Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How to install tube tires on tubeless rims with sealant and a FLOOR PUMP

I love riding tubeless with sealant. Not only does it get rid of the annoying "stupid" flats like goat heads, glass, and small rocks, but it allows you to run lower tire pressures without risking pinch flats. And for those who worry about the weight of the sealant, you can cut down on weight by using TUBE tires!
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:

Here is a video of how to install the tire. If you are running on slow internet, or prefer step-by-step, scroll down.

  1. Clean your wheel. This trick necessitates that your rim is sealant/water/chain lube free.
  2. Put the tire half-way on (on just one side).
  3. Shake the tire sealant upside-down! (It helps if you dance too).
  4. Pour in the sealant.
  5. Finish installing your tire (make sure that you get as little sealant on the rim as possible).
  6. Using a tire lever, begin to seat the tire.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove the tire lever by pushing on the opposite site of the tire to keep the tire from un-seating.
  9. Seat the other side of the tire 2/3 - 3/4 of the way around.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Connect a (preferably high-quality) floor pump.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.


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  2. Sweet! I gotta try this. Thanks.

  3. I tried this this weekend to no avail. I'm not sure if it was my technique, tires, or that I used CaffeLatex instead. Basically, the second the bead got the caffelatex on it, it no longer seated its self. I eventually did get it to work by using an air compressor and a lot of luck!
    It might have worked if I used my syringe to pump the goop in after I seated the tire properly. Prior pouring the stuff into the tire, I seated the tire and applied air. It pressurized momentarily and then obviously went flat as there was no sealant in the tire. It was worth the try and this did give me an idea for the next time I do it.

  4. I'm bummed to hear it didn't work for you! The sealant shouldn't have mattered, I actually now use CaffeLatex instead of Stan's and haven't had any trouble...
    If you are having trouble with the tire unseating after it gets wet from the sealant, make sure that you are holding it in place with your hand as you move around the rim seating it. If you do that, it should stay where you want it to. Also, as you get about 75% of the way around the wheel, if you start feeling a lot of resistance from the lever, stop trying to seat it any farther because if you keep going, you'll end up unseating the opposite side of the tire.
    Glad you were able to get it installed eventually though!
    Just out of curiosity, what tires/wheels are you using?

  5. You did a great job! Turned out great. Well done.
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  6. Worked perfectly. Took me about 20min total time for both wheels. Stan's rims, specialized captain 2.1 and a ground control 2.3. Perfect seals no problem. Recommend bouncing the tire as you rotate it to ensure full spread of the stan's after the initial seal.

  7. I've just converted to tubeless using Crank Bro Cobalt 2 wheels. I took my standard Conti 2.3 Mountain Kings, two small bottles of Stan's ( one per wheel), a Joe Blow foot pump and a couple of Parks tyre levers. It couldn't have been easier. Initially, there was some fizzing as the sealant found the various punctures and bead imperfections. To make sure the system worked, I pumped the tyres up to 60psi, and then sloshed the sealant around to ensure all the holes were plugged. So simple!

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  9. Great post,
    Thank you for sharing tips serial wise. It's useful information.

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