My one issue with tubeless was always how difficult it is to install the tires. No more floor-pumping, I had to find a gas station or bike shop with a high-pressure air compressor, and sometimes, even that wasn't good enough!
But at the Sea Otter Classic this year, I learned a trick from Joe, the Giant team mechanic, that allows you to install tube tires on tubeless rims with sealant and a FLOOR PUMP! I was psyched and wanted to share the trick with all of you guys.
Things you need:
- Tubeless wheel - I used (and suggest) Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels (this trick works best with tubeless-ready wheels, and may not work with tubeless conversion kits)
- Tire - I used a WTB Nano Raptor (and won on it the next day)
- Tire sealant - I used Stan's tire sealant
- Floor pump - I used a Genuine Innovations Top Dog Legend floor pump (it's awesome, you gotta try it)
- Tire lever - I suggest Genuine Innovations tire levers
Here is a video of how to install the tire. If you are running on slow internet, or prefer step-by-step, scroll down.
- Clean your wheel. This trick necessitates that your rim is sealant/water/chain lube free.
- Put the tire half-way on (on just one side).
- Shake the tire sealant upside-down! (It helps if you dance too).
- Pour in the sealant.
- Finish installing your tire (make sure that you get as little sealant on the rim as possible).
- Using a tire lever, begin to seat the tire.
- Using your tire lever, seat the tire 2/3 - 3/4 of the way around, or until it becomes VERY difficult to move the lever. The tire should be sitting as close to the rim wall as possible.
- Remove the tire lever by pushing on the opposite site of the tire to keep the tire from un-seating.
- Seat the other side of the tire 2/3 - 3/4 of the way around.
- Remove the tire lever from seating the 2nd side. DO NOT push from the other side or you will unseat you tire, instead, push from the center CAREFULLY.
- Check both sides of the tire to make sure that it is seated 2/3 - 3/4 of the way around. The tire should be VERY close to the rim wall on both sides and should NOT have fallen into the rim well.
- Connect a (preferably high-quality) floor pump.
- Pump up your tire (listen for the pinging sounds that tell you that your tire is seating, you SHOULD hear some). Once you hear some pings and hit 40-60 PSI, you can stop.
- Check both sides of your tire to confirm that the bead shows evenly. This tells you that you tire has seated properly. If it has not, continue pumping and wait for more pings.