How NOT to fix a leaking rear tubeless tyre/rim

I took a trade in Sherco this week and the owner told me it had a leaking rear tyre. No worries fixed heaps of them I said!
Well it’s OK now but man, this was a classic example of what NOT to do when fixing a leak – he’d already had a good go at it it turns out.
It started off kind of weird because it was really hard to get the levers in under the tyre (I later found out why)! It had to have 6 metres of electrical tape, and a whole tradesman size tube of silicone sealant in the rim well, neatly shaped on top of the rim band and all set like a rock.
About 4 hours and an a lot of elbow grease later it’s clean, inflated and not leaking.
Trick is make sure the well and channel that the rim band sits in are spotlessy clean. Fit the valve first, making sure the edges of the rim band sit in the channel tight. Tighten the valve nut.
Use some rubber or assembly grease on the rim band and gradually work it around the channel, making sure all the edges sit in leaving the band concave all around. It takes time, but it’s worth doing it properly.
Pop on the tyre and inflate using a tyre snake, or tyre doughnut to help the tyre bead up on the rim. It’s easy if you take your time.
Silicone sealant is quite acidic and will damage the rim, spokes and spoke nipples in the long run, and as you can see from this even a whole tube didn’t fix the leak.
I’m keeping the rim band in our box of interesting items! It’s getting bigger and bigger.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.