Fools with Tools, Ep. 3: Refilling Tubeless Sealant & Rim Taping

This time on Fools with Tools, Tori and Zach cover how to refill tubeless tire sealant (which yes, you do need to do!) and taping a rim for a tubeless setup. 

How to Refill Tubeless Tire Sealant

Tools used:

  1. Refilling tubeless tire sealant can be done with the bike in a work stand or you can remove the wheel from the bike.
  2. Deflate all of the air from the tire.
  3. Once deflated, use your thumbs to push the bead of the tire toward the center of the rim. Do this around the whole rim. 
  4.  Using a tire lever, unseat about one-third of the tire bead from the rim to create an opening for adding the sealant. It isn't necessary to unseat the entire bead, just a short section.

  5. If the wheel has been set up tubeless before, dump out the old sealant.
  6. Pour sealant into the tire. We recommend about four spokes width worth of sealant, or about 2 ounces of sealant.
  7. Once sealant is added, rotate the wheel a half turn so that the sealant moves into the seated portion of the tire, and the unseated bead is now at the top.
  8. Push the tire back onto the rim. 
  9. Re-inflate the tire. It will be easiest to seat the tire using an air compressor, a floor pump with a high-pressure chamber, or a CO2 inflator. 
  10. Once the tire is refilled, bounce tire on the ground a few times to spread out the sealant.  

How to Tape or Re-Tape a Rim

Tools used:

  • Rim Tape
  • Clean Shop Towel
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Razor Blade/Scissors 
  1.  Remove the tire from the rim you want to tape or re-tape. If you need further instructions on how to remove a tire, check out our blog post from Episode 1. 
  2. Use a rag to wipe around the rim to remove any sealant residue.

  3. Remove old tape and the existing cloth/plastic rim strip.
  4. Using rubbing alcohol, clean the rim channel of adhesives, sealant, or anything else that could keep the tape from sticking. 
  5. Begin taping, starting about 2 spokes past the valve hole. You can do this in either direction. Note: Before taping, be sure you have the correct tape size for your rim. Generally you want to match the rim internal width or slightly wider.
  6. Before applying the tape be sure to pull tape roll so that it is tight, then begin placing the rim tape. Use a rag and your fingers to help get the tape to sit flat and securely in the rim channel.
  7. Slowly unravel the roll to continue taping all the way around rim. Do this until you are 2 spokes past the valve. This means you will have a total of 4 spokes worth of tape overlap.

  8. Using scissors, cut the tape and press it into place.
  9. Inspect for good installation. The tape should be even and lie flat, without large air bubbles underneath the tape. If there are air bubbles or the tape isn't even, remove the tape and return to step 4. 
  10. Using a razor, or something very sharp, poke a tiny hole at the valve hole. Make sure it isn't too big so that the valve will fit tightly in this hole and no sealant can get through. 
  11. Press the tubeless valve into tiny hole. As you push it in, it will tear the tape more to make a perfectly sized seal. Hand tighten the valve lockring until the rubber on valve end begins to form to the rim's channel. DO NOT USE PLIERS TO TIGHTEN.

  12. Install the tire completely on one side the rim, and about two-thirds installed on the other side so there is an opening for adding sealant..
  13. Refer to sealant refill instructions above to add sealant.