How to Install a Tubeless Tire on a Rim

How to Install a Tubeless Tire on a Rim
Formally known as Universal System for Tubeless (UST), tubeless tires are most often found on mountain bikes. Rather than a traditional inner tube, the tire employs a butyl rubber inner lining, which reduces overall weight and the potential for "pinch flats." The tire requires a rim with a unique internal shape that ensures a secure, leak-proof fit. As a further benefit, the tire works on lower-than-normal air pressure. This causes the tire's tread to spread wider, increasing contact with the surface of the road.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tubeless tire
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottle (or clean rag or towel)
  • Tire levers (as needed)
  • Bicycle tire pump
Step 1
Mix a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap to 32 ounces of water. Spray the inside of the tire rim with the solution. If you're without a spray bottle, apply the solution with a clean rag or towel. The moisture will help the tire's beads pop into place more easily during inflation.
Step 2
Remove the tire's plastic valve stem cap and place the valve stem in the hole in the rim, with the tip of the valve stem pointing toward the center of the wheel.
Step 3
Align the label on the sidewall of the tire with the valve stem.
Step 4
Mount the first tire bead into place, using your thumbs to push the bead into the center of the rim. Then mount the second bead, again pushing it into the center of the rim. If necessary, use the flat end of a bicycle tire lever to work the last section of bead into place. It will be the most difficult.
Step 5
Check that both beads are in the center of the rim. Do not begin inflating the tire until the beads are in this position.
Step 6
Unscrew the locknut at the tip of the valve stem.
Step 7
Attach the pump head to the tip of the valve, and lock the pump head in place. Immediately inflate the tire to 20 psi. The tire will begin to take shape as the beads form a loose seal against the sides of the rim.
Step 8
Add further air until the beads give a "pop," indicating they have settled into the bead seats along the inner edges of the rim.
Step 9
Inspect the tire all around to ensure that the tire is seated uniformly.
Step 10
Continue adding air until you're close to the maximum psi, which will be printed on the sidewall of your tire. The tire is adequately inflated when the bead seat indicator, a raised ring around the sidewall of the tire, is equally exposed along both sidewalls.
Step 11
Remove the head of the pump, screw the locknut back onto the valve, and replace the plastic valve stem cap.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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