Archive for Monday, July 9, 2012


Fix-It Chick: Repair a tubeless tire

July 9, 2012


If your tubeless tire has deflated and separated from the rim, a little patience and some dish soap could have you back up and rolling in no time.

Step 1: Remove the tubeless wheel, rim and all, from the axel and check the tire for tears or punctures.

Step 2: If everything looks good, leave the deflated tire on the rim and clean the rim and the tire bead with soapy water. The tire bead is the rounded edge of the tire that seats up against the rim when the tire is properly inflated.

Step 3: Once the rim and tire bead are clean, lubricate the tire bead with dish soap or tire bead sealer. Do not use petroleum-based products as they will deteriorate rubber tires.

Step 4: Get a rope, belt or lashing strap that fits around the circumference of the tire. A tourniquet system can be made using a rope or strap and a long-shaft screwdriver.

Step 5: Wrap the strapping around the outer circumference of the tire, along the center of the tire treads.

Step 6: Slowly pull the strapping tight, forcing the tire bead closer to the tire rim.

Step 7: When the tire bead is pressed up against the rim, use an air compressor to slowly inflate the tire. Hand pumps typically do not have enough pressure to inflate tubeless tires.

Step 8: If the tire fails to inflate, rotate the tire and apply some additional soap. Use your hands to apply downward pressure until the tire bead sticks to the rim.

Step 9: As soon as the tire begins to inflate, loosen the strapping to allow the tire to inflate unimpeded.

Step 10: If the tire leaks, spray the rim area with a soapy water solution. Bubbles should appear where air is leaking out. Apply pressure to the area until the tire inflates properly.

Step 11: If the tire continues to leak, consider installing a tube inside the tire. Use a knife to cut off the old tire valve and remove the valve from the rim.

Step 12: Work a properly sized tire tube around the rim and down inside the tire.

Step 13: Pull the tire tube’s valve through the hole in the rim and use an air compressor to inflate the tube.

Step 14: Continue to inflate the tube until the tire bead is seated properly against the tire rim.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


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