Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

Tubeless install headaches - what am I doing wrong?

Notices
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Tubeless install headaches - what am I doing wrong?

Old 03-15-21, 11:02 AM
  #1  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 979 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 555 Posts
Tubeless install headaches - what am I doing wrong?

My bike has stock wheels that are tubeless ready. Last year I decided to buy some Conti GP5k TL's (32mm) to try out. After reading reviews I prepared myself with an armful of tire levers, let the tires warm on a sunny day, sprayed them down with soapy water, etc and managed to wrestle them onto the rims with only one broken tire lever.

After getting the tires on the wheels, the tire beads are not set, but are instead sitting more in the middle of the rim channel. I think this is normal. I proceeded with the following steps:
  1. Remove valve cores
  2. Pump up Airshot container to 140psi or so
  3. Add 20ml sealant to each tire
  4. Screw Airshot onto valve stem (no core in place)
  5. Spray down beads with some soapy water to make them slippery
  6. Dump the tank into each tire, resulting in a "pop" as the tire beads slide into place and seat on the hooks
  7. Slowly let air back out as I remove Airshot hose, so sealant doesn't spray everywhere. The tire stays seated in place, just flat.
  8. Screw valve core back in place
  9. Air up to normal PSI
  10. Go ride
Yesterday I decided I wanted to swap some different tires I had (Vittoria Terreno Mix, labeled as tubeless ready). I followed the exact same steps as above, except on dumping the air tank the tires did NOT seat, and sealant sprayed all over the place making a huge mess. I tried several more times, spraying soapy water, adding more sealant, etc and finally got one tire to "pop" and stay inflated, although as soon as I let the air out to unscrew the dump tank hose and put the valve core back in place, the tire beads came unseated off the hooks, so I started the process over and had the same problem.

Each time I got the tire to inflate and hold air, as soon as I let air back out to put the valve core in, the tire would not stay seated on the rim. I had the same problem front and rear. Finally I got fed up and just installed these tires with tubes. I've read that after installing with a tube you can let the air out and keep one side seated, remove the tube and then re-inflate as tubeless which theoretically cuts the problem in half, but I tried letting the air out on one and both sides came off the rim again.

Any suggestions on how to solve this? I was planning to use these tires for CX racing this fall as tubeless, but now worried that might not work.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 11:33 AM
  #2  
billyymc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,365
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 286 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 58 Posts
One suggestion is when you're initially seating the tires do it without the sealant in there. Once they seat, let the air out, add sealant, and re-inflate. Less mess.

Can't comment on why they won't stay seated, but maybe if you do what I suggest above but WITH the valve cores in and let them sit for a while you can get it to work.
billyymc is offline  
Likes For billyymc:
Old 03-15-21, 11:35 AM
  #3  
73StellaSX76
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Redwood City, CA
Posts: 250

Bikes: 2016 SOMA DCD, 2014 Niner RLT9, 2008 Ibis Silk SL, 1998 Ibis Spanky, 1973 Stella SX76

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Liked 75 Times in 45 Posts
Did your new tires mount as difficult as the first? If so, maybe build up the bed with a layer or two of tubeless tape for more bead interference. This worked for me until I decided the advantages of tubeless do not warrant the extra work, at least not for me.

If you plan to swap tubeless tires often then consider the skinny stripper product ( yes, they are called that, look for them on the fatty stripper website). The layer of the stripper adds to the interference and aids in creating a seal. Also makes tire changes back and forth cleaner. I ran them while running tubeless after a while. They were a bit of a pain to set up initially, but in the long run make sense to me.
73StellaSX76 is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 11:39 AM
  #4  
tyrion
Senior Member
 
tyrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 3,785

Bikes: Velo Orange Piolet

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2035 Post(s)
Liked 1,579 Times in 770 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
....Each time I got the tire to inflate and hold air, as soon as I let air back out to put the valve core in, the tire would not stay seated on the rim.
Never heard of this before. If the tire is truly seated, it should take some effort to push the bead off the "shelf" of the rim. My guess is that the tire wasn't seated completely (even though it popped). Maybe more air pressure is needed. Whether the tire is truly seated can usually be determined with visual inspection - there will be some kind of line on the tire, and this line should be concentric with the edge of the rim.

2 things:

* it's common to seat the bead before putting the sealant, then put sealant in through the valve - less potential mess that way.
* I rode a properly taped rim with a tube, and it mucked up the tape job, I guess the tube worked on the tape and rubbed the edges up just a bit to require a new tape job to go back to tubeless. Maybe my tape job wasn't perfect but it worked for months prior to putting a tube in.
tyrion is offline  
Likes For tyrion:
Old 03-15-21, 11:40 AM
  #5  
franswa
Senior Member
 
franswa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: ATX
Posts: 1,796
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 250 Times in 105 Posts
The first time I set up tubeless I followed this trick and seated the bead on half the rim and the tires inflated easily and beads fully seated with a track pump

franswa is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 12:26 PM
  #6  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 979 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 555 Posts
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
One suggestion is when you're initially seating the tires do it without the sealant in there. Once they seat, let the air out, add sealant, and re-inflate. Less mess.

Can't comment on why they won't stay seated, but maybe if you do what I suggest above but WITH the valve cores in and let them sit for a while you can get it to work.
Thanks for this suggestion. I did eventually try the same step without adding sealant first, and same result (but less mess). I also tried inflating with the valve cores in place and couldn't get the bead to seat.
I did inflate with tubes and let them sit overnight at pressure, and just now deflated one of them and it stayed seated, so maybe I can pop one side off to remove the tube and get it back on and try again.

Originally Posted by 73StellaSX76 View Post
Did your new tires mount as difficult as the first? If so, maybe build up the bed with a layer or two of tubeless tape for more bead interference. This worked for me until I decided the advantages of tubeless do not warrant the extra work, at least not for me.

If you plan to swap tubeless tires often then consider the skinny stripper product ( yes, they are called that, look for them on the fatty stripper website). The layer of the stripper adds to the interference and aids in creating a seal. Also makes tire changes back and forth cleaner. I ran them while running tubeless after a while. They were a bit of a pain to set up initially, but in the long run make sense to me.
The tires were a bit difficult to get on the wheels, but not impossible. They certainly went on easier than the GP5K's I did last summer, but required more effort than a standard clincher. I'll check out this stripper product. These wheels came stock as "tubeless ready" with tape installed, and I've never done anything with them. I am suspecting that at least one of them needs a new tape job though.

Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Never heard of this before. If the tire is truly seated, it should take some effort to push the bead off the "shelf" of the rim. My guess is that the tire wasn't seated completely (even though it popped). Maybe more air pressure is needed. Whether the tire is truly seated can usually be determined with visual inspection - there will be some kind of line on the tire, and this line should be concentric with the edge of the rim.

2 things:

* it's common to seat the bead before putting the sealant, then put sealant in through the valve - less potential mess that way.
* I rode a properly taped rim with a tube, and it mucked up the tape job, I guess the tube worked on the tape and rubbed the edges up just a bit to require a new tape job to go back to tubeless. Maybe my tape job wasn't perfect but it worked for months prior to putting a tube in.
Thanks. I will try first without sealant in the future to at least avoid the mess. I agree that the tire wasn't truly seated, and is why it was sliding back off. I was maxing out my Airshot at 160psi and dumping straight into the tire with no valve core. To get any more air flow/pressure I'd need a compressor. At that point I may as well just have a shop do it, which starts to make tubeless unrealistic for me.

Originally Posted by franswa View Post
The first time I set up tubeless I followed this trick and seated the bead on half the rim and the tires inflated easily and beads fully seated with a track pump

https://youtu.be/tE3h4nmDdOo
Have you tried this with CX/gravel/road tires? Seeing him pop that MTB tire onto the wheel without any tools makes me think this probably isn't going to work for me. I had to use multiple levers simultaneously to get that last bit of tire bead over the wheel. The CX tires I'm using are not as tight as the GP5K's I took off, but I'm still skeptical that I could get a lever under the bead and pull it out towards the edge the way he's showing. He's also struggling a bit on the second side, even with that loose MTB tire.

Still, thanks for sharing. I'll give it a try.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 12:42 PM
  #7  
tyrion
Senior Member
 
tyrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 3,785

Bikes: Velo Orange Piolet

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2035 Post(s)
Liked 1,579 Times in 770 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
...
I was maxing out my Airshot at 160psi and dumping straight into the tire with no valve core. To get any more air flow/pressure I'd need a compressor.
After you blast the Airshot shot in the tire, can you keep the Airshot connected to rim, attach pump to Airshot, and add more air to the tire piped through the Airshot?
tyrion is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 12:47 PM
  #8  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 979 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 555 Posts
Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
After you blast the Airshot shot in the tire, can you keep the Airshot connected to rim, attach pump to Airshot, and add more air to the tire piped through the Airshot?
Ah. Yes, I suppose I could. I don't know why I hadn't thought of trying this before but yeah I could keep using the floor pump through the Airshot to add more air. That might be enough to push the bead over that last little hump and get it seated.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 01:24 PM
  #9  
franswa
Senior Member
 
franswa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: ATX
Posts: 1,796
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Liked 250 Times in 105 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Thanks for this suggestion. I did eventually try the same step without adding sealant first, and same result (but less mess). I also tried inflating with the valve cores in place and couldn't get the bead to seat.
I did inflate with tubes and let them sit overnight at pressure, and just now deflated one of them and it stayed seated, so maybe I can pop one side off to remove the tube and get it back on and try again.



The tires were a bit difficult to get on the wheels, but not impossible. They certainly went on easier than the GP5K's I did last summer, but required more effort than a standard clincher. I'll check out this stripper product. These wheels came stock as "tubeless ready" with tape installed, and I've never done anything with them. I am suspecting that at least one of them needs a new tape job though.



Thanks. I will try first without sealant in the future to at least avoid the mess. I agree that the tire wasn't truly seated, and is why it was sliding back off. I was maxing out my Airshot at 160psi and dumping straight into the tire with no valve core. To get any more air flow/pressure I'd need a compressor. At that point I may as well just have a shop do it, which starts to make tubeless unrealistic for me.

Have you tried this with CX/gravel/road tires? Seeing him pop that MTB tire onto the wheel without any tools makes me think this probably isn't going to work for me. I had to use multiple levers simultaneously to get that last bit of tire bead over the wheel. The CX tires I'm using are not as tight as the GP5K's I took off, but I'm still skeptical that I could get a lever under the bead and pull it out towards the edge the way he's showing. He's also struggling a bit on the second side, even with that loose MTB tire.

Still, thanks for sharing. I'll give it a try.

Yep, that's the only sort of tires I have set up and once mounted, the manual seating of the bead was far easier for me than getting the tire installed. Hopefully it's the same for you, if you do end up trying this. Also, I didn't go as far as he did with the seating on each side, as it really does get pretty difficult the farther you go, but still worked really well for me.
franswa is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 01:26 PM
  #10  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,645

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8659 Post(s)
Liked 5,269 Times in 3,043 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Any suggestions on how to solve this?
As others mentioned, I dont add sealant until the tires are seated. Ill add sealant thru the valve.

I really just wanted to post because misery loves company. My first tubeless gravel tires were challenging to seat, but I did it with my Topeak Booster pump. I cleaned and replaced them once and they popped on without an issue on the first try. Then many months later I tried and they wouldnt seat no matter what tricks I tried. Booster pump failed, soapy water did nothing, gas station pump did nothing, tube inside did nothing, etc. Infuriating.
My new tires, Panaracer GK SS in 43, were so difficult to set that I took them into a local shop. I had spent easily 3 hours over multiple days trying to get them to seat using soapy water, a tube so only half would need to seat, spreading the casing, using a tie down around the center of the tire, etc. Oh, and I tried more layers of tape in an effort to build up the inner channel and push the tire out to the shelf.

The shop struggled for at least 15min with 2 guys each working on a tire. One guy finally got one and then took the other and managed to get it to also seat.
I hope to never touch the tires.

The system should be easier than it is. The poor tolerances of both rims and tires make for seemingly never ending combinations of frustration.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 03-15-21, 09:11 PM
  #11  
zen_
Full Member
 
zen_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: 'merica
Posts: 222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 55 Posts
The lazy way to get a tire that is too "loose" to properly seat to the rim is to add another layer of rim tape, which is even easier with gorilla tape.

I know this methodology won't fly with some, but it's just not worth fighting tires that won't seat for a couple reasons. First, it's really frustrating and time consuming. Second, it makes properly re-filling / topping up sealant a PITA if you want to break the tires open to drain and refill. Third, if you have some sort of issue on a ride that results in a flat with the tire becoming partially unseated, good luck getting it to hook back up, and a tube is your only option. Fourth, you can usually make used tires (that have slightly stretched beads), and wire bead tires that are not supposed to be tubeless work tubeless.

It would be nice if the industry tightened standards to make tubeless work better, because yeah, it's really cool when you can just throw a tire on, and it sets up first try with a floor pump without even adding sealant. We are talking about an industry that can't even make straight bottom brackets with round holes that don't cause nightmares though.
zen_ is online now  
Old 03-16-21, 12:48 AM
  #12  
scubaman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 36 Posts
+1 for adding a layer (or 2) of tape. Also, tubeless tape comes in different widths, and it helps to have the width designed for the inner diameter of your rim.

I find it useful to be able to add & remove sealant with a syringe through the valve. Not all valve brands are wide enough at the bottom to let the syringe tube through - e.g., Orange Seal valves are, Stans and E*13 are not.
scubaman is offline  
Old 03-16-21, 09:57 AM
  #13  
Hiro11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,564

Bikes: To the right: opinions, not facts.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 747 Post(s)
Liked 413 Times in 213 Posts
Tips:
1. I've found the most common place to leak pressure is at the valve. When mounting valves, I push hard on the top with my thumb while screwing it in. I also (carefully) turn it another 1/2 a turn with a pair of needlenose pliers after it's finger tight, just to make sure.
2. An inexpensive 6 gallon compressor with a Prestaflator will make your life 10x easier. I have 6 bikes setup tubeless right now, so maybe I need it more than others. Still, a 6 gallon Porter-Cable compressor (from a Black Friday sale at Amazon years ago) with a Prestaflator Pro cost me about $160 total. A 6 gallon compressor will give you more than enough volume to seat the beads. Also, there's no work to charge or recharge the reserve and the regulator offers ultra-fine control of blowing the beads on. I remove the valve cores like you do prior to blowing the beads on.
3. I do not recommend putting sealant in the tires prior to popping the beads on. It's just messy with the sealant in there. I add it later through the valve stem. I don't like or use the "injector", I just use 2oz Stan's bottles with narrow spigots. Get the weight off the tire by hanging the wheel to make it easy to get the sealant in there.
4. Wetting down the beads prior to mounting is crucial, as is getting the entire bead into the center trough. I really try to mount the tires with my hands if possible. I can get most tires on with my thumbs now after completing ~30 setups to date.
5. A five minute ride after mounting is the best way to make sure the sealant gets everywhere inside the tire. It's not really necessary, but I generally give a new setup a couple of days to "settle in" before going on a long ride. I avoid mounting tires the night before a 50 mile ride, for example. I'll add a bit of sealant and go for another short ride if the tire loses pressure. After the tire holds pressure for a day or two, I'm confident it's going to be reliable.

One other (obvious) tip: I don't screw around with non-tubeless ready tires or rims. I use really overpriced tubeless tape because it's exactly the right width, I could save $10 by getting (slightly wrong sized) generic tape but my time is more valuable than that.. Screwing around with non-tubeless ready stuff in general is a waste of time. I have found that the cheap Chinese valves on Amazon are fine, I have lots of spares of various lengths.

Last edited by Hiro11; 03-16-21 at 10:06 AM.
Hiro11 is offline  
Old 03-16-21, 12:22 PM
  #14  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 979 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 555 Posts
Thanks for all the tips. This thread has been helpful and also built my confidence enough to give these tires another try... maybe.

I do have one more question:
I noticed on my front wheel a small nick in the rim tape right on top of one of the spoke holes. I have a feeling the nick was caused by using a tire lever. I couldn't tell if the tape was actually cut through or if it was just a dent in the tape, but the front wheel was not leaking any air with my previous tires, so if there was a hole it got plugged up with sealant (or the nick was something that happened as I was removing the old tires).

Should I replace the tape? I've never installed tubeless tape and I'm worried I'll just make it worse, but I suppose I need to learn to do this eventually anyway. Also I cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to get the tire finally seated, only to find a leak at one of the spoke holes.

If I'm replacing the tape should I just assume that the width that came pre-installed on the wheels is the correct width? The tape that is on there covers the spoke holes in the center channel, but does not extend all the way to the edges. On the interwebs I'm seeing tape installs that go all the way to the edge, but also some forums suggesting this isn't always needed and narrower tape covering the holes is better.

Any suggestions?
msu2001la is offline  
Old 03-16-21, 02:01 PM
  #15  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,645

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8659 Post(s)
Liked 5,269 Times in 3,043 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I do have one more question:
I noticed on my front wheel a small nick in the rim tape right on top of one of the spoke holes. I have a feeling the nick was caused by using a tire lever. I couldn't tell if the tape was actually cut through or if it was just a dent in the tape, but the front wheel was not leaking any air with my previous tires, so if there was a hole it got plugged up with sealant (or the nick was something that happened as I was removing the old tires).

Should I replace the tape? I've never installed tubeless tape and I'm worried I'll just make it worse, but I suppose I need to learn to do this eventually anyway. Also I cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to get the tire finally seated, only to find a leak at one of the spoke holes.

If I'm replacing the tape should I just assume that the width that came pre-installed on the wheels is the correct width? The tape that is on there covers the spoke holes in the center channel, but does not extend all the way to the edges. On the interwebs I'm seeing tape installs that go all the way to the edge, but also some forums suggesting this isn't always needed and narrower tape covering the holes is better.

Any suggestions?
Take the inner width of your rim and add a few mm. 3-5mm extra. Thats the tape width that is best for your rim. The extra width is taken up by the center channel of the rim. Tape should cover the center channel and sit on top of the bead shelf.
As for taping- its straight forward. Clean the rim well to get rid of sticky residue or dirt and let it dry. Just make sure to overlap the valve if you do 1 layer. I do more than 1 layer since Ive read it helps seat the tire(but as I mentioned earlier, that doesnt always work). As you lay the tape down, just guide it straight by pushing down in the center channel. If you veer off to one side too much, pull the tape up a bit and lay it back down. Use a nail to poke a hole for the valve and you are done.

I would definitely use new tape- Its $10 or something at retail and will ensure you dont have broken tape.
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 03-16-21, 02:18 PM
  #16  
masi61
Senior Member
 
masi61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 3,333

Bikes: Puch Marco Polo, Saint Tropez, Masi Gran Criterium

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 955 Post(s)
Liked 301 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Thanks for all the tips. This thread has been helpful and also built my confidence enough to give these tires another try... maybe.

I do have one more question:
I noticed on my front wheel a small nick in the rim tape right on top of one of the spoke holes. I have a feeling the nick was caused by using a tire lever. I couldn't tell if the tape was actually cut through or if it was just a dent in the tape, but the front wheel was not leaking any air with my previous tires, so if there was a hole it got plugged up with sealant (or the nick was something that happened as I was removing the old tires).

Should I replace the tape? I've never installed tubeless tape and I'm worried I'll just make it worse, but I suppose I need to learn to do this eventually anyway. Also I cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to get the tire finally seated, only to find a leak at one of the spoke holes.

If I'm replacing the tape should I just assume that the width that came pre-installed on the wheels is the correct width? The tape that is on there covers the spoke holes in the center channel, but does not extend all the way to the edges. On the interwebs I'm seeing tape installs that go all the way to the edge, but also some forums suggesting this isn't always needed and narrower tape covering the holes is better.

Any suggestions?
You say your bike has stock wheels that are tubeless ready. Thatís good. What brand of rims are they? Do you know the interior rim width from the outside of the tubeless shelf on each side in milliners? This is a helpful measurement to have. It helps with making a good choice for tubeless tape. If the dimension is, say - 18.5mm then the tape should be 3 or 4 mm wider in order to cover the rounded inner part of the extrusion better and still nearly to the rim shelf or to cover the rim shelf. Your choice might have to be dictated by trial and error. Obviously your goal is to mount the tire in a confidence ins;Irving way where the air loss from day to day is hopefully better than your typical latex tubes set-up.
masi61 is offline  
Old 03-16-21, 08:13 PM
  #17  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,722
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Should I replace the tape? I've never installed tubeless tape and I'm worried I'll just make it worse, but I suppose I need to learn to do this eventually anyway. Also I cannot imagine how frustrating it would be to get the tire finally seated, only to find a leak at one of the spoke holes.

If I'm replacing the tape should I just assume that the width that came pre-installed on the wheels is the correct width? The tape that is on there covers the spoke holes in the center channel, but does not extend all the way to the edges. On the interwebs I'm seeing tape installs that go all the way to the edge, but also some forums suggesting this isn't always needed and narrower tape covering the holes is better.
You should absolutely, 100% replace the tape. I would in fact bet that this is your problem - grody old, poorly-sealed tape. I would not only not assume that the tape that came pre-installed is the correct width, I would not assume that the tape it came with was really installed to the standard needed for tubeless tires. Essentially every problem I've ever had with mounting tubeless tires has come down to bad tape.

OK. So, you're getting new tape. I think the ideal is to go edge to edge on the center channel (EDIT: listen to those other folks. Going out to the rim shelf is good!). But width isn't that big a deal. You need to cover the spoke holes, and not extend wider than the actual hooks on the rim sidewall. It's easier to be neat if the tape goes down flat in the middle rather than riding up the walls of the center channel a bit, but I've taped rims and run a bit wide and it works fine. As far as what to buy - you could use good ol' Stans, or Scotch 8896 strapping tape. I won't say they're the same thing, but... they're close. Just don't use Gorilla Tape.

Once you've removed the old tape, you need to clean the rim bed enough so that the new tape will stick. You really don't have to make it NASA clean or anything. Some Simple Green or rubbing alcohol with a rag, followed by a rag with just water, should be fine. I've even done the just water. Then, be sure to install a double-wrap of the tape. Starting and finishing opposite the valve is generally a good idea. You really want to get the tape stretched nice and tight into the rim. If there are air pockets and you're nervous about it, install a tire with a tube and pump it up. That'll squish it all tightly down. The main thing you want to be careful of is peeling edges or nicks. Once you've done all that, go through the process you've already used and I bet it works like a cinch.

Replacing tape is just a normal part of the tubeless life and you're going to have to do it on a semi-regular basis. I'm not talking like all the time, maybe once a year if you ride a lot? Point is it's basically a wear item and it will start to peel up or get jabbed somewhere. Almost any mysterious failure of tires to seat will be because the tape has failed somewhere. Just go ahead and replace it in these cases. I've wasted a lot of hours getting sweaty and mad because I didn't want to change tape, but it would've ultimately been a lot less work to change it at the get-go and avoid all the blistered fingers and recriminations.
grolby is offline  
Likes For grolby:
Old 03-16-21, 08:32 PM
  #18  
tyrion
Senior Member
 
tyrion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 3,785

Bikes: Velo Orange Piolet

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2035 Post(s)
Liked 1,579 Times in 770 Posts
I question the value of a double wrap of tape. The second layer of tape doesn't seal it up better (I think), it just makes the (double) membrane over spoke holes stronger to withstand more pressure. You only need to worry about high pressures if you have skinny tires and/or are heavy.

Having said that, sometimes the thickness of double tape makes the tire bead/rim interface tighter, and that's what you need. But when you tighten it up that way it makes tire mounting harder.
tyrion is offline  
Old 03-16-21, 08:59 PM
  #19  
zen_
Full Member
 
zen_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: 'merica
Posts: 222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I question the value of a double wrap of tape. The second layer of tape doesn't seal it up better (I think).
The second layer (or thicker) tape absolutely helps the tire seal up better if you're having difficultly.

You can fight and struggle, watch all the youtube videos there are on the subject, and get your weekly TSS pumping like crazy...or just solve the problem with tape.
zen_ is online now  
Old 03-16-21, 09:26 PM
  #20  
scubaman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 106
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by zen_;[url=tel:21971104
21971104[/url]]The second layer (or thicker) tape absolutely helps the tire seal up better if you're having difficultly.

You can fight and struggle, watch all the youtube videos there are on the subject, and get your weekly TSS pumping like crazy...or just solve the problem with tape.
Indeed. You definitely should use tape that goes from one edge of the rim shelf to the other, and not just covering the center channel and the spoke holes. Try seating the tire; if it wonít seat, add another layer of tubeless tape and try again. This can make the difference between not seating at all - or seating only after a lot of sealant splashes around - and seating easily, perhaps even with a foot pump instead of needing a compressor.
scubaman is offline  
Old 03-17-21, 07:42 AM
  #21  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 979 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 555 Posts
Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
You say your bike has stock wheels that are tubeless ready. Thatís good. What brand of rims are they? Do you know the interior rim width from the outside of the tubeless shelf on each side in milliners? This is a helpful measurement to have. It helps with making a good choice for tubeless tape. If the dimension is, say - 18.5mm then the tape should be 3 or 4 mm wider in order to cover the rounded inner part of the extrusion better and still nearly to the rim shelf or to cover the rim shelf. Your choice might have to be dictated by trial and error. Obviously your goal is to mount the tire in a confidence ins;Irving way where the air loss from day to day is hopefully better than your typical latex tubes set-up.
Thanks for the tips.

The wheels are Cannondale CX 1.0 TL alloy wheels that came stock on a 2020 SuperX. They came with tape installed. Like most stock wheels, there is almost no information easily found on them. They probably aren't actually built by Cannondale, just rebranded. They're heavy 28 spoke alloy wheels with 14g spokes. They measure (approximately) 19mm internal, 23mm external.

After looking at the pre-installed tape again (photo below) it does go from wall-to-wall.

The bike came with 33mm Vittoria Terreno Mix tires that are marked as tubeless ready. I ran these (with tubes) for a while and switched to Continental GP5000TL's last fall. I installed those as tubeless and had a few issues getting the front to seal up, but eventually got it to work. Those tires would loose air over a period of 4-5 days but it was never a big deal. I'm now trying to install the 33mm Vittoria's back on these. (I'm planning on getting a second set of wheels to run the GP5000's on so I don't have to switch tires to go between road/off-road)

I'm going to order tape in 23mm width and re-tape both wheels.

Here is a shot of the existing tape job, showing what I think is a small nick in one of the spoke holes. It looks like a dent/scratch probably from using a tire lever:
msu2001la is offline  
Old 03-17-21, 08:16 AM
  #22  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 22,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 2,347 Times in 1,657 Posts
What brand rim is that?
unterhausen is offline  
Old 03-17-21, 02:22 PM
  #23  
msu2001la
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 979 Post(s)
Liked 972 Times in 555 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
What brand rim is that?
Posted above. I don't really know. It was the stock wheelset on a new Cannondale SuperX, labeled as "CX 1.0 TL".
msu2001la is offline  
Old 03-17-21, 05:08 PM
  #24  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,722
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I question the value of a double wrap of tape. The second layer of tape doesn't seal it up better (I think), it just makes the (double) membrane over spoke holes stronger to withstand more pressure. You only need to worry about high pressures if you have skinny tires and/or are heavy.

Having said that, sometimes the thickness of double tape makes the tire bead/rim interface tighter, and that's what you need. But when you tighten it up that way it makes tire mounting harder.
I've never tested this. The standard recommendation for tubeless tape is one wrap for MTB wheels, two wraps for road, gravel or CX wheels. Even 40 PSI is a fair bit higher than what MTB tires usually see. If I ever have that much trouble mounting tires I suppose I could try going down to a single wrap but so far this hasn't been an issue for me.
grolby is offline  
Old 03-17-21, 05:09 PM
  #25  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,722
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 41 Posts
@msu2001la that's the width of tape you want, yep.
grolby is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.