Installing Continental GP5000-TL Tubeless with Vittoria Air-Liner and why I think this is the best setup for Tubeless Road Cycling.

The Continental GP5000 TL tubeless tire is notoriously difficult to install.  Together with the Vittoria Air-Liner, it can be a challenging job but not impossible.  My instructions will help ease the difficulties and why I think this combination is the safest as well as the best way to go about tubeless setup.  For the tools, all you need is 3 tire levers.  Let's start!

First, make sure your tire rotation direction is correct when inserting the tire.  Insert one side of the GP5000 TL tire's bead onto the rim.  Then carefully, insert the Air-Liner while trying NOT to twist or rotate the Air-Liner onto the rim.

Next: Insert the other side of the tire's bead onto the rim's bed starting from the valve stem.  At the midpoint, you will start to feel the tension and from this point on, use the tire levers. Use 2 tire levers (as shown in orange) to hold the outer positions while using one tire lever in the center (in black) and slowly moving towards the side.

Once the center tire lever (as shown in black) is close to the outer tire lever (orange), rotate the center tire lever 180 degrees.  This will snap the tire's bead into the rim's bead track.

Repeat these steps until you complete the task.

By the end, some might experience difficulty for the last few inches insertion.  You might want to try the following approach, I call this "Rotating Technique." Closing your fingers while pulling the tire towards the center of the rim. It looks as if you are rotating the tire onto the rim.  This action will bring the tire's bead closer to the center of the rim thus making more space for the rest of the tire's insertion.  I'm able to create more room and use my bare hand to push the tire to complete the installation.

This is what the tire (without air) looks like with the Vittoria Air-Liner installed.  Note: I am putting some of my weight on the rim and you can clearly see the Air-Liner is doing its job by preventing the tire from collapsing while protecting the rim.

To remove the tire, no special tool was needed.  Simple use the "Rotating Technique" (as mentioned previously) to create more room and then insert the tire levers to detach the tire's bead from the beak track.

In summary, why I think this is the safest way for tubeless road cycling.  This is a double insurance setup.  One, you have the protection of a sealant.  In any event of small punctures, sealant will do its job and it will seal up any small opening.  Second, if the sealant fails, the Air-Liner will prevent the tire from deflating where the tire can come off the rim.  Lastly, the Air-Liner is compressed and wraps tightly around the rim when pressurized.  It only expands when it loses tire's pressure: i.e. puncture / leakage.  As a result, there is no or minimum effect on ride quality.

To play the devil's advocate, some might argue that what if you are on the road and you got issue you wish to fix on the spot? With this setup, this is even a messier situation to be in.  And that, you are completely correct.  Unless you carry your tire levers (in this case 3 levers), there is no way you can take the tire off and install it back given the fact that how tight the GP5000TL fitment is.  On top of it, where do you store the wet sealant coated Air-Liner?  Wrap it around you while riding back home?  Those are good arguments.  My suggestion is, if you are not comfortable with tubeless setup, it is completely fine to stick with the tube.  However, if the sealant and the Air-Liner couldn't temporarily alleviate your situation, then I am assuming you have a bigger problem on hand.

My personal experience with tubeless setup prior to the Air-Liner was great.  Now with the sealant and the Air-Liner dual setup, it gives me confidence and assurance while I am out riding.

Ride On and Ride Safe!


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