Tubeless Tire Mounting and Repair

This article will discuss installation and repair of tubeless tires.



The tubeless tire relies on a volume of air to push bead to rim. If it does not seem possible to seat the bead well enough to inflate the tire, one procedure is to use a long strap around the tire. Place the strap around the circumference of the tire. Tighten the strap to help hold the bead to the rim and inflate the tire (Figure 1). This helps the bead hold to the rim while tire is inflated. The beads will lock into place. Listen for the popping as they do. Inflate to full inflation and inspect the bead for leaks. Use water at the bead and look for any bubbles (Figure 2). Deflate and reseat as necessary.

Figure 1. Use strap to pull tire bead to the rim

Figure 2. Soapy water will help seat bead


Tire Repair

This tire system contains no inner tube. The rim is sealed internally air tight. The tire body uses a special bead design, and the tire is lined internally with a butyl rubber. This is the same type of rubber used on inner tubes. A vulcanizing patch kit such as the VP-1 can be used to effect a repair. If the tire casing is badly ripped, replace the tire.

NOTE: Do not use the GP-2 or TB-2 patch for this repair. Both rely upon the inner tube to press the patch to the tire body.

  1. Begin by inspecting the tire casing for the hole. Mark the location before removing the thorn, nail, etc. (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Locate hole and mark before removing tire

  1. Remove the tire and turn it inside out. Similar to patching and inner tube, clean the rubber. Use the sand paper in the kit to lightly sand the area (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Lightly sand inside the tire

  1. It is also recommended to use a solvent to clean the area (Figure 5). This insures the best bonding with the patch. Use alcohol or similar solvent. Do not use a solvent that leaves an oily film, such as citrus based degreasers.

Figure 5. Clean area with alcohol swab

  1. Apply the vulcanizing fluid to the area (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Apply fluid to area

  1. It is important the glue be spread evenly and wider then the patch. Use the back of the foil and patch to disperse the glue (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Spread glue around area using back of patch

  1. Allow vulcanizing fluid to dry. Remove back of foil from patch and place patch over hole. Press downward on patch with force and hold firmly for one minute (Figure 8).

Figure 8. Press on patch and hold to allow bonding to rubber

  1. Tire is ready to use. It is not necessary to remove the plastic cover on the patch (Figure 9). Removing this cover from a freshly placed patch may loosen bond.

Figure 9. Tire is ready to use


Tire Sealants

Liquid sealants for tubeless tires are available from various manufacturers and are intended to seal small holes in the tire. These are best applied to the tire before mounting. If a sealant is used, it will make the tire casing difficult if not impossible to repair by patching.

NOTE: Use of tire sealants may plug the valve core and may ruin any pump head.

The procedure for tubeless tire sealant installation:
1. Install one tire bead on the wheel.
2. Hang the wheel vertically with valve at either the three or the nine o’clock position. If the bike is mounted in a repair stand, the handlebar ends can be used as a hanger. The PTH-1 is also useful for this task.
3. Pour sealant into the tire at the six o’clock position. Consult the sealant manufacturer’s instructions for amount of sealant to be applied.

  1. Leave the tire and wheel hanging. Carefully engage the second bead while working from the bottom upward on both sides.

  1. Remove the wheel from the hook and inflate tire and seat bead.
  2. Inflate wheel to full a pressure and inspect seating. Spin wheel to distribute fluid.