The importance of using a right and secure tire (tyre) cannot be overemphasized as the type, and quality of tire you use for your mountain bike not only determines your safety but also affects the efficiency of your ride.Tubeless tires are a type of tires which do not need a separate inner tube; this is because they have continuous ribs which are carved into the bead of the tire. They are strained by the force of the air contained by the tire to fasten with the flanges of the metal brims of the wheel.
Advantages of Tubeless Tires
The tubeless tire has features that distinctly differentiate it from the tube-type counterpart and, as a result, provides some advantages.
- Deflation Rate: In tubeless tires, air escapes at a prolonged rate, unlike a tube-type tire which goes flat very fast. This feature is handy as it gives you enough time to stop safely.
- Lightweight: Being tubeless, there is one less component in the set-up of the wheel, and this will reduce the weight of the bike.
- Mileage: A tubeless tire brings about better mileage as the absence of a tube means there is less friction, unlike a tubed tire which has friction within itself.
These and many more are the advantages of using a tubeless tire. However, as a tubeless tire user, there are some essential things you need to take note of as they’re required for repairing your tubeless tire.
- Sealant: A sealant is a liquid made to block holes in a tire (tyre). It usually consists of small, solid particles of fiber or rubber suspended in a liquid matrix, commonly latex, which enables it works a bit like blood clotting to prevent bleeding. It also prevents the loss of air; however, it only works for punctures up to a certain extent.
- Tubeless Rim Tape: This is a roll of tape designed to fit standard-width rims. It prevents air from escaping through the spoke holes in the rim.
- Valve Core Remover: A valve core remover is a small tool that enables you to remove the valve without any damage to it, to replace it.
- Sealant Injector: A sealant injector is a syringe-like tool used to pump sealant into the tire with ease. Sealant makers often sell it.
How to Top Up Tubeless Tyres with Sealant
Topping up sealant is not such a tedious task. However, a lot of people find it challenging to do it. Here’s one way you can top up your sealant.
Through the valve stem: A lot of tubeless systems have valve stems with removable cores. All you need to do is to:
- Remove the valve stem: You can do this by turning it counterclockwise with a valve core remover tool. It is best removed with a valve core remover as it will not cause any damage to the valve stem.
- Inject the sealant: After removing the valve stem, you can then proceed to inject the sealant into your tire by make use of a sealant injector.
The video below shows you this process (credit to Clint Gibbs):
If you are still unsure of any of the steps, make sure to ask your local bike repair shop for assistance!