Tire Installation Made Easy

tires tubeless Uncategorized

Did you see that discs are going to be allowed in pro cycling without reservations next year? If nothing else, the chatter on the internets ought to be amusing. Significantly, though, I read that 160mm rotor size and thru-axle front and rear are the agreed standard. I'm going to assume that it's 12mm thru-axle front, which is kind of a bummer since that's overwhelmingly what the fewest people currently have, but hey you have to break some eggs, right? In the bigger picture, having standards that are actually standards will be nice. 

Segue to today's topic, which is tire installation made easy. All of these disc brake rims, and at least a significant minority of rim brake rims, have a tubeless-ready drop channel. All of the rims that we sell now have this feature (in English class we call that foreshadowing). Many people find tire installation to be a pain in the butt on these rims, but hark! It doesn't need to be. In fact, it's quite easy. Note that these easy to follow steps are shown with a Pacenti SL23 version 1 rims (the IMPOSSIBLE rim) and a Maxxis Padrone TR tire. 

Step 1: put first bead into drop channel the whole way 'roundSwear word count to this point: 0

Step 2: Install other bead in drop channel as far around as possible. Keep it 100% in the channelSwear words used to this point: Still 0

Finishing at the valve stem makes things easier. Thumbs should get you to hereFinishing at the valve stem makes it a bit easier to situate everything correctly. 

NEVER use a metal tire lever. Break a $3 tire lever if you must, not an expensive tire or rimUsing one thumb, lock the bead into the rim at one end of the remaining bit to go into the rim. Using the other hand and a PLASTIC tire lever, gently ease the tire over the edge of the rim and into the drop channel. This section of tire would take about 5 lifts with the lever. Don't try to hoss the whole thing on in one shot - it doesn't work. Still no swear words, which for me in this amount of time just in general life is almost a record. 

Et voila!And here makes the appearance of our first swear word - "DAMN that was easy."

There are always going to be some tires that are really tight - Ridley Scott just bought the film rights to a pitched battle I had with a set of Challenge Criteriums on non-tubeless-ready rims a few years ago - but most tires are pretty darn easy to set up with good technique. 


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  • Hoogle Da Boogle on

    DT Swiss RR 465 = the absolute friggin' toughest-to-mount rim I've ever dealt with (Conti 4000s w/tubes). Above technique worked but also needed to toe-strap the tire instead of just holding it with a thumb. I used Velox tape on the rims because that's what I had but a thinner tape might make it easier. Nothing more frustrating than trying to change a tube on an "impossible" tire in 25 degrees.

  • Rico on

    A light spritz of ordinary rubbing alcohol from a household sprayer will also greatly reduce the final bead mounting. The alcohol dries very quickly.

  • Emil on

    I really find that a bit of soapy water helps the last bit of tire slip over the rim.

  • Zach on

    Can you run tubeless on Rails?

  • Dave on

    Soap is a big help for seating a tubeless tire for sure. I've never used it or alcohol for tubed but will try both.Switching to thinner rim tape from Velox would make an absolute world of difference. Night and day, I promise.



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