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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just got done with my 17 inch goldwing rear wheel conversion for my scrambler build. The only problem I am having is, the rim is leaking. I did see many marks on the rim from people changing tires for the last 40 years. One of those marks might might be causing the rim to leak air. My question is, if others have had this problem.... and could it be "fixed" by adding a tube. I have heard that running a tube in a tubeless wheel could cause problems. Tire could run hotter and might not seat on the rim correctly. Also will the tube valve stem cause problems ? I have read on this forum where people recommended shimming?
I am interested, if any body has any negative experience with running a tube in those comstar wheels.

P.S. In regards to my wheel project...I am aware that a lot of people on here don't approve of taking those comstars apart. I am also aware of the risks and I have done a lot of research to make it as safe as possible.


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I would never use a tube in a tubeless wheel for the reasons you mention as well as as others. It's difficult and unsafe. When I put new tires on aluminum tubeless bike wheels I sand the seating areas with 220 grit paper to remove all the corrosion and any other residue from previous tires. It takes some time and effort and any deeper scratches require extra work. I also replace the valve stems with clamping types but have heard the proper sized rubber pull-in type will work. Use of a tire mounting lubricant is recommended. After installation and inflation a spray bottle with water and dish detergent on the tire/wheel meeting areas and valve stem will identify exact location of any leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would never use a tube in a tubeless wheel for the reasons you mention as well as as others. It's difficult and unsafe. When I put new tires on aluminum tubeless bike wheels I sand the seating areas with 220 grit paper to remove all the corrosion and any other residue from previous tires. It takes some time and effort and any deeper scratches require extra work. I also replace the valve stems with clamping types but have heard the proper sized rubber pull-in type will work. Use of a tire mounting lubricant is recommended. After installation and inflation a spray bottle with water and dish detergent on the tire/wheel meeting areas and valve stem will identify exact location of any leak.
I did all those things you mentioned. No air leak around valve stem and no leaks around the beads. I am guessing some of those marks made with tire irons went deep enough to cause air to escape. I could dip the entire wheel into bath tub, but I think girl friend will not approve. LOL
 

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From my experience the soap test has to show where leaks are. Use plenty of detergent in water and keep wetting everything until you see bubbles being produced. A wash tub or maybe a plastic tote would let you submerge sections of the wheel also but soap bubble test always works for me. After finding the leak mark it on wheel with tape before removing tire, then inspect that area to see if the scratches are the problem.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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It is perfectly safe to use an inner tube with a tube type wheel. I have been doing that for a long time because the tires I need are not available in tubeless types and it has never caused me any problems. I found some washers that are a good fit in the recess inside the rim for the valve stem and drilled them to accept the tubes' valve stems. I also use slices of plastic tubing to fill the spaces between the holes in the rims and the stems and a second washer under the nut on the valve stem.

Using tubeless tires on tube type rims without inner tubes, on the other hand, can be very dangerous. Tubeless rims have ribs to hold the tires' beads in place but rims intended for use with tube type tires do not have those ribs and need the inner tube to keep the beads in place.

BTW: Sanding the rim is not a good idea because it will remove the anodizing which protects the aluminum from corroding. It is much better to use a wire brush to remove any corrosion or other debris from the rim. I have found that since I learned that dish detergent can cause aluminum rims to corrode and started using proper tire bead lubricant instead my rims require a lot less cleanup, not to mention being much easier to mount and un-mount.
 

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There you go,, tube it! Just be careful mounting it. A side note about sanding the rim,, the anodizing was long gone before I cleaned the huge amount of aluminum oxide off the rims on the 650,, white deposits everywhere,, no leaks in the 4 years since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is perfectly safe to use an inner tube with a tube type wheel. I have been doing that for a long time because the tires I need are not available in tubeless types and it has never caused me any problems. I found some washers that are a good fit in the recess inside the rim for the valve stem and drilled them to accept the tubes' valve stems. I also use slices of plastic tubing to fill the spaces between the holes in the rims and the stems and a second washer under the nut on the valve stem.

Using tubeless tires on tube type rims without inner tubes, on the other hand, can be very dangerous. Tubeless rims have ribs to hold the tires' beads in place but rims intended for use with tube type tires do not have those ribs and need the inner tube to keep the beads in place.

BTW: Sanding the rim is not a good idea because it will remove the anodizing which protects the aluminum from corroding. It is much better to use a wire brush to remove any corrosion or other debris from the rim. I have found that since I learned that dish detergent can cause aluminum rims to corrode and started using proper tire bead lubricant instead my rims require a lot less cleanup, not to mention being much easier to mount and un-mount.
Thanks Bob. Do you put any rim tape down to protect the tube?
 

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Rim tapes are used to protect the tube from the ends of wire spokes. They aren't needed with Comstars or cast wheels.

You can use a tube in a tubeless tire if you have to. A lot of people do that when the tire they want to use is a tubeless type on a wire spoked wheel.

But since you have a tubeless rim and a tubeless tire I think I would try to find out why it is leaking before I installed a tube. It could be a poor seal between the rim and tire but it could also be anything from a loose valve core to a crack in the rim.

Obo: Sanding may have been necessary for your corroded rims but it should not be recommended in most cases because the aluminum will corrode faster without the protective anodizing. We should always be careful when offering advice not to assume that what we had to do in a specific case is what everyone else needs to do in every case.
 

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Did you check the end of the stem for escaping air? Sometimes the valve will leak slowly.
 

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To OP I'd suggest buying one of the best tubes you can get e.g. michelin...as youre negating the advantage of tubeless plug repair...dont skimp on the tube🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To OP I'd suggest buying one of the best tubes you can get e.g. michelin...as youre negating the advantage of tubeless plug repair...dont skimp on the tube🙂
Michelin tube is what I ordered from Amazon. Thanks.
 

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Did you check the end of the stem for escaping air? Sometimes the valve will leak slowly.
I just had that happen to me with a tubeless MC wheel. I rode somewhere (aired the tires up right before i left) and the bike was sitting overnight, the next morning the tire was almost flat. I got soapy water (sorry Bob i was at a campsite and that's all i had, LOL) and checked around the valve stem and then held my finger over the valve stem with soapy water on my finger. It started blowing bubbles so i knew it was the valve itself not sealing properly. I aired up the tire and quickly rode home so as to make it before the tire lost too much air again. It's been a month or more since i aired up the tire and its still holding air! I assume the valve just didn't seal up correctly after i aired up the tires the 1st time but did the 2nd time.

So definitely check the valve itself.
 

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Funny you posted that item. When i got home I ordered that exact item as well as a portable compressor & tire repair kit, never want to be in that situation again with no tools to help.
 

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Soap is OK for finding leaks, just don't use it to lubricate tire beads where it will be trapped in contact with the aluminum and have a chance to react with it.
 

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My entire life I’ve managed to always have available a viscous organic fluid of complicated compounds which I religiously use when checking schrader valves. Always handy, never found it to be frozen, good visual indication of leaks, bubbles. I’ve never run out. My spit (not yours).
 
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