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The seemingly tricky task of changing a tubeless tyre can be easier than you think.

Going tubeless can be the end of your puncture worries. If you have tubeless-ready rims and want to switch your tyres to tubeless as well, you might have been put off by a potentially messy and tricky process. But here at road.cc we've learnt a good few tricks to make the process really easy.

The benefits of tubeless tyres are huge. Removing the inner tube prevents pinch punctures, so you can run lower pressures for comfort. If you then add sealant, you should be protected from normal punctures as well. If you want to know more, we've got everything you need to know about tubeless tyres right here!

We've also got a great video on how to choose the right tyres for your bike.

Or have a look at our tyre reviews and buyers guides.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

16 comments

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wycombewheeler [1373 posts] 2 years ago
5 likes

personally I would inflate once to seat the tyre before putting any sealant in. Then deflate pu in sealant and valve core and reinflate.

less messay if the tyre doesn't seal quickly or blows off the rim.

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rix [268 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Tried tubeless... what a mess. Never again on road bike.

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kev-s [316 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes

Ive been fitted tubless tyres to roadbikes and mtb's for the last few years, even doing Ghetto conversions on non tubeless fat bike wheels using Gorilla tape (works a treat)

 

If using new tyres then mount them first with tubes and leave overnight to allow the tyres to hold their shape once you remove the tubes

 

Tapeing is the one half of getting a good seal, take your time and double wrap making sure everything is nice and smooth

I personally prefer to fill the tyre whilst part of it is off the rim rather than fill through the valve, i find this less messy

 

Once the tyre is on most can be inflated with a standard track pump or a car compressor (cigarette lighter plug in one)

Give it a good spin whilst tilting it side to side so the sealant gets around the tyre bead

Then go for a quick blast round the block this helps make sure the sealant finds any small leaks around the bead

 

 

 

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gusstrang [12 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

kev - how often do you need to renew the sealant. I was reading an MTB board the other day and they were suggesting as often as monthly, which seems a bit excessive/expensive. 

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kev-s [316 posts] 2 years ago
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Well it kinda depends on the sealant some last only  3-6 months, even less in hotter cilmates

Personally i like to use Specialized  airlock sealant

Its designed to go in tubes aswell as be used for tubeless, only £5 for a bottle which does 2 wheels

More info on it here

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/components/tires-tubes/airlock-tire-se...

One Mtb hasnt had any replaced in 18 months and it still sealing punctures as of last Sunday

 

 

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hydrophil [21 posts] 2 years ago
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I run tubeless on both road and MTB and they work a treat.  I learnt my technique from Stan so thats using soapy water round the rim to help seat the tyre which really helps.  I also seat new tyres first without sealant to make sure they fit first, then deflate and add in sealant with a syringe through the valve core.  Ive had a tyre blow off the rim once full of sealant because it wasnt seated properly - what a mess!

Using an Airshot is also a good investment as you can seat tyres first time every time.

You also dont need the rubber strips that the manufacturers want to sell you; two rounds of rim tape is all that is needed.  I use Stans tape.

I change my sealant every 6 months or so, never needed any more frequent than that in the UK climate.  And if the bike is stood for any length of time, just spin the wheels every time you are passing to lubricate up the inside of the tyre.

Tubeless seems to face a lot of resistance through the road community but I wouldnt go back to tubes as once youve mastered your technique, it works very well.

 

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CXR94Di2 [2732 posts] 2 years ago
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I've used tubeless for a couple of years, never had a puncture since.  Use decent rim tape( stans), clean the surface with alcohol and lay two smooth layers.  Fit the tyre and leave a few inches to pour in sealant.  Slowly rotate tyre so sealant moves to other side of wheel, pop remaining bead onto rim.  Inflate with compressor or some device with gives a burst of air,  tyre will pop into place.  Bounce tyre all around rim to fully seat bead.  I then spend 5  mins rolling and rocking wheel to coat all the internal surfaces. Leave a while then inflate to desired pressure.  I experience hardly any loss of pressure even after months of not using a wheelset.

 

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MuddyGoose [53 posts] 2 years ago
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For hassle free fitting use fully sealed rims with no spoke holes and proper tubeless tyres.  No need for rim tape at all and works without sealant.

I still add a small quantity of sealant to help prevent punctures (through the valve) but it's much more simple when your setup works without relying on the sealant to make it seal.

I use Campag Zonda 2-way fit wit Hutchinson Fusion 5 on my road bike and Mavic 819 UST with Schwalbe Nobby Nic on my mtb.  Never have a problem with either.

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kevvjj [477 posts] 2 years ago
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MuddyGoose wrote:

For hassle free fitting use fully sealed rims with no spoke holes and proper tubeless tyres.  No need for rim tape at all and works without sealant.

I still add a small quantity of sealant to help prevent punctures (through the valve) but it's much more simple when your setup works without relying on the sealant to make it seal.

I use Campag Zonda 2-way fit wit Hutchinson Fusion 5 on my road bike and Mavic 819 UST with Schwalbe Nobby Nic on my mtb.  Never have a problem with either.

This isn't quite right. Genuine tubeless UST tyres are heavy and have thick sidewalls that make them sluggish. This is why most road tubeless are called 'tubeless ready' and actually need sealant to work. They have the correct bead but their sidewalls are not sealed. They remain supple and roll better. My Nobby Nics on the MTB also need sealant to work. Yes, they will inflate but will go down overnight without the addition of sealant.

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MuddyGoose [53 posts] 2 years ago
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The brands make it difficult to understand.  I use Hutchinson road tubeless (http://www.hutchinsontires.com/us/technology/road) and their's are proper tubeless with a sealed butyl liner and on my Campag 2-way fit wheels they go up to pressure and stay up without sealant. However, Schwalbe refer to their Pro One tyres as 'TL Easy' which presumably means 'tubeless ready' so needs the sealant to line the tyre.

Hutchinson have one tyre, the Sector, which requires sealant ("Protect’Air MAX latex sealant required for use." - http://www.hutchinsontires.com/us/road/tire/sector-28-32-bike-standard) but the Fusion 5 don't.  And yes, they are a little heavier (325g compared to 210g - for the 700x25c all season) but I certainly don't find them 'sluggish'.

But the article isn't about fast racing tyres it's about making tubeless easy.  And I still think a fully sealed rim (no spoke holes) is the best way to 'easy' when it comes to tubeless.  The problem is trying to find out who's rims are sealed and who's are just jumping on the 'tubeless ready' bandwagon.

And yes, now that I look it seems that the Nobby Nics have changed since I bought mine.  I can't see any UST ones about anymore.  Even the Mavic rims that I have now have spoke holes if purchased today.  Looks like I'll have to change my brand allegiance going forward!

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MonkeyPuzzle [79 posts] 9 months ago
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Look for Kapton tape on the tinterwebs; it's basically identical to Stan's tape, but sold for use in IT and other applications and so is magnitudes cheaper for larger rolls. They also make loads of different widths to suit your rim internal width.

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Windy Cyclist [14 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

A piece of advice I only found after getting a puncture that wouldn't seal last week and finding hardly any liquid sealant left in the tyre 7 months after I fitted it with a generous amount (and not noticing any leaks/puncture fixes in the mean time) is to add about 10ml of sealant every month (through the valve) - it's on page 29 of this Schwalbe 2019 brouchure - https://www.schwalbe.com/en/catalogesflyer.html?file=files/schwalbe/user...

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Team EPO [219 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

once you havee wrestled wih the tubeless install I use the Swiss Milkit kit to top up as alot easier to top up but not cheap at£40

https://www.amazon.co.uk/milKit-Compact-Tubeless-Injector-Valves/dp/B00Y...

 

https://road.cc/content/review/176166-milkit-tubeless-valve-and-refill-kit

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peted76 [1585 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Team EPO wrote:

once you havee wrestled wih the tubeless install I use the Swiss Milkit kit to top up as alot easier to top up but not cheap at£40

https://www.amazon.co.uk/milKit-Compact-Tubeless-Injector-Valves/dp/B00Y...

 

https://road.cc/content/review/176166-milkit-tubeless-valve-and-refill-kit

Giant sell a sealant syringe for a tenner - https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/tubeless-sealant-refill---check-syringe

I should be picking mine up later this week  1

 

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hawkinspeter [4096 posts] 8 months ago
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Team EPO wrote:

once you havee wrestled wih the tubeless install I use the Swiss Milkit kit to top up as alot easier to top up but not cheap at£40

https://www.amazon.co.uk/milKit-Compact-Tubeless-Injector-Valves/dp/B00Y...

 

https://road.cc/content/review/176166-milkit-tubeless-valve-and-refill-kit

Seconded!

I particularly like the way it makes it easy to syringe out the sealant so you can see how much is left without having to unseat the tyre bead.

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Miller [285 posts] 1 month ago
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My advice would be, don't try this on a nice carpeted surface or indeed any surface you need to keep clean. Sealant is great stuff but it's messy and there is no way to install a tubeless tyre without some milky splashes.