Tubeless Bike Tire Repair: The Full Guide How To Fix Tubeless Tire Is On Our Blog
For some, the existence of tubeless bicycle tires will be a surprise, however, this type of tire exists quite long. UST (Universal System Tubeless) first appeared on the market back in 1999. The developer of this technology is the world-renowned manufacturer Mavic (France). Since its inception, cyclists are facing the problem of tubeless bike tire repair, as the procedure is different from the usual one. The UST designation denotes a two-piece system – rim and tire. The walls of UST rims have a special ledge, which allows secure fixation of the tire. Spokes are made in such a way that they don’t let air in or are covered with a special sealing tape. Tight joints make it possible to match the protrusions on the rim and the tire.
An advantage that is important for any rider, regardless of the style and level of riding – you can forget about 95 percent of punctures. Any little thing like plant thorns, wires, small glasses, etc. is repaired with sealant almost instantly. With tube wheels, every such episode would turn into gluing/replacing the tube.
To begin with, with tubeless tires initially more challenging type – to put them, you need special rims and tubeless-ready tires, a special sealant, a rim tape, and nipples. And the installation process itself is not always easy and sometimes requires a compressor or booster. Tubeless tire repair is a hassle as well. It is practically unrepairable outside the home or workshop. It’s expensive. If you have a simple bike or an older model, its rims do not support the installation of tubeless, you need to buy new ones. The tubeless-ready rubber itself is more expensive than the tube rubber.
What tools do you need to fix a flat tubeless tire?
To repair punctures and cuts – you can use :
- The sealant.
- Tubeless tire repair kit.
- Tubeless tire patch.
How to fix tubeless tires?
For this, you will need the sealant. This way is handy for cuts and punctures up to 2 cm. First, you have to put the puncture site down so the sealant penetrates the hole well, and then start rotating the wheel. The sealing process is similar to thrombosis, in contact with air, the sealant particles become thick, new particles overlap them and a layer of sealant builds up on the inside of the puncture hole. When the air has stopped oozing, you can inflate the wheel to restore pressure and drive on. This whole operation usually takes a minute or two. Compare how long it takes to change a tube.
In 95% of cases, this way of fixing a flat tubeless tire is quick and painless, but sometimes there is a big cut or tear, and then the sealant can’t mend it. In the field, such a nuisance is difficult to fix. There is another way to solve the problem- special patches.
How to patch a tubeless tire?
If you find yourself in a situation where sealant can’t help you, you have to be prepared. Some people carry around regular tire patches and CO2 spray cans. Larger punctures, like those from such a nail, most often require an internal patch. This uses the same method as the camera repair, but the tires must be cleaned and prepared more thoroughly, and the anti-adhesive grease used in their manufacturing process must be removed. Turn the tire inside out and find the puncture. Scrape the sealant from the area to be repaired. Clean the area to be repaired thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the tire and frame. Do not use liquid glue to patch tubeless bike tire – or you will fail. Remove the protective film from the patch without touching the work surface. When the glue dries, press the patch into place, paying special attention to the edges. Reinstall the tires and hit the road.
Cut on the side: is it possible to fix a flat tubeless tire?
All the above-mentioned cases were easy to repair «on the battlefield», however, if you notice the sidecut on your tubeless tire- you should have more time and effort. Usually, sharp and long rocks, big glass pieces, etc, can cause a sidewall cut. These punctures are almost impossible to repair with the tire patches, as they are way too big. The sealant will also be useless in this situation. The only option you have is to carry a spare tube and be ready to install it and ride to a special bicycle repair service. You may try to fix it home, the possibility of success will depend on the damage. You need to start with cleaning the entire tubeless tire inside and out, then you should roughen up the inside part of it, using sandpaper. After this, apply a patch (it should be huge) with the special glue. It is a lot of work to do, so we recommend you to ask the specialists to help you out.
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