Hints on Fitting Tyres

In an effort to support tubeless road tyres, rim manufacturers need to make a few changes. The bead where the tyre sits needs to be far more exact in diameter, the height of the bead-seat needs to be decreased, and a ‘shelf’ needs to be shaped to the inside of the rim to help prevent burping (the tyres, not you).

These changes mean that fitting tyres on Tubeless-ready wheels is more difficult than with ‘standard’ rims.

These tips and tricks will help with installing tyres and can be applied to standard road wheels and tyres as well as the current generation of Tubeless rims.

A key difference with a Tubeless rim is the ‘gutter’ – a deep groove in the center of the rim. This gutter’s only purpose is to help install tyres.

That’s the gutter in the middle of the rim

Install one bead of tyre as per normal. This bead will be snug but should go on quite easily.

Install the inner tube and put a tiny bit of air into the tube. You just want enough air that the tube will hold its shape – too little and it will flop around, too much and it will be hard to fit.

Install the tyre’s second bead ¾ around, leaving the section opposite the valve off the rim.

Now the tricks start: Start at the valve and push the valve back into the rim. We want the tyre’s beads to be able to get into the rim’s gutter so we’re moving the valve out of the way as much as possible.

Pinch the rim’s bead together and place it into the gutter. Continue this around the wheel – pinch the tyres bead and force it into the rim’s gutter, pulling the tyre away from the valve and towards the last bit of tyre you need to fit. This step is 90% of the magic.

If you’ve done everything right thus far this final step will be difficult. If you’ve done anything wrong it will seem impossible.

You’ve put the tyre’s bead into the rim’s gutter and moved as much of the ‘extra’ tyre to the final section as possible. Now either using your IronMan fingers or a plastic tyre lever push that final section of tyre onto the rim.

If you’re using tyre levers be careful not to pinch the tube – that little bit of air we put in earlier should help.

Done! Whew! Take a minute to rest those thumbs then check that you haven’t pinched the inner tube by going around the rim, starting at the valve, and pushing the tyre away from the rim’s bead. If you’ve got a small section of inner tube trapped between the tyre and rim it will blow up when you inflate the innertube, thus taking you back to step one.