Skip to content

Mountain Bike Tire bead(types,Bead Seating Tricks,Bead leak)

Edges of the tubeless tire are called a bead. at the time of installation of the tire into the rim, the bead does not fit and seats in its real place on the rim, the issue mainly surfaces on the new tires so I wanted to write an article on it to help sort the problem

it happens almost with every new tire or a fairly new tire at the time of its installation, Pressure doesn’t help with the process because its a fairly new tire its stiffer than an older tire and it tends to bounce back, Also it needs to be fitted properly otherwise you will feel a clear difference in riding, and the tire will wobble and bubble on trails and if you are experiencing problems like that you are at the right place.

It happens because the bead seat(rim) has friction on its surface and it does not allow the bead to seat properly in its place. firstly you need to reduce the friction of the bead seat before installing the bike tire within the rim section.

Types of Beads:

There are two types of beads of mountain bike tires.

  • Folding Bead
  • Wire Bead

Folding Bead:

These are a little bit expensive in price as compared to the wire beads. These are foldable beads, easy to install and uninstall, and soft and smooth beads, in case of any puncture or a flat tire on the trails, these are easy to uninstall and do not require much more time in again installation of the folding bead. these are rubber beads on the edge of the tire and are much more flexible and lighter in weight as compared to the wire beads.

Wire Bead:

These are cheap in price and heavier in weight as compared to the folding bead tires. These contain steel wire beads on both the right and left sides of the tire, these beads would have an excellent seat pattern with the rim also these are long-lasting as compared to the folding beads.

but these do not fold because the wires do not allow the tires to fold and compress which makes the tire harder as compared to the foldable beads, it has a single disadvantage if suddenly your bike tire has got punctured or flat on trails, these are a little bit harder to install and uninstall from the rim and also it takes much more time as compared to the folding bead.


These are old types of beads used in pretty old models, these were used for tubes within the tires but new model tires have foldable beads.

Bike Tire Beading Tricks:

  • Make bead and bead seat slippery and flexible, firstly with a rag cloth clean both the bead and the rim thoroughly also wash it, now mix water with soap or any other lubricant to make it wet properly and reduce friction, now put the mixture in a bottle and make holes within the cap of bottle after that spray thoroughly on to the beads and the rim to make them wet and install the tire bead on bead seat.


  • Squirt cleaner and Windex mixture also reduces friction and works well for the bead seat.


  • Most people order tires from online stores all the tires are delivered folded which makes them hard and their bead does not seals better with the rim, you can put sealant within the tire after unfolding the tire after that leave the tire for some minutes and also wet the whole tire along with its side walls with soapy water, this process makes the tire and tire beads flexible for its insertion into the rim.


  • When you go for a ride both sides of the beads will seat because of the wet surface of the rim and wet beads.


  • Weather condition also affects the smoothness of tires, in winter tires and beads become hard and stiff, and you have to warm the tire by increasing the temperature of the room for easy mounting. you can also use warm and heated water at low temperature and dip the tire within the water for 5 minutes before installing after that the tire becomes wet and easy to wear on the rim.


  • After making it wet Use your palm and thumb and apply force on the sidewalls of the tire so that its beads properly seat within the rim(this is the easiest method) if it’s not setting even then here are some more tips.

use your palms these are your best friends dont use tools you may potentially destroy your beads using tools see more tips for easy seating the bead

use your thumb if its harder to do with palm and other tips i mentioned use the palm method the same way as thumb i actually could do it because i was holding my phone in hand so it was getting harder to it

Sorry about the picture quality i was actually holding my phone and taking those pictures.


  • Use an air pressure pump to fill air within the tire with low pressure around about 20 to 30 psi, now the tire is flexible and easily pinches in an inward direction, applying a little force on side walls is the best method of tire seat bead.


  • Beads also depend on the internal Psi pressure for proper seating, after seating beads you can fill the tire with air so that the beads will stick with the rim and the shape of beads become the same as that of the rim, leaving high air pressure for few days almost 2 to 3 days after that decrease Psi pressure and now the beads are properly seated on the inward direction.


  • If still not working then at low pressure apply force with a palm while inflating the tire and again flat the tire by releasing all the air pressure through the valve and again fill the air of low pressure and repeat the same process almost 4 to 5 times, this filling and emptying of the tire with air pressure would finally make the bead to sit properly on its place. new tires are difficult to install especially the bead problem that occurs.


  • If still not working then there would be any default within the tire casing and the condition of the tire if the tire is second-hand and old or if the tire is fully new then you can change it with a new tire, always buy a guaranteed tire from the tire brand company.

Do Narrow and Wider Tires Affect the Bead Seat?

Yes for example if you are trying to install hybrid tires on a mountain bike rim obviously there would be a large difference for the tire beads and these would not sit properly on the rim, that’s why you cannot install narrow tires on wider sizes tire rim and vice versa.

hybrid tire beads are impossible to sit properly on-road tire rims and on MTB tires the size difference in beads matters a lot in the installation of the tires. loose and tight bead issue mostly happens in this condition. That’s why make sure you are always buying the same width tires as your rim width.

What is Bike Tire Bead Leak & how to stop it :

It happens due to the dry condition of beads or the tire has been mounted wrongly when you are installing a tire, sealant addition is necessary when the bead has seated properly on the rim then lift up the tire along with the wheel and rotate it thoroughly for 4 to 5 times so that the sealant would fill and cover around the sidewalls of the tire and especially the beads after that, leave the tire for a few minutes to cover up the beads with sealant and install tire in your bike.

Always use better quality sealant for your tire, bead leaks mostly happen because of the wrong mounting of the tire, if it’s still leaking the air then it is not a bead leak issue there should be other issues like sidewalls issues, rim issues, etc.

How much air pressure is required to seat the bead of the bike tire :

For mountain bikes 30-35 psi should do the trick for road bikes At 50 to 55 psi pressure bead will seat on the rim, another easy method is that put one side of the tire bead on the rim thoroughly in a round shape, and now pump the tire with an air compressor so that one side of the tire bead become adjustable on the rim when tire fully inflated with pressure now apply force with the palm and thumb on the other outward bead side of the tire so that it will go in inward and settle on the rim.

It is a possible method but if it is causing difficulty then decrease the air pressure of the tire through the valve and again hit the outside bead with a hand or any tool and that should solve the problem if not check the tips above for more information.

using a hand pump to seat the bead :

It is possible but it is a difficult method and much more time-consuming because a new tire bead requires much more inflating and deflating air continuously if you just have a hand pump on hand then the tips above could help you with the process but for the most part air compressor pumps are recommended for bead seating they get the job done way easier.

Tire Bead Seating Tools :

Bead Seating is almost done by hands and palms by the appliance of forceful pull but sometimes it becomes difficult and you may require tools to seat bead in the proper method all these tools are given below.

  • Workshop tire lever – TL-10 (ParkTool)
  • Plastic Tire levers
  • Yellow Pedros Lever
  • Park TL-5
  • Quick Stick Levers
  • Steel Core Levers
  • Crank Bros
  • Kool-Stop Tire Bead Jack
  • Michelin Tire Levers

But I wouldn’t recommend it you may destroy the bead in the process of fixing it if it comes down to using tools I would say just go to a nearby shop and get it done from there it would be much more easier and will cost you a lot less as well.

Things you should not use to seat a bead :

DO NOT use wd40 or grease or any petroleum product it won’t end well, especially with the sealant you can use things like mineral oil or baby oil but for the most part, the tips above will help you the most in seating the bead.


Thes method of bike tire bead seat is basically a DIY  method and can be used in homes for self-purpose, this is simply an online approach to do it by yourself. always shake sealant before putting it into the tire through which it works and sticks better and becomes tackier.