How to go Tubeless

How to go Tubeless

Bike Maintainence Tubeless Tyres

Posted by John Cheshire on

Setting your wheels up as tubeless requires some tubeless-specific parts and tools. Tubeless tyre sealant, Tubeless valves, Tubeless rim tape (You need to choose tape that is within 2mm either side of your internal rim width.) Tubeless-ready tyres, Valve core removal tool, Tyre levers and a Track pump.

If you haven't already, you need to completely remove the tyre and tube from your wheel. Deflate the tyre completely. Squeeze the tyre so that the bead of the tyre unseats from the rim. Starting at the opposite side to the valve, fit a tyre lever between the tyre and the rim and another lever about 10cm away. Pushing against one of the levers, then the other, and a section of the tyre should pop out, slowly leverage more of the tyre out from the rim. Soon, you should be able to take it out by hand, now do the same with the other side of the tyre.
Now you need to remove the rim tape. An easy way is to use the hook at the other end of the tyre lever. Find the valve hole and use the hook to get underneath the tape to get a hold on it. Remove it completely.

You will be putting the new rim tape on the inside of the rim, so you want to make sure it’s clean. This helps make sure the adhesive of the tape sticks, making a tight seal. Using a clean cloth and soapy water, thoroughly scrub the rim where the tyre would fit into and let it completely dry

Now we are going to re-tape the rim. Begin taping the rim opposite the valve hole. Tape down the end, making sure it is straight and flush on the rim. Pull on the tape hard so that there is no slack while holding the beginning of the tape making sure there are no bubbles by running your fingers across the tape to push any out. Move along the rims repeating this in small increments. When you get to the end, overlap the tape about 10cm then smooth out the tape by running along the rim with a clean cloth, putting pressure on the tape. If your rim is not tubeless-ready, it may require a second layer of tape for a solid seal

Next, locate the valve hole in the rim. By using a small screwdriver (or similar), poke a hole in the tape at this location trying to create a circle. You can expand this hole a little to make room for the valve. Take the lock nut off the valve. Put the valve into the rim and lock it off with the nut finger

Now, you need install the new tyre onto the rim. Go by hand first, making sure the bead of the tyre fits into the inner rim. You may need to use tyre levers for the last section as the tyre may be tight to fit on. Once you have one side on go around the other side of the tyre, fitting the bead into the rim. When you reach the end.

If you are going to us an injector to put sealant into the tyre, use the valve core remover, remove the core of the valve. Fit the injector onto the valve before you put sealant into the injector. Shake the sealant bottle well and follow the bottle instructions on the amount to use.. Inject the sealant into the tyre, making sure all of it goes in. Remove the Injector and replace the valve core.

Rotate the wheel so the sealant is spread throughout the inner tyre. The wet the bead of the tyre with warm soapy water, this will not affect the sealant but helps to get the tyre to seat properly onto the rim.

While some tyre/rim combos will easily inflate with a normal air pump. Others will require a compressor or a tubeless boost inflator like Specialized Air Tool Blast Tubeless Tyre Setter. To use these, you inflate to 140psi using your floor pump. Attach the canister to the wheel valve and open it. It should quickly inflate your tyre, seating the bead into the rim. You may hear a couple ‘pings’ or ‘pops’ when it does this. It is the sound of the bead being seated into the rim, and is a good sign.

Once your tyre is inflated and seated, bounce the tyre few times on the floor, rotating as you do so. This will make the sealant distribute evenly throughout the tyre. Reinstall your wheels and have quick ride on them. Check the pressure again. You may see that they are showing less pressure. This is normal, as some air may escape while the sealant is sealing the tyre completely

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