It takes a volume of air to seat a tubeless. Even if you lube the tire it takes a volume of air to get it to pop onto the seat. Cannot deliver that volume with my floor pump. At the shop they remove the core to the presta and have this conversion tube they put over the open stem with a compressor on the other end.

  • I don't have tubulars so take this with salt, but I have done a bit of 4WD and have seen a good way and a bad way. Good way is a cargo tiedown strapped around the circumference of the tyre and ratchetted down enough to push the bead out and contact the rim. Inflate and slacken the strap a bit at a time. The bad way involves flamable gas and flame to "rapidly expand the tyre" and normally results in burns and singed eyebrows at best. Don't do it this way.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 5:46

4 Answers 4


It depends on what type of tubeless standard you are using.

  1. UST

UST rims are designed to be able to be inflated with a floor pump. The rim profile has an inner channel. The tyre bead should be placed in this as per the picture when you begin inflating the tyre. When it reaches a high enough pressure it pops into place and you can continue to seat it easily with the pump. You can also add sealant before inflating with USTs.

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  1. Tubeless Ready

Tubeless Ready have a shallower rim bed that require far less volume to inflate with a floor or CO2 cartridge. This is trickier with a floor pump and people often remove the valve core to allow a higher volume of air in. Once the tyre is suited you can also to remove the core to add sealant.

  1. Ghetto Setups

If you are using any other tyre/ rim combination it's really just luck if you're going to get a tyre to seat with floor pump, compressed air or ever at all.


If you don't have a compressor, you can use a CO2 cartridge (or two or three) inflator to quickly give that burst of air/CO2 that you need to seat the tubeless. It's very difficult with a floor pump.

[CO2 inflator]

Source: Wikimedia commons

  • 1 CO2 does not have enough volume for mtn. And 2 or 3 does not help.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 1:06
  • You don't need to inflate it fully, you just need enough to seat the tube. Then you can switch to your floor pump. The reason why you might need two or three is that it often won't seat on the first try.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 1:21
  • Not gong to unseat to test but I have tried this in the past before I gave up and took it to the shop. It was just a really short burst.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 3:01
  • I've had poor results with co2 for seating tyres. They're a one shot option and frequently fail to get the job done. But at the trailside they're often only choice.
    – Lou O.
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 15:53

I use a tubeless inflator.

My skills and track pump will not seat a large volume tyre, just can't get enough air thru, I've managed 23/25mm road tyres, but nothing bigger.

My inflator is a Bontrager Flashcharger, but there are lots of similar products on the market these days.

They all work in a similar manner, charging up a cylinder of air and releasing it in one go by pulling a lever or turning a valve.

I find it better than a compressor as it's cheaper, portable, doesn't need power, replaces my track pump and has never failed to seat a tyre.

  • 1
    One can typically get modern MTB tires to seat on modern MTB rims with a floor pump if you remove the valve core.
    – Paul H
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 16:19
  • Handy to know, I've not managed it but will try next time
    – Lou O.
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 16:26
  • @PaulH wasn't the case for any my MTB tubeless setups, it was a real chore until I got an inflator. Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 17:22
  • Sure, it varies based on the combination of rims and tires. But for example, Schwalbe and Maxxis tires seat fairly easily on my Ibis and DT Swiss rims. That said, I only forgo the air compressor in favor of my 11-year old floor pump if i'm working on bikes late at night and don't want to wake up everyone in the house.
    – Paul H
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 18:03
  • 1
    I've seated my Schwalbe G-One on DT RR521 rim with my mini pump. The second time it took about 8 min of furious pumping before the bead moved up the shoulder far enough for an initial seal.
    – gschenk
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 0:34

Need to have a compressor. Remove the core then just press a schrader fill up end on the stem. I have had to take a couple to the shop and this worked for me today.

This is more a problem on older tires where I break the seal to add sealant. I am gong to buy an injector so I can add sealant without breaking the seal.

  • Come on. A down vote an an answer that actually physically worked from me.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 5:49
  • That's the internet for you!
    – Lou O.
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 9:09

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