Watch That Manual | How to pump up a bicycle tire?
Watch That Manual | How to pump up a bicycle tire?Ready story
TEXT / BBB CYCLING | PHOTOS / BBB CYCLING
Manuals, you often get them with your new products, but who actually reads them? And even if you do, how much can you still remember of it? Exactly! That's why we make working on your own bike a bit easier, with Watch That Manual! In this series, we show you exactly what to do and what not to do.
Tubeless, you may have heard the term. Nowadays, more and more bike tires are set up this way. Just like a car tire, a tubeless tire on your bike does not have an inner tube. In this Watch That Manual we explain to you how to make your tubeless tire airtight. Replacing a tubeless tire can be quite a job, but practice makes perfect and you will thank yourself on every ride!
Before we begin, make sure your rims are actually tubeless, or tubeless-ready. Because not all wheels are compatible with tubeless tires. A tubeless rim is fitted with an airtight rim tap or you add it to the rim. Tubeless tires are often firmer and have a different way of hooking onto your wheel to create an airtight connection. Look for the letters ‘TLR’ on both your tires and wheels, this stands for Tubeless Ready.
If needed, start by taking your old tires off your wheels. If there is already a tubeless rim tape on, make sure you check it to be 100% undamaged.
If replacement is needed, choose a rim tape that is just a few millimetres wider than the internal rim width so it’s wide enough to curl up a little against the sides. Keep your wheel straight and start two spoke holes past the valve hole. Apply the tape all the way around your rim until you made the full circle and go two spoke holes past the valve hole again. You can decide to do a whole extra layer of rim tape, this will help set your tyres better in the rim. Make sure you use the right width of the tape to cover the whole side of the rim.
Make a little hole through the rim tape where your valve will go through. Push your tubeless valve through the hole and put the valve nut on the valve to secure it to your rim. The connection between your valve and your rim must be completely airtight.
Now we are at the tricky part. Place your tire on your rim and try to place it as far out as possible. Now unscrew the valve core from the valve at the 8 o'clock position and fill your tire with the latex tubeless sealant. If you only have a large bottle without a filler cap, pour the sealant into the tire before you put it on completely. How much sealant you need depends on your tire size and always try to use the same type of fluid.
This step is also a little bit different than usual. You need a lot of air pressure in one go. It is possible to do with a normal pump, but with a CO2 cartridge, it is much easier. Spray a little bit of soapy water on the rim to check later if there are any leaks. Release the air of your cartridge in a fast burst into your tire and the tyre itself should simply pop into place on the rim.
Check your tire along the sides if it is evenly in position on your rim. You can up the pressure a little bit to get everything set into place. When everything is in the right position, shake your tire back and forth to spread the sealant evenly over the whole tire.
In the case of a flat tire, the sealant should do its work by reacting with the air and immediately closing the puncture and making it airtight again. When you get back home, you simply refill your tire with sealant and you are good to go again. Haven’t had a flat in a while? You are lucky, but it is still advised to replace the sealant every 6 months.