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How to Fix a Tubeless Bike Tire? – 3 Easy Ways

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

how to fix a tubeless bike tire

What to do when you get a puncture with tubeless tyres? Typically, only holes larger than 6mm will not pose a problem, as the liquid sealant inside can plug punctures that small.

However, when the hole is bigger than 6mm, you’ll need a repair kit and learn how to fix a tubeless bike tire. Fortunately, this process is simple enough that you can even fix a tubeless tire flat overnight.

Step-by-Step to Fix a Tubeless Bike Tire


Despite their pinch puncture resistance, extreme force and wear and tear will most likely damage your tire. That is why it is a good idea to know the method of repairing tubeless mountain bike tires.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 1: Using a rubber tire plug</strong></h3> <p>


What You’ll Need:

  • Rimming tool
  • Rubber tire plugs
  • Applicator fork
  • Scissors
  • Air pump
  • Bucket filled water

Step 1 – Look for the puncture area

To do a tubeless bike tire repair, you must first locate the damaged area.

The best way to look for the punctured area is to pump air into your tire and locate the hole where the air is escaping from inside. You can either hear a soft whistle or feel the release of air from the tire.

On the other hand, you can also make use of bucket-filled water to look for the puncture. The water will make it easier to notice the release of air due to the forming of bubbles.

Step 2 – Clear The Path

Pick a rubber tire plug roughly the same size as your puncture. As an exact match is unlikely, you’ll need to modify the hole with a rimming tool.

To do so, gently pierce a rimming tool into the tire, then gently twist it for a nice clean hole. This step is to ensure that you can easily jam the repair plug into the puncture, so make sure the rimming tool is the same size as the plug.

Step 3 – Patch A Tubeless Tire With The Plug Tool

Carefully thread the plug tool into your applicator fork until you reach the middle, with each end approximately the same length.

After threading, insert your tool into the hole but be careful not to slip the whole plug tool inside your tubeless tire. Twist and swiftly remove the tool. There should be noticeable rubber ends sticking out after you have inserted the plug tool in the hole.

Step 4 – Finishing Touches

With your scissors, cut off the excess plug tool just enough to be unnoticeable. Do not cut too much; you might risk removing the plug. After cutting down the extra material, you can inflate your wheel to secure the plug and ensure everything is in place.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 2: Using a tubeless tire patch</strong></h3> <p>

What You’ll Need:

  • 1oo-grit sandpaper
  • Vulcanising rubber solution
  • Patch kit
  • Clean rag

Step 1 – Sand Down The Surface


Before patching a tubeless tire, you have to sand down the surface of the punctured area to make it easier for the patch to stick to the tire surface. Then, use a clean rag to remove any dust and unwanted particles that can contaminate and tamper with the patch’s adhesiveness.

Step 2 – Apply The Patch


Patching a tubeless tire with a patch kit is pretty straightforward. First, apply a few drops of vulcanizing rubber solution (the glue) to the affected area. You can use your fingertip to spread the glue more evenly—don’t worry, it’s rather easy to wash out.

Although you can immediately apply the tire patch, it’s better to wait a minute for the glue to get stickier. However, don’t leave it for too long, as it’ll dry out the adhesive.

When you stick the patch, make sure to firmly press down the patch and hold it there for one minute.

Step 3 – Wait To Dry


Follow the recommended drying time for the adhesive to work its magic before touching or moving them. The less you move the patch during the drying process, the faster and more properly your patch will settle.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 3: Using a sealant</strong></h3> <p>


This specific method is only applicable if your rim tape is still intact. If it’s not, you’ll have to get a rim tape replacement first.

What You’ll Need:

  • Sealant
  • Bicycle Air Pump
  • Plastic tire lever.
  • Tire Boot
  • Clean Rag

Step 1 – Detach The Damaged Wheel

To make it easier to fix a puncture on a tubeless road bike tyre with a sealant, you have to remove your bicycle tire from the body. You can follow your bicycle manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly remove a bicycle tire.

Helpful tip, put your bicycle to the lowest gear to loosen the chain, making it easier to remove the wheel accordingly.

Step 2 – Remove The Tire Bead


Using your two hands, squeeze your tire and firmly pull up the bead until you hear a popping sound. This will let you know that you have removed part of the bead from the bike rim.

Insert your plastic tire lever in between the space that was opened earlier from the bead and bike rim. Grasp the lever and pull the tool towards yourself with ample force to loosen the rest of the bead that is connected to the rim.

Do the same process on the other side of the wheel until the tubeless tire is removed.

Step 3 – Locate and Patch The Damage

Once you’ve found the location of the puncture, position the tire bead so that the damaged area faces the floor. Then, pour the recommended sealant amount, as instructed by the manufacturer, into the tire bead.

Step 4 – Finishing Touches


After applying the sealant, reattach the tire bead to the rim and pump in air to the tire until you hear a popping sound.

You don’t have to pump the maximum recommended air to your tire, as this will provide space inside for later use. This space will allow you to spread the sealant inside by tossing, bouncing, and turning the wheel.

Once done, you can fully inflate your bicycle tire. Then re-assemble the tire onto the bike. Wait for 20 minutes before going on a short ride to see if your sealant is effective.

More Tips to Repair Tubeless Bicycle Tires


#1 Getting Ready

Equipping yourself with the tire repair kit is a great plan for you to be ready just in case your tire unexpectedly gets punctured.

Fortunately, there are plenty of these kits available on the market today, and they all work more or less the same way. However, you’ll still want to choose one that’s right for your specific bike tire and repair method. Using this, you’ll be able to repair your tubeless mountain bike tire in no time at all.

#2 Regular Maintenance

Tire maintenance is a key part of keeping your bike tires in good shape. Check your tire pressure, and make sure you’re using the correct type and amount of air pressure for your tires, depending on the weather and terrain you’ll be riding on.

You should also check your tire sealant level if you ride regularly or have recently replaced a tube.

#3 Knowing When To Give Up

If you have done everything you can to fix a flat tubeless tire and your tire is still not functional, then it is time to give up and change a tubeless mountain bike tire to a new one.

For those on the trail, you’ll need to insert an inner tube into the tire, pump it up, and ride home. This is why you should always go riding with a spare inner tube, just in case.


The most crucial thing to remember is that you need to be familiar with mountain bike tire repair. You can’t just throw the tubeless tire on your bike and go for a ride — there’s always a learning curve.

Using the right materials and following the proper procedure on how to fix a tubeless bike tire is essential to bringing back the original strength of your tire.

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