Besides everything, which I already know. Thanks.
I recently bought a set of 2017 Reynolds Strike TLRs from the Classifieds. Great looking wheels, etc. Here's the deal: I can't, for the fucking life of me, get tires set up correctly on them. I'm trying to run them as clinchers.
First day I get them, try to throw the Conti 4000sIIs that were part of the deal on. Barely get the rear on, fronts won't go. Rear has a huge bulge in it. Same deal after soapy water, overpressure, etc. Figure out that I had messed up the rim strip at one point and think it's part of the issue. I replace with Silca tubeless rim tape. I also go with recommendations from others that Vittoria Corsa's are an easier fit.
Well, here I am, blistered thumbs again, and about to frisbee the wheels. I get the thing about 75% on, go to use a tire lever to get the remainder on, and it just keeps popping the bead out further down the rim, leaving 25% off.
Yes, I'm trying to use the center channel. Yes, I've tried soapy water, stretching the tires on other rims, etc. No, I'm not selling them. Yet.
Looking for collective wisdom here, folks. I've about exhausted my brain on it. I want to race these in 2 weeks at CT 70.3--otherwise, I'm stuck with my stock wheels.
Just based on the fact that they're tubeless-ready wheels, I'm about 90% confident that it's an issue with the center channel (i.e. what some others have said - not getting both beads down in the center channel around the entire circumference of the wheel).
Other things that can complicate this are:
-Rim tape thickness and slickness (which can make it harder to get into the channel)
-Tire age (newer = tighter)
-Tire and wheel combo that happen to fit particularly tight (to me, the Conti 4000 S runs pretty average in terms of tightness).
I've seen this problem a LOT with new wheels. In fact, I stopped to help an older guy on a bike ride yesterday, with this exact issue. It was a fancy-pants loaded Madone with tubeless-ready Bontrager carbon clincher wheels (that have an internal TLR shape with raised bead shelf and dropped center channel). He didn't push the beads down into the channel, and was 100% stuck.
That actually reminds me, I helped our own Herbert with this issue a few years back, and he made a quick article for the home page (including a couple videos): https://www.slowtwitch.com/..._all_wrong_5258.html
The other X factor here is that I don't have any experience with those exact wheels. I have run in to some tubeless-ready wheels in the past that fit insanely tight with any tire. Like, so tight you wouldn't believe. One of these wheel sets ended up being delayed with their release to the public to fix the issue, and the other company went out of business. Point I'm making is that it is in the realm of possible that the rims fit really wonky. I borrowed some non-tubeless Reynolds wheels years back (58 / 72 combo), and the tires fit realllllllllllly loose. To the point where I was expecting the tires to blow off during inflation (they didn't).
Greg Kopecky - Slowtwitch Tech Editor
Founder of Minimal Multisport Athlete website, blog, podcast, and Youtube channel: https://www.minimalmultisport.com/