Tubeless For BMX – The Way Forward? Bike Check With Jay Cowley

When it came to hooking up riders for the new GT UK team, Jay Cowley was a natural addition – massively smooth, bio, he goes big on all terrain, all with a calm and collected demeanour of a man who clearly knows what he’s doing. Watching Jay ride reminds you of guys like Aitken, Hawk, Slattery, dudes with that fast flowy natural, laid-back style – Jay’s awesome. But this is no ordinary Bike Check – Jay also runs a bike shop down in Tiverton and thus works on all types of bikes all the time, and he has adopted tubeless to his BMX bike.

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Now THAT’S a dipped 360. Jay Cowley, Prevail Skatepark. Photo M Noble


Ditching your inner tubes has a couple of main advantages: for starters, it’s way lighter (plus, losing rotational weight on your wheels is far more effective than losing weight on your frame or cranks for example), next when you have sealant in your tubeless set-up then small punctures heal themselves, and you don’t pinch-flat when you hang up. It also feels and rides better. Alienation worked on tubeless a while ago with proprietary tyres, but that never hit the public stage. So, that being said – do you need to run special tyres, unique or expensive rims? Nope. You do not. Read on and find out how Jay has sorted it for his own bike…

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As you’d expect from a bike shop owner and cycle mechanic, Jay’s GT BK Bike is completely dialled.

GT Globetrotter, Brian Kachinsky Signature 2017, 20.75″ tt
FORKS: Wethepeople, Sterling
BARS: Wethepeople 8.6″ rise – “I’m not in to the massively oversize bars.”
STEM: GT CNC front loader
GRIPS: Eclat Filter
BAR ENDS: Silver, metal
HEADSET: Salt Plus black
BRAKE SET UP: Eclat lever, Eclat calliper, GT cable, all black
SEAT: unbranded one I have had for years
CRANKS: Wethepeople Royal in chrome, with ti axle
PEDALS: Eclat Contra – “The best I have ever had!”
CHAIN: KMC 710sl – “If you had one get one!!”
FRONT WHEEL: Eclat Pulse hub on Eclat Mercury rim, black
REAR WHEEL: Eclat Mercury rim “And the hub is a top secret – only the people which know will know…”
BOLTS: All bolts are TLC ti bolts

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Eclat rims, KHE tyres, and NO INNER TUBES. Wait… WHAT?!?!

“TUBELESS IS THE WAY FORWARD! Ask anyone who has ridden my bike.” – Jay cowley

“The two things everyone what to know about my bike are…
1. What rear hub have you got!? ANSWER, it’s mine!
2. What’s this, I have heard you ain’t got inner tubes in your tyres!? ANSWER, as I work with MTB and road bikes all day I know how tubeless works and the massive benefits it has, so I customised a Stans No-Tubes kit to work on a BMX. Why I say ‘customised’ is because they don’t make them for 20″ wheels. I get asked all the time why did you do that – well the fact that you can’t get pinch punctures, and it rolls much faster at lower pressure. So you get the benefit of the fast rolling but with the comfort of slitty lower pressure. There are so many more reasons and benefits, and I could go on and on. It took some thinking and a few tries at making it work, but now I know how, it works every time. TUBELESS IS THE WAY FORWARD! Ask anyone who has ridden my bike.”

jay cowley gt bmx bike check 4 wheel
Nope. No inner tubes here.

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