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Is my tire Tubeless?

Old 09-06-22, 12:58 PM
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plasma800
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Is my tire Tubeless?

Hi Bike Forums


I'm a little confused about something and could use some ideas.


I have a Salsa Fargo. I was always under the impression that the tires, while "tubules ready", had inner tubes in them from the factory.


I have a slow leak in my front wheel. I had a spare tube that should fit. So I figured it would be easy to just swap the tube.


However, when I tried to remove the tire from the rim the sidewalls of the tires are like.. GLUED to the rim. They will not budge under a good amount of force. This instantly made me wonder if this tire is tubeless.


to test, I filled the tire with air and then backed off the nut on the valve and pressed the valve in, expecting air to come out - but none escaped.


The tire is a ranger 2.25 29" Fast Rolling Light


Any hints on my next step?
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Old 09-06-22, 01:06 PM
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I *think* if you can press the presta valve in from the rim, there is a tube.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
Hi Bike Forums
However, when I tried to remove the tire from the rim the sidewalls of the tires are like.. GLUED to the rim. They will not budge under a good amount of force. This instantly made me wonder if this tire is tubeless

Any hints on my next step?
your next step is to wrestle the tyre off the rim, breaking the bead can require a lot of force. How flat is the tyre when you are trying to remove it you will probably have to remove the valve core to get the air out.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:10 PM
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Tubeless tires and rims have a significantly tighter fit at their bead for obvious reasons. I also sometimes struggle to unseat a tubeless tire, regardless of tube or not. That the air couldn't flow out the valve when you were trying to "burb" it suggests that the valve is plugged and the usual reason is from tubeless sealant getting old or having congealed. I would be careful as to what surface you are working on when trying to remove the tires, given that they exhibit a classic issue with sealant inside. Sealant on your carpets is not good

For others just reading this thread- This post shows that a simple question at the time of the bike's purchase will give one the best answer and sooner. Ask the shop how they assemble/set up their bikes. If they are savvy they will take the opportunity to sell you more stuff while they answer your question. Andy
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Old 09-06-22, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
I *think* if you can press the presta valve in from the rim, there is a tube.
The only issue is that it he tires are tubeless set up the valve's base seal will be disturbed. Not the end of the world but can sometimes cause a leak and a valve replacement if the old one won't reseat and seal fully. Andy
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Old 09-06-22, 01:37 PM
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You need to define slow leak.

Is that from inflated to pressure to nothing during the time it takes you to complete a ride? Or is it from inflated to not quite enough pressure to ride in the 3 or 4 days, maybe a week or two between rides. To me the former is a slow leak. The latter is just normal circumstances as the thin butyl tubes we use do let air pass through them. I've read that latex tubes are even worse for this, but I've not tried latex tubes yet.

Unless you can call the people you bought the bike from and ask them, you probably should just be ready for either. If the tire is a model that is specifically marketed at tubeless, then you might expect it to be tubeless. However even tubed tires sometimes get stuck to the rim bead seat. And it's possible that someone put one of those tubes with sealant in the tires and it's leaked into the tire/rim bead seat over time. And as well cause issues with the valve.

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Old 09-06-22, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
......... I was always under the impression that the tires, while "tubules ready", had inner tubes in them from the factory.....
Tires or rims?
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Old 09-06-22, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post

I have a Salsa Fargo. I was always under the impression that the tires, while "tubules ready", had inner tubes in them from the factory.

This is often a confusing thing to customers, unfortunately. The terminology "tubeless ready" does not mean the bike comes, as new, completely ready for a tubeless setup, and it certainly doesn't mean that a bike on the sales floor of a bike shop is set up tubeless unless the bike shop has made a point to do so. Tubeless valve stems, tubeless tape (often), and tubeless sealant has to be added to set the tires up tubeless. "Tubeless ready" just means that if the items mentioned are added, the rims and tires are designed to work tubeless.

Your Fargo was definitely packed into the box at the factory with inner tubes installed in the tires., and that setup would be the common way to find the bike in a bike shop ready to purchase.

Andrew R. Stewart explained why the tires are unusually difficult to break free of the rims, "tubeless ready" rims are not simply hook-edged," but often socketed at the bead in some form or another, making it diffcult to break the tire free of the rim bead, whether tubeless or not.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:42 PM
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Excellent. Thanks for all the advice.

Iíll simply try harder to remove the tire and see what happens.

to answer the question. Slow leak = full pressure to flat with zero riding in 24 hours.
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Old 09-07-22, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
Slow leak = full pressure to flat with zero riding in 24 hours.
That's the sort of slow leak you wouldn't expect to get with tubeless tyres as the sealant should seal it. When you replace the tube, don't forget to check for something poking through the tyre itself.
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Old 09-07-22, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
That's the sort of slow leak you wouldn't expect to get with tubeless tyres as the sealant should seal it. When you replace the tube, don't forget to check for something poking through the tyre itself.
Or inadequate rim sealing tape, or damaged beads, or leaky valve base, or old and ineffective sealant. Andy
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Old 09-08-22, 07:16 AM
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I gave this tire another try. And again, no matter how much force I apply, the thing will not budge.

I put up a short video on YouTube, but I can't post a link because I am under 10 post.

but YouTube dot com

/shorts/0bzHfOBQedg will get you there.
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Old 09-08-22, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
I gave this tire another try. And again, no matter how much force I apply, the thing will not budge.
Looks to be coming off the bead to me. Flip your tire lever over and pull that thing off. I'm not trying to be insulting, just asking but... you have taken a tire off before?
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Old 09-08-22, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
I gave this tire another try. And again, no matter how much force I apply, the thing will not budge.

.
In which direction are you applying the force? To remove a tire from a tubeless rim you first have to push the tire bead inward towards the centre of the rim. This will create enough space to get your tire lever under the bead for removal

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Old 09-08-22, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
Looks to be coming off the bead to me. Flip your tire lever over and pull that thing off. I'm not trying to be insulting, just asking but... you have taken a tire off before?
I have not.

The last flat I had I just took the tire to the shop.. but it's not nearby and they charge a lot and I figure I should be able to do this..
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Old 09-08-22, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
I have not.

The last flat I had I just took the tire to the shop.. but it's not nearby and they charge a lot and I figure I should be able to do this..
Aha. It's a much bigger fight than one would think. Pushing the tire bead to the middle of the rim, mentioned above, is key.

My first tire change (in this era) was early pandemic and it kicked my tail. After a few tires it's no longer a battle.
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Old 09-08-22, 08:34 AM
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ok, finally, I was able to use a wood clamp to get enough leverage to get this tire open and the tube out!


When I removed the tube, I noticed the valve core was a little loose.. and I wonder if that was my issue this whole time. I filled the tube with some air and we'll see what happens with it.
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Old 09-08-22, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
The last flat I had I just took the tire to the shop.. but it's not nearby and they charge a lot and I figure I should be able to do this..
Indeed you should - as should every bike rider. It's a bit difficult to take the flat to your LBS when you're 10 or 15 km from home on a ride.

The same is true for changing a tire on your car, presuming you have a spare of any type (some newer autos don't; they have an air pump containing some sealant instead - which does squat if you have a large enough puncture or a badly compromised sidewall). However, best I can tell a surprising number of people have never really learned how to do that, either.
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Old 09-08-22, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
In which direction are you applying the force? To remove a tire from a tubeless rim you first have to push the tire bead inward towards the centre of the rim. This will create enough space to get your tire lever under the bead for removal
This is the key. For tubeless ready tires, it's really hard to just lever the bead off the rim like you can with "regular" tires. Get BOTH beads into the center of the rim all the way around before trying to get one over the rim to the outside.
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Old 09-08-22, 09:37 AM
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Get a couple decent quality spares anyway. Continental is a good brand. I like to get my tubes sized a bit smaller than the tire if possible, say a 23-25mm tube for a 28 mm tire. It's easier to slip a new tube in.
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Old 09-08-22, 10:57 AM
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Watch this video


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Old 09-08-22, 06:16 PM
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well, after much encouraged wrangling, I'm back on the road!

Thank you all very much. It did require a LOT more force that I thought. I put in a new tube, even though I couldn't find any leak in my old tube (I think the valve core was loose just barely) and pumping the tire popped the bead back in place. So.. that worked.
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