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Tubeless Dos And Don’ts | How To Set Up Tubeless Tyres

Tubeless Dos And Don’ts | How To Set Up Tubeless Tyres

– Road tubeless tires
and wheels are becoming increasingly popular,
but a number of people have had and continue to
have problems with them. And it’s no surprise, really, is it? Because they look so similar,
but yet significantly different enough from
normal tires and tubes that it can actually then trip us up. So. Let’s try and
simplify things, shall we? Coming up are our tubeless dos and don’ts. (relaxed techno music) Now firstly, let’s have a little recap as to what it actually is. A tubeless system is one
that, surprise, surprise, has no inner tube in it. So in order for it to
work, the bed of the rim needs to be airtight, so often that can be as simple as putting special
tape around to seal it, like you can see on
this DT Swiss one, here. And then, some tubeless tires
are also impermeable as well. So, in order to set them up, you literally have to put nothing inside, whatsoever, and it will be airtight. Most, though, will have a requirement of some kind of liquid sealant that will then coat
the inside of the tire, and fill all these tiny little
holes, make it airtight. But then, as an added bonus,
that sealant will also seal most punctures as
you’re riding along. Now, without the sealant,
you still get the benefit of no impact punctures, but you would then still be susceptible to sharp objects. The most critical part
of a road tubeless system is actually the interface between the bead of the tire
and the wall of the rim. Both components need to
be tubeless specific, in order to be safe. Which leads me neatly
on to our first don’t. Don’t try to make a
normal road tire tubeless. It is actually really dangerous, because a tubeless specific
tire will have a much stiffer bead on it that won’t stretch. The reason it needs that is because there’s obviously no inner tube inside that would otherwise be
holding it onto the rim. You can bodge it with higher-volume,
lower-pressure tires, so, like, mountain bike
tires or cyclocross tires, but the higher pressure
needed for skinny road tires means that it’s just super, super sketchy. Do consider running a
little bit less pressure in your tubeless tires
anyway, in comparison to what you might run in
your standard tubed tires. Basically, on anything other
than super smooth tarmac, it’s actually gonna help
you roll more efficiently because the softer tire is gonna be able to absorb that road buzz. And you don’t have to worry
about pinch flats, anyway. And yeah, I would genuinely
consider running 46 PSI in a 28. Now, I mentioned sealant
a little bit earlier on. I always run sealant
inside my tubeless tires. That way, I get that puncture protection from sharp objects, as
well as pinch flats. But, you have to remember,
the sealant has a life-span. It will dry out inside the tire. So, from time to time, maybe
every three or four months, you need to re-top up
those sealant levels. Very simple to do. Just let the pressure out your
tires, remove the valve core, inject some more sealant, (pop) and away you go. Do make sure that when
you are actually putting the tire on in the first place, that you push the bead of the tire into the central well in the rim. ‘Cause that effectively decreases
the diameter of the wheel, and therefore gives you
more slack in the tire, in order to actually then get
it over the rim side wall. (bike pump) (sighs) Don’t spend hours and hours trying to pump a stubbornly deflated tubeless tire. There are loads of little
tips that could well make life a lot easier. So with your sealant inside the tire, you want to roll it quite firmly along the ground or your work top. And what that’ll do,
is it’ll coat the bead of the tire with a nice layer of sealant. And that should mean that it
inflates much more easily. If that doesn’t work,
the next step is to get some soapy water, and then just brush it on the sidewall of the tire. And that can really help
to get things to seal. Now there are other
tips, but if I’m honest, by this point, if it still isn’t seated, then I tend to run out of patience. And so I instead bring out the big guns. (boxing bell) (punch) If you run tubeless across
a number of different bikes, then something like this to Topeak Booster could well be a worthwhile investment. So, it works like a normal track pump. But then it also has this air canister that you charge up to 160 PSI. And then, at the flick of a switch, it releases all that air, super high-volume, exactly
like a compressor would work. Now, if inflating tubeless tires isn’t a regular occurrence for you, then perhaps instead of investing, you should just search out
your local air compressor. Now, strictly speaking, all
the garages and petrol stations near me say that you’re not allowed to inflate bike tires with
their air compressors. But you might be able
to find a friendly one. And be really, really careful. Do wait for the tell-tale
pop as the bead seats. And then you’re done! (bike pump) (pop) Whatever you do though,
don’t just go nuts, keep pumpin’ all the way up to 120 PSI, and then blow the tire clean off the rim. It’s loud, and it’s really messy. Don’t just throw a
tubeless tire in the bin Ii you do happen to get unlucky enough to actually suffer a
puncture that won’t seal, because you can, in some
cases, repair the tires. I’ve done it just with a
normal puncture repair kit, but you can get proper tubeless
tire repair kits as well. Now, sometimes manufacturers
don’t recommend this practice, so you probably wanna check first. Well there are your dos
and your don’ts, then. Tubeless, as a system,
is not for everyone. Most riders still don’t
really feel the need to convert at the moment. And that’s absolutely fine. But just bear in mind that it is becoming an increasingly competitive option. And the further away from
tarmac that you do stray, the stronger the case
for tubeless becomes. Yeah, I’ll leave that with you. Right, do make sure you subscribe to GCN before leaving this video. To do so, just click on the globe. And if you wanna watch
a couple more videos that are relevant to this topic, how about “Clinches Vs
Tubeless Vs Tubular Tires” Oh yeah. That one is just down there. Or, to see a video where
we have a little look at wide rims and wide tires,
click just down there.

100 comments on “Tubeless Dos And Don’ts | How To Set Up Tubeless Tyres

  1. On the part about using tubeless specific stuff, you can get away with a non-tubeless rim and Gorilla tape. It is best, however, to get tubeless ready tires because, aside from previously mentioned reasons, they are designed to work with the sealant and the sealant won't bleed through the tire.

  2. Did it, tried it. Horrible experience. I will never do tubeless tires again. BTW there is no way to effectively repair a tubeless tire other that just to get you home. Invariably the patch will blow out and you will have a massive hole in the tire. Very dangerous as this happened to me using the horrendously bad Hutchinson tubeless tires. I had at least 3 punctures that never sealed effectively at all. Had to put in a tube to get home. It's not worth the trouble on high pressure road bikes. IMO.

  3. At least on for a mtb tire, it is easier if you take a folded tubeless tire and mount it on a rim with an inner tube over night. Then just unmount one side of the bead, remove the inner tube, put in the tubeless valve and mount the tire back on. That way you have one bead completely sealed already and the other bead will also seat easier to the rim. I use a normal track pump for that and it is effortless. 😉 Haven't tried road tubeless yet, though…

  4. I say avoid like the plague – they simply are NOT worth the hassle. I went tubeless out of curiosity after getting myself a set of DT Swiss RR 21DiCut wheels. Yes, they are more comfortable as you can get away with less pressure but fitting the tires onto the rims was a nightmare in itself and the sealant was an absolute mess that almost made me cry. Puncture protection? They're not bombproof and there is simply no way you're going to fit a tube in the event of puncturing outside, forget about it.
    I can understand their use for offroad applications but they are pointless on road bikes and that's why they never really caught on.
    Having said that, I have a pair of Schwalbe One Tubeless (23mm), barely used if anybody's interested 😉

  5. I see the point of them but to be honest just not worth the mucking about. I guess if I had a mechanic to fit, change and fix my tyres…. Would be interesting as a cycling “lay person” (ie never raced, don’t own a power meter, detest Strava) to ride both to see if there is much of a difference in ride quality.

  6. About to purchase a Canyon Endurace with Mavics road tubeless system so I'll soon be tubeless on the road after years of great results tubeless on my MTB.

    I have a question though, when using a pressure gauge what's to stop any sealant coming out of the valve and into the body of the pressure gauge? I assume over time this would build up and damage the gauge/affect its accuracy? I've been avoiding using my gauge on my MTB and relying on the gauge fitted to my track pump which I've tested to be pretty accurate.

  7. I'm open to tubeless and perhaps in the future I'll run that way. But the way they are set up now is too much of a pain in the ass and not worth the hassle.

  8. Love my Giant tubeless carbon disc wheels. Picked up a nail in the front, didn't even notice it until cleaning up after the ride. Pulled the nail, sealed instantly with just a little spit of sealant. ONE ISSUE – How do I prevent the sealant gumming up the valve internals?

  9. Usually we try the Airshot Tubeless Inflator first.

    If that is not working I use a 16 g CO2 Cartridge and force my tyres on the rim with it, easy going.

    50 16 g CO2 Cartridges on Ebay cost 35,- bucks.

    Joe`s No Flats Road Racing Sealant can handle 9 bar, hole and CO2 better then other milk we think.

    To fix large punktures during a ride I use the 5 gram Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tire Repair Kit – G2650.

    The Tubeless Tire Repair Kit works splendid. Sting, CO2 Cartridge and go under 120 seconds!! That count!

    Back home I fix hole with the TipTop 5060160 Tubeless repair kit. They are not so filmy like other patches.

    Checked Specialized S-Works Turbo, Schwalbe pro one, Schalbe Ironman, Bontrager and Vittoria Tubeless.

    The Specialized S-Works Turbo Road Tubeless are the best on the market in this days I think.

    Love my tubeless!!!

  10. Its great but when you do get a puncture flat the mess can be a bit much and your mates faces might get a good spray as well, good way to get wheel suckers off you wheel though.

  11. What about in the winter? Does the sealant freeze? I regularly ride at -20 to -30 (Celsius) for example, and my garage where the bike is stored, can also get well below zero. Not sure I'd want a chunk of frozen goop in the "bottom" of the wheel…?

  12. Be careful using sealant with alloy rims. Stan's sealant corroded holes through my Campy Zonda tubeless-ready wheels. Can no longer use them tubeless. Friends of mine had the same thing happen with Dura-Ace wheels and Stan's. Might not be a problem with carbon rims. And I can't speak for other sealants.

  13. Simon you are a gun. That was top information ,thanks for putting it out there.
    Ps as for service station not letting you pump up your tyres , just let them know how many thousands of dollars you (or dad) have spend on petrol.

  14. Is 46psi a pretty normal pressure for 28s on a road tyre? I run 28s (albeit with tubes) and the recommended pressure is 95psi.
    Is there really that much of a difference between pressures for tubes/tubeless and/or different manufacturers? Or is it largely down to preference?

  15. I run 700×30 tubeless on my road bike when I'm riding on more remote roads. It is a lifesaver with all of the broken glass, shredded truck tires, and other debris on the side of rural highways. I have another set of tubeless compatible wheels with 700×25 clinchers. I'm considering converting those to tubeless as well, but I'm really wondering about the sustainability… i.e. the longevity of the sealant, and how often it has to be topped off, or just added too, adding weight to the wheel, eventually needing to be replaced… And I think Si really glossed over how insanely difficult it is to get a &$*! tubeless tire onto the *%#@ rim!

  16. #gcn #torqueback #askgcn

    The number one reason why cars switched to tubeless tyres is that a punctured inner tube can deflate so rapidly that the driver looses control and crashes, the so called blow out.

    I've now done over 1,300 miles since switching to a tubeless setup and won't be going back to using inner tubes for that very reason.

    I just hate the thought of another blow out in my front tyre whilst going downhill at 40+ mph. It’s happened once and I couldn’t stop for the junction at the bottom of the of the hill, thankfully there was not traffic and I survived but I might not be as lucky again.

  17. I really can’t see the advantage of these, why not just run sealant in the tube, you get puncture protection and if you get a puncture that won’t seal you haven’t got all that free sealant mess. A tubeless is still a clincher with all it’s problems, so why change??

    I see how it is an advantage with MTB and cyclecross, due to the much lower pressures, the sealant works better and no pinch flats from tubes, road bikes with high pressures is another story.

  18. What do you do when you take wheels with tubeless tyres fitted on plane when you have to deflate them to pack them into your bike box? Deflate them, empty the sealant and fill them up at the other end?

  19. Great video: I was allways wondering whether the sealant would dry out…answered, just like loads of other unknowns.

  20. I have used tubeless tyres on my road bike and I'm not a fan at all.
    The first 200km on the tubeless was great, but after this 200km I punctured on every ride more then 80km. I must say, the sealant in the tyre did get me home every single time, but the entire back end of the bike was covered with sealant, and there wasn't much pressure left in the tyre….. If you used a hand pump to increase the pressure, most of the times the dried sealant just popped out, and you had a flat again….. the remaining sealant did reseals the tyre but only at low pressure (max. 4 bar / 60 psi)

    So the claimed benefits of lower rolling resistance only is true for tyres that were never punctured ( Note: they really rolled well before the first puncture. They were noticeably better then clinchers ), after the first puncture it wasn't possible to put more then 4 to 5 bar (60 – 70 psi) into the tyre, so the gain in rolling resistance vs a clincher was totally gone.

    I don't think I'll ever go back to tubeless (on my road bike) before they make a sealant that can resist pressures up to 8 bar /120psi.

  21. After turning the air blue trying to get a tubeless to seat, I took a frustrated trip to use the LBS's compressor. Then I got a full-on badass compressor from Sears for $100. Cheaper than the Topeak and handy for the car too. I can happily seat tubes all day now.

  22. Tubeless sucks

    And read:

    And read:

  23. I got a pinch flat on a road tubeless setup on Wednesday. #askGCN can you do a video on tubeless repairs using mushrooms, noodles, needles and patches?

  24. I couldn't get my mtb tyres to inflate even with the sealant and using soapy water but when I tried to roll the tyre along the floor pushing down on it they pumped up straight away! Thanks that was really helpful 👍

  25. super important is to place wheel for some time flat on both sides, it helps to distribute fluid on the edges : ) (where tyre contact rim)

  26. whole season no puncture and always something to start conversation about tech stuff : ) schwalbe ironman tubeless tyre and Shimano WH-6800 Ultegra wheelset. so far so good

  27. Why are you guys spreading the low tire pressure spam ? Is this a long term troll effort by pro cyclists ? I’ve ridden soft and super high pressures on the same routes and high pressure times smoke the low pressure comfort pressure rides … suck it up faggots !! Cycling is supposed to be punishing ! Fuck your 21 speed road bikes and your electronic shifters.. it’s not cycling when you are being a whiny bitch about bumps in the road

  28. Another great gcn video. Thinking of going tubeless on the road bike. What happens if you get a bit of glass or flint in the tyre? If it doesn’t tear too big a hole can you just pull it out and the sealant will seal it? The more you ride the deeper the glass or flint gets pushed in so thinking tubeless doesn’t solve these type of punctures? Any comment is appreciated 👍🏻 Cheers

  29. I do have tubeless tires on my Giant Propel. However, once I got flat.. the tech at rest stop replaced it with inner tube and took out my tubeless valve stem. So it seems tubeless tire can hold inner tube, is it or not? I didn't notice and been riding my bike for few hundred miles not seeing any problems. Now, It is about time to change my tires. Errr I guess I need to buy tubeless version in order to fit it properly, doesn't it?

  30. In California its a legal requirement for gas stations to provide free compressed air. They always have coin operated machines for the uninformed. Just ask attendant to turn on the compressor. They cant refuse. If they do, report the station.

  31. So let’s carry an air compressor to our regular trainings; once u got a flat over the road, u have to use inner tube, because it’s almost impossible over the road to inflate the tubeless tire.

  32. I used a bar of soap, not wet, just plain, rubbed on to lube the bead of the tire. It's not messy and it worked great. Ivory soap… Track pump worked fine after that – before, I wasted a couple of CO2s.

  33. If you take the valve core out to pump then it's really easy. Floor pump is fine. I can't believe they tell you this. Doesnt work with that valve core in there very well. Lol

  34. i want to convert my clinchers to tubeless tires since i ride them to school every day and get quite a bit of punctures. however my rims dont say they are tubeless ready. is it still possible to use my rims for a tubeless setup? i dont want to spend another 200 bucks on new wheels

  35. Dear GCN,While I been a road bike guy for many years, I'm pretty new to the whole gravel bike riding and tubeless tires as I'm sure many of your viewers are.  While I certainly think that tubeless is the way to go for gravel riding, I'm always guessing as to what my pressure should be, and I usually make that guess based upon what I think the road surface (or lack there of) is going to be.  The smoother the road the higher the pressure.  The rougher the road the lower the pressure.It would be cool if GCN did a experiment about how low should you go.  Sure lower pressure can be great, but obviously there's a trade off with increased rolling resistance. While there are a variety of factors that can effect what pressure you should be riding like rider weight, road/off-road surface, speed, desired comfort level for those who don't care about speed vs. less wear and tear for a longer race performance and more, here's what I'd like to see you do….Take a gravel bike with tubeless tires and a power meter, plot out a course that covers a variety of surfaces over a few short miles, then go ride it at as near of a constant speed that you can, recording the power output needed to do it at 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 & 50 psi.  Feel free to alter this however you'd like and what makes the most sense. But I think it would be a great segment and as usual, I'm sure you can have some fun with it as well.Thanks from a GCN Fan,Jon

  36. It helps to bead the tyre before adding sealant. If it holds air pretty well you're good, if it doesn't you don't have to deal with sealant going everywhere. Once beaded remove valve core, add sealant and pump er up.

  37. I notice you took valve out when it’s at the ‘top’. Is this to help prevent valve getting blocked with sealant if you do it at the bottom?

  38. hey GCN,
    if my wheels are tubeless ready, should I install the tubeless tape and keep riding on tubes? or should I use regular rim tape on them as I keep riding tubes? thanks for your time!

  39. Bought a new bike at the end of last season, Did nt get to use it until … today. Just to find my tubeless tires completely deflated and there was just no way of inflating them so i took it off and made a huge mess on the floor… I am not pleased.

  40. New conti 5000 TL onto mavic ust. Almost gave up but this video and others help.
    First side goes on ok.
    Second side work towards the valve. When gets tight cable tie either side where on the rim. Heat the tyre with hair dryer. Then as GCN use two levers. Still very difficult but got on.
    Persisted as had paid for the tyre.
    Massive hassle.. think will fit regular tyres next time.

  41. I have Velocity Aileron rims on my road tandem. Given the speeds we sometimes go, I chose Gatorskins for their puncture resistance. But a few months ago, I switched to Hutchinson Sector tubeless on the theory that I'd be even less likely to get a flat. I chose 700×32 rear, 700×28 front, 90 PSI both ends. They're smoother and roll better than the Gatorskins. Today I ran over a sharp rock that cut a quarter inch slice in the sidewall. Boom. Went flat in an instant. I wonder if the Gatorskins would have fared better. Remounted an old Gatorskin. Then ordered a replacement Hutchinson Sector tubeless.

  42. I used tyre sealant and inflator… Its works but i have no idea how much sealent is in tyre now ?? Any idea or suggests??

  43. Too many caveats mean you trade away all of the performance and economic advantages. You can still get better performance and safety by making smart choices with tires and tubes. And I still have not seen a tubeless tire beat the best performing tires with tubes on "watts" resistance.

  44. I may consider tubeless when I buy a gravel bike but since I’m pretty much strictly a road cyclist, meaning tarmac, for the most part, I like using the skinny tires with about 100 psi in them. Good information to know though and I do like the added benefit of using a sealant that “automatically” seals small punctures!

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