How to make tubeless mountain bike tires?

tubeless mountain bike tires

Tubeless mountain bike tires, or “tubeless” tires for short, were first introduced to the mountain biking community in 1997. At that time, there was no option for riders who did not want to run tubes. Although many mountain bikers are still hesitant about tubeless, it is now a common practice and can offer benefits to cyclists of all levels.

For those who are on the lookout for a decent tubeless mountain bike tire, the chances are you’re not looking at just any brand. The materials and tech used in production have to be good enough to make your life as a mountain biker easier and more enjoyable. You can covert these best beginner mountain bikes tires.

How Do Tubeless Bike Tires Work?

Tubeless mountain bike tires are usually constructed of synthetic rubber compound, as opposed to open-topped bicycle tires that have a layer of urethane which provides the structure for holding air. This means they can be run at lower pressures than their tube-based counterparts.

The layers allow an excellent bond between them and you’ll notice this straight away just by running your hand across tubeless wheels with no rim tape on them. The carbon in the wheel is laced with a special yarn which allows air to be locked into place within the tire and prevents it from leaking out. The inner layer has been chosen or engineered specifically for use on mountain bike wheels, so you can expect puncture protection without taking extra precautions, as well as increased traction when climbing on any surface.

The combination of urethane/carbon fibers makes tubeless tires extremely tough while they hold up nicely under hardware, with extra abrasion protection at the back of a mountain bike fork than an equivalent open-ended tire would provide.

The main purpose of tubeless tires on mtb bikes is to improve your riding experience without weighing you down and letting so much air out that they will blow out more easily or “mushroom” in high-speed crashes.

How to set up and convert tubeless mountain bike tires?

Tools you need:

– Floor pump with gauge

– Tire levers (Small tire pliers and big ones)

Here are the steps by step guide to making tubeless mountain bike tires.

Step 1: Put inner tubes and tire in tubeless valve casing.

Step 2: Fill the casing with air to make up for any space left over after mounding your tube or tires into place. This will fluctuate by brand but is usually approx 3-5 psi (approximately please be sure that you did not seal your valves). You’ll want to use mountain bike-compatible fluid to fill the casing.

Step 3: Place rim tape over the filler nut to seal them.

Step 4: Attach rim cap and tire bead or weave onto your wheel and inflate as much air as you can through it (please read our Guide on Mountain Bike Tire Air Pressure for more information). Inflating a mountain bike tubeless will take about 5-10 minutes, depending on pressure.

Step 5: Remove air from the tire and watch it be absorbed into the casing and seal of on as if it was a tube (if you do not see an indication that there is any space left or that your pin works. In fact, they may still have some sort of ‘wart’ (friction) but are otherwise working).

Advantages of tubeless mountain bike tires

Generally speaking, tubeless mountain bike tires are a little bit simpler and easier to use than tubular, but of course, if you want the benefits that come along with this technology, it is likely something hard-wired into your buying decision.

Tubeless setups offer better control over air pressure, which can aid in tire life significantly (so long as you do have a proper fitting system). They also provide some significant weight savings compared to their tube counterparts, most often of 4-5 pounds (depending on tire size), and can be used at their maximum air pressure in flat conditions like normal tubes, which means more roll faster.

Tubeless tires are also less costly than most classic tubular. However, a price is usually associated with all improvements, so this may not always be an automatic metric to help you choose between the two, but it’s something worth considering. Another benefit of tubeless mountain bike tires is they are typically faster than tube setups as well (usually about 20 – 30mph more). Of course, that’s a very general statement and there aren’t too many tubeless systems out there, but it is true in some cases.

Tubeless mountain bike tires are also not inherently better if you want to go off-road. They still need the same maintenance schedule as their traditional counterparts, just without the tubes. Tubular Mountain biking tires will work longer on gravel and dirt than their tubeless counterparts, but the big risk is taking these tires on undulating terrain where they have very marginal slip resistance at best.

Tubeless vs inner tube: Main differences

Inner tubes are the mainstay of a lot of mountain bike tires. However, their benefits (e.g., wet grip) come with some serious drawbacks. The two most common issues with inner tubes are flat spots and blowouts – both very large problems on these types of bikes where you need as much protection as possible.

Tubeless systems can provide more reliable traction than tubular since they don’t have any shortcomings like that and you don’t have to worry about or replace them often, but they can also wear on your rims, especially if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow.

Tubeless mountain bike tires are usually quite cheap compared to tubular and inner tubes, which means there isn’t much maintenance obligation unless the tire is damaged (which happens relatively frequently). They aren’t as robust in terms of durability, though, so many people look at replacing their current inner tubes with a tubeless setup instead.


Now that you know how to make tubeless mountain bike tires, it’s time to start building your own. If you have any questions or need help with anything, let us know in the comments below.

Keep reading: How to change a mountain bike tire?

Author: Kei Taylor

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