Bikes have been around for a very long time. In this time, they have evolved to fit the different purposes they now fit. There are various bikes some are meant for roads, others for mountains. The terrain influences how manufacturers design bikes, and it informs their decisions related to the parts and structures they use in the production.
Mountain bikes are no different, and if you’re someone who enjoys off-road biking and climbing ascents, a mountain bike may be perfect for you. Mountain bikes were designed to be more durable and give a better performance in rougher terrain.
They are heavier because of these suspensions. Unlike the name suggests, mountain bikes aren’t just for mountains, and they can be used for any rough terrain.
As with anything good, there’s also the need to ensure that they’re maintained properly.
What Is a Mountain Bike?
A bike is an excellent method of transportation for many people. However, people also use these machines to challenge themselves in their fitness journey as well.
Mountain bikes are bikes designed for off-road cycling. Mountain bikes share similarities to other bikes; however, they also have a special affinity for enhanced durability and performance in rough terrain.
Mountain bikes are generally heavier than regular bikes. You can use them on mountain trails, single track, fire roads, and other unpaved surfaces. Mountain bikes are good for riding on all terrains that you may find difficult to travel on.
Mountain bikes are especially great for off-roading and if you’re thinking of discovering a new trail in your area.
What are Tubeless Tires?
A tubeless tire looks like a normal clincher tire; however, unlike a clincher tire, it doesn’t have any inflated tubes. Instead, once a tubeless tire is seated into its rims with its beads, it forms an airtight seal with itself.
Not having a tube in the tire means there isn’t a constant fear of the tires deflating due to something puncturing the tube.
There are many benefits of using tubeless tires in all bikes; however, they are especially helpful in mountain bikes because people generally use mountain bikes for off-roading.
Tubeless tires involve a system that also requires a fair degree of maintenance so they can last for a long while and are reliable for bikers. If not maintained properly, tubeless tires can be inconvenient and expensive.
For tubeless tires to work, you must make sure that they’re packed in perfectly.
The Benefits of Tubeless Tires for Mountain Bike
A tubeless setup lets you get the most out of your bike setup. You don’t have to worry about running out of air or your tire getting punctures constantly.
Tubeless tires even allow you to run your tires at a lower pressure, and you don’t have to check your air pressure before embarking on an adventure. These tires allow for more grip and comfort.
Furthermore, you have less of a chance for punctures in a tubeless tire by shrapnel or sharper objects since there’s no space in between to pinch at something.
The best thing about tubeless tires is how easy small fixes can be glossed over using a sealant. It means that if anything goes wrong during a bike ride, all you need to do is pop off the sealant cap, apply some sealant to the affected area, and wait for a little while before resuming your journey.
Since there is less likeliness for punctures, tubeless tires also give you less rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is irritating when you’re using mountain bikes because it slows you down.
Having tubeless tires means you can smooth over any small obstacle without feeling much impact. This phenomenon is similar to the one found in cars where having heavier set tires calls for a smoother ride.
To summarize, the benefits of tubeless tires in mountain bikes are as follows:
- They provide better grip
- They have better puncture resistance
- They have a self-sealing system
- They are convenient
- They are cheaper for most riders in the long run.
How Can You Maintain Tubeless Tires on Your Mountain Bike?
Many small details go into setting up a seamless system, and like any other system, the maintenance of all of these aspects is essential to ensure the tubeless system is sustainable.
You also want to ensure maximum performance and efficiency, and with the right maintenance, you can achieve this. It may not be a glamorous job to maintain your tubeless MTB tires.
However, this is likely where you’re going to lose most of your money. You must maintain your tires regularly so you don’t have to exert yourself physically or financially all at once.
We have listed some of the processes you have to conduct below:
1. Valve Service
The valves in your tires are what keeps the air in. You can afford a little less pressure in tubeless systems compared to tubed ones; however, not having any air at all means you don’t have places to go.
To ensure this, perform regular valve service. This practice involves making sure the valve core isn’t bent and airflow is frequent and proper. Valve cores can become gunked up with the sealant, and this can affect their airflow.
If this happens, you have to remove the valve core and clean it out so the airflow is better.
2. Air Pressure
We have stated before that it’s completely normal to have the air pressure in your tubeless tire setup be a little less than what you’re used to maintaining in your clincher tires.
The reason behind this is that having less pressure in your tires limits your rolling resistance. However, air pressure is still necessary. You will lose the pressure in your tires regardless of if you use your bike or not.
For an MTB tubeless tire, it’s better to experiment with your tire pressure and note what works out for you and makes you feel comfortable. Sometimes, by filling your tire too much or even to the optimum amount, you may have a more uncomfortable ride.
Due to the tires’ tautness, they cannot confirm or absorb the shock that comes with off-road biking, making for a less pleasant ride.
3. Being Prepared for Air Loss
Furthermore, you will lose air pressure, and that’s a given. However, you need to ensure you have enough pressure to make your journey. It would be dangerous for you to refrain from checking the air pressure in your tires on time because this can often cause more damage than good.
There are internal valve cores that regulate your bike’s air pressure, and if they malfunction, you can get into trouble. You must check these every month to ensure they’re not harming your tires.
These cores are also prone to loosening, and so you can use a core remover to check the tightness of a valve core periodically in the valve stem. If the loosening persists, remove the cores completely, apply some Teflon tape, and jam the cores back in.
4. Maintenance in Storage
If you’re not a frequent biker, you may think you don’t have to maintain your bike quite as much; however, this isn’t true. You must check the tire pressure every two weeks and inflate the tires to their regular pressure.
This practice helps maintain the longevity of your tubeless tires as it keeps the seal between the carbon beads of your tire and the rim intact. You should also spin the wheels regularly so you can distribute the sealant throughout.
Sealant is important for the tubeless system to work. So, any loss of it can mean the collapse of the entire system.
Furthermore, if you let the tires of your bike deflate completely, you may lose the seal between the carbon beads and the rim. It’s a risky move since you can’t re-inflate your tires until you re-establish the seal. You can do this by adding more sealant; however, using sealant doesn’t always work.
If applying sealant doesn’t work, you’ll have to remove the tire completely, clean up the sealant around the rim and the carbon bead until no more sealant remains, apply a fresh layer of sealant, and remount the tire.
After you’ve done this, you may be able to re-inflate the tire using a floor pump, but your best bet is a high-pressure inflator like a CO2 inflator or an air compressor.
If you want to avoid this long, arduous process, maintain the pressure in your tires to be above 40 psi even if you’re storing the cycle away.
5. Use Proper Equipment
A significant thing to know is that you can’t achieve the proper maintenance with the incorrect tools. You’re also more prone to botching up a job if you don’t use the proper equipment.
In mountain bike tubeless tires, perfection is not only appreciated, but it’s also necessary.
Tubeless tires have a unique, triangular carbon bead that sits against the tire rim. When you’re removing or installing a tire, you must ensure that you use plastic levers or your hands to prop up the carbon bead properly.
Any damage to the carbon bead can result in a loss of seal between the bead and the rim, which can happen if you use metallic levers.
6. Continually Replace Sealant
Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of a tubeless MTB tire system is the sealant. The sealant is the feature that holds the entire operation together. If it weren’t for the sealant, there would be no tubeless tire system.
However, sealant tends to dry out and so you must keep on replacing it regularly. If the sealant dries out completely, the tire will no longer hold air and your mountain bike will be useless.
Replace your tire sealant every 3 to 6 months, for best results. If you don’t use your bike very often, you can go up to a year of not replacing the sealant but any more than that is very risky.
If your sealant dries up, even after maintenance, you may have to remove the tire system.
You must then apply a fresh layer of sealant and then remount the tire. You should conduct this practice, only if your tire has not worn out.
7. Always Carry a Tube of Sealant With You
Most small punctures turn into larger punctures because riders don’t address them in time. To refrain from larger punctures, ensure you have a sealant for small punctures to fix them on the spot.
All you have to do is apply sealant and let it dry; you can continue your journey as is after the sealant dries.
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Tubeless tires have countless benefits when used in mountain bikes. People use mountain bikes for off-road biking, and so punctures are more likely to happen. Thus, bikers should opt for tubeless tires for their mountain bikes to ensure they don’t have hindrances when biking on rough terrain.
However, tubeless tires in mountain bikes involve a great degree of maintenance, as it does in any system. Maintenance is necessary even if you’re not biking regularly. So, it’s essential to learn about all the ways you can elongate the life of your tubeless tires.
I am Michael, an avid rider and bike expert. I am here to provide, biking tips and expert advice on in-depth bike reviews covering features, capabilities, price range, and much more. Specially on electric bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, etc. I will provide honest product reviews, along with expert advice on purchasing, training, and maintenance. Check out my complete profile.