Installing Piranha tubeless tires

Recently there was a 70% off sale for Hutchinson Piranha CX tires and a number of people posted reviews which said the tires were nearly impossible to mount. I found the Piranhas easy to mount. While rims do make a difference, I’m guessing most people had previously mounted other tires on the same rim so it’s unlikely the problems were caused by the rim.

One issue I noticed is the second side wanted to flop off the rim when mounting, so you have to maintain contact until the tire is on. Here are some brief instructions that should make it easy to install these tires with most rims.

  1. Your rim should be prepped for a tubeless tire; either you have a tubeless rim or you’ve installed Stan’s Yellow Tape, and the valve is installed.
  2. Install the first bead. Start at the valve stem with the label (colored text on the sidewall) on the right side of the wheel at the valve. This is the pro-mechanic way to orient any tire, but these tires are directional so you’ll want to take care to at least get the label on the correct (right) side of the wheel.
  3. Check that the first bead is on the correct side of the valve stem. For any tubeless tire it’s easier to get the beads on either side of the valve when mounting the tire instead of trying to work one bead over the valve stem after the tire is mounted on the rim.
  4. Sit down and hold the wheel in your lap with the valve facing opposite you, at 12 o’clock.
  5. If you have weak hands or a stubborn rim set a bead jack within easy reach.
  6. Starting at the part of the wheel against your stomach mount the second bead using both hands working around the rim in opposite directions.
  7. Your hands should meet again at the valve stem and you can roll the last part of the bead over the edge of the rim. The best “tool” for this is the pads of your knuckles in your palm, but if you need assistance you can hold the bead in place with one hand while you use the bead jack with the other.

That’s it! I prefer unmounting a small section of the bead near the valve to add sealant, but if you’re worried about getting the tire on again you can remove the valve core and add sealant there.

My other tubeless tip: avoid getting sealant in the valve core by 1) closing the valve when shaking the tire to spread the sealant around, and 2) not releasing air from the valve before pumping.

More fun on a road bike

Tubeless, fenders, rack
Tubeless, fenders, rack 
I think this is what I’ve always wanted; a road bike I could ride anywhere.

[If you are a lover of old Vitus frames stop reading now! ]

DiNotte 400L taillight
DiNotte 400L taillight
My primary intention for installing rack, fenders and wider tires on my old road bike was to set it up for winter; something I could ride in a little mud, a little snow, and on wet roads … and so I wouldn’t be prevented from doing town errands by bike because of lack of carrying capacity. In the meantime, even though the weather is fabulous, I’ve been riding it on the dirt roads near my house. A nice change and very fun! The tubeless 700×25 tires give a pretty smooth ride and the fenders help with dust on my bike and water bottle.