How to Remove Tubeless Tire | 4 Easy Steps

Nothing could be worse than going for a ride, slamming into the curb or a rock, and getting stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. For this reason, many cyclists prefer to use tubeless tires. They’re less susceptible to punctures and even create a smoother riding experience. Yet, removing a tubeless tire isn’t quite as straightforward—you’ll need to use a special process.

Tubeless tires are held in place by a bead seat that creates a tight seal, holding air inside. To remove a tubeless tire, you’ll first have to deflate any air from the tire and then break the bead seal. From there, you should be able to pull the tire off of the rim. If the tire is particularly stubborn, you can try using a tire changer. 

In this guide, we’ll explain how to remove tubeless tire. This includes how to remove tubeless tire without any special tools, as well as how to remove tubeless tire using a special tire changer. We recommend following these steps carefully to avoid damaging your tires, wheel, or bicycle in general.

What are Tubeless Tires?

Tubeless tires are a type of bicycle tire that doesn’t require an inner tube. They’re held in place by a bead seat, which is a type of rim that’s designed to create an airtight seal. This seal prevents air from escaping, even if there’s a puncture in the tire.

Tubeless tires have several advantages over traditional tires, making them an ideal choice for most road cyclists. First off, they’re less susceptible to flats, since there’s no tube for a sharp object to puncture. They also tend to be lighter, since they don’t require an inner tube and some riders find that they provide a smoother ride.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to tubeless tires as well. They can be more difficult to install since you have to create an airtight seal and they can also be more expensive. Nevertheless, once you learn how to remove tubeless tire, you’ll be able to fix your bike without spending quite as much.

How to Tell if Your Tires are Tubeless

If you’ve never changed the tires on your bicycle, you may not know whether you’re riding with tubeless tires. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to tell. Start by taking a close look at your rims. If they have a hole in the center, they’re not tubeless. If they don’t have a hole in the center, they may be tubeless.

You can also tell by looking at the tires themselves. Tubeless tires will have a thicker bead, while traditional tires generally have a thinner bead. You may also notice that tubeless tires have a different tread pattern than traditional tires.

Finally, if you are still not sure whether your tires are tubeless, just take a look at the sidewall of the tire. It should say “tubeless” or “tubeless-ready.” If it doesn’t say either of those things, you have a traditional tire. Assuming that you have a tubeless tire, you can move on to the next section to learn how to remove tubeless tire.

How to Remove Tubeless Tire By Hand

Ideally, you should use a special tire-changing tool to remove your tubeless tire. However, if you don’t have one, you can still remove the tire by hand. The process is a little more difficult, but it’s still manageable with some patience. Just follow these steps:

  1. Deflate the tire – Start by removing the valve stem cap and deflating the tire. You can do this by using a bike pump to release the air from the tire. Alternatively, you can simply depress the valve using a nail or a small screwdriver. Gently squeezing the tires will help push out more air.
  2. Break the seal – Once the tire is deflated, use your fingers to firmly but carefully push both sides of the tire towards the center of the bead rim. This will loosen it away from the rim, breaking the seal. If it’s particularly stubborn, you may have to deflate the tire more.  
  3. Pull the tire over the rim – After you’ve broken the bead seal, use a tire lever to wedge some space beneath the bead of the tire. With the lever in place, then use it to pry the bead of the tire over the edge of the rim. You may need to use multiple tire levers to get the job done.
  4. Remove the tire – Once you’ve pried the bead of the tire over the edge of the rim, use your hands to pull the tire away from the rim. The tire may be stubborn, but it should eventually come off. If it’s still not budging, try spraying the tire with soapy water. This will help to loosen the bead.

After you’ve successfully removed the tire, you can proceed down to the bottom where you can learn how to install a new tire.

How to Remove Tubeless Tire Using a Tire Changer

Tubless tire being removed with a tire changer tool
Tubeless tire being removed with a tire changer

If you don’t have a tire changer, you can remove your tubeless tire by hand. However, the process is much easier if you have a tire changer. These devices are specifically designed to remove tubeless tires without damaging them. To use a tire changer, follow these quick steps:

  1. Deflate the tire – Start by removing the valve stem cap and deflating the tire. You can do this by using a bike pump to release the air from the tire. Alternatively, you can simply depress the valve using a nail or a small screwdriver. Gently squeezing the tires will help push out more air.
  2. Position the tire changer – Once the tire is deflated, place the tire changer over the top of the tire. This tool should look like a pair of pliers but with specially curved plastic tongs. Squeeze the pliers into the rim, breaking the seal, and loosening up the bead seat.
  3. Pull the tire away – After you’ve loosened the bead, use the tire changer to pull the tire away from the rim. The tire changer will have a handle that you can use to apply pressure and remove the tire. If the tire is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a little soapy water to help further loosen the bead.

Once you’ve removed the tire, you can proceed to the next section to learn how to install a new tire. This process is more involved than simply removing a tubeless tire but, with time, you’ll be able to quickly change your bike’s tubeless tires without hassle.

How to Install a New Tubeless Tire

Adding sealant to a tubeless tire
Sealant being applied to a tubeless tire

Tubeless tires might last longer than traditional tires but they’re quite a lot harder to replace. You’ll need some special equipment to reseal your tire back onto the bead seat. Before you get started make sure to have:

  • Tubeless rim tape
  • SealantOpens in a new tab.
  • Valve stems
  • A floor pump
  • Soapy water or rubbing alcohol

Some professional bike shops might use a sealant injector system but this isn’t really necessary and could set you back quite a lot of money. Instead, just use a small paintbrush and a careful had to apply the necessary sealants. Once you have the necessary equipment, you can then start reinstalling a new tubeless tire by following these steps:

  1. Prepare the rim – Start by making sure that the rim is clean and dry. If it’s not you can use some rubbing alcohol or soapy water to clean it off. Once it’s clean, use a measuring tape to determine how much tubeless rim tape you’ll need. You should cut the tape to size and then apply it to the rim, making sure that it’s properly positioned.
  2. Install the valve stems – Next, take your valve stems and screw them into the rim. Make sure that they’re screwed in tightly and that the valves are pointing upwards. Do not use a pair of pliers at this point, though. Over tightening the valve stems can cause the rim to crack.
  3. Mount the tire – Once you’ve installed the valve stems, you can then start mounting the tire. Start by putting one side of the bead over the rim and then work your way around. Be careful not to pinch the tube.
  4. Inflate the tire – Once the bead is in place, use a floor pump to start inflating the tire. You should only inflate it enough to seat the bead. You don’t need to pump it all the way up just yet.
  5. Apply the sealant – Once the bead is seated, remove the valve stem cap and use a small paintbrush to apply the sealant to the tire. You should apply an even layer, making sure to get the sealant into the tire’s sidewalls.
  6. Finish inflating the tire – After you’ve applied the sealant, you can then finish inflating the tire. Use the floor pump to inflate the tire to its proper pressure. You can find this information on the sidewall of the tire.
  7. Ride around – Once the tire is properly inflated, take it for a quick spin around the block. This will help to spread the sealant around and ensure that there are no leaks.
  8. Check for leaks – Once you’ve ridden around, check the tire for any leaks. You can do this by pressing down on the tire and then listening for any hissing sounds. If you don’t hear anything, the tire is likely sealed.

With time, you should be able to quickly install a new tubeless tire. Just make sure that you have the necessary equipment and take your time to avoid making any mistakes.

Paul Tuthill

When Paul isn't riding through the mountainous terrain he's writing posts for Conquer the Bike (or gaming). He loves hardtail bikes.

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