Tubeless Tyre Set Up - Tour of Cambridgeshire

Tubeless Tyre Set Up

Have you been considering setting up tubeless tires? We’ve got a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the process.

Setting up your tyres tubeless is a good idea when riding on gravel and means you can go further without having to stop and change the inner tube. Tubeless tires are ones that do not have a separate inner tube. They are filled with a sealant which should fill most punctures that occur whilst riding. Its best to also carry tire plugs which will enable you to fill larger holes too.

What you need to convert your bike to tubeless:

  1. Tubeless Tyres
  2. Tubeless Rims (make sure both are tubeless compatible, if not this can cause failures and air leakages)
  3. Tubeless specific rim tape
  4. Tubeless valves that are the correct length for your rims (at least 15mm longer than your rim height)
  5. Tubeless sealant
  6. An air chamber to “shock” the bead to the rim
  7. Soapy water and a sponge

Preparing the rim:

To prepare the rim you need to take off any rim protection tape (usually fabric or a plastic strip) if it already has rim tape for tubeless conversion this is great. However, sometimes this needs replacing as small bits of the tape may have come unglued or the valve hole is too large and will allow air through.

  1. Select a tape that is wider than your rim width by about 2mm so that the groove is accounted for in the rim
  2. Start taping around 15cm away from the valve hole
  3. Tape evenly in the middle of your rim making sure there are no exposed rim holes or ridges within the tape
  4. If there are excessive ridges or errors you may need to start again
  5. Tape over the valve hole + another 15cm to overlap by about 30cm
  6. Put a pinprick hole (small but large enough to pierce with the valve) in the valve hole of the tape

Putting in the valve:

  1. Remove anything from the valve such as the retain screw and O-ring
  2. Place into the valve hold and push through making sure there is a good seal between the rubber part and the rim/rimtape
  3. Close down the retaining screw over the O-ring on the outside of the rim
  4. Tighten to finger tight

Seating the tyre

  1. Put the tyre on the rim as normal
  2. Tubeless tyres can be tight, so often a little perseverance and use of tyre levers can be needed, however be careful with carbon rims
  3. Once the tyre is on use some soapy water and run this around the tyre on both sides to aid with the seating
  4. A compressor, or a track pump with a separate pressurised air chamber makes life easier to help force the tyre bead into the rim quickly. You’ll hear some pinging noises as the tyre is seated onto the bead. Alternatively, some quick pumps with a standard track pump can also do the job. If you just have a hand pump, you are unlikely to succeed in seating they tyre.

Putting in Sealant

  1. Remove the valve core
  2. Turn the wheel so the valve is at 12 o’clock
  3. Attach the sealant to the valve using a rubber tube/ syringe or similar system supplied with the sealant
  4. Turn the valve to 6 o’clock and dispense the requisite amount of sealant into the tyre
  5. Turn to 12 o’clock again and remove the sealant and tube
  6. Replace the valve core
  7. Pump the tyre back up to chosen tyre pressure

Final Checks

  1. Check there is no air escaping from the system anywhere
  2. Check the tyre is fully seated on the rim, you can usually tell by following the ridge on the tyre that adjoins the bead and sits just above the rim. Eensure it is the same distance from the rim all the way around the wheel
  3. If there is air leaking from the valve area try both retightening the retaining screw as it could be affecting the position of the valve plug inside the rim bed- preventing a good seal
  4. Move the wheel around and go for a ride to get everything seating and fully distribute the sealant

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