles I’ve ridden over the couple days – doesn’t feel too much different. My experience with smoothness is actually more of a matter of the tire (the Schwalbe Marathons are less knobby than their predecessors) and pressure (I’ve found a sweet spot pressure with the Marathons that isn’t too soft or isn’t too hard.)

The main advantage I’ve come to find is actually the economics. Sure, tubeless can be waaaay more expensive than a standard tube setup. A proper (non-Ghetto, UST setup) requires specialized rims and tires that, obviously, are much more expensive than standard rims and tires. Plus you have to factor in sealant, the syringe for measuring/installing the sealant, the tape (if non-UST), and a tubeless inflator or special pump. In comparison, my local Walmart, new tubes range from $5 for the cheap, thin Bell/CST/Acimut tubes to $7 for the thicker, higher-quality Goodyear/Kent tubes.

When punctured, I usually throw the old tube into a drawer with the rest of the old tubes waiting to be reincarnated into something else. I generally don’t patch tubes (I can already hear the gasps) because my local Walmart doesn’t carry the “good” vulcanized patches. Rather, they only carry the stick-on “glueless” patches that are more akin to a sticker than a patch. The glueless patches are more meant for a temporary “I just need to get home” fix than a permanent fix. I can order the good patches online, but is it really worth the hassle?

Ghetto tubeless is tubeless on the cheap. I spend $10 for two 20″ BMX tubes and a quart of sealant (which I should’ve ordered in the first place) costs $25. That syringe is an additional $10. So you can initially setup a ghetto tubeless setup for $45, and only have to pay out $25 every four years for a new bottle of sealant. The cost per year for tubeless is $6.25, which is less than the cost of one of the thicker tubes.

Currently I’m at an impasse on whether to keep tubeless or revert back to the old school method of tubes. It will depend on if the rear tire holds up. Check back tomorrow to see if it held up and whether the sealant did its job.

Update (1/9/2020)

I checked the tire pressure around 6 p.m. tonight, around 24 hours after inflating it to ~65 PSI. Throughout the night I had rotated the tire to get the sealant around the tire.

The tire had dropped to about 40 PSI, which meant it lost about a pound per hour. Which isn’t great, but I decided to keep it tubeless and give it a second chance once I get more sealant. It appears that the half ounce of sealant I put in (which is all I had remaining) has sealed the leak in the tire and also sealed at the bead.

I got the wheel back on the bike, so the Sedona is 100% tubeless once again.

Word for the wise. Don’t make the same mistake I did if you’re going tubeless. I ordered a three-pack of the 2 ounce Stan’s No Tubes bottles. Not only does 2 ounces go quickly (since it takes 2 ounces per tire) but the full, 1-quart bottle of the same Stan’s No Tubes costs $25. You’ll need a syringe to properly measure the sealant before adding it to the tire, but that’s an additional $10. The three-pack of the 2 ounce bottles costs roughly $14, so it’s well worth it to get the quart. (It’s over 5x the amount for $10 more.)

Update (1/13/2020)

The rear tire is flat… again.

The tire had been loosing about 20-30 PSI each day, but after a couple days of not checking the pressure it was completely flat. And I couldn’t get it to re-inflate.

For the rear tire, I’m calling it. It’s going to be permanently tubed because its become more of a hassle than an advantage since it requires an air compressor and lots of fiddling to get it to seal up.

As for the front, it’s still holding air perfectly fine. Despite that, I don’t think I’m going to order more sealant for it.