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Recommendations for bike wheel rim lube

Old 09-24-23, 07:07 PM
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Recommendations for bike wheel rim lube

I just picked up a ROL wheelset and the 1st attempt to mount tires I wound up with low spots where the bead didn't seat (witness line disappears under 2nd "N").

Searching this form I see recommendations for over-pressuring as well as for adding lube to the rim. I'm familiar with seating beads using soap water, but that is only effective at the time. Is there a permanent lube that is recommended to add to the rim that will also be effective when I'm trying to change a tire on the road? I don't care to finish the last half of a ride doing the humpty-hump.

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Old 09-24-23, 07:39 PM
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Massage the heck out of it at around 25 pounds of pressure before fully inflating usually works for me.
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Old 09-24-23, 07:55 PM
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.
...soapy water is all I usually use on a stubborn tire, but I do throw some talc (not the cornstarch baby powder, but the talc stuff) inside the tire.
It helps the tube to inflate evenly and with few wrinkles. Some of it gets on the beads, so I guess it might be helping there, too.
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Old 09-24-23, 07:56 PM
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Bike tire mounting fluid

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Old 09-24-23, 08:03 PM
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I'm obviously missing something. Just deflate the tire and fix it with your hands. If you start with low pressure (20lbs or so), you can seat the tire perfectly all the way around by hand, then increase the pressure, check again, and so on.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by timsch
I just picked up a ROL wheelset and the 1st attempt to mount tires I wound up with low spots where the bead didn't seat (witness line disappears under 2nd "N").

Searching this form I see recommendations for over-pressuring as well as for adding lube to the rim. I'm familiar with seating beads using soap water, but that is only effective at the time. Is there a permanent lube that is recommended to add to the rim that will also be effective when I'm trying to change a tire on the road? I don't care to finish the last half of a ride doing the humpty-hump.
There's a variety of tyre mounting/dismounting products intended for motor vehicles, look for stuff like Rema's tyre grease and bead butter or other tyre lubes. Some are water based, some evaporate away, I expect that some of the remaining products are persistent but I've no idea which.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:28 PM
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take it to 100psi, it should seat. If not, spritz a little glass cleaner in there and then inflate fully.
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Old 09-24-23, 08:44 PM
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Often a too tight tire (which won't seat well) will be less problematic after some miles ridded at pressure. But life is full of uncertainty and tire seating is one such example. If you absolutely need a tire to seat well before you continue your ride chose one that seats when newly mounted. Andy
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Old 09-24-23, 11:09 PM
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Are you sure that the tire isn’t seating or is it a construction problem. The way that tires are made isn’t always consistent.
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Old 09-25-23, 06:27 AM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I've not had to deal with this before, so I had no idea. I'll try the massaging 1st , then move on to the lube. probably start using talcum powder too

These tires seated without issues on the previous rims multiple times, so no concerns with the tires being the problem.
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Old 09-25-23, 06:35 AM
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Some tire/rim combinations are just prone to do this, Chapstick on the bead works, also check the rim strip, if it's a bit wide or rides up the side of the rim, it could be the cause.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by grumpus
There's a variety of tyre mounting/dismounting products intended for motor vehicles, look for stuff like Rema's tyre grease and bead butter or other tyre lubes. Some are water based, some evaporate away, I expect that some of the remaining products are persistent but I've no idea which.
This idea of needing some type of "rim lube" seems nuts, to me. I've mounted a lot of tires in my day, and if I inspect the seating after inflating it for the first time and find an area that isn't quite perfectly seated, I just say "Oops" and then deflate the tire, fix the problem with my hands (it usually only involves an upward push with your thumbs), and reinflate. Getting the tires over the rim is sometimes a challenge, but getting it seated evenly is not. Deflate, Adjust, Reinflate. Simple, and nothing needs to be applied to the rims.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:12 AM
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On the side of the road, I’ve used water a couple of times to help fellow riders who were having that problem. It worked both times.
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Old 09-25-23, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
This idea of needing some type of "rim lube" seems nuts, to me. I've mounted a lot of tires in my day, and if I inspect the seating after inflating it for the first time and find an area that isn't quite perfectly seated, I just say "Oops" and then deflate the tire, fix the problem with my hands (it usually only involves an upward push with your thumbs), and reinflate. Getting the tires over the rim is sometimes a challenge, but getting it seated evenly is not. Deflate, Adjust, Reinflate. Simple, and nothing needs to be applied to the rims.
Just means you haven't dealt with enough tires. Not everything works just perfect and especially with tires that stretch after a bit of riding the initial seating can be an issue. Sometimes the solution in just inflate till it works but with older steel rims and modern hookless rims there can be a challenge since the pressure can't go high enough to force the seat without blowing off completely.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
Are you sure that the tire isnít seating or is it a construction problem. The way that tires are made isnít always consistent.
Just had to deal with this last week seating some vittoria cross tires on new wheels. The tires were used a couple times last year and never had any trouble installing on old hooked rims. This year on new hookless rims they were a bit of an issue getting them to seat. Doesn't help you can't just pump to 100 and wait for the pop. This is also why park makes a bead seating tube. Personally not a fan of hookless rims but the price was right and the bike never runs less than 30c so the low pressure requirement isn't an issue.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:26 AM
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If your rim tape comes up on the bead seat of the rim, that can sometimes cause issues. Particularly if you doubled it or it's thick.
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Old 09-25-23, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
talc (not the cornstarch baby powder, but the talc stuff) .
The Johnson&Johnson asbestos-in-the-talc lawsuit has resulted in the disappearance of talc in the drugs section of stores, at least in the US.
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Old 09-25-23, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
....Sometimes the solution in just inflate till it works but with older steel rims and modern hookless rims there can be a challenge since the pressure can't go high enough to force the seat without blowing off completely.
....
The solution is never to "just inflate till it works". What always works is to get it on the rim and inflate it just a little, and then inspect around both sides of the rim. Then if needed you simply adjust the tire by hand. Once you've got it seated evenly, then you inflate it the rest of the way.

The only time a tire will blow off completely is if you haven't followed that simple process. Always make sure it's properly seated (and adjust it if needed so that it is), before you inflate the tire to full pressure. Works every time, no lube needed.

All the OP needs to do is let some air out of the tire so he can adjust the tire by hand, fix the problem, and then reinflate the tire.
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Old 09-25-23, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
This idea of needing some type of "rim lube" seems nuts, to me. I've mounted a lot of tires in my day, and if I inspect the seating after inflating it for the first time and find an area that isn't quite perfectly seated, I just say "Oops" and then deflate the tire, fix the problem with my hands (it usually only involves an upward push with your thumbs), and reinflate. Getting the tires over the rim is sometimes a challenge, but getting it seated evenly is not. Deflate, Adjust, Reinflate. Simple, and nothing needs to be applied to the rims.
I've had rim/tyre combinations that refused to play nice, where repeated vigorous persuasion, sore thumbs and soapy water achieved nothing, so I can understand why people would like to have a cheat that reduces stress and effort in a roadside situation. As for the "I can fit any tyre without tools" guys - well that's nice, but I'd rather not struggle so here are my large metal levers. For special use only, when normal methods and tools fail to achieve the desired outcome within a reasonable timeframe, of course.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpus
I've had rim/tyre combinations that refused to play nice, where repeated vigorous persuasion, sore thumbs and soapy water achieved nothing, so I can understand why people would like to have a cheat that reduces stress and effort in a roadside situation. As for the "I can fit any tyre without tools" guys - well that's nice, but I'd rather not struggle so here are my large metal levers. For special use only, when normal methods and tools fail to achieve the desired outcome within a reasonable timeframe, of course.
I totally understand that, and I've been known to use levers to get a few tough ones over the edge. But that's not what we're talking about. This is after the tire is on the rim and now you need to inflate it, making sure the bead seat line is aligned with the rim edge evenly all the way around on both sides. You certainly don't need any kind of lube for that. You just take most of the air out of the tire, massage it into place with your hands, and then inflate to full pressure.

Look at the picture the OP posted. The tire is already on the rim. We don't know if he needed levers, some kind of lube, or whatever, but now his problem is that it's not seated properly. That is so very easy to fix, and lube is not involved.

Last edited by Jeff Neese; 09-25-23 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 09-25-23, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Arthur Peabody
The Johnson&Johnson asbestos-in-the-talc lawsuit has resulted in the disappearance of talc in the drugs section of stores, at least in the US.
The restrictions on "baby powder" is because it's made to be applied directly to skin, so it falls under the FDA. The stuff sold specifically as Tire Talc is still the same old "toxic" talcum powder. Available at most auto supply stores, and of course Amazon.

Rema Tip Top No. 63 Tire Talc 16 oz Shaker Can for Inner Tube Installation
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Old 09-25-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I totally understand that, and I've been known to use levers to get a few tough ones over the edge. But that's not what we're talking about. This is after the tire is on the rim and now you need to inflate it, making sure the bead seat line is aligned with the rim edge evenly all the way around on both sides.
Yes I realise that.
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
You certainly don't need any kind of lube for that. You just take most of the air out of the tire, massage it into place with your hands, and then inflate to full pressure.
And this is why I mentioned tyre levers. Yes, that is the standard technique, and yes it usually fixes the problem, but not always - sometimes we must employ extraordinary methods to get the job done.
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Look at the picture the OP posted. The tire is already on the rim. We don't know if he needed levers, some kind of lube, or whatever, but now his problem is that it's not seated properly. That is so very easy to fix, and lube is not involved.
Have you never had a tyre that was particularly difficult to get seated? The OP wants some assurance that he'll not be stuck in the cold, wet, dark back of beyond with no cell service because he couldn't refit his tyre.
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Old 09-25-23, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by grumpus
Yes I realise that.

And this is why I mentioned tyre levers. Yes, that is the standard technique, and yes it usually fixes the problem, but not always - sometimes we must employ extraordinary methods to get the job done.

Have you never had a tyre that was particularly difficult to get seated? The OP wants some assurance that he'll not be stuck in the cold, wet, dark back of beyond with no cell service because he couldn't refit his tyre.
It's hard for me to imagine how tire levers would even come into play, once you have the tire over the rim. Are you still talking about getting a very tight tire onto the rim in the first place? That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about getting the bead seat line evenly above the rim edge, all the way around. You do that with your hands, prior to inflating to full pressure.

And no, I've never had a tire that was particularly difficult to get seated. Usually getting them over the rim is the tough part, and that's where levers might come in. Seating them properly is easy.
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Old 09-25-23, 06:50 PM
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Seated!

Massaging the tire with low pressure didn't get the bead to pop up. I tried multiple times & pressures.

I wiped some lube on the outer surfaces of the rim tape and that did the trick - seated fully @ 90 psi. I used some o-ring lube, so it's rubber safe and should last. Only downside I see is that it might contaminate the rubber preventing a patch from sticking later on. I don't use quick patches on the road, only patches with vulcanizing cement at home, and should be able to clean the tube with some kind of solvent at the puncture before patching.
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Old 09-26-23, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
It's hard for me to imagine how tire levers would even come into play, once you have the tire over the rim. Are you still talking about getting a very tight tire onto the rim in the first place?
No, I'm talking about the way some people insist that "it's easy, just do this, no need for that".
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about getting the bead seat line evenly above the rim edge, all the way around. You do that with your hands, prior to inflating to full pressure.
And no, I've never had a tire that was particularly difficult to get seated. Usually getting them over the rim is the tough part, and that's where levers might come in. Seating them properly is easy.
See what I mean? Maybe you've not fitted many tyres, maybe you've been lucky, maybe you're that guy that does one-finger push-ups Ö
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Old 09-26-23, 02:25 AM
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I've had this happen with tubeless setups on my gravel tires and I've had success with getting them to seat evenly by deflating, massaging, reinflating to a higher pressure, and letting it work itself out overnight. On skinny road tires maybe this trick won't work due to the potentially narrower rim width and higher pressures involved. If you're running inner tubes, it might help if you inflated the tube to give it a bit of shape before getting on the second bead.
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