It’s quite interesting to see whether you can fit a tubeless tire on a tube rim. Because it seems like a cost and time saver.
Although a tubeless tire can be fitted to a tube rim, it should only be done with an inner tube. However, this has many disadvantages, including sudden pressure decreases, sidewall cuts, low milage due to heaviness of the tire, waste of money, & some tube-type rims don’t have safety retention lips.
So, we gonna look into whether this conversion is as beneficial as it seems.
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Can you fit tubeless tires to a rim for a tubed tire?
Although it’s possible to fit a tubeless tire on a tube rim, crucial points must be considered.
You cannot use WM-type rims for this purpose as this type only fits with tubed tires. However, the type MT does fit with tubeless tires.
Further, a rim with spokes definitely requires inserting a tube unless the rim is a specific type where the spokes connect to the edge of the wheel, giving an airtight design.
However, inserting a tube inside a tubeless tire is a whole new topic where it has a considerable amount of upsides and downsides.
Don’t get me wrong! Although this can be done, we haven’t yet decided whether this is appropriate.
Because it’s required to examine pros and cons prior to a definite conclusion.
In terms of advantages, suppose you fit a tubeless tire on a tube rim by adjusting the rim to be airtight. As everyone knows, tubeless tires are an excellent solution for small punctures.
Disadvantages of fitting a tubeless tire on a tube rim.
Lemme introduce you to a handful of cons of doing this customization.
1. Pressure decrease.
You know what, fitting a tubeless tire on a tube rim may result in loss of pressure quickly, as airtight a tubeless rim is a much difficult task.
Therefore, you will need to check the pressure regularly.
2. Some tube-type rims don’t have safety retention lip.
This is a big problematic concern. If you check for the safety retention lip on the inner edge of the bead in a tube-type rim, most probably you won’t find it, especially on those older tube-type rims.
Can you imagine what happens when cornering on them with a tubeless tire?
It can have the tubeless tire bead slip off the tube-type rim bead, causing rapid deflation of the tire. And there is a chance for the tire to come off the rim.
So, the only solution you have is installing a tube regardless of the tire in order to keep the tire from deflating in hard turns.
However, as I mentioned earlier, fitting a tube inside a tubeless tire has its unique disadvantages.
One of the prominent disadvantages is that it’s much harder to maintain minimum friction between a tube and a tubeless tire, causing temperature increases and sudden blowouts.
If you need learn more about this, please consider reading the article why modern tires do not use inner tubes.
3. Sidewall cuts.
Punctured sidewalls are one of the common issues in tubeless tires, which are extremely difficult to seal.
Maybe the only way to repair this is by installing a tube inside this tubeless tire.
4. Tubeless tires are heavier.
As everyone knows, tubeless tires are special and require extra effort and material to produce.
Generally, tubeless tires are slightly heavier compared to tube tires.
What does that mean to you & me? The heavier the tire, the lower the mileage of the vehicle.
So even if you fit this tubeless tire for your convenience, It’s a waste of money in the long run.
5. Can be a waste of money.
Just fitting a tubeless tire on a tube rim does not guarantee good durability. So, you will never know when the tire is going to fall.
So, it can be a useless thing. You gotta spend more money on gas anyways.
Then, What should you do now?
As you can see above, there are not many benefits to doing this.
And also, we do know that a proper installation can make this happen. If this works for you, it’s a good idea to upgrade the wheels, perhaps after a few months. Future, consider choosing a tubeless compatible set.
As we discussed earlier, it is clear that doing this without a tube is always dangerous.
But adding an inner tube also gives you a set of disadvantages.
If we think a little bit about radial tires, they have the ability to increase the side load of the tire when taking high turns at higher speeds and generate sufficient force to move the tire beads on the smooth rim flanges.
Then what happens?
This can increase the likelihood of breaking the seal and the tire going flat.
Therefore, just purchase an inner tube and install it if you’ve decided to run a tubeless tire on a tube rim.
But, even you have installed an inner tube, it’s an additional feature to this “old school hybrid technique.” You still have the danger of the tire bead slipping off the tube-type rim bead when taking hard turns.
The only thing this will do for you is to provide extra protection with the inner tube.
But, I’ve personally seen people who have put tubeless tires on tube rims, but only tubes with them.
Even though it’s not advisable to fit a tubeless tire on a tube rim, after talking to a few of them, it seemed to me that they never had a problem with that setting.
I assume they are not people who drive fast and do not take sharp turns.
We cannot come to a conclusion just by looking at this as it is because the number of successful people who did this is much less than the number of people who wasted their time and money doing this.
Therefore, as an engineer, my advice is to always stick with what fits your vehicle and with the instructions in the user manual.
It’s not a matter of fitting a tubeless tire on a tube rim; many other engineering issues come into play when you do something unsuitable for a vehicle.
Just buy an inner tube and tube tire if you have a tube-type rim. Because it’s better than facing an indirect spending chain.
Things to be aware of.
- Makesure to check for the tire pressure every week if you installed a tubeless tire on a tube rim.
- Consider avoiding damaged rims in such a hybrid setup.
- Always think about safety rather than being cheap.
- If you’re unsure what to do, consider seeking professional help.
- Do not even think of installing a tubeless tire on a tube rim without an inner tube.
Most people are curious to know whether it’s possible to fit tubeless tires on tube-type rims. In this article, we’ve discussed in detail whether it is appropriate to do so, taking into account the pros and cons. Hope you found this helpful.