Tubeless Dos And Don'ts | How To Set Up Tubeless Tyres

Published on November 6th 2017


Tubeless tyres are now a really viable option for all round road racing, especially if you like to head onto the gravel roads or trails. Simon runs you through the dos and don'ts of setting up tubeless tyres here. Subscribe to GCN: Register your interest in the GCN Club: Get exclusive GCN gear in the GCN shop! Road tubeless tires and wheels are becoming increasingly popular, but a number of people have had and continue to have problems with them. Coming up are our tubeless dos and don'ts. Now firstly, let's have a little recap as to what it actually is. A tubeless system is one that, surprise, surprise, has no inner tube in it. So in order for it to work, the bed of the rim needs to be airtight, so often that can be as simple as putting special tape around to seal it. Most, though, will have a requirement of some kind of liquid sealant that will then coat the inside of the tire, and fill all these tiny little holes, make it airtight. But then, as an added bonus, that sealant will also seal most punctures as you're riding along. The most critical part of a road tubeless system is actually the interface between the bead of the tire and the wall of the rim. Both components need to be tubeless specific, in order to be safe. Which leads me neatly on to our first don't. Don't try to make a normal road tire tubeless. It is actually really dangerous, because a tubeless specific tire will have a much stiffer bead on it that won't stretch. Do consider running a little bit less pressure in your tubeless tires anyway, in comparison to what you might run in your standard tubed tires. I always run sealant inside my tubeless tires. That way, I get that puncture protection from sharp objects, as well as pinch flats. But, you have to remember, the sealant has a life-span. It will dry out inside the tire. So, from time to time, maybe every three or four months, you need to re-top up those sealant levels. Don't spend hours and hours trying to pump a stubbornly deflated tubeless tire. With your sealant inside the tire, you want to roll it quite firmly along the ground or your work top. And what that'll do, is it'll coat the bead of the tire with a nice layer of sealant. And that should mean that it inflates much more easily. If you run tubeless across a number of different bikes, then something like this to Topeak Booster could well be a worthwhile investment. So, it works like a normal track pump. But then it also has this air canister that you charge up to 160 PSI. And then, at the flick of a switch, it releases all that air, super high-volume, exactly like a compressor would work. Do you have any top tips or hacks for running tubeless that you think we've missed? Let us know in the comments below 👇 If you'd like to contribute captions and video info in your language, here's the link 👍 Watch more on GCN... Clinchers vs Tubeless vs Tubulars 📹 Wide tyres and wide rims 📹 Photos: © Bettiniphoto / & ©Tim De Waele / Music: Cristaux - Andre Aguado