Bicycle Mechanics - Road tubeless system problems
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01-30-12, 01:16 PM
I added sealant to a road tubeless tire by opening the seal between the rim and tire. I know you can add sealant through removable core valves, but I do not have such valve. In the past, I was able to re-seal the tire using a small compressor. This time it was impossible by even using gas station air. I cleaned the “gummy” latex residue from the tire and rim. It was a big hassle cleaning the residue from the rim. I added new sealant, and again I could not seal the tire using the gas air system. I couldn’t get the tire to butt against the rim in certain leaking areas. The lip of the tire would stay in the center groove. I decided to install an inner tube to seat the tire. I could not install the tire with the inner tube even though I have installed an inner tube in a similar tire in the past. To me with this older tubeless tire (>1500 klm) somehow the last section of the tire has become much more difficult to get over the rim.
Even if you have removable core valve so you don’t have to break the seal to added sealant you eventually have to remove the tire from the rim to cleanup the residue. The accumulation of the residue for a year was a full handful.
I am also concerned that I will not be able to add an inner tube on the road in the case the tire gets a cut too big for the sealant.
Rims are Shimano tubeless duraAce and the tire Hutchinson fusion tires.
Any similar experiences or recommendations.
01-30-12, 03:04 PM
It kinda blows my mind that they even make a tubeless valve stem that doesn't have a removable core. I don't get that, and have never seen it, but I won't argue with you. For difficult mountain tubeless tires, a trick we've learned from Notubes at our shop, to get the tires to seat, is to remove the valve core and inflate the tire with a compressor by putting the air directly into the valve stem without the core. This seems to put more air volume into the tire faster than with the valve core installed, and difficult-to-seat tubeless tires will almost always inflate using this method. Once that's done, and the tire is deflated, the tire should be easy to inflate because the bead is already in place more or less. But you would need a valve stem with a removable valve core to do that, and I really encourage you to use this type of valve stem with your road tubeless setup. I should also mention that with mountain tubeless we use soapy water on the bead of the tire.
I've not used Shimano tubeless-ready road wheels, but my experience with road tubeless so far has been that with tubeless-ready rims (Stan's Notubes Alpha 340's) and the Hutchinson road tubeless tires you mention, an air compressor is not necessary for tubeless inflation. Just get the tire on the rim, make sure the tire's bead is to the outside of the valve stem on the inside of the rim, inject sealant through the valve stem, and the tire should inflate with a floor pump.
We've done a few road tubeless "conversions" where we use non-tubeless road rims, tubeless valve stems with removable cores, Stan's yellow rim tape, and Hutchinson road tubeless tires, and these do require the use of soapy water on the tire's bead and an air compressor. Again, inflation with a compressor without the valve core and sealant installed before final inflation will help get the bead in place before you add the sealant and install the valve core. Then you're ready for inflation and the tire should seat.
As part of my emergency kit with road tubeless I carry a spare tube wrapped in a rag in my seat bag, and I carry a couple of small, thin strips of an old tire for a tire boot along with my other emergency items. The rag is for sealant cleanup in the unlikely event of a flat. The tire boot(s), always a good idea anyway, is a good idea in this case because if I were to have a flat, it would probably mean a good sized hole or tear in the tire has taken place (the sealant will take care of small punctures), and would require a tire boot to get home.
Hope some of this helps-
01-30-12, 04:01 PM
Thanks for yr detailed response.
I agree that without the valve core you would get a larger volume of air that would seat the tire, but unfortunately the core on the Shimano valve is not removable. I was able to inflate one of my tires using gas station air. But I could not inflate my other tire even after going to two different gas stations. The tire lip in certain leaking section sits in the middle groove, and I cannot get it to butt against the rim lip. It seems to want to sit in the middle groove in some sections. I suppose if I could get enough sudden volume of air into the tire it would seat no regardless of its position. I definitely agree that once the tire is seated there is no problem. I was able to inflate the tires with a floor pump when they were new, but every time after that when I added sealant by breaking the tire-rim seal I had to use a compressor. At this point I'll give it another try using soapy water, but it that fails I'll have to find a compressor discharging a larger volume of air. I cannot find removable core valves locally which would solve my problem.
That's really weird. I find that older Road Tubeless tires are way easier to inflate than new ones; I also have *only* ever put sealant in by pushing the side of the tire over. I've never taken the cores out, and have done this on seven different types of wheelsets and many tires.
Use a small tube (18c) and you should be able to get it in there and inflate it to stretch it out a bit. You might also try folding the tire back up like how it was packaged, which flattens it out.
01-31-12, 01:31 PM
Thanks for the response.
I actually had turned the tire inside out to clean off the latex residue, but it still would not seat properly. I was finally able to seal the tire with a home compressor. Once the tire/rim had dried from the soapy water I was able to manipulate the bead of the tire to the rim in sections that is was leaking.
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