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Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 27 Sep 2020, 4:12pm
by ms10
My tubeless setup is only about 500 miles old (Hunt 4Season, Panaracer GravelKing 32mm, Stan's Race sealant), so I thought i'd check the sealant and replenish

The front was fine. Reseated at the first attempt with my Topeak Joeblow Booster from 160 Psi. Nothing special needed doing to it.

However, the rear.....I've had it off before, and no issue that time, but this time....

This is what i've tried below. Does anyone have any other suggestions (aside from the worse-case scenario: inner tube):

  • Very soapy water on bead and rim -> lots of bubbles
  • Warmed tyre in hand-hot water
  • Removed as much as possible of the old sealant's latex from bead
  • Removed core of valve, and checked valve as clear
  • Tried the tyre both ways in case the asymmetric shape of the wheel had somehow conditioned it

If the local bike store has no luck, will I have to resort to either inner tube, or a new tyre?

Thanks in advance
Mark

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 6:25am
by mattsccm
Bung some more rim tape on. Enough layers will seat almost anything.

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 7:51am
by ms10
mattsccm wrote:Bung some more rim tape on. Enough layers will seat almost anything.


Thanks. The wheel is tubeless compatible so doesn't currently have any rim tape on it.

Surely the rim can't be leaking air can it?

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 8:04am
by fausto99
You could try neat washing up liquid instead of soapy water. Works for me on tyres which otherwise won't seat. Also works well on handlebar grips and grab-on foam. Even better, if you can get it, is Hellerine oil. They use it to get tight rubber sleeves over electrical connections, cables, etc.

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 8:32am
by Jamesh
What about at the rim joint.

Could be leaking air there???

Cheers James

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 8:43am
by Brucey
IME gravel kings are a slightly loose fit on some rims and whilst the beads don't take much of a set (so they are not noticeably easier to seat having been left with a tube in for a few days) they do seem to get a bit looser having been used for a while. So if the tyre seated OK before my guess is that it is this and/or any sealant residue that is making the difference now.

I'd expect sealant residue to affect sealing rather than seating, unless the leakage caused by the dried sealant is particularly bad. If you want to give the tyre the best chance of seating (esp with a boost bottle of limited volume), it and the rim need to be completely free of dried sealant.

BTW if the rim has good bead-retaining lips (i.e. once seated the tyre won't unseat easily), it is often possible to seat the tyre by connecting the airline to the valve stem directly (i.e. with no valve core fitted), then refit the valve core and inflate the tyre normally. There are other dodges eg using a string tourniquet on the tyre which can help push the beads outwards for seating too.

cheers

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 9:04am
by iandusud
Is the issue that the tyre is not holding air and therefore not seating at all or that it is holding air but not fully seating?

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 9:42am
by ms10
iandusud wrote:Is the issue that the tyre is not holding air and therefore not seating at all or that it is holding air but not fully seating?

Not seating at all. Before I (foolishly) removed it yesterday it was holding air fine.

I'm dumping the full 160psi reservoir into it, and it's just going around the tyre and into the air. The tyre barely shifts at all. I suspect that the post from Brucey is closest to explaining the issue.

I've been looking around for options and have chanced on these two, which I'll try when I find the time today:

youtube => manually sit half the tyre onto both rims before inflation (albeit with large MTB tyre)
youtube => strap/tourniquet (ordered - delivery tomorrow)

Does anyone have any experience of using a car 12V tyre inflator? Does it offer more capacity than a reservoir track pump?

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 10:23am
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Spent lots of time seating motorcycle tubeless tires, as a job.
There is a sort of a knack, Need washing up fluid and or 50% diluted with the water, or the correct seating sealing compound.
and a tourniquet, as well as squashing the tire with my hands and knees on the ground.
Dropping the wheel onto the floor to push the beads out.
Most of this will be impossible with bicycle tyres of course.
The tourniquet will be the most useful thing here you don't need to buy one you just need to Make one with a piece string, or a piece of webbing .
But an airline would be an advantage as well as the tourniquet.
I used to use a track pump Motorcycle tires.
Only once had to resort to an airline.
A good day with the new motorcycle tyre would take me just under 20 minutes to remove the wheel fit the tyre and get the bike running again.
Bad day would be two hours getting nowhere with a tubed tyre With an incompatible rim and tire/tire clamps.

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 10:38am
by ms10
And there we have it......

I just decided to go into the garden and give it one more go, and, hey presto, it seated first time!!

Maybe it's not quite that simple, so here's what I did:
  1. removed as much old sealant as possible from tyre's bead
  2. cleaned and dried the wheel
  3. removed the valve's core
  4. with a very strong solution of washing-up liquid and water I ran my fingers over the tyre's bead and the inside of the rim
  5. filled reservoir to 160psi, released it and bingo!

From that point it's fairly easy to unseat one side of the tyre, pour in sealant (Stan's advise not to inject via the valve) and re-inflate. In fact, with one side seated I didn't even need to fill the reservoir, just instead pumped in normal mode.

I think it's worth adding my suspicion that the ambient temperature played a big part here. Today is 17C and sunny. Yesterday was an overcast 10C. Plus the tyre was kept off the wheel in the kitchen overnight. The tyre definitely felt far more supple today.

Edit: I wonder if allowing the tyre to adopt it's natural shape overnight while off the wheel had an impact here.


And for anyone concerned that cycling gives them skinny arms and shoulders, just go tubeless!! Best work-out this side of Joe Wicks

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 6:17pm
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Imagine what it's like fitting motorcycle tires and some of those can be quite tight pumping them up by hand.
Never broke a tire lever but they don't half bend.
I gave up working after teatime because I realised I could cram everything in to a normal day, just by organising myself better.
But there was one customer who always paid pretty prompt always paid cash never grumbled.
For him I was on demand 24 hours a day.
Literally he would change his bike every other week at times.
One evening I had to change four Tyres With a tire clamps too, Refit the wheels, New tubeless tires on motor bikes are dead easy, But not if they're tubed so much because you can't afford to get any lubricant on the beads, as there is a likelihood that the tire will slip and rip the valve out.
I did 99% of my tire fitting on the ground on a piece of carpet, there are instances where you need to get your feet on the wheel and tire, not so easy if it's off the ground on a barrel or dustbin, cycle wheels are easy like that.
In time you generate vice like grip, And arms like a gorilla.
did that full time for about 12 to 15 years, Not full time tyre fitting but full-time mechanics which involves plenty of tires for sure.
I can't remember the last time I used an airline, even the truck with 60 psi and you can imagine how much hair is in one of those tires, is topped up with a hand pump.
If nothing else it gives you a good upper body workout.
I have when necessary fitted A few small car tyres.
But I certainly wouldn't bother today and a course they have to be balanced, and they dispose of the tires too.

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 28 Sep 2020, 7:10pm
by geocycle
@ms10 glad you got the problem sorted. How do you find the JoBlow booster pump, worth the investment? Seems like a good idea for tubeless if somewhat pricey.

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 29 Sep 2020, 1:25am
by NickJP
ms10 wrote:I'm dumping the full 160psi reservoir into it, and it's just going around the tyre and into the air. The tyre barely shifts at all. I suspect that the post from Brucey is closest to explaining the issue.

When this happens to me with tubeless tyres, I inflate the tyre using an inner tube, so that both beads seat, then unseat one bead to remove the tube, taking care not to unseat the other bead, re-install the tubeless valve, then try dumping the reservoir again.

And although it's not your issue, I also find that new tubeless tyres that are hard to seat become more compliant if inflated first with a tube for a few hours or overnight.

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 29 Sep 2020, 9:33am
by ms10
geocycle wrote:@ms10 glad you got the problem sorted. How do you find the JoBlow booster pump, worth the investment? Seems like a good idea for tubeless if somewhat pricey.


Hi Nick,
It's around £100, so unless you actually need the reservoir it's a waste of money. However, apart from that episode the other day it has worked first time. Assuming my issues weren't its fault, then you should be able to seat your tyres quickly and without issue.
In all, I'd say it's a necessity if you're tubeless.
(I'm still curious how well my car's 12V inflator would cope though)

Re: Tubeless not seating - am at wit's end

Posted: 29 Sep 2020, 9:38am
by ms10
Regarding my previous post concerning what worked for me, I did additionally have an insight this morning

I mentioned that before my successful attempt yesterday the tyre had been kept overnight in the kitchen, so was warmer and more supple than the previous day.

What also has just occurred to me is that the tyre was off the wheel during this period, and had expanded back into its natural shape, i.e. a flat-ish band. Compare this to the shape it's forced into on the wheel, and they're clearly quite different.

Yesterday, during the successful attempt, the tyre seemed more willing not to be stuck in the rim's centre channel, but to push outwards.

So, I wonder if taking the tyre off the wheel for a few hours assisted in this.