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All About Carbon Rims And Tubeless Tyres...

January 19, 2017

Many Giant bicycles are now specified with carbon fibre wheel rims which until recently were only
found on the most exotic bikes or were an expensive aftermarket upgrade. Whilst the costs have
recently been falling, it is important to remember that carbon fibre rims are still considered to be a
performance product, are more expensive than aluminium rims and have different characteristics.

Giant choose to build products out of carbon fibre due to its high strength, low weight, and the
ability to fine tune the performance of the end product. However, as with all performance products,
special care and maintenance are required to ensure your Giant products perform optimally and
safely for many years to come.

VERY IMPORTANT – Incorrect use of tyre levers can damage your carbon fibre rims – we only
recommend using carbon safe tyre levers supplied with the bike/wheels to install or remove tyres from your carbon fibre rims. Rims broken by incorrect tyre lever usage are NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY. 

We are happy to demonstrate the correct method for removal and fitting of tyres to carbon rims. If you are at all unsure please ask!

Removal/Fitting of tyres All Giant carbon rims are tubeless compatible with the correct tubeless
rim tape, tubeless valve and tubeless tyre. When a tubeless tyre is correctly seated it is a very tight
fit on the rim. To remove a tyre the bead of the tyre needs to be pushed into shallower centre of the
rim, this is easiest to do with your thumbs or the heel of your hand. Once the bead has been pushed
to the centre of the rim there is sufficient slack to facilitate removal of the tyre without tyre levers.
When fitting a tyre, put the first bead of the tyre into the centre of the rim, when installing the
second bead always start opposite the valve. When you get the second bead up to the valve, press
the tire against your waist to hold the bead into the centre of the rim and then work around with
both hands pushing the rest of the bead into the centre of the rim. This will give you the slack you
need to push the final bit of bead up and over the edge of the rim.

We are happy to demonstrate the correct method for removal and fitting of tyres to carbon rims. If you are at all unsure please ask!

Tubeless Tyres Road - From model year 2017 all Advanced Pro level and Advanced SL level Giant
road bikes are supplied with tubeless tyres and are setup tubeless with sealant. If you replace the tyre it MUST be designated road tubeless, regular road clincher tyres run tubeless can “blow out” causing serious injury due to the bead design being different. You can run tubeless tyres with tubes (if you puncture for instance) but you CANNOT run regular clincher tyres without tubes. If you are at all unsure please ask.

Tubeless Tyres MTB/CX – Many Giant bikes are supplied with tubeless ready tyres and rims but are
not setup tubeless from the factory – we are happy to advise whether your particular bicycle is
compatible and the steps/parts required to facilitate a tubeless setup.

Sealant - Modern tubeless tyres are now completely airtight and the sealant is present purely for punctures. Sealant is applied just before you receive your bike and we recommend this is periodically changed, usually every 6 months or so. Use 30ml of sealant per tyre. If you are unsure how to change the sealant, please ask. 

Punctures If you are unfortunate enough to puncture and the sealant is not capable of sealing the
hole you can remove the tubeless valve and install an inner tube – if the hole is too large the tyre
may need reinforcing with a tyre boot or replacing.

Using non tubeless tyres and inner tubes the tubeless valve can simply be removed and regular
tyres and tubes installed if this is your preference. The supplied Giant tubeless tyres can be run with
inner tubes.

Inspect and clean your rims regularly (caliper brakes) – as the main contact point for braking, it’s
pretty important to keep the rims free from oil and grime build up which can reduce stopping
power. Use water and if you can, alcohol infused wipes to prevent any chemical film from
building up on the rim. The rim should be inspected regularly for excessive wear. Excessive wear
from braking can result in rim failure possibly leading to accident and serious injury.

Inspect and clean your brake pads regularly (caliper brakes) – any grit that becomes embedded in
the pad will significantly reduce the wear life of your carbon rims. If the pads become “glazed” this
will reduce braking power and efficiency. The “glazed” pads surface should be lightly sanded with fine sandpaper to restore original surface finish.

Replacement brake pads (caliper brakes) – Only Giant SLR carbon specific brake pads should be
used. Use of any other pad may significantly reduce the wear life of your carbon rims and your rims
will not be covered under warranty. The Giant SLR brake pads are specifically designed to work with the exact resin used on our carbon rims, so top braking performace and heat management can only be achieved with this set up. 

Brake pad placement (caliper brakes) – the bottom edge of your Giant SLR carbon specific brake
pads should be 2mm above the graphic decal of the rim as this is the strongest part of the braking
surface.

Heat build-up (caliper brakes) - Prolonged braking/”dragging” the brakes can cause a dangerous
build-up of heat in your carbon rims. This can lead to failure of the braking surface or a “blow out”.
To avoid this use of proper braking technique is advised. Distribute braking force as evenly as
possible between your front and rear brakes. Avoid prolonged braking, such as “dragging” your
brakes especially for long periods of time – for example on an Alpine descent. Use shorter, more
powerful periods of braking. This allows carbon rims to dissipate heat build-up between braking
periods. Use your body to help you decelerate by sitting more upright. The extra drag on your body
makes a notable difference. If you cannot achieve proper braking technique take regular breaks to
allow the rims to cool down.