I keep getting a lot of pinch flats even though I've pumped my 26x2.00 wheels to 280Kpi (65psi) and I've been thinking about converting to tubeless. But I don't have both tubeless ready tires and rims. What if I buy just the tires but use my current rims, will it work?

  • 1
    Do your rims have bead shelves or it's a smooth arc from inner wall to inner wall? Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 8:01
  • 4
    Run proper air pressure, and don't bump curbs so much. Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 11:37
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    The main cause of pinch flats a.k.a. snake-bites is too low air pressure. Check the sidewall of your tyre for the max. pressure and stay below.
    – Carel
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 13:48
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    Are you sure they are specifically pinch flats? It would take a pretty hard hit to pinch flat at 65psi, maybe the tube is squished beneath the bead after install or twisted?
    – Nate W
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 17:25
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    2" MTB tyres might be over-inflated at 65 PSI. Are you positive they are pinch flats? Have you used the "align tyre logo and valve stem" trick to see if the punctures are coming from one area of the tyre? How far around the tube are the punctures - do they face the tyre or the rim?
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 2:19

3 Answers 3


Without tubeless ready rims it will be hard to get a traditional tubeless setup to work.

What could possibly work might be a ghetto tubeless setup as described here: http://www.mtbtechniques.co.uk/MaintananceGhetto.html

Altough this is specific for mountainbikes. On a road bike I would suggest getting proper rims for a tubeless setup.


In the earlier days of tubeless it was very common to do this on mountain bikes. (It doesn't work on road bikes and was often regarded as unreliable for cross). Instead of just modern tubeless tape, a thick rubber rim strip sized to the rim width was also used to "build up" the rim well height to create the seal with the tire. The most common product for this was (and still is) the Stan's Notubes Tubeless Conversion Kit. These came for rims of different diameters and width and were labeled with a few named rims they were known to be compatible with and then said something like "and other __mm rims."

Tubeless conversion kits for non-tubeless rims and tires were popular in their time and can work fine but can be frustrating to deal with and often require trial and error, especially for a tire that's not tubeless ready. Setting them up has an air of experimentation, again especially with a conventional tire.


Like nollak said, trying to convert non-tubeless rims to run a tubeless setup can be made to work but isn't ideal and comes with risks.

A couple of things could help avoid pinch flats:

  • Ensure your rim tape is in good condition. Rim tape helps keep the tube in position and if it is ripped, dirty, etc it might be causing the punctures.
  • Ensure your tubes are not twisted when you replace them
  • Ensure your tubes are correctly seated when you replace them
  • Run your pressure higher if your tire indicates it can be
  • Use a different tire as the shape or performance of the tire might provide more cushioning with less risk of pinches

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