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Can't get Gravelkings seated - anyone get them working hookless??

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Can't get Gravelkings seated - anyone get them working hookless??

Old 10-30-21, 01:26 AM
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BlueRaspberry
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Can't get Gravelkings seated - anyone get them working hookless??

Hi! It's my first time trying tubeless/hookless and I've hit a snag at the very beginning of my journey: I can't get my tire beads to sit on the wheel!

I've got some LightBicycle WR36s wheels with Panaracer Gravelking SS 700x32C tires. The wheels are hookless, with no access holes for the spokes, i.e. they don't need tape. The tires are listed as tubeless compatible on the Panaracer site and Enve says they're hookless compatible as well.

I tried seating them (without rim tape) and had no success, so I took them to the local bike shop where they've got a pump with a pressure chamber. They weren't able to get the tires seated, either (they tried up to 6bar pressure).

Has anyone had success getting them seated with hookless wheels?

I'm not sure what to do and am hoping someone here may have some suggestions/advice! Do you think putting 2~3 layers of rim tape on will help?

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-21, 03:50 AM
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Try some soapy water on the bead of the tire:
  1. deflate the tire, but keep the tire on the rim
  2. pinch the tire as you brush soapy water in between the tire bead and the rim bead, all the way around the tire on both sides
  3. before the soapy water has had a chance to dry, put the tire up to 90psi, and the tire should seat for you
When you've been able to bead the tire, fully inflate and deflate the tire a few times to get any moisture out, then add sealant.
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Old 10-30-21, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for the reply! The tire documentation said not to use soap, especially when using tubeless sealant. Is that a concern?

Also, regarding point #1, they don't inflate at all, but the amateur me doesn't think they're too loose. On the contrary, the beads seem to want to stay in the center channel and not come up. I've tried to massage them up from the outside with my thumbs but they won't go up. In any case, the result is that there is no seal anywhere around the tire/rim so the air immediately comes out of the gap without causing the tire to inflate at all.

At the LBS they popped on a pair of 700x28C Schwalbe Pro Ones and they seated immediately so it's not the wheel/valves.
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Old 10-30-21, 02:20 PM
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I've had no problem with soap and water, but I'm not sure why they would say that.
Another option would be to install a tube, inflate it to get the bead in place, then deflate it and remove the tube - this should take care of the bead on 1 side.
The last time I had a problem with a tire seating, I worked on 1 side only and pretty much pulled the tire into the bead, then rolled the tire to try and get enough of a seal to ram some air in - I only had a high volume MTB pump, and not a booster cylinder, but I did manage to seat it with some patience.
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Old 10-31-21, 07:26 AM
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Thank you for the information. I'll get back at it with some more patience and see if I can find success!
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Old 10-31-21, 07:53 PM
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I had trouble getting mine to seat on my rims. I had to take the valve core out of the tubeless valve stem and blast it with the compressor until it would seat. I stuck my finger over the valve stem and put the core back in as fast as I could and then topped it off. I tried using my pump with the chamber and it would not work. The compressor was the key. Do well! Mike
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Old 10-31-21, 08:51 PM
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I had a similar experience as MPE with one of my tires. It was a pain in the rear to seat. Once seated though..... the things are nice!
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Old 11-01-21, 11:08 AM
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interesting question.

it sounds to me that there isn't a tight enough seat in the rim floor to build up enough pressure to get it over the hump in the rim bed.

The simplest methods are above. Use soap, and also put the tire on with a tube for a few days to get the tire used to its proper shape.
Definitely, it must be done initially tubeless with no valve in the core to get air to the tire fast

Other than that:
you can put rim tape on it to build up the rim bed and help it seal.

My personal cheap and easy solution to this is to use skinnystrippers latex rim strip. Solved any problem I had like that. Makes seating a difficult tubeless tire easy - I just use an old hand pump (with no valve core). Has other benefits too (no burping, no latex on your wheel, great sealing) but I don't think that makes any difference with a good tubeless tire/wheel combo.
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Old 11-01-21, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
interesting question.

it sounds to me that there isn't a tight enough seat in the rim floor to build up enough pressure to get it over the hump in the rim bed.

The simplest methods are above. Use soap, and also put the tire on with a tube for a few days to get the tire used to its proper shape.
Definitely, it must be done initially tubeless with no valve in the core to get air to the tire fast

Other than that:
you can put rim tape on it to build up the rim bed and help it seal.

My personal cheap and easy solution to this is to use skinnystrippers latex rim strip. Solved any problem I had like that. Makes seating a difficult tubeless tire easy - I just use an old hand pump (with no valve core). Has other benefits too (no burping, no latex on your wheel, great sealing) but I don't think that makes any difference with a good tubeless tire/wheel combo.
FattyStripper Tubeless Fat Bike Solution and SkinnyStripper Tubeless CX & DH Solution <link rel="image_src" href="https://fattystripper.com/media/FattyStripper_Logo_320.jpg" / ><link rel="image_src" href="https://fattystripper.com/media/FattyStripper_L
I've seen a few posts about this product and have questions:

1. You still use regular rim tape and then use the skinny stripper on top of it?

2. It's 75mm wide, and I think the idea is that you install the tire on the wider strip and then trim it after install? Does this make getting the tire on the rim more difficult? I've had some serious wrestling matches with some tires on my current tubeless wheels, so I'm having a hard time adding even more material in there and then needing to use levers to pry the beads up over the rim edge without damaging the strip. Any thoughts?

3. I'm assuming since it's latex and bonds to the tire, this is a one-time use product? So each tire install would require a new set of skinny strippers + trimming?

I have a set of tubeless wheels that I've had to re-tape 3x in the last year due to air leaks. This could be an indictment of my taping skills, but something like this product seems like it would solve that.

Thanks!
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Old 11-01-21, 01:25 PM
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Install them with a tube first and leave them overnight at very high pressure. That will stretch the tires a bit. Then uninstall the tube and try to leave one bead side seated, this way the air/compressor only has to seat one side of the tire. Otherwise, install tape.
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Old 11-01-21, 01:32 PM
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I know, I go on an on about these like a shill, lol.

I guess I originally used them for ghetto tubeless, as it ensures the tire will not burp or lose air. It kinda takes a tubeless tire and converts it into a tubular tire. Its a great safety factor if my rim/tire combo is questionable. This is becoming less of an issue these days though.

They are cheap enough that I just keep a pack in my toolkit.

If you have a good solid tire/rim combo, it doesn't really provide much advantage, but it IMHO is a safety thing if tires are not up to the latest 2021.5 tubeless safety standard (which by definition, nothing we have is - well, it could be, but there is no way to know).

For a decent tubeless wheel/tire combo, it has
- helped if the rim tape has gotten damaged from mounting new tires
- helped get the tire to seal and inflate by hand.
- helps ensure there are no air leaks around valve, damaged tape, burping, or most anything.

1) I don't change anything on the rim when I use these. If it has tape, I leave the tape. It has very little thickness, so I wouldn't use it to replace rim tape, but it might be better than using a second layer of tape.

2) yes, you trim after install. If the tire has a very tight bead on the rim, I don't think there is much point in using these. I didn't use them with my 32mm GP5000, because that tire is a PITA to install, and I barely got it on the rim in the first place. I did use them with my terraspeeds. So no, I do not use them on tires that are difficult to install because they are so tight (and like you say, it would be hard to do without tearing the strip anyway).

3) yep, one time use. Although if the tire doesn't fit super tight, I have rotated tires front to back without taking the strip off or without exposing the sealant to open air or spillage.

4) yes, I think it would be good to solve rim related air leaks (just not sidewall/tread related ones! ;-) )


Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I've seen a few posts about this product and have questions:

1. You still use regular rim tape and then use the skinny stripper on top of it?

2. It's 75mm wide, and I think the idea is that you install the tire on the wider strip and then trim it after install? Does this make getting the tire on the rim more difficult? I've had some serious wrestling matches with some tires on my current tubeless wheels, so I'm having a hard time adding even more material in there and then needing to use levers to pry the beads up over the rim edge without damaging the strip. Any thoughts?

3. I'm assuming since it's latex and bonds to the tire, this is a one-time use product? So each tire install would require a new set of skinny strippers + trimming?

I have a set of tubeless wheels that I've had to re-tape 3x in the last year due to air leaks. This could be an indictment of my taping skills, but something like this product seems like it would solve that.

Thanks!

Last edited by chas58; 11-01-21 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 11-07-21, 07:19 PM
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Id like to share this video again. This is the method I use and have never needed anything but a floor pump.


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Old 11-08-21, 09:10 PM
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Another vote for Skinny Strippers!
I've only used Gravel King tires and have not problem getting them to inflate. Do make sure you take the valve core out - otherwise even the compressor may not blow air into the unseated tire fast enough to get it to pop into place.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by franswa View Post
Id like to share this video again. This is the method I use and have never needed anything but a floor pump.


https://youtu.be/tE3h4nmDdOo
Yep. I have nothing but a floor pump, and this method has worked every time. Admittedly it's been tough a time or two, but I've never failed to seat a tire.
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Old 11-08-21, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by franswa View Post
Id like to share this video again. This is the method I use and have never needed anything but a floor pump.

https://youtu.be/tE3h4nmDdOo
I've watched their other video on this, but only figured out how it works just now: by getting as much of the bead onto the shelf as possible, they have taken out all the slack so the tire is airtight on the rim, if not close to it. That lets them get air into the tire without losing it, so that the air will force the rest of the bead onto the shelf. Pretty cool.
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Old 11-09-21, 09:35 AM
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That makes sense Scott
- get the bead as tight as possible on the rim bed.
Other options
- build up the rim bed with rim tape
- use skinny stripper.

3 alternatives!
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Old 11-11-21, 08:31 AM
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Have tried a few ideas and many hours, and worn thumbs from tire levers, have yet to find success.

I used an innertube to inflate one tire on the rim and let it stretch for a few days. I removed only one side of the tire from the bead in order to remove the innertube and swap the valve stem in. No difference.

From there I tried the Syd approach shown in the YouTube video -- meaning I already had one entire side seated and only had to work on the opposite side. When trying this, what happened was the bead on the tire opposite the edge I seated with the tire lever curled back into the center channel of the wheel which prevented me from getting an air-tight seal with which to inflate the tire.

I tried the Syd approach from zero, seating half of each side but that didn't work for the same reason, with the additional complication that I couldn't get the bead to seat on both sides of the tire around the valve.

Am not sure what to do at this point. I really don't want to throw these brand new tires in the rubbish bin but I'm quite upset with them. Or perhaps it's the wheels I should be upset with? lol
Perhaps I could wrap several layers of rim tape and try to build up the rim bed, but the center channel is fairly deep and I wonder if putting on so many layers would even help because each layer also makes the bead-edge of the rim taller, and thus an even tighter fit to try and juggle.
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Old 11-11-21, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRaspberry View Post
Have tried a few ideas and many hours, and worn thumbs from tire levers, have yet to find success.

I used an innertube to inflate one tire on the rim and let it stretch for a few days. I removed only one side of the tire from the bead in order to remove the innertube and swap the valve stem in. No difference.

From there I tried the Syd approach shown in the YouTube video -- meaning I already had one entire side seated and only had to work on the opposite side. When trying this, what happened was the bead on the tire opposite the edge I seated with the tire lever curled back into the center channel of the wheel which prevented me from getting an air-tight seal with which to inflate the tire.

I tried the Syd approach from zero, seating half of each side but that didn't work for the same reason, with the additional complication that I couldn't get the bead to seat on both sides of the tire around the valve.

Am not sure what to do at this point. I really don't want to throw these brand new tires in the rubbish bin but I'm quite upset with them. Or perhaps it's the wheels I should be upset with? lol
Perhaps I could wrap several layers of rim tape and try to build up the rim bed, but the center channel is fairly deep and I wonder if putting on so many layers would even help because each layer also makes the bead-edge of the rim taller, and thus an even tighter fit to try and juggle.
Did you take em to a shop? I would do that before throwing them away...that seems drastic.

My GK SS tires were impossible to mount at home. I have an air chamber, didnt work. Soapy bead, didnt work. Gas station pump, didnt work. Pulled beads to the edge, didnt work. Inflated with a tube, didnt work.
Two guys at the shop fought with the tires for 15min and one guy finally got both to seat and inflate. I have had no reason or desire to remove them since.

More tape helps reduce the spots where air can escape when trying to seat the tire. If there are no gaps, then the air cant escape and instead it has to push the tire beads outward. Thats the idea, anyways.
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Old 11-11-21, 09:13 AM
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I wonder what your guys did to get it to work?

I went to an LBS and they were not able to get them to seat, though they tried little more than using an air chamber. I suppose I should look for a different LBS to try.

(throwing them away is drastic, indeed, but an act of stress and frustration! lol)
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Old 11-16-21, 08:33 AM
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I find with the particular rims on my gravel bike most of the the tires I've tried have needed a lot of help getting seated. The beads tend just flop around down in the drop center and just vent all the air instead of inflating. The standard slick 38mm gravelkings that I have are the worst for this because they're so floppy. Preseating as much of the beads with a lever definitely helps. There is also the technique of seating the beads with a tube and then carefully removing it without breaking the bead on one side. But most often I end up just taking the valve core out and blasting it with my air compressor. That just about always works.
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Old 11-25-21, 09:10 AM
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I have seven bikes, all of which are setup tubeless. I have a set of Enve hookless rims on one bike with Gravelkings on them. On all of my bikes, I pull the valve cores and use a compressor/Prestaflator to blow the beads on. The GKs mount easily at 35-40psi on the regulator, I've never had an issue. As others have said, I always spray down the bead with soapy water. Not sure what documentation is saying not to use soap, I'd ignore that.

If you continue to have issues, find a better shop with a compressor. A shop without a compressor is not much of a shop, IMO. Also, those pressure chamber pumps are not nearly as good as a real compressor in my experience.
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Old 11-25-21, 01:07 PM
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Are you using an air compressor to seat the tire? Pull the valve put a piece of tubing over the core hold a rubber tipped air gun to the tubing blast away. Worked for me including Gravelkings.
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Old 11-26-21, 07:29 AM
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I just got a 650b GK SK to seat on a Stan's Arch using my floor pump. I guess it's not a hookless rim, but I don't understand why this is relevant since seating is all about the bead shelf.

Just read through the thread again and I would like to note that if you should throw anything away it's the rim and/or taping job. However, that's a little bit drastic and there probably are some tires out there that will seat more easily. If you have a good bike shop locally, buy some tires and have them put them on. It's going to cost, but would be worth it.

Last edited by unterhausen; 11-26-21 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 12-12-21, 01:33 PM
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Had a irreparable puncture on my byways yesterday so I swapped to a set of gravelking SKs today - hookless rims, using the method in the video I posted above and got em seated on the first attempt with my floor pump.
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Old 12-16-21, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRaspberry View Post
I wonder what your guys did to get it to work?

I went to an LBS and they were not able to get them to seat, though they tried little more than using an air chamber. I suppose I should look for a different LBS to try.

(throwing them away is drastic, indeed, but an act of stress and frustration! lol)
Describe how the process went with installing the tubes. Did they install easily? Difficult? What PSI did it take to get the beads to seat?
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