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Going tubeless on your mountain bike or road bike is a trend that is expanding further and further. So, what are the advantages of running your tires tubeless? First, a tubeless setup allows a rider to run lower tire pressure without receiving pinch flats. Since there is no tube in the tire, there is no tube that can be pinched. Secondly, the lower pressure provides better traction when mountain biking because a larger contact match is made with the ground. In road biking, the lower pressure smooths out the ride and drops some weight off the bike as well. There are many bike shops that will happily set up your tires tubeless for you, but if you want to install it yourself and save a little cash on labor charges, there are many bike tubeless kits and parts available to make that happen.
A tubeless kit is made up of three primary parts. First, you need a specific tubeless valve stem. This stem is sold as an individual item (not attached to a tube), and only works with rims that are drilled for presta valves. The valve stem is installed in the rim and tighten down snug to create an air tight seal.
The second part of a tubeless kit is tubeless rim tape. This tape must be certified as tubeless. Standard rim tape will not work properly. Most tubeless wheels will come with tubeless rim tape installed, but if they do not, you will have to install it yourself. Before laying the tape down, make sure that the rim you are working with is tubeless compatible. Using a non-tubeless rim could lead to dangerous outcomes.
The final part of a tubeless kit is tire sealant. Tire sealant is installed in the tire to eliminate any small punctures that want to end your ride. The amount of sealant you put in the tire varies on tire size and width. The sealant can be poured into the bottom of a tire while one side of the bead is not installed. The other option is adding sealant through the valve stem by removing the valve core once the tire bead has been fully set in the rim. A special tool is usually required to remove the core. Please also verify that the tire you are using is tubeless compatible when performing this step.
If you have any questions about tubeless kits or about the tubeless installation process, hop on a call or a chat with one of our expert Gear Advisors at 888-880-3811. They are always happy to help you with any questions you may have.