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I know this may sound daft or simple, but can someone tell me what is meant by 'The wheelset is tubeless ready' on an bike advert. I have asked in a shop and had 2 answers ranging from 40 pounds to 300 pounds to change the tyres to tubeless. Surely if the advert say's tubeless ready it means a simple and inexpensive conversion to make you tyres tubeless.

Any help is much appreciated.

The advert states' Answer Atac AM, 15x110mm/12x148mm, Tubeless Ready'

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The bike was likely assembled with conventional tubes and tires on wheels that accept tubeless tires. If you were to go tubeless it would require new tires and valve stem assemblies. Adding sealant would be a good option during assembly, plus the shop's labor charge.

  • Sometimes this also requires tubeless rim strips as well. They're not terribly expensive though. – Alex Robertson Apr 22 at 15:26
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In the context of a new bike spec list or marketing copy, it's most commonly understood to mean a wheelset and tires that are both tubeless-compatible, plus the rims already have tubeless tape. It's ready for tubeless in the sense that all you have to do is unseat one bead, remove the tube, add a tubeless valve, add sealant, re-seat the one bead, slosh the sealant around, and go. Manufacturers have gotten pretty good in recent years at making this actually work as planned, i.e. the factory tape job is good. That's not an absolute given though; it's always a good idea to look at it and make sure the tape application and coverage are something you want to commit to.

What's a little inconsistent with the term still in my experience is whether the bike comes with valves in its goody bag. Some do, particularly if it's got a named prefab wheelset, but a lot don't, so if you for example want to make sure you're ordering everything you need to tubeless it right away, get valves too unless it says it includes them.

If the term is being used for a wheelset, I would take that to mean it comes with tubeless tape. For a tire, it just means it's a tubeless compatible tire. (If you look around and read old things you might see some reference to "tubeless ready" meaning a tire with conventional non-sealing sidewalls, as opposed to UST tires with their extra sealing layer for use without sealant, but nobody really cares about distinction anymore.)

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Bikes often come with rims that can accept tubeless tires, but with tubed, non-tubeless tires, likely to save cost but also to allow the purchaser to swap tires easily if they wish.

If conversion involves new tubeless tires, total cost will be cost of 2 new tires plus labor time to fit them, which is significantly more involved than fitting tubed tires.

Low quotes are probably for fitting tubeless tires which you already have only. £40 (I assume UK?) sounds implausibly low. Maybe that's per wheel.

  • Whereas £300 sounds implausibly high. It's a weird pair of estimates. – David Richerby Apr 22 at 15:52

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