Tubeless tires have revolutionized and changed the bike industry for the better. While mountain bikers discovered this and adopted the technology quickly, the road bikers have been slow. Similarly, product offerings for road tubeless tires and wheels have been sparse. Tubes have reigned supreme and trained the way many mechanics have gone about installing tires and tubes.
Tubeless tire installation, however, requires different and new techniques that can make even the most experienced mechanic struggle. This isn’t due to poor products, but rather poor education about why tubeless tires must be installed differently.
- Tape Installation
- First, a properly taped rim is one of the key's to easier tire installation. When taping an ENVE rim, first make sure you clean the rim with the provided alcohol wipe. Then, install the tubeless tape. Begin 1-1/2 spoke holes before the valve hole, cover the valve hole, wrapping the rim once around an passing the valve hole and finishing 1-1/2 spoke holes beyond it.
- While installing tubeless tape tape the rim in roughly 6 inch sections. MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE THE TAPE IS FULL SEATED IN THE CENTER DROP CHANNEL OF THE RIM. We cannot stress this point enough, if you do not fully seat your tape into your rim drop channel you will make tire installation far more difficult later as you have effectively made the circumference your tire needs to fit around wider than intended.
- Also, failure to adhere the tape properly can result in air leaking into the internal chamber of the rim, either causing leaks or at worst, a catastrophic failure of the rim sidewall if the rim becomes pressurized.
- Rim Anatomy: A tubeless rim channel has two shoulders, that must be prominent to maintain a constant seal around both sides of the rim channel.
- Starting the tire installation opposite the valve is the first step to make the entire process much easier on yourself.
- Similarly, making sure to keep both beads off those shoulders, and inside the center channel of the rim will also make the entire process a lot less of a headache. Avoiding either one of those small tips will make the tire installation feel utterly impossible.