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What are tubeless tyres?

new to Mountain Biking or looking to upgrade your bike?  

You might have heard the term 'tubeless' when people are talking bikes - they’ve become common place for mountain bikes and even road bikes too. But, what actually are Tubeless Tyres, how do they work, and are they actually better than regular tyres?


Tubeless tyres are tyres designed to work without inner tubes, like a modern car. They require ‘tubeless ready’ rims, specific rim tape, valves and sealant to work. 


Tubeless ready rims are designed to ‘hook’ the tyre and hold it firm on to the rim, when coupled with sealant this creates a strong seal around the bead of the tyre. Preparing the rim involves wrapping it with a strong tape so that air cannot escape through the spoke holes and fitting a valve to allow you to adjust the tyre's air pressure. The sealant inside the tyre will seal small punctures suffered whilst riding. Generally speaking, holes up to 6mm will be healed by the sealant. That is quite decent. 

What are tubeless tyres?

Tubeless tyres are bike tyres designed to work without inner tubes, like a modern car. They require ‘tubeless ready’ rims, specific rim tape, valves and sealant to work.

Tubeless ready rims are designed to ‘hook’ the tyre and hold it firm on to the rim, when coupled with sealant this creates a strong seal around the bead of the tyre. Preparing the rim involves wrapping it with a strong tape so that air cannot escape through the spoke holes and fitting a valve to allow you to adjust the tyre's air pressure. The sealant inside the tyre will seal small punctures suffered whilst riding. Generally speaking, holes up to 6mm will be healed by the sealant. That is quite decent.

Are tubeless tyres better?

Going tubeless has several benefits. 


Firstly, tubeless bike tyres are more resistant to punctures and flatting, helping to keep you on the road (or trails!) for longer. A tubeless setup has a decreased rotational weight of the wheels and is therefore generally considered to be faster than a tubed setup. You will notice the difference in how light your bike is to pedal. There’s been a sharp increase in the number of pro riders using tubeless tyres for Downhill, Enduro & Road racing and they’re great for recreational riders too.


Tubeless tyres can also be run at lower pressure without the risk of pinch flats. What a win!


The downside to tubeless tyres is the initial setup and maintenance. We recommend a full tubeless set-up with specific tyres and rims designed for this purpose, and you will need to add sealant every few months or so. Having a good bike shop nearby is a distinct advantage for making the switch in case you need any help or have any questions. Our team at Rhythm Snowsports are happy to help you through this process.

Handy Tips from Muc-Off


The awesome team at Muc-Off have share a few extra tips to help you go tubeless this season.

  • Tubeless will not protect you against every puncture, sometimes holes are too big or awkwardly placed. In this case you can use a tubeless plug or in the worst case put in an inner tube 
  • Tubeless setups allow you to make use of tyre inserts or rim protectors, which protect your rim from damage 
  • Tubeless tyres will ‘bleed’ air pressure over time, it is important to make sure your tyres are at your preferred pressure regularly. This is especially important with high pressure applications such as road and grave 

Muc-Off's Ultimate Tubeless Setup Kit contains everything you need to set your wheels up tubeless. Need a hand? The team at Rhythm Bike Shop are well equipped and experienced to upgrade your rig. It’s pretty exciting stuff, you can go tubeless on your Mountain Bike, Road Bike, E-Bike and everything in between.  

Shop tubeless essentials

- 20 %
Tubeless Valves Kit
$35.99$44.99
- 199900 %
Bontrager Valve Aeolus Pro 3V Tubeless
$19.99
- 489900 %
Rim Tape 10m Roll
$48.99
- 20 %
Stealth Tubeless Plugs
$55.99$69.99
- 20 %
Inner Tube Sealant Kit
$18.39$22.99
- 699500 %
Maxxis Ravager Bike Tyre
$69.95
- 59900 %
Bontrager Tyre Lever
$5.99

How do you fit tubeless tyres?

Tubeless tyres have less stretch than a standard bike tyre but can otherwise be fitted in the same way. You’ll find, particularly with new tyres, that you need a good set of tyre levers to help you out. To get your tubeless wheel set-up up and running:

  1. Tape the rims
    Make sure the wheel rim and bed are clean and dry. You’ll need to apply rim tape here so this is essential. The rip tape will provide an airtight seal to stop air from creeping through the spoke holes.

  2. Fit the valve

  3. Fit the tyre

    This step requires some strength as you’ll need to fit the tyre over the rim, much like with a standard tube bike tyre. A good set of tyre levers is very valuable here.

  4. Add some sealant
    Selant should lightly coat the inside of the tyre (not the rim). Add a small amount and rotate the tyre to coat it, adding more as needed. You can do this before or after step 3 although it can get messy if you do it before. For your first attempt, we suggest doing it once the tyre is at least partly fitted.

  5. Pump it up
    Sometimes referred to as seating, once you start to get air into the tyre you should notice it springing into place. Make sure that the tyre is in place the full way around the rim before pumping it up to the recommended pressure

  6. Attach to your frame & ride on!