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Tips On How To Change Tubeless Mountain Bike Tires

Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Emmanuel

This article provides tips on changing tubeless mountain bike tires because the process can be challenging if you can’t figure out how to do it correctly.

It aims to help you quickly change the mountain bike tubeless, provided you have the proper know-how and tools.

So let’s examine the necessary information to make a successful tubeless change on your mountain bike.

Are tubeless tires harder to change?

Although the changing process is similar to a tube tire, placing the tubeless tire bead on the rim can be a hassle. 

The tubeless tire bead is tighter and thicker, so the air won’t burp out of the tire even at low air pressure. 

Yet, installing a tubeless tire is worth the extra effort, as you do not need to worry about getting frequent flats on harsh terrains.  

How to remove a tubeless tire from a bicycle?

  • First, you need a tire lever to remove the tire easily.
  • Deflate the tire you want to remove from the rim and keep the valve away from the downward position to prevent the tire sealant leak.
  • Give the tire a push towards the rim’s center to separate the tire bead from the rim sidewall.
  • Grab your tire levers to scoop the tire bead off the rim.
  • Pay attention to the tire sealant at the bottom of the tire carcass, and remember to dispose of the used tire sealant per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Clean and dry the rim from any sealant left.

Tips to change a tubeless mountain bike tire?

Start by removing the old tire, installing the tubeless to the rim, and ensuring the valve is securely mounted.

In the next step, get your tire and pay attention to the arrow on the sidewall to know the direction of tire rotation. 

You will also align the tire to the rim accordingly and put the beads on the edge, depending on how you add the sealant.

Next, add sealant and inflate the tire to set the beads on the rim sidewall.

If the tire bead isn’t correctly seated, you can deflate the tire, break the tire bead, and then lubricate it with soap water.

After adding the sealant to the wheel, spin it to move the tire sealant around the wheel. 

Rember to swing the tire back and forth horizontally to spread the sealant to one side of the beads.

Flip the wheel and repeat the process for the other side of the bead.

Furthermore, waiting for the sealant to set and block any leaks is better unless it is a UST system.

Tips On How To Change Tubeless Mountain Bike Tires

The process of adding sealant

The first method is to pour the sealant into the tire without fully setting the bead on the rim.

Next, put the unmounted tire bead at the bottom and pour a recommended amount of sealant. 

Afterward, rotate the wheel until the unmounted part is at the top and mount it on the rim.

The second method is to inject the sealant via the valve by fully mounting the beads on the tire rim and securely mounting the valve.

Inflate the tire to get it seated on the rim, remove the valve core, and let the air out.

Finally, fill the syringe with a recommended tire sealant and inject it via the tire valve.

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How to break the bead on a tubeless bike tire?

Theoretically, you need to deflate the tire and push the bead to the center of the tire rim with your thumbs to break it.

Work your thumb around the tire rim to unmount both beads from the rim sidewall. However, sometimes it is not as easy as it seems. 

The beads can be hard to break. Among many tricks, stepping on the tire is the best way to break the bead.

i) You will start by laying the wheel on its side and stepping on one edge of the tire. The other edge of the tire should come up.

ii) With your other foot, push the other side of the rim down ens ensure that your weight breaks the tire bead.

iii) Repeat the process until all bead parts are unmounted from the rim.

iv) The trick to making it easier to break the bead with this method is to leave a couple of PSI inside the rim.

Why do my tubeless tires continue to lose air?

After you install a tubeless tire on the rim, more often than not, your tire will keep losing its air pressure in the first few days. 

This is because the tire sealant has not worked its way around every bit of hole across the tire.

So, the sealant usually seals much better after a few rides. 

Although, you can speed up the process after tire installation. Let the sealant pool to the bottom of the tire by holding it vertically. 

After that, bounce the tire on one area repeatedly. Repeat the process around the tire.

The idea is to concentrate the sealant on one part of the tire at a time, so it can seal all holes that may cause air loss. 

Tips On How To Change Tubeless Mountain Bike Tires

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Can You Mix MTB Tire Sealant?

Mixing tire sealants from different brands can cause the tire sealant to degrade in performance because each brand has its formula for making tire sealant. To use tire sealant from another brand, remove and clean your rim and tire from any previous tire sealant residue. 

Do I need rim tape for tubeless-ready rims?

Tubeless-ready rims only feature the bead lock design to support a tubeless tire on edge once inflated.

While the bead is secured, the center of the tire rim is not. 

So, yes, you need rim tape for tubeless-ready rims, as they have visible holes for spokes on the center of the tire rim. Use the rim tape to seal the holes in the tire rim bed to prevent air loss. 

Pay attention to the kind of rim tape you buy, as choosing poor rim tape can frustrate you with slow leaks.

How to put a tube in a tubeless mountain bike tire?

The process of tubing tubeless tires is similar to regular tube tires. The only difference is that you must remove the valve stem to fit the tube valve.

  • Remove the wheel from the bike frame.
  • Deflate the tubeless tire by unscrewing the valve core.
  • Unmount one side of the tire bead from the rim. If you find a stubborn tire bead, step on one edge of the tire with one foot and push the opposite tire edge with your other foot.
  • Remove the valve stem from the rim.
  • Put the tube inside the rim by fitting the tube valve into the rim valve hole first.
  • Mount the tire bead on the rim and inflate the tire.
  • Install the wheel back on the bike frame to finalize the process.

As tubeless tire beads tend to snap on the rim, try to inflate the tube to 50 PSI. This air pressure should be enough to seat the tire bead on the tire rim. 

If your pump can reach 50 PSI, be ready to hear snaps from your tire as you ride along.

If you have a pool pump that seems to suck the air more than it blows, improve it by taking the pump apart. 

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How do I tape a tubeless mountain bike rim?

First, get the correct width of tire rim tape in correlation with your tire rim.

Also, don’t forget to clean and dry the tire rim before fitting the rim tape on it. If you have Isopropyl Alcohol, you can use that to clean up the rim bed.

Start the process from around the valve hole. Pull the tape tightly as you apply it to the rim bed.

Make your way around the center of the rim for one revolution. Make sure there is no wrinkling tape.

You will then give an approximate 15 cm overlap before cutting the rim tape. This will strengthen the tape around the valve hole with a double layer of tape.

Lastly, push the applied tape into the rim bed to strengthen its bond and install the valve stem and the tire.

Final thoughts 

This article has covered the essential tips for changing tubeless mountain bike tires, and we hope you will find it helpful.

The process can be intimidating for beginner cyclists, but with these helpful tips, anyone can successfully get the job done.

When beginning this process, wear gear like gloves and eyewear to protect yourself against sharp objects or debris in your eyes.

Furthermore, be sure you have all the tools necessary before starting so you don’t run into any obstacles during the job.


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