Do you know how to do tubeless mountain bike tires maintenance? It is an important thing that riders should know.
If you are already riding a mountain bike then you must be thinking about how to maintain your tubeless setup. The tubeless tire has several advantages that you may have experienced while riding. There are few major things you must know before maintaining your bike tires.
Tubeless tire setup requires you to observe the tire pressure regularly and repair the leaks as well. The sealant may degrade over time so, you have to maintain it. In this article, we will Provide you necessary information on Tubeless mountain bike tires maintenance and also inform how you can get the best performance out of your tubeless tires.
- Tubeless/ Tubeless Converted Wheel,
- Tubeless Tire / Tubeless-ready tire,
- Tire Sealant
- Sealant Injector
- Valve Core Removal Tool
- Track pump
- Inflator for Tubeless tire
Basics of Tubeless Tire
If you are a new biker, you may be thinking what a tubeless tire is and how it works? Let’s minimize all the confusion and go through the details about it.
The major difference between a tubeless tire and a normal tire is the tube. The tubeless tire does not include any tube in it. A special sealant in the tubeless tire keeps the air intact inside the tire bid. Though it sounds overwhelming, the configuration of a tubeless tire is simple.
Is Tubeless Tire Worth it?
You may be wondering if converting your mountain bike tires into Tubeless is worth it. Though we are not sure about how you will feel after the conversion, we are sharing some Pros and Cons you should learn:
- You will get fewer flats and minor punctures will get fixed automatically
- With tubeless tires, you can ride your bike tires at lower psi. This means you can get better tire traction and extra room for deformation. You can ride faster on any kind of trail.
- The bike will carry less weight because there is no tube inside the tire. You can ride more comfortably due to reduced weight.
- A tubeless tire setup is a bit more costly compared to a standard setup. If you are a dedicated mountain bike rider you will convert into a tubeless setup after considering the benefits.
- The mounting process of the tubeless tire is a bit more complex compared to a standard tire setup.
- You have to maintain and clean up the sealant quite often because the sealant of a tubeless tire is messy.
The Necessity of Sealant in Tubeless Tires
Tubeless Sealant is crucial to keep the air intact inside the tire. The sealant also fixes the tire when there is a minor puncture hole in the tire.
Maintaining the sealant of a tubeless tire is a messy and time-consuming process. Eventually, you will understand the necessity of sealant on a tubeless tire after experiencing its positive impacts on a tire.
Tubeless Tire Sealant’s Work Process
The tubeless tire sealant is more than just a nanoparticle that fixes the tire damage. Latex-based tire sealant and fiber-based tire sealant are two different types of tire sealants.
Both these sealants serve common functionality such as sealing the puncture holes, keeping the air intact on a tire. There are some other features of these chemical compounds
Fiber-based sealant forces the air pressure into the tire cavity or tire beads to block any escaping air. The chemical compound in this sealant bonds with the rubber to repair puncture holes.
Latex-based sealants include rubber-based synthetic chemical compounds. This sealant solidifies by bonding with the tire while the air pressure forces it to seal the damaged area of a tire. You can convert your normal tire setup into tubeless with the help of this sealant.
The previous repair method of tire puncture includes the use of patches that sometimes makes the damage even worse. No matter what sealant you are using it seals the puncture naturally. It is recommended to use the Fiber-based sealant for a tubeless setup.
Expiration Period of Tubeless Sealant
You must change the sealant when the lifespan of your tubeless sealant is over. The latex-based sealant works for 9000 miles whereas fiber-based sealant stays workable till the lifespan of a tire.
Latex-based sealant has a limited life span and it dies over time. The cleaning process of this sealant is complex and messy. This is why it is recommended to use Fiber-based sealant on tubeless tire setup.
Tubeless Sealant Replacing Schedule
The best practice is to replace the tire sealant every 3 to 6 months but you can remove it more often. You have to notice how many puncture holes were fixed by the sealant and how much fluid is already used. You have to add the sealant and also replace the old sealant routinely.
Dried out sealant is not effective and the mixture is distributed improperly throughout the tire. Though it won’t harm your tire it is wise to change the sealant regularly.
Replacing Tubeless Tire
Replacing the tubeless tire becomes necessary when it is unable to hold air inside and totally damaged. It is mandatory to replace the tire when the puncture is too severe or the bead is unable to seal itself.
Tubeless tires mostly rely on the seal so, repeated damage on a previously repaired area means you have to replace your tires.
Adding Tubeless Sealant
Initially, you may struggle while adding the sealant on your tubeless tire and air it up. Adding tubeless sealant on a tire is a kind of art and a bit complex work. The process will be easier as you become used to it.
You need an air compressor and Park tools to get it done by following two methods:
First, you have to pour the sealant inside the tire before mounting the bead. Rotate the tire slowly and distribute the sealant evenly inside the tire and seat the tire bead as well. Finally, air up the tire by maintaining the least maximum psi until it fully seats.
A removable valve core, a syringe, and an air compressor are required to complete this method. You have to month both tire beads before injecting the sealant. Air up the tire so that it seats fully. Then inject sealant through the valve steam after releasing some air.
Sealing a Tubeless Tire
The sealing process of tubeless tire and rim is not complex as it seems. You have to follow some mandatory steps before adding sealant. Add enough rim tapes so that the sealant won’t escape from the spoke holes.
Make sure that the tire is aired up to the least maximum psi and bead is seated properly on the sides of the tire. Carefully observe if any obstruction is blocking the sealant to work effectively.
How to Stop Tubeless Tire from leaking
Leaks can occur anytime while running a tubeless tire, so you have to learn how to manage it. The sealant cannot escape from the tire easily because there aren’t many places in a tubeless tire to escape.
Leaking From Spokes/Valve
Seal the rim tape properly to prevent the air from escaping through the spokes. This is not a major issue but you need to remove the tire and sealant and apply the rim tape again.
Leaking From the Bead
A leak from the bead is a common issue while running a tubeless tire. To prevent this kind of leak, you have to remove obstructions between the rim and tire bead and make sure that the bead is seated properly. If the leak is still there, you have to lower the air pressure of your tires a bit.
Can I Repair Tubeless Tires?
Tubeless tire damages or punctures cannot be fixed and it is recommended by the professionals not to repaid a tubeless tire. Repairing may be expensive so it is wise to get a new one rather than having any risk.
How to Remove a Tubeless Tire
Removing the tubeless tire is an important step of tubeless mountain bike tire maintenance. You can replace the sealant or the tire but eventually, you will have to remove the tire from the rim.
You have to deflate the tires and then remove the beads by pushing them off the rim. You have to be careful about the sealant because it creates a mess while removing the tire.
For a dedicated mountain bike rider, tubeless mountain bike tires maintenance is as important as riding the bike. The process of maintenance is really simple compared to any other maintenance for your bike. The process may be overwhelming at the beginning but once you get hold of it, you will enjoy riding your bike more after every maintenance.