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How Tubeless Bike Tires Work

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi
Tubeless tires―the latest technological advancement in the tire market. It is great for those who go out for long distances on their bikes. In this story, we'll check out its advantages over the traditional ones.
Tubeless tires are the demand of the today's customers. Yes, they are a little expensive as compared to traditional tires, but they are worth every penny. They don't get punctured often, and you are never stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire. A tubeless tire must have an air-tight rim to work properly. Almost every bike in the US is fitted with a Universal System Tubeless (UST), which was originally developed by three companies; Mavic, Michelin, and Hutchinson.
Tubeless tire technology was introduced way back in 1903 by GoodYear. With its growing popularity, it became a norm in cars and motorbikes, after it started selling in the open market since the '50s. It was brought into the cycling world in the year 1999, and since then, has been a preferred choice for avid bikers.

How Tubeless Tires Work

Tubeless tires work by sealing off the spoke well of the rim, with specially made spokes or with a plastic strip. The valve of the tire is sealed with a ring, and the tire is also air-tight. The tire is made air-tight by adding rubber to it or by coating the inside of the casing with butyl rubber. Tubeless tires are expensive, but they also save you the cost of continuous incidents of flat tires over and over again.
The best thing about tubeless tires is that, you can run your bike comfortably with low pressure. They give you a better grip on the roads. With low pressure in your tires, the ride becomes more comfortable and the good grip is an added advantage, as they are ideal for rough roads.
It can be the best feature of your bike, as there is a lesser possibility of a flat tire.

Tubeless Tire Repair

Tubeless tires are a great way of commuting, especially for mountain bikers. Mountain surfaces can be rough on your bike, and sometimes it is possible that your tire may get flat.
Tubeless tires go well with mountain bikes, because they offer a low PSI rating, which is great for harsh terrains that you are bound to explore. Unfortunately, these harsh rocky mountains may cause a flat tire very often because of the rough surfaces.
Here are some tips on how to repair a flat tubeless tire.
  • With a permanent marker, mark the hole by drawing a circle.
  • Rotate the tire and make sure that the valve is pointing directly up. Let your tire stay in this place for few seconds to make sure the sealant gets drained away from your valve.
  • Again, rotate the tire, and the valve should be pointing downwards this time. Drain the air from the tire, so that the sealant doesn't leak out of your tire.
  • Now, loosen the air-locking system. To do that, squeeze your tire walls in the center of the rim.
  • With the help of a tire lever, pull one tire wall off the rim. Now pour out the sealant from the tire into a container, and set it aside.
  • Wipe the area dry with a paper towel. Expose this area to the sun for sometime.
  • Stick the adhesive patch around the area of the puncture, and let it stay for few seconds. Now, press the patch tightly and let it stay for 5 minutes, so that it sticks properly.
  • Pour back the sealant in the tire, and attach the tire wall back over the rim.
  • Now inflate the tire to see that the puncture has been properly fixed.
Tubeless tires may be expensive upfront, but in the long run they save you a lot of money, besides the hassle.