Installing tubeless road tires

I recently bought a air compressor so I can start changing my own tubeless tires.
I have watched the LBS do it many times with my gravel and MTB tires. I noticed that when the tires seat they seem to always make a loud “pop” when then tire bead seats on the rim.

I just managed to get my road tire (28mm) on the rim and inflate it. I went up to 100 psi…and heard a small sound, but it was nothing like what i’ve heard with my other tires. The tire is holding air and looks fine…but i’m worried that its not seated and may roll off the rim. Should I be worried? is there anyway to tell if i’m fully seated??

Take it out for a spin around the block…if it is not fully seated, you will feel it immediately. It will feel like it is not weighted properly or a wheel is out of true, kind of a “whomp whomp whomp” sensation as the wheel rotates.


most pop, some dont.
the real check for me is a visual check to make sure that it is evenly seated all around on both sides.

a non-conclusive but somewhat reassuring test you can also do is deflate the tire completely and see if it stays put.

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Oh shoot, it didn’t stay when I let out air

Is there a certain pressure that you would inflate?
I was nervous going too high

Shouldn’t have to go much above 80psi….also try using soapy water on the bead to help it seat.


Sorry I know this is alittle off topic but I was thinking about buying a compressor to save myself quick trips to the LBS. Which compressor did you go with?

I wouldn’t go much over the max of the tyre, and not go over the max of the rim (if it has one).
If it doesn’t seat at that pressure, its because the tyre bead is stuck somewhere. Using soapy water all around the inside of the rim helps the tyre move. Most tyres ‘ping’ when fully seated, sometimes more than once. Others don’t at all. Always look for the ‘seating line’ and follow it around the tyre on each side to see if its fully seated everywhere.

This is what I do - I’m using a pump with an air tank:

  • put tyres on
  • get a small sponge, put dish washing soap on and some water, then wipe it around between the tyre and the inside of the rim
  • take valve core out, attach pump
  • lay wheel on side, so tyre isn’t compressed anywhere
  • fill the tank, give the tyre a blast and then pump
  • if it’s not fully seated, repeat the air blast and pump. It often takes 2-3 attempts
  • even if you hear pings, check the line on the tyre all the way round to make sure it’s seated (keep pump attached)
  • if it looks good, try and release air slowly, and dis-attach the pump
  • fill with sealant
  • install valve core, pump it up to desired pressure, shake the sealant around
  • ride

Just check the tire to wheel interface that it is evenly distributed. With this I mean that the there is usually section in the tire that is meant to be just visible “above” the rim. If the tire is not seated small parts of the tire part are still under the wheel and not visible. Check both sides to make sure. This is not specific for tubeless setup but also for running with tubes.

With tight new tires the tire can drop when inflated. Should not be issue though as long when pressurised to running pressure it sits firmly.

Soapy water really helps the tyre slide onto the rim first time.

Someone was asking about air compressors. A halfway solution / alternative is something like the Bontranger Flash Charger or equivalent if you lack space or a workshop.

Three people have said some variation of this:

This is the way :grinning:

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Awesome. Thanks for the detail

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I put a Vittoria N.EXT tubeless tire on last night. After inflating with a floor pump or compressor, you need to do this:

Did this and found one section where the “line” on tubes and tubeless tires was diving into the rim:

See that thin line on the tire just above the rim? See how it dives behind the rim around the “72 psi 5 bar” area? That’s a problem with both tubed and tubeless.

Deflate, spray that area with water being sure some gets into rim, and pump up again. That quickly fixed it for me. I’ve switched to using plain water, it seems to work as well as soapy water and less mess.


While a compressor is nice, you really only need a track pump with an air chamber.


I’ve been using a floor pump! S-Works Turbo RapidAir, S-Works 2BR T2/T5, Pirelli Cinturato TLR, Vittoria N.EXT TLR, Roubaix Pro, … Only had to use the compressor once in the last year or two.

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this is a bit of a detour from the original question.
But now that I “mastered” putting on a road tubeless tire, I will try on my gravel bike and MTB.
In general, is it easier or harder to mount wider tires??

You asked how to tell if a tire is seated, and what I posted is one of the big tells.

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i know…and your reply was so good, that I tacked on another question

I dunno about narrow vs wide, never noticed much difference putting 25-35c tires on 19mm or 21mm or 25mm internal width rims.

More difference between tire brand/model.

Difficulty absolutely increases with inserts.

more was asking about road vs mountain bike tires

I’ve only installed road and gravel tires.