Tubeless tires have become quite popular, because they can run at low air pressures without the risk of pinching or flattening an inner tube. The sealant inside can also provide protection from punctures, providing a maintenance-free ride.
Regardless of what wheels you are working on, be it mountain bike, cyclocross, or road tires, the installation process is the same.
Things you will need
- A set of tubeless tires. In this tutorial, we are using Hutchinson’s Fusion 5 Performance 28mm tubeless tires.
- Rim tape
- Tire sealant and measuring cup
- Valve core remover
- Air compressor and inflator head. A floor pump can work for some tires as well if the tire beads and rims are well designed and compatible.
1. Clean the rims
Use a cloth to wipe the surface and the bead seat area of the rims. Make sure that your rims are clean before proceeding on to the next step.
2. Apply the rim tape
This tubeless tape already has adhesive on it, which makes application easy. The tape helps to keep the wheel air proof by sealing up the spoke adjusters. Have a slight overlay and cut off the remaining tape.
3. Insert the valve
Using a screwdriver or a sharp object, make a hole at where the valve will be inserted. Place the valve in and screw it on. The valve has a rubber stopper that seals the rims.
Check that the valve is secure in the rim, and remove the core using a valve core remover.
4. Place the tire on
Align the tire with the rims and place the tire on.
Using an air compressor, inflate the tire fully so that all the beads are seated into the rims.
5. Inject the sealant
The sealant aids in a tubeless tire’s puncture resistance properties. Once there is a puncture, the sealant will do its job and seal the puncture swiftly. Even though a big advantage of tubeless systems is riding at lower air pressure, there are instances where the system can fail.
Before proceeding with this step, use a removable valve core to remove the valve tip and deflate the tires. Next, check the label for the recommend amount of tire sealant, measure using a measuring cup, and fill the syringe.
Connect the syringe to the valve and inject the sealant in. The valve has to be in the 6 o’clock position. Once you are done, install back the valve core and tighten.
Use the compressor to inflate the tires back.
Spin the wheel for at least five to six revolutions to distribute the sealant evenly inside the tire. Hold the wheel horizontally and oscillate the wheel to help spread the fluid to the beads. Repeat on both sides. It depends on the type of tires you have; some seal instantly, while some systems can take hours or even days.
For tubeless conversions to last, once it has been fitted, it is best to bring it out for a ride to ensure that the sealant is completely sealed.
After reading through this tutorial, are you able to install a tubeless tire by yourself?
Author: Michael Lyons
Michael is an ITU Level 2 Coach, Co-owner of TriEdge, and CEO of recovery systems. He is also a race commentator for Cycling and Triathlon races.
He has training and recovery tips & tricks from his 53 years of bike riding. He has done more than 100 Ironman races and 6000 hours of athlete coaching including the use of active compression technology.
He loves to connect and bring the endurance community together.