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Tubeless for Dummies II31.12.2018

Last post was about installing tubeless tires, today I’m going to go over potential issues. (beware things aren’t as straight forward as putting an inner tube into a clincher tire.)

Issues during the install?

You are working on that tubeless install and have all the gear, but the tire won’t just pop out of the center channel. What to do? Assuming you are using a TLR rim and tire, please follow the next steps

Lube it! Personally I have a trigger spray flask with a soap and water mix. You can also get a small cup and mix some water and washing up liquid in it. Then holding the wheel and tire combination with the valve at, either the bottom or the top, spray some soapy water on the area between the tire bead and the rim. Do this on both sides and make sure the soapy water runs between the bead and rim around the whole of the circumference. 

-Now unscrew the valve core, mount the pump head and give it a blast of air. 

-Still no luck? check if the beads of the tire are in the centre channel of the rim and try again. (make sure the only place where the beads are not in the centre channel is at the valve.)

-The tire must have a good fit around the rim when seated in the centre channel.

-If there are places between the rim and the tire where you can see possibilities for air to escape in large quantities you possibly need to add another layer of tape.

Want to get the latex out of the tire?

You may want to change tires after a few rides, because you are changing tarmac for dirt on your gravel machine or because you want another thread on it for more grip during that certain sportive. Changing tires with liquid latex in them can be another dimension. There are two ways to tackle it:

1 unlock one bead of the tire and carefully unmount it from the rim. make sure not to make sudden moves as you don’t want the latex to spill. 

2 make sure you have a small container at the ready and carefully pour the latex into the container. Make sure you scrape the sealant particles from the tire and into the container as well. 

Or use the Milkit system

The use of milKit is quick and easy (Disclaimer, I have never used this, but it seems convenient)

1. Screw out the milKit valve core no air is lost, thanks to closed rubber flaps

2. Insert the milKit applicator through the valve to measure the sealant in the tire

3. Identify how much extra sealant is needed

4. Inject sealant with the milKit applicator

5. Put back the valve core and go ride!

milKit can be used with all standard rims, tires, and sealants.


Cleaning the insides.

If all of that is too much hassle for you, just bring your wheel with fully seated tire with you into the shower. (you need to shower after your ride anyway) Before you start cleaning yourself with the hot water coming from above, deflate the tire, pop the beads and unmount the tire. While you are at it, clean the wheel/rim and the inside of the tire as well. 

Back when i still lived with my parents I used to toss my MTB tires in the washing machine for a short cycle to clean them out. Ofcourse, always when my parents were out of the house (and I do hope they don't read this). The tires got squeaky clean, but since i have my own washing machine i’m a bit more careful, I often bring the tires with me under the shower, or i fill the sink with water. give the inside of the tire a good scrub with a scotch brite pad and they will be clean again. 

You don’t need to do this, you can also just rinse the tires and air dry them before putting them away. 

Fixing flats

Whenever you flat in such an un charming way that even the sealant inside the tire couldn’t seal the leak, or the puncture is just to big to seal for a certain pressure, you need to patch the tire. 

Always patch the tire on the inside. Yes, this means that you need to remove and clean the tire. Please follow the guidelines as described above. Then give the inside of the tire, where the puncture is, a good scrub with a scotch brite pad and make sure there is no sealant residue left. Then patch it like you are used to do with your inner tubes. 

A patched tire. The patch is holding well.

Maxalami and the likes are always a temporary solution. always patch the tire, or toss it, when you get back home.

The contents of my road side repairs pack. Tool, a pack of lard and the applicator, C02 cartridge with valve key, Tire levers, A latex tube and some cash to get me an espresso.

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