Mounting a cyclocross tire using Stans Notubes

[EDIT]  There's another post you can read here that's a little newer, now that I've gotten the hang of it.  This post details the SLOW way to do it, but if you are having troubles getting the tire to seal up, this innertube method might be exactly what you need.  Good luck!

Bike nerd alert! Here's a little run-down on mounting a cyclocross tire using Stans Notubes.First of all, Stans Notubes knows their stuff about tubeless bike tires. Their movie here for installation is quite complete, but differs from how I do it with cyclocross tires. I suggest you watch the movie, particularly the part about shaking the tire and getting it to seal completely. Here's their movie (click here if you have troubles viewing it):



Here's how I do it:

  1. I'll be mounting a Maxxis Raze tire. Some tires seal up easier than others, so we'll see how well these work.


  2. Just a heads up - a lot of tires are directional, so make sure you note which way they should be mounted. But you knew that already, right? Good.


  3. First step - mount the tire, one bead only.  Make sure you put soap suds on the tire bead/sidewall (not pictured but do it)


  4. See? One bead only.


  5. Put in a tube, close up the other bead like when mounting any tire, and pump it up to the maximum pressure printed on the casing. As the pressure gets high, you will probably hear a bunch of loud POPS. That's good, it's the tire bead locking into the rim. After you've pumped up the tire, let it sit a few seconds, then deflate the tire completely.


  6. Now the bead should be locked to the rim on at least one side. Here you see the tire bead is locked to the rim.


  7. Now you need to remove one side (bead) of the tire. Push it in or use a tire lever to loosen it, then open it up and remove the tube.


  8. Insert the valve core


  9. Tighten the valve nut thing. Be sure to hand tighten only. No pliers, unless you've got really wimpy hands. Don't make it too tight.


  10. Now that the tube is out and the valve core is in, put that tire bead back on again.


  11. Get a bucket, put in some dish soap (lots), and make some bubbles. Using a rag or brush, spread only the suds along the bead of the tire. This will really help seal up the tire when you inflate it. Try not to fill your wheel up with water! Just the suds.


  12. Now it's time to inflate. Some tires can be sealed up using a floor pump, but not very many. I had to use an air compressor to seal this one up. If you don't have an air compressor (why would you) just get a little brass presta-shraeder adapter at your local bike shop (about $1), and take your wheels and bucket of suds to a gas station. When you go to fill up the tire, air will leak out the loose bead. Just try to tap the tire down towards the rim where it's leaking most and it should eventually seal up. You'll soon hear the POPing sound of the second bead locking into the rim. Again inflate to maximum pressure printed on the tire, wait a bit, then deflate completely. The bead should remain locked in place. You can go home from the gas station now...


  13. Now you need to remove the valve core of the presta valve. You can use pliers for this.
    When the core has been removed, put the valve at 12 o'clock and squirt in about 2-4 oz of Stans sealant. I just cut the nozzle of the bottle to the right size, put it over the valve, and squeeze in the goo.

  14. Now that the sealant is in, you should replace the valve core, inflate the tire, and completely seal it. Follow the shake-it technique in the Stan's video. It works well. One final tip - if you don't hear a little sealant sloshing around in the tire, remove the valve core and add a little more.

[EDIT:  AIR COMPRESSORS] - Shortcut for inflation - take off the valve core and inflate with an air compressor.  It MIGHT let you seal both beads up with one go - depends on your tire.  Never skip the soap suds, though.  Never.

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Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Any update on how these tires are holding up to tubeless usage? I'm getting a stan's wheelset built up, and am currently using these tires. I'm riding 90% hardpack and dry dirt (NorCal), and these tires perform great for me - they just seem a little flimsy for running tubeless. What say you?
# Posted By Jeremy Kimmel | 9/14/07 11:05 AM
I'll post a follow-up in a few minutes.
# Posted By erikv | 9/14/07 1:48 PM
# Posted By erikv | 9/14/07 2:29 PM
I got a set of ztr355 rims with american classic hubs built by stan, they are amazing, was able to get set up quickly by following erikv's instructions, no leakage, riding from 30 to 60 psi, a little racing, its nice to finally get traction at low pressure. BTW I am 190 lbs and was always getting flats on my clinchers. first 300 miles and I am very happy.
# Posted By yellowbug | 10/25/07 6:31 PM
sweet! Good to hear!
# Posted By erikv | 10/25/07 7:26 PM
During cyclocross race today my tires burped 3 times and it put me out of the race. Any suggestions on how to prevent this?
# Posted By Scott | 9/25/11 7:02 PM
I've no idea what your setup is. If they weren't tubeless specific rims, you're going to need to experiment. has a good forum for help. Maybe you could find someone using your rim/tire combo and see if they had to do anything special to get it to work reliably.

Some tires work well, some are horrible. Same with rims. I only use Stan's rims because the specialized bead hook design takes the experimentation out of it. For tires, I've had success with Michelin, Kenda and Schwalbe. I've never tried the Hutchinson tires, but I hear the new ones are good, once you get them mounted.
# Posted By erikv | 9/25/11 7:11 PM
I am running a Ksyrium SL wheel. It has a narrow shoulder for the tire to seat to. Could this be part of the problem I am having with the tire burping out air over bumps and in turns?
# Posted By Scott | 9/25/11 7:48 PM
Even though the rims are air tight, you might still need a rim strip or fill some of the room between the rim and the bead. I am sure there are others running Ksyriums tubeless so I'd give the forum at notubes a look for sure.
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