Installation and Removal Guide

Foreword on Maxxis Tyres

We have found Maxxis tyres can be particularly sensitive to bead damage during installation, more so than other brands. Inserts increase the difficulty of fitting tyres due to their size and density, reducing the room available to squeeze the bead into the center of the rim and correctly install the tyre. We have looked extensively at how our inserts interact with Maxxis tyres and have concluded that it is very unlikely that they cause the dreaded tyre wobble that is commonly reported with and without inserts. Many users will resort to using tyre levers to aid in installation which is perfectly acceptable, however please be aware levers can cause damage to the bead if excessive force is applied. We STRONGLY recommend fitting the insert as per our video above using proper technique to ensure as much slack as possible is achieved BEFORE using levers. Maxxis even recommend installing the tyre without sealant or inserts and leaving them overnight at max pressure to help loosen up the carcass before insert installation. When you think you are ready to resort to levers, resist the urge and retrace your steps ensuring more of the bead cannot be installed by hand first. Finally, when levers are used, use them as per the video, levering only a small portion of bead at a time, never over exerting the bead. Once a carcass or bead is damaged, there is no reversing th so please be careful. If you experience Tyre Wobble after installation, click here to troubleshoot.

Installation Text Guide

To install the insert, you’ll need the following:

  • Two plastic tyre levers, do not use Metal levers as these could damage your rim and tyre.

  • A Pump – ideally one with an air chamber you can charge such as an Air shot, or a compressor that has a high airflow rate. If you don’t have one of these, don’t worry, its still possible to install a new tubeless set up with a regular floor pump but can make things more difficult.

  • Tubeless Sealant – we recommend Stans however our inserts will work with most brands.

  • A Tubeless Compatible Rim

  • Tubeless Rim Tape

  • A Tubeless compatible tyre

  • Any tools required to remove and reinstall your wheels

  • And Finally, a Rimpact Tyre Insert and Tyre Insert compatible Tubeless Valve – You’ll note the holes on the side of the base of the valve, these allow air to pass through the valve without being blocked by the insert. There are a few options on the market if you didn’t pick up a set of Rimpact Valves from brands such as Peaty’s and Muc-Off. If you are unsure, you can always check with us or with the valve manufacturer.

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Key Points

Before we start, a few key points to cover – If you are using Bontrager Rim Strips or similar, consider removing and taping the rim with tubeless tape. These rim strips increase the difficulty of fitting significantly and whilst still possible, is not advised unless you are adept at fitting inserts and up for a challenge. The Rim strip is designed to increase the diameter of your wheel to lock the bead in place. However, with modern tyres this is less necessary and it is also one of Rimpact’s functions so its easier to only use one device instead of both in conjunction.

Secondly, if you have a fresh, new tyre, its highly recommended you install it first prior to fitting the insert. Whilst this may seem like a lot of extra effort, it’s surprisingly common for tyres to ship with kinked beads or warps and wobbles baked into their carcasses. Fitting the tyre without sealant, inflating and seating the tyre fully first allows you to judge the viability of the tyre before going to the effort of installing the insert. Once again, we strongly recommend you do this.

It’s also worth paying attention to the shape of your rim profile. You will see a shallow and two raised surfaces. The raised surfaces are where the tyre bead will sit when seated and the shallow central portion is where the bead needs to sit during installation. Some rim profiles vary so the technique may differ slightly but the main thing to note is the difference in height of the middle of the rim vs the edges as this area will provide the most slack for the tyre to be fitted easiest. If you have narrower rims or a unique rim profile, it can be helpful to seat the tyre without the insert fitted, then deflate and remove only one side of the tyre , leaving one bead seated to provide extra real estate. 

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Finally, without the tyre fitted, stretch the insert over the rim. You’ll note the insert is smaller in diameter than the rim, this is by design. The tighter the insert the more force the bead is held in place with and the higher the performance. Do this step to prepare yourself for the forces required when fitting the insert with the tyre as it can be hard to know what to expect if you haven’t fitted inserts before. Don’t be shy with the insert, it’s very strong! You may need to use your knees, a second pair of hands or zip ties to hold it in place if you aren’t able to stretch it without the insert falling back off the rim. Once you’ve done this, remove the insert.

 

Preparation

You’ll find the installation process is smoother if your workspace is clear and clean. Its also very important to thoroughly clean the rim and tyre before beginning if the items are not brand new. Any dirt or dust that gets in the tyre during installation will act as a catalyst for the sealant to dry up on, meaning there won’t be any sealant left to plug holes you get whilst riding.

If you have a flat large surface or a workshop bin handy this will help you install the tyre, I’ll be using the table I have here but general floor space will suffice.

A key point in any tubeless set up is rim tape. If you are installing tubeless tape for the first time, head to the rim tape manufacturers website or YouTube channel to follow a guide on how to correctly fit the tape. It’s best to fit the tyre and inflate it with some sealant and go for a ride to seal any holes before playing around with an insert. If you have an existing tubeless set up and are sure that it is well sealed it’s worth inspecting the tape for any damage, holes or folds where air could escape. Once you’ve got a well-sealed rim it’s time to move on to installing your tyre.

 

Step One - Installing the Rimpact or Insert Compatible Tubeless Valve

Identify the valve hole in your rim and pierce a small hole in the tape being careful not to split the tape too much. You can use a pin, spoke or closed Presta valve to make the initial hole and then slowly press the valve into place, taking the rubber o-ring and lock-ring and threading them onto the valve. Press the base of the valve against the rim with your thumb firmly and tighten the lock-ring by hand until snug.

Take your tyre and identify the rotation direction on the sidewall, matching it up with the direction your wheel will be spinning. Line up the Logo with the Valve and begin placing the bead over the rim. Once you’ve almost entirely fitted one side of the tyre ensure the bead is in the central portion of the rim to alleviate tension and force the bead over the rim in its entirety. You may need to use a tyre lever to do this, flip it over and lever it on gently as to not damage the bead.

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Step Two – Installing the Insert

Take the insert and slot it into the tyre, beginning to place it over the rim. Working the insert onto the rim, start close to you and move outward. Use your knees, another pair of hands or in a pinch, zip ties, to hold the insert in place until you can fully stretch the insert onto the rim and let go without it falling off. If the insert is twisted, level it off now to ensure it doesn’t cause issues down the line.

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Step Three – Installing the Second Half of the Tyre

Next you need to begin installing the second bead. To do so you’ll need to roll the insert up away from the rim so that the bead can slot underneath. Do this all the way around the rim until the tyre becomes too tight to fit by hand. If the bead is unseating on the opposite site at the same rate, use your knees, another pair of hands or zip ties to hold it in place. At this point, the common mistake is to try and force the bead over the rim with levers. However, rather than doing this, retrace your steps around the tyre, manipulating the bead under the insert. The aim is to get the bead 100% sitting in the central, shallow part of the rim. This will alleviate tension on the bead and allow easier fitting in the final steps. The best technique for this is to manhandle the tyre with both hands. Press down, squeeze in and rotate towards you, lifting the bead into the air. Once its lifted, manipulate the bead inboard and under the insert so that it rests in the center of the rim. You’ll know you’ve achieved this when you can see the colour of the rim tape and the defined raised outer shoulders. Repeat this process every few centimetres until you’ve completed a full pass of the fitted tyre, then repeat again in reverse.

If done correctly you’ll be able to work more of the tyre on by hand. As you fit more of the tyre, go back and repeat the process on this newly fitted portion of the bead to release some tension.

 

Now it’s time to apply sealant. Whilst you can use a sealant injector, it’s not as easy with inserts as it is without, Rimpact recommends the pour in method. If you forgot to put sealant in the tyre before you closed it up, its easier to pop the bead with a couple of levers and pour sealant in, than it is to inject sealant through the valve. Refer to the Manufacturers recommended quantity, then add approximately 25% more to account for the increased surface area the insert has introduced. Pour in the sealant and rotate the wheel 180 degrees so sealant does not fall out when fitting the last part of the bead.

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Using two levers, work one centimetre of the bead on at a time, leaving the lever in place whilst you use the other. Walk the levers inboard slowly until you meet in the middle. The smaller the amount of tyre you attempt to lever the easier this will be. Don’t force the bead if the lever feels like it could snap. Eventually you’ll either be able to fit the tyre by hand or need to resort to using levers for the last few inches.

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Step Four – Inflation

Finally, it’s time to inflate the tyre. Take your pump and charge it to a high pressure. Loosen the Presta valve core and attach the pump head. Refer to the markings on the tyre as well as the recommended inflation pressures stated by your rim manufacturer. Prepare to inflate to the lower of these two numbers. Open the pressure chamber and pump quickly to inflate the tyre as fast as possible. The tyre should seat and hold air. If it does not, refer to our troubleshooting video on Tubeless Set up.

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Observe the bead all the way around both sides of the tyre to ensure the bead is seated uniformly. You may have to add more pressure to achieve this if some was lost during the inflation process. Once adequately fitted, shake the wheel around to disperse the sealant and then fit the wheel to your bike.

Tubeless systems take a while to bed in and fully seal. The best method to speed this process up is going for a ride and compress the tyre repeatedly through rough terrain. This will force the sealant out through any small holes in the bead or rim tape and the pressure will cause the sealant to dry up plugging the holes in the process. Reduce the tyre pressure down from max pressure to a little higher than your normal pressures for the initial set up ride. We recommend riding around your garden, neighborhood or local gravel trails and finding some curbs or gentle bumps to gain a good seal before embarking on longer rides on more serious terrain. It’s not uncommon for a new tubeless set up to take a number of rides to fully seal. If the air is escaping slowly keep using this process to seal the tyre, consider topping sealant up if you have lost a fair bit. However, if the air is escaping rapidly, refer to our guide on Tubeless Set Up.

 

Step Five – Clean Up and Apply Stickers

Now the wheel is ready to ride, clean the wheel down with soap or a bike cleaning agent and dry with a clean rag. To apply the decals to your rims, clean the area first with Isopropyl Alcohol or disc cleaner and dry with a lint free rag. The stickers work best when applied in a warm environment. Peel back the sticker and press carefully to your rim. Rub the sticker to ensure it is stuck down and slowly peel back the clear layer. If any of the letters do not appear to be adhering, tease them off of the backing sheet with a nail and continue carefully removing this layer. Once the vinyl letters are in place, carefully but firmly press them down to ensure they have adhered to the metal.

 

Before you first proper ride, inspect the tyre once again for correct seating and any damage that may have occurred. Set tyre pressures to an appropriate level based on your weight and the recommendations from the tyre manufacturer.

Removal Guide

All in the technique!

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Ready to remove your Insert? Follow this brief guide:

  • Remove wheel from bike and deflate tyre pressure.

  • Stand the wheel up and rest it firmly against your knees, with your knee caps pressing against the tyre on either side in a squat stance.

  • Press on sidewalls above the bead to push bead into centre of the rim using your fingers not your thumbs. (Repeat all the way around one side of the tyre.)

  • Rolling the tyre towards you helps break the bead. Be careful, when bit of the bead break from their seat, the insert will try to reseat it. You'll need to unseat a good portion of the bead to prevent this from happening.

  • Once you've succeeded breaking the bead most of the way around the wheel, take two tyre levers, hook them under the now unseated bead about 3-4 inches apart.

  • Lever both at the same time to dismount a decent portion of the tyre. Then push one lever along the rim surface to unhook the rest of the bead.

And you are done!