Mounting Tubeless... Tricks??

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
(My Flat Tire Help thread had over 100 views, but not a single comment or suggestion. So I'm trying a more focused - on the problem - thread.)

How should you mount a tubeless tire onto a tubeless rim (my first time)? Am I missing a step or something?

I got the tire onto the rim alright, and using a strong floor pump, pumped the tire up so that I'm pretty sure the bead was set all around. But air seeps out the edge where the bead meets the rim. So quickly that you can actually hear and feel it. The bead looks and feels like it's properly set. How much air pressure should be filled in to seat the bead properly? I'm assuming more than the normal riding pressure.

What am I missing?

Do you use any product on the bead of the tire when mounting? Both to lubricate it and thus make it easier to "seat" and also to make a better seal? I found something online that suggested that you really must put your sealant in right after mounting the tire so that it will help seal the bead, but gee, if there's another problem with the seal that would make a real mess if you have to unmount and then remount the tire. Another comment I saw was that after installing tubeless you shouldn't (nor could you) ride the wheel for about two days. Surely that can't be right? They suggested it takes that long for a good seal to be made and air leaks to stop. I mean car and motorcycle tubeless tires can be ridden immediately after installation. What's different here?

Thanks for any help!
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
  • How should you mount a tubeless tire onto a tubeless rim (my first time)?
  • The bead looks and feels like it's properly set.
  • How much air pressure should be filled in to seat the bead properly?
I've installed Schwalbe Rock Razors (60-584) without too much difficulty. My pump is a Topeak JoeBlow Booster which has a secondary air tank (the wide grey cylinder) which is filled to a pressure of 11 bars (four or five times the tyre's riding pressure). Twisting the blue-grey dial releases the air in a rush.


In the video, note the order…
  • Step 5 : 'dry' seating of the tyre (what I described above),
  • Step 6 : adding sealant through the valve (core removed).
topeak_joeblow_booster.jpg
 
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Mtl_Biker

Active Member
I've installed Schwalbe Rock Razors (60-584) without too much difficulty. My pump is a Topeak JoeBlow Booster which has a secondary air tank (the wide grey cylinder) which is filled to a pressure of 11 bars (four or five times the tyre's riding pressure). Twisting the blue-grey dial releases the air in a rush.


In the video, note the order…
  • Step 5 : 'dry' seating of the tyre (what I described above),
  • Step 6 : adding sealant through the valve (core removed).
View attachment 38017
David, you came to the rescue AGAIN! Thank you. That video was really helpful and I'm going to try again with the soapy water trick (I also think Windex would work). And if it doesn't work with the pump I've got (very likely) I'll order that Joe Blow Booster one. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anyone near me who has it in stock. So in a worst case, I might not be riding for a few more days. (Gives my cracked rib a better chance of healing too, so not all bad.)
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
@David Berry - The Windex along the rim did the trick... When I pumped up I finally heard the POPS of the bead seating. But it seems that the technician at MEC was correct and the Giant dealer wrong... the existing rim "tape" isn't good enough. There was air seeping out through several spokes. So I've got to open it all up again, remove the stock tape, clean the rim and install the new rim tape. And then it should work. I hope.

This is what the stock rim tape looks like:


And it feels more like a plastic strip than a tape.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
I bought my Topeak JoeBlow Booster from bike24.com. Cost is around 100 euros (excluding tax) plus 20 euros freight.
Thanks. That's about the same price as buying it online from a Canadian source. Plus I'd get it faster. I'm just waiting for one more local bike shop to open so I can check if they have it. Even if a few bucks more expensive, I'd rather have the pump sooner than later.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Oh, I'm SO frustrated! It's just not working for me.

I removed the original rim tape which wasn't good. I cleaned the rim with alcohol (maybe I should have had some to drink!) and applied the rim tape I'd bought at MEC yesterday. I put the tire back on the rim and sprayed the edges with Windex. Pumped it up with my floor pump and did hear the pops of the bead seating properly. I put more air in, and then found air was leaking out by at least one spoke hole. So I opened it all up again, carefully checked the rim tape and it looked just fine all around and in the area of one of the spokes where it had been leaking.

But since it was leaking, I removed the tape, cleaned the rim again and put on new rim tape, being even more careful then the first time. I mean, it's pretty straight forward, so with care how could I do it wrong?

I put it all back together and the same thing happened. Leak again at the SAME spoke hole. And when I'd had it open just before, there didn't seem to be anything wrong in that area on the rim that I could see.

So I'm giving up for today. I'll drive out to the Giant dealer in the morning (I'm off work tomorrow) and have him check and redo the installation. Hopefully he'll be able to tell me what I've done wrong or what is wrong with the wheel.

By the way, something I found on the web suggested that Gorilla Tape is great for rim tape use. Has anyone tried it? Opinions?
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Okay, so I really give up now. SIGH

I've mounted the tire FOUR times so far, all unsuccessfully. And I'm finding it really hard to believe that I'm doing something wrong.

The first time I did this, I used the factory original rim tape on my "Tubeless Ready" Giant wheels because the Giant dealer told me that in his experience it should work. Leaked like crazy so the Mountain Equipment Coop bike technician was right... I had to replace it.

Second time I did it, I used the Orange Seal rim tape the technician recommended (link above). Lots of leaking at the spoke holes.

Third time, even though I'd been careful the second time, I was even more careful to place the tape correctly and make sure all the spoke holes were covered. (Of course cleaning the rim every time first.) Again lots of leaking from the spoke holes, two of them in particular.

I just about had given up at that point but then I read that Gorilla Tape makes for an excellent rim tape. I bought some of the clear flexible one, extra thick adhesive, water and air proof. I carefully trimmed the width to even a little wider than the other rim tape was. I very carefully applied the tape, and smoothed it down firmly. Mounted the tire and again there was a lot of leaking from the same two spoke holes in particular.

I give up.

There MUST be something defective on my rim, but I don't see it. My tire is seating the bead very well and there is no leakage around the rim. Nor through the valve. Just the spoke holes. I'm bringing it to my dealer in the morning to see if he can figure it out.
 

drewberz

Active Member
To seat the tire bead, you can also use a compressor with a Schraeder to Presta valve attachment if you have Presta tubes.

Are any of these tapes tubeless specific tapes? Try Stan's, they have a good reputation.

Have any pictures of the problem areas to share? Likely not the rim. Most of my issues have been in the application of the tape. Be sure to do 2 revolutions on the wheel if you are running higher pressures.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
To seat the tire bead, you can also use a compressor with a Schraeder to Presta valve attachment if you have Presta tubes.

Are any of these tapes tubeless specific tapes? Try Stan's, they have a good reputation.

Have any pictures of the problem areas to share? Likely not the rim. Most of my issues have been in the application of the tape. Be sure to do 2 revolutions on the wheel if you are running higher pressures.
Thank you for your comments. But setting the bead isn't the problem... that's just fine (and no leaks around the bead area). Yes, the tape I was suggested to buy from the MEC bike technician was tubeless specific. But he told me (and everything I've seen online) said to start taping a couple of inches on one side of the valve hole and then to continue around until you overlap the valve hole again by two inches on the other side. Your suggestion to do two revolutions of the tape is the first time I've heard that. But I really am convinced that my taping job is good.

I'm going to the dealer in the morning.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
I'll be interested to hear how this works out. Don't act on anything I'm about to say because I do not know what I'm talking about -- never dealt with tubeless bike tires. It seems like the rim tape ought to resolve this. If, after several tries with different brands of tape you're still having leaks from the same spokes, I'd suspect a fault in the rim or in how the nipples are seated. First, I'd want to make sure the rim was really clean before putting down more tape, but if there was anything suspicious about the rim or the way the nipples are seated(that can't be adjusted) I wonder if a dab of silicone or some other kind of sealant around those specific nipples would help.

I wonder too about how ready your Tubeless "Ready" rims really are.

As for the JoeBlow Booster, that looks like a good pump for the purpose but a 12v or 120v mini compressor and a tank like this might be easier for home/shop work. Air Tank I worry a little about what you're going to do about a flat on the road too if you should ever break your bead. Maybe a 25g CO2 cartridge would be enough to put you back in business after repairs. To be safe it seems like you ought to carry a tube....

Finally, this is my ignorance maybe, but I still don't get the advantage of tubeless tires. I understand if you're running a 15 pound carbon fiber racer, but for a 40+ pound electric bike, I just don't see the advantages. I'm not saying there aren't good reasons for tubeless, I just don't know what they are.

TT
 

drewberz

Active Member
Thank you for your comments. But setting the bead isn't the problem... that's just fine (and no leaks around the bead area). Yes, the tape I was suggested to buy from the MEC bike technician was tubeless specific. But he told me (and everything I've seen online) said to start taping a couple of inches on one side of the valve hole and then to continue around until you overlap the valve hole again by two inches on the other side. Your suggestion to do two revolutions of the tape is the first time I've heard that. But I really am convinced that my taping job is good.

I'm going to the dealer in the morning.
Let us know how it turns out!
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
My tires are now perfect!!!! Both front and rear converted to tubeless and they hold air! Hurrah!

It turns out there was nothing at all wrong with my rims. The problem was the rim tape. It just wasn't wide enough. When I was at MEC, the bike tech measured my rim and sold me 18mm tape for it. Today at the Giant dealer, he measured and got 19mm, and sold me a package of 26mm tape! The package actually said, "26mm tape for 19mm rims". When applied, the tape has to cover not only the spoke holes and the inner curved part of the rim, but needs to come all the way up the sides to just about be touching where the bead of the tire would seat. He applied the right tape, popped the tire onto the rim and there were no leaks.

Then he put in 2.5 oz of sealant, rolled the tire around a bit and then checked for leaks. Perfect!

(Only problem was that with both wheels, he put the tires on in the wrong rotation direction! I caught that before he put sealant into the rear tire, but he had to open both and change the direction.)

As far as the sealant he used... he said that Stans was one of the best and that Giant has their sealant made by Stans. But he said he had a much better one, which he talked me into using. It's made by "Finish Line". I hope it'll be good.
 

drewberz

Active Member
I'll be interested to hear how this works out. Don't act on anything I'm about to say because I do not know what I'm talking about -- never dealt with tubeless bike tires. It seems like the rim tape ought to resolve this. If, after several tries with different brands of tape you're still having leaks from the same spokes, I'd suspect a fault in the rim or in how the nipples are seated. First, I'd want to make sure the rim was really clean before putting down more tape, but if there was anything suspicious about the rim or the way the nipples are seated(that can't be adjusted) I wonder if a dab of silicone or some other kind of sealant around those specific nipples would help.

I wonder too about how ready your Tubeless "Ready" rims really are.

As for the JoeBlow Booster, that looks like a good pump for the purpose but a 12v or 120v mini compressor and a tank like this might be easier for home/shop work. Air Tank I worry a little about what you're going to do about a flat on the road too if you should ever break your bead. Maybe a 25g CO2 cartridge would be enough to put you back in business after repairs. To be safe it seems like you ought to carry a tube....

Finally, this is my ignorance maybe, but I still don't get the advantage of tubeless tires. I understand if you're running a 15 pound carbon fiber racer, but for a 40+ pound electric bike, I just don't see the advantages. I'm not saying there aren't good reasons for tubeless, I just don't know what they are.

TT
Mtl_biker, hate the lack of labeling standards! But I am glad it got sorted.

Offtopic but:
CO2 does in fact work well for roadside, and its generally best to carry a tube for ease of repair.

Running tubeless isn't a matter of weight. In fact, they can be heavier setups. Most ride with it because you can achieve lower tire pressures (maybe you are riding rough terrain) and you won't pinch flat. Or you dont want to deal with small punctures which sealant can seal.
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
Mtl_biker, hate the lack of labeling standards! But I am glad it got sorted.

Offtopic but:
CO2 does in fact work well for roadside, and its generally best to carry a tube for ease of repair.

Running tubeless isn't a matter of weight. In fact, they can be heavier setups. Most ride with it because you can achieve lower tire pressures (maybe you are riding rough terrain) and you won't pinch flat. Or you dont want to deal with small punctures which sealant can seal.
Are you saying that CO2 works to set the bead? And if you have a flat on the road and decide to put a tube in, wouldn't filling up the tube with air force the tire bead back into place? My gut says that it would. At least enough to allow me to get back home safely. What do you think?

I couldn't care less about the weight or friction... my only reason for going tubeless is to reduce the chance of getting a flat on my commute. But I do and will be carrying a spare tube just in case.

Reading about the sealant the Giant dealer used tells me that it's not all that great. Quite mixed reviews. But what does seem clear is that he didn't put in enough sealant and should have used at least double. Now I'll have to buy some more. Common comment in the reviews was that people who had flats hadn't used enough. But gee, there seem to be a ton of different opinions about brands of sealant. And I guess using a bit of each of the most popular ones isn't the answer either. :)
 

Mtl_Biker

Active Member
...Finally, this is my ignorance maybe, but I still don't get the advantage of tubeless tires. I understand if you're running a 15 pound carbon fiber racer, but for a 40+ pound electric bike, I just don't see the advantages. I'm not saying there aren't good reasons for tubeless, I just don't know what they are.

TT
My only reason for going tubeless is to reduce the chances of getting a flat on my commute. Sure I could still blow out a chunk of tire somehow, but tiny leaks should plug up with the sealant. And I will be carrying a spare tube with me, just in case, as well as a pair of latex gloves.

I didn't buy the Joe Blow Booster pump but did buy a new model Giant booster pump yesterday. Seems like it would work just as well and was cheaper. Plus I can return it if I don't like it. But it's not something to ride with.

Oh, I very much doubt a 12v mini compressor would do the trick here. Those just lack the oompf (for lack of the proper term) to get a tire up to 100+ psi quickly.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
I couldn't care less about the weight or friction... my only reason for going tubeless is to reduce the chance of getting a flat on my commute.
How does going tubeless reduce the chance of flats??? Will a thorn or nail or piece of glass punture a tire and a tube but not puncture a tubeless tire?

TT
 

drewberz

Active Member
Are you saying that CO2 works to set the bead? And if you have a flat on the road and decide to put a tube in, wouldn't filling up the tube with air force the tire bead back into place? My gut says that it would. At least enough to allow me to get back home safely. What do you think?

I couldn't care less about the weight or friction... my only reason for going tubeless is to reduce the chance of getting a flat on my commute. But I do and will be carrying a spare tube just in case.

Reading about the sealant the Giant dealer used tells me that it's not all that great. Quite mixed reviews. But what does seem clear is that he didn't put in enough sealant and should have used at least double. Now I'll have to buy some more. Common comment in the reviews was that people who had flats hadn't used enough. But gee, there seem to be a ton of different opinions about brands of sealant. And I guess using a bit of each of the most popular ones isn't the answer either. :)
Yes you are right. If you have a tube on you, a normal pump is fine. If you want to reseal as tubeless, those little CO2s will seat fine as tubeless.