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I want to reuse my tubeless tires but they do not seal anymore. I tried this now with three different tires that I already used but no chance. I guess since I am not able to remove all the old sealant it does not seal at the rim-bead interface properly anymore. Is it normal that tubeless tires are not reusable? I remember an article on the rene herse site (if I am not mistaken) that says that tubeless tires can only be used once.

So since I do not want to throw them into the bin the question would be whether it would be save to use them with a tube even though the do not seal at the rim-bead interface enough to use them tubeless?

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    It never ceases to intrigue me the amount of different experiences people have with tubeless. Not a criticism of the OP or the tech, just seems like some have a lot more luck than others. Dec 30, 2023 at 3:16
  • @LamarLatrell I think it’s related to the level of standardization and quality control in the bicycle world. A significant proportion of tubeless installations are pretty much just hack jobs.
    – MaplePanda
    Dec 30, 2023 at 5:39
  • True true.. I have put non-TR gravel tyres on H+Son TB-14s and they work fine as well, seems like having had sealant dry on the walls has actually helped. I guess I'm in the lucky bin ! Dec 30, 2023 at 5:48

4 Answers 4

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It depends on what exactly the problem is.

You always want the dry sealant cleaned off thoroughly from the bead area. It can be tedious.

If you're unable to get a Herse (or other lightly built tubeless tire) to seat after it's been used for a while, as in it doesn't even begin to pressurize, you can often solve that by building up the rim surface with more or thicker tape. It can take a lot of layers, like 3-6. Presumably what's going on is the tire has expanded slightly. I don't love having to do this but it usually works.

If the problem is punctures that are unable to seal at your working road pressure, that is a problem that is fairly common with these tires unfortunately, and may be cause to run them tubed-only. Plugs will also tend not to hold. Lighter riders or anyone running a lower PSI can have something of an advantage with this.

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  • Thanks for your answer. It is not a puncture problem. I think the cause is the bead area. So I will try to clear it even more and try it again. It it will not help I will switch to a tube.
    – ruedi
    Jan 1 at 21:49
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I have frequently re-used tubeless tyres after temporarily switching to other ones without issue, and without removing all remaining sealant.

If punctures are the issue, try using a tyre patch such as the "Rema Tip-Top TT 13 Tubeless Repair Kit". It has worked perfectly for me.

Try the usual measures for seating tubeless tyres:

  • Booster pump or compressor
  • Lubricate the tyre bead/sidewall with soapy water
  • Manually pull the bead towards the rim wall before seating
  • Remove valve core to increase air flow
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I'm alternating tubeless tires between winter and summer, without any issue for now (4 swaps). There's a slightly different behaviour between the two sets of tires though, so the combination probably matters (Mavic rims).

The summer tires (Michelin) are much more air tights at the bead, but it's visible there's sometime sealant going through the rubber (more porous rubber)

The winter tires (Pirelli) require a bit of sealant at the bead, but are less porous.

But once the pores/interfaces have been sealed with sealant, no issues.

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Some tyres definitely do stretch. I've had this experience with Schwalbe G-One. At first I was able to seat them with a floorpump, but in later stages of their lifetime a booster was necessary. Of course, typical advice for seating stubborn tubeless tyres still applies, use soap water on the bead, try seating without a valve core and so on.

The latter is not an automatic win, because if such a stubborn tyre does seat without the inner core it can actually unseat with the pressure droo while detaching the booster and trying to insert the core. I was both succesful and unsuccesful with this in the past. It can work, but does not have to.

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