How to Pump Up Tubeless Tires

How to Pump Up Tubeless Tires
Tubeless mountain bike tires eliminate the need for an inner tube and help to prevent many common causes of flat tires. UST systems provide a secure bond between tire and rim to keep the tires inflated. Inflating the tires requires a slightly different procedure and tools than inflating traditional tube tires.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • UST tubeless rim and tire Soapy water Air compressor or CO2 inflator
  • UST tubeless rim and tire
  • Soapy water
  • Air compressor or CO2 inflator
Step 1
Wet the tire beads and sides with soapy water. This will help them to better slide into the rim and form a proper seal.
Step 2
Check the tire to see which direction it is supposed to be seated in and then insert the first bead into the rim, beginning on the opposite side of the valve stem.
Step 3
Put the second bead into the rim. Again, start at the side directly opposite the valve stem and install down both directions toward the valve. Insert the tire bead by hand and use the soapy water to help lubricate it and get it into the rim.
Step 4
With just a few inches of bead off the rim, consider putting tire sealant into the tire to help plug leaks. Follow the directions on your sealant.
Step 5
Finish putting bead on around the valve stem. Be sure that the tire is properly and evenly seated in the rim.
Step 6
Use an air compressor or CO2 inflator to initially pump the tire. In order to get the tire to fully seal in the rim, you need to pump air at a fast rate. You may be able to complete this with a floor pump, but an automated pump is a surer bet. Pump to 40 to 60 psi until you hear the tire seal into the rim.
Step 7
Check to make sure that the beads are properly engaged with the rim and not sticking out. The sides of the tire should be at even heights from the rim and the tire should have a firm seal inside the rim.
Step 8
Check the tire for suggested pressures and release air to the desired pressure. Tubeless tires don't suffer from pinch flats, so they can be left at lower pressures than tubed tires. Experiment with different pressures to find the one you like the most.
Step 9
Check to make sure the beads are fully seated and the tire is holding air before riding.

Tips & Warnings

If the tire rapidly loses air, repeat the process to get a proper seal.
Avoid using tire levers to install the tire. If you must, be very careful not to damage the rim strip.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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