Spring Cleaning – Tubeless Tires

Cartoon of bicyclist waling bike with a flat fire.

As spring approaches in the Mid-Atlantic United States, it means it’s time for me to start getting my bikes ready for the new riding season outdoors. I have a policy of fixing bike problems immediately. If I don’t, I find it is just too easy for me set my bike aside and ride another bike until all my bikes have problems and I have nothing to ride. However, even with my fix problems immediately policy, there is always maintenance that needs to be done at the start of every riding season.

Servicing my tubeless tires is one of those maintenance jobs. At first glance, it may not be obvious that tubeless tire maintenance is required. Although tubeless tires are holding air, unlike tires with tubes, that doesn’t mean they are ready for the new season. Since the tubeless tires on my bike will hold air without any sealant in them, it is easy to be fooled into thinking there is also sufficient sealant in them to seal a puncture.

Consequently, I make it part of my spring maintenance routine to dismount my tubeless tires, clean out the old and dried sealant, remount the tires and refill them with fresh sealant. That way I know that my tires will function as expected if I get a puncture.

Ken Whittaker