When you are changing tires there is speculation that you might have about how long the tires need to sit on the rim before you start riding it and everything around it.
It actually did happen to me recently as well, I changed my tires and I was wondering the same thing and the resources available on the internet didn’t have many people had conflicting views around the topic or the other question that I had around my question were not completely answered so I decided to share what my experience was like and I did some extra research as well so that I can give to best advice to counter all the problems that you may have.
How long do new tires need to sit on the rim before riding them :
When you are trying to seat a new tire giving it time to seat is better than riding it right away I know some people would say that’s not better the tire will eventually go in its place while you are riding it well that’s true but over the long run, there could be some issue like tire not being stiff enough later on.
As for how long you should leave the tire sitting on the rim before you start riding them there is no simple answer but to summarize it.
You need to let the new tire sit as long as the bead settles on the rim to be precise it can take 24 to 3 days for the bead to fully seat on the rim mostly it happens in the first 24 hours but in some cases, it can take longer.
when you will fill the air in the tire for the first time it will make pop noises to check the tire if it’s fully seated on the rim or not there are two ways.
- see if the bead seam is consistent around the wheel
- see if the bead is not leaking by pouring soap water on the sidewalls
For the first step you would check it right away as soon as you fill the air in the tire you would check the seem by the bead and see if it’s consistent across the tire if it didn’t pop nicely from one or two places increase the tire pressure or deflate it completely and try inflating it again.
sorry about the picture quality the tire is already done I know but I just wanted to give you an idea of what to expect and how it actually looks, a tire may seem a little bit off due to me pinching but it’s firmly on.
It should solve the problem if you have any otherwise just leave the tire be for 24 hours.
The next step is to check if the air is leaking from the bead which will confirm if the tire is fully seated or if it just seems as though it is seated on the surface.
Before I move on to the next step make sure that you check the tire pressure in the morning and fill it again if it has lowered and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the tire is not fully seated I will explain it in a little bit.
to do this keep rolling the tire and keep pouring soapy water on it and see if it bubbles in some spots.
It’s important to know here that when you are checking only the bead don’t push the whole tire into a water tub or something that would completely beat the purpose because some tires are more porous than others and the tire will bubble in water and I will discuss this later on what to do for that problem as well.
how much air pressure you should put in the tire :
Even when you are seating a new tire for the first time don’t go berserk and raise the pressure to a maximum of 50 psi that’s not necessarily needed and will neither have better effects anyway.
All you need to do is to pop the bead and have as much pressure that the tire seam to be completely touching the rim and sealing perfectly.
Normally I would go as far as 35 psi or 40 psi max to seat the new tire and leave it be overnight and check back in the morning if there are any problems with the bead the tire would lose air anyway but at this point, my only goal is to seat the tire perfectly.
But if you are having trouble seating the bead perfectly I would say don’t put more air into it rather try these two things.
- put some sealant into the tire
- ride the tire at higher pressure
And these two things should fix the ai leak from the bead but if it’s taking you 4 or 5 days to do this either the tire you got is too wide for the rim or too short and if you have a warranty you can replace your tires (as long as you don’t try your mechanical skills on them).
Should you leave the tube inside if you are using seating tubeless-ready tires :
Yes, you can leave the tube inside the tire if it a tubeless-ready or a conventional tire that you are trying to seat for the first time, and I found it better than just trying to seat the tire without the tube helps the bead settle down much easier than when you are trying to seat it.
The tube helps the tire against air leaks as well because most of the new tires’ TBR or conventional tires would have air leaking from their side walls, and it helps the tire stay inflated at a higher pressure so the bead firmly adopts to the rim.
should you put sealant in the new tire during the seating process :
You can put sealant right away in the tire but I wouldn’t recommend it for the TBR or conventional tires because they might not seat well and may be more porous than you initially thought or other problems like the bead not sitting on the rim right away.
and you may realize later on that you may have needed it to settle down on the rim first and then, later on, try sealant in it, and it could get messy and in most cases, I found seating the TBR and conventional tires with tubes much better and quicker than just gushing in the sealant hoping that it would take care of everything.
That being said if the process is not going according to this route then yeah put in the sealant and in most cases it will take care of small leaks on the bead and the sidewalls.
If you use cushcore or other tire inserts in your tires all the more reason to not use sealant for the very first time and i did various other articles around that subject as well if you had like to read.
And I did some other articles around sealants as well if you had like to read more about that like Can you mix different types of Sealants if So which Sealants can you mix
is riding the new tubeless right away bad :
I think most of you might have this question back in your heads so to directly answer this it’s not bad but not recommended as well.
As I explained earlier that riding the new tires right away can be better than letting it sit that is if you want faster results but still if you give it time to sit for at least 24 hours it would be better
Because the tire will adapt to the rim better and overall in the long haul you would face fewer problems regarding tire stretching blow out or other problems.
Patience is the key when you are seating a new tire especially when you are seating a conventional or a TBR lot of the time you will doubt that the sealant is leaking too much or the air is leaking too much but all of the things work out pretty well in the end so don’t worry too much about things.
That also means that keep an eye on things as well as if the tires turn out to be bad don’t take things in your hand and start applying your own methods on it if you have a warranty on the tire, and just change it if not then ask an expert first so you don’t mess things up.