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Air leak from spokes

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:15 am
by richardr
I have just fitted a new tubeless Michelin rear tyre to my bike, and when they finally got the bead to seat, they discovered slow leaks from practically every one of the spokes.

I have only had the bike for 3 weeks and I don't know if there is something that should be on the inside of the rim or on the ends of the spokes to prevent this kind of air leak.

Does anyone out there know what to do about it?

i would be grateful for any ideas.

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:10 pm
by The Hell Team

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:15 pm
by Neo
Hi richardr

I’ve just been through this exercise myself, on both our bikes.

Firstly, it’s not the spokes, they do not form part of any seal. But check the back of the nipples for sharp edges.

It will be the fault of the rim-band (tape) or the seal it makes against the inner edges of the rim. As seen in this pic.

The Rim-band is not like one from an MX bike so don’t bother buying a new one from anyone but a MotoTrials dealer. The rubber is so think its more like a timing belt off of a car!!

If you follow the instructions in these guides and you should be Ok ... Manual.pdf ... Manual.pdf

But you might have trouble with the Rim-band not sitting flat and staying up in the middle. This is due to uneven tension around the rubber (the band goes on quite tight!) If you leave it like this, the sides of the band will pop out when you inflate the tyre. And the spokes will leak again….I learnt this the hard way!!
I solved this on my wheel by using marine grease, smeared into both sides of the seal track on the rim. Which the rim-band seats into.
I tired Silicone but when it didn’t work I had to spend two hours cleaning it out of the rim.
Once the grease thing is done. You can then attempt to shift the tension of the band around so it flattens out all the way around.

Buy a Tire Beader (doughnut ring) and save yourself a ton of trouble too.
And you can get the tyre bead seal broken, down your local tyre bay, for nothing ….if you ask nicely. 8)

Best of luck for your first go…because you gonna need it!! :lol:

Best of balance.


Tubeless Tyre Spoke seal

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:37 pm
by richardr
Thanks guys for your suggestions and responses. I will follow your advice and check/replace the seal tape and probably try the blob of silicone on the head of each spoke nipple too.

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:58 pm
by ned kelly
"No but I have used Grease on my rim band!"
Whoa howwww!!!!!

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:17 pm
by Neo
Hi richardr,

Don’t wast your time with silicone on the nipples…..that’s just for inter galactic nutters. :lol:
Remember you are supposed to adjust the tension on all spokes after every ride. How well do you recon that silicone will seal after it’s been twisted around a few times?? :cry:

Put all your time, effort and care into seating and sealing that rim-band and the air-seal will last and last. That the way these rims are designed.

Best of balance.


Stan's tire sealant seems to work okay

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:45 pm
by davew
Hi richardr,

I got a new rear tire at the start of this year and the spokes were leaking after it was fitted. I've used Stan's Tire Sealant for fitting tubed tires to my tubeless rims on my mountain bike and it worked well, so I gave it a try in the trials tire. Piped some in through the valve (after removing the core), shook the tire around and the leaks stopped immediately and no leaks since.


Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:10 pm
by Neo
Sorry davew,

But next time you (or somone else) has to change that tyre. They'll have to clean up all the mess that stuff puts in the tyre. And it's no fun. :cry:
And depending on the substance, it can even corrode the ali rims too. :shock:

Best of balance.


Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:49 am
by bigdamo
Stans is OK with ali rims and is not that hard to clean up.But it does have to be changed after a period of time if your looking for puncture protection and it will eat away at certain tyres after a period of time I've discovered.

Re: Air leak from spokes

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:45 pm
by pete40
Hey neo - can you re-post those links to the pdf's on resealing the rims please.