Bead Seating Like a Pro

by Tonu Kallast
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Bead Seating Like a Pro

Many riders want to carry out general maintenance and smaller repairs on their own bikes. Experience in routine maintenance will help you grow more familiar with your own bike, and be able to spot the smallest wobble or issue at an early stage.

One skill all riders should master is how to maintain tyres properly, including changing their own inner tube or mousse. When changing an inner tube or mousse, it can be a challenge getting the tyre bead to sit properly. Get it wrong, and you could have an unrideable bike. Bead seating can be tricky, but it is essential for proper maintenance of your bike. Use these tips and ideas, practice a bit, and you will soon be able to handle it like a pro.


Why it Matters

Bead seating matters. If you cannot properly master this skill, you can not safely change your own tyre. Not only will this result in expense (and dent your pride), it could prove dangerous. Sure, you can pay someone else to take care of your tyres. But if you ever ride or race in a remote area, and find yourself needing to replace or repair a tyre, you might regret not learning to do it yourself.

When it comes to changing your inner tube or mousse, it isn’t safe to just hope for the best. If you do not get your tyre bead sitting properly, you will end up with a dangerously wobbly ride. The tyre will slip, and the bead can drop to the centre of the rim when cornering. And trust us — that’s not going to end well.


Bead Seating Like a Pro

Try these pointers to get you bead seating like a pro:

– Before you try to change your inner tube or mousse, watch others changing theirs and use the expert advice and tutorials available online.
– Have a buddy help you the first time you change your own inner tube or mousse. If you’re using a new mousse, it will be stiff, so having an extra pair of hands (or feet) can help.
– Use a tyre changer and assemble it on a steady surface. Of course, we recommend the Rabaconda 3-Minute Mousse Changer for this job.
– Make sure that the tyre, mousse or tube and all your equipment are clean before you start. Mud and dirt do not make this job any easier, and they’ll destroy your mousse!
– You will need 5 large tyre levers and a specialist lube. Our PRO Tyre Lever Set comes with five robust, long, curved, and most importantly slim-tipped levers to fit between the tyre and rim.
– Be careful that there is no excess lube on the beading, as this can cause the tyre to slip on the rim. Simply wipe off any excess before getting started on seating the bead in the tyre.
– If you’re using an inner tube, keep a light pressure in it (approximately 0.3psi). This way it holds form and shape and does not get pinched when seating the tyre beading. If you are using a mousse, this is something you don’t need to worry about!
– Starting at the rim lock, use the tyre irons to guide the tyre beading down in small steps. Work methodically, taking small bites with the irons before pushing the rim lock back in and tightening everything up.

As with so many things, using the right equipment is the key to getting this job right. If you want to master bead seating like a pro, take your time at first and make sure that you have the right tools for the job before getting started.

Using the Rabaconda 3-Minute Mousse Changer, even a beginner can change their mousse in only a few minutes with a little bit of practice. The fastest Rabaconda change that we’ve got on record is 44 seconds — though It might take you a few tries before you can get this quick. Are you up for the challenge?


Do you use a bib mousse? Want to do better mousse changes and perform better on race day? Click here to join our mailing list to download the official Rabaconda Guide to Caring for Your Bib Mousse.

by Tonu Kallast


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