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Pump for tubeless?

Old 08-12-22, 07:33 AM
  #1  
BTinNYC
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Pump for tubeless?

How critical is a blast pump or tank for installing tubeless tires?
I was "tubeless ready" until reading I need to spend another $70 - $120 to inflate tubeless tires. I have an air compressor a couple hours drive from home, so I guess could mount them one weekend.


Any suggestions?


P.S. I can't explain why this expenditure is sticking in my craw.
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Old 08-12-22, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
How critical is a blast pump or tank for installing tubeless tires?
I was "tubeless ready" until reading I need to spend another $70 - $120 to inflate tubeless tires. I have an air compressor a couple hours drive from home, so I guess could mount them one weekend.


Any suggestions?


P.S. I can't explain why this expenditure is sticking in my craw.
You seem to know what's involved in mounting tubeless tires, so what kind of "suggestions" are you after?

In a pinch, tubeless tires can often be mounted with a CO2 cartridge -- but not always, and it gets expensive.

If you don't own a compressor, and don't have any other use for one, than I suggest a booster pump -- it'll cost $, but at least you'll get a nice pump out of it. This one gets top ratings, and I can attest that it works reliably.
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Old 08-12-22, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
... so what kind of "suggestions" are you after?
Some PFM solution that doesn't include shaking the moths out of my wallet.
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Old 08-12-22, 07:54 AM
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If you have a good floor pump you might get lucky and the tubeless tire will mount without compressed air. I have an "Airshot" inflation cannister that I got for about $63 that works well for the initial mounting of my (road) tubeless tires. There was a learning curve to it and at first I made some mistakes. But with practice you get better and more confident in what you are doing.
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Old 08-12-22, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Some PFM solution that doesn't include shaking the moths out of my wallet.
I gave you one: the CO2 carts.

But if you think that a $160 booster pump is overly expensive for this, then you've picked the wrong hobby.
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Old 08-12-22, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
How critical is a blast pump or tank for installing tubeless tires?
I was "tubeless ready" until reading I need to spend another $70 - $120 to inflate tubeless tires. I have an air compressor a couple hours drive from home, so I guess could mount them one weekend.
I have yet to use a blast pump or air compressor to set up my tubeless tires on any of my mountain bikes, fat bikes or road bikes. I've set everyone one of them up with a hand pump.

2 methods have worked for me...

1.) Mount the tire and and try to get both sides of it snug to the rim as best as you can and start pumping and hope it takes air and the beads seat. This has worked for me 75% of the time.

2.) If method 1 doesn't work, air up the tire with a tube until the beads seat on the rim. Deflate the tire, break the bead ONE side only, remove tube, install tubeless valve and then air it up. This has worked for me 100% of the time.
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Old 08-12-22, 09:38 AM
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@prj71
Thanks. My bike arrived with tubes and I've got about 500 miles on the tires now, so I'll give your methods a try.
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Old 08-12-22, 09:45 AM
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I've been able to mount tubeless tires with a regular floor pump using this method:

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Old 08-14-22, 08:55 AM
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I have struggled with sealing tubeless road tires even using a compressor. New tires were always easier to seal than used ones.
Since I've invested in a booster cartridge I have no more problems
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Old 08-14-22, 09:35 AM
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I have the Blackburn booster pump. I have gotten a great workout pumping up that cylinder over and over and over again, yet I have had to take my wheels/tires to my LBS every damn time to get them to mount, and even then they wrestle with them. That's with WTB tubeless-ready rims(WTB asym i23p 650b), and several different WTB tires on my gravel bike. One thing that may be a contributing factor is with the Blackburn you have to keep the valve core in--there's no pump head for it that allows you to use it w the core removed. But I tried w the compressor at the gas station w the core out and still had no luck.
On the other hand, I'm beginning to think it's just that these rims are not so great. You'd think the WTB combo would be foolproof, but apparently not. They came stock on a $1600 bike, maybe they're just sort of "entry-level" and I need better rims . . .

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Old 08-15-22, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I have the Blackburn booster pump. I have gotten a great workout pumping up that cylinder over and over and over again, yet I have had to take my wheels/tires to my LBS every damn time to get them to mount, and even then they wrestle with them. That's with WTB tubeless-ready rims(WTB asym i23p 650b), and several different WTB tires on my gravel bike. One thing that may be a contributing factor is with the Blackburn you have to keep the valve core in--there's no pump head for it that allows you to use it w the core removed. But I tried w the compressor at the gas station w the core out and still had no luck.
On the other hand, I'm beginning to think it's just that these rims are not so great. You'd think the WTB combo would be foolproof, but apparently not. They came stock on a $1600 bike, maybe they're just sort of "entry-level" and I need better rims . . .
When you say mounting of tires you really mean sealing them to the rim after removal or installing new ones. I have had always better luck sealing new tires rather than old ones which had been removed for cleaning. Compressors don't put out a high pressure blast of air that the booster does. Definitely rim and tire combination makes a difference. I've used Hutchinson tubeless with Shimano rims, but I have changed to Continentals which seem to seal easier. The larger the tire width the easier to seal. My 25mm seal easier than the 23mm I have used in the past.
Due to this hassle I have many times contemplated to going back to tubed tires, but the booster has reduced this problem so I'm still using tubeless. I've been using tubeless road tires since 2012.
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Old 08-15-22, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
air up the tire with a tube until the beads seat on the rim. Deflate the tire, break the bead ONE side only, remove tube, install tubeless valve and then air it up. This has worked for me 100% of the time.
Just did this last week. Works like a charm.
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Old 08-15-22, 04:19 PM
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I have an Airshot because I'm too lazy to seat a tire with tube, but I've only needed a floor pump to seat the majority of my tire-rim combos. Before I got the Airshot, I used CO2 cartridges instead, but that felt wasteful.
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Old 08-15-22, 06:05 PM
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How about a hose with a connector on each end. Attach one end to a car/truck tire.... Most cars are inflated to 35 - 40 psi but have plenty of volume to spare. Semi truck tires are often at 100psi so perhaps not good for mountain bike tires.
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Old 08-15-22, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I have an Airshot because I'm too lazy to seat a tire with tube, but I've only needed a floor pump to seat the majority of my tire-rim combos. Before I got the Airshot, I used CO2 cartridges instead, but that felt wasteful.
Can you use the Airshot with the valve core removed? I think that's one of the cons with the Blackburn one I have---doesn't attach with the valve core out. I asked Blackburn if there was a different pump head I could swap in but no-go.
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Old 08-15-22, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Can you use the Airshot with the valve core removed? I think that's one of the cons with the Blackburn one I have---doesn't attach with the valve core out. I asked Blackburn if there was a different pump head I could swap in but no-go.
Yup, it can be used either with or without the valve core.
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Old 08-16-22, 03:57 AM
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Airshot I will get, thanks gents!
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Old 08-16-22, 08:07 AM
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Aside from the fact that I've had bad luck with my Blackburn booster pump (possibly for why I describe) and an Airshot or other model might be better since you can remove the valve core, I still intend to spring for a compressor next. When I watch the guys at my LBS wrestling with mine getting the bead to seal, they're very often running the compressor while manipulating/massaging the tires around the rim--squeezing, pushing, nudging. Can't do that with a single blast of air.
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Old 08-16-22, 10:01 AM
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We use the Bontrager TLR Flash Pump. The kid is about to take it with him to college. I'm doomed.
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Old 08-16-22, 10:04 AM
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BTW, the best way to get a tire to set up with a conventional pump is to put a tube in first, inflate the tire well beyond the minimal pressure, and let it settle in overnight. This allows the tire to seat, and as an added bonus, presses down on the tubeless tape (important if newly installed). Then after everything is settled in, break the seal on one side only (preferably the easier to mount side), pull the tube out, put the tubeless valve in, and pump away. It should just snap into position, or at least require very little further gymnastics.
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