I have this wheelbarrow with tubeless tire, I had to replace it with the new one, however I don't see how to pump it! The tire is quite stiff, and it was tricky to put it on the rim, but now it looks like the tire isn't well adjusted to the rim. Did I do something wrong? How do people normally pump this type of tires?

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8 Answers 8


Looks like the typical gap one gets when mounting a tubeless tire. You'll need to get the bead to seat against the rim as you pump air (hopefully quickly) into the tire - a hand pump might not do it.

Sometimes you can jiggle the tire to effect a temporary seal around the bead as your compressor dumps air in. Using a clip-on tire chuck will help.

Some folks "squeeze" the tire with a strap around the tread area. I've seen a device called a bead expander, and this guy shows the use of some large tie-wraps to achieve the same thing.

  • 8
    Yeah, go to the gas station and use their compressor. A puff will force the tire walls outward and it'll seal.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 13:44
  • 5
    I had this very problem this summer. I used the squeeze method you mentioned. Used a ratchet strap around the tread of the tire and tightened it down, then filled with the compressor. The blast of air alone from the compressor did not work in my case, I had to squeeze it.
    – Gary Bak
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 15:52
  • 4
    @isherwood, a lot of gas stations around me have the crappy tank less compressors, providing only low volume air.
    – Gary Bak
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 15:56
  • 1
    @GaryBak Correction - crappy tankless compressors that require you insert the correct amount of change or currency at the right time.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 22:46
  • @GaryBak : be careful about tightening down the strap too much. I got whipped a bit when releasing one time. Now I put some hair gel down on the rim, put the strap on to squeeze a little bit, then max out the pressure on my (small tank) compressor so it puts out lots of air quickly.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 2:34

If you're not afraid of a little fire then this could work:


  1. Put on some safety glasses, preferably tinted
  2. Put on some rubber gloves
  3. Put on some ear protection
  4. Have a water hose ready
  5. Spray some highly flammable aerosol into the rim of the tire such as carb & choke cleaner or WD-40 per the video
    • Place aerosol can at least 20 feet away from the tire
    • Remove your rubber gloves just in case they have any aerosol on them; melting rubber on your skin is not a pleasant feeling
  6. Cover your eyebrows with a damp bandana or damp towel or something
  7. Get some fire near the tire
    • Try closing your eyes or turning your face away from the tire right before ignition
    • I would advise against using your aerosol can as a flame-thrower but it does add a certain coolness factor
    • You can just toss a lit match in the general vicinity of the tire (try not to land the match inside the tire or else you'll get rattling noises when using the wheelbarrow)
    • You can light a stick or newspaper on fire and bring it close to the tire
    • You can fire up a propane torch if you feel comfortable
  8. The aerosol remnants should immediately ignite drawing a vast amount of air directly into the tire; this is where that safety equipment comes in handy
    • If you chose the match ignition method or any other "toss a burning object at the tire" method then exercise extra caution because the tire's rapid expansion could send the burning object flying right back at you
    • You may need to squeeze the tire around a bit to introduce more air to the fire to achieve the desired woosh of air. You should do this by beating the tire with a long stick to avoid personal damage in the event of a tire explosion.
    • If this doesn't work then spray with water, let it dry, and go back to step #5
  9. Once the tire seats itself then the fire will suffocate inside the tire
  10. If the outside of the tire or rim is on fire then spray it with some water; you may wish to spray with water even if it is not burning
  11. Inflate the tire to proper pressure
  • 3
    As 'bubba' as this solution seems, it's also the one I see recommended and used the most often. I think this answer could be made even better by including some safety recommendations. Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 15:47
  • 4
    @Adonalsium Step 2a. Don't die. Haha j/k, I'll add some safety tips
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 15:50
  • 2
    I've seen this done on Ice Road Truckers, and never understood exactly what they are doing. Thanks for explaining the process in a comical but educational way!. Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 16:11
  • 2
    I see this recommended a lot, and very little evidence of it being used successfully. Perhaps explore the other options first.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 2:25
  • 1
    @Criggie There's plenty of video, but I'd still use an air compressor.
    – Blrfl
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 13:16

Take it to the local tire store, and ask them to inflate it - they'll use their bead-blaster machine to mount it. Should be little to no cost.

The next time it happens, ask the tire store to put an innertube in the tire. That solves the problem forever. (Only do it the 'next time', because it may never happen again..)

  • 2
    +1 for having a tube put in, or doing it yourself. You'll need to remove the rim-mounted valve and let the tube's valve use the same hole.
    – CCTO
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 19:09
  • 2
    When I worked at a gas station with a tire machine that had an air blaster to help set tires, it wouldn't fit a wheelbarrow tire. When someone brought one in that needed the bead to be set, we'd just use two people, one to hold our 100psi air compressor nozzle on while the other one squeezed the tire to try to get the bead to set. The tire filled quickly at that pressure, so as soon as the bead set, you had to take the air nozzle off. We also had an inflatable strap that went around a car tire tread to help squeeze tires to help the bead set, but again, it wouldn't fit a wheelbarrow tire.
    – Johnny
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 20:14
  • This is probably the safest solution. I once was in the same situation and took the tire to a nearby tire store. It took them 15 seconds to properly inflate the wheelbarrow tire and did not charge me anything. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 12:08
  • 2
    Hardly solves it forever. One reason cars have tubeless tyres is that tubes puncture easily - especially over rough garden ground - whereas tubeless often leak very slowly when punctured. Best solution is to buy an unpuncturable wheel. Those do last forever.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 13:48

I've had decent luck using a couple of plastic bags and even saran wrap. I rolled them up and placed them near the rim so that it fills in the gap enough to get a better seal. The pump then works well enough to expand the tire.

The gap shown in the photo is small enough for this trick to work.

Long term solution is to have it filled with foam.


The people who recommend a strap around the perimeter of the tire are correct, and such straps, often inflatable, are made for that purpose. However, a couple of times in a pinch, I have removed the belt I was wearing and wrapped it around the tire and pulled it in as tightly as I could. This has actually worked for me. You should probably remov the valve stem to let the air in faster and thus with more force.

  • 1
    Don't remove the valve stem. Remove the valve core (innards) from the stem.
    – mike65535
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 3:26
  • I'd never heard of the valve core thing before. That's an excellent idea Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 15:40

I've likewise used my belt. Put the belt around the tread of the tire, squeeze the tread inward to get the bead to push out and set against the rim. Then inflate the tire.

I've had to do it several times over many years, with the same tire. The tire holds air just fine, for months, even under weight. But after going un-used for several seasons it eventually leaks out, enough to loosen the bead and lose the rest.

A strap with a come-along ratchet is easier, but a regular waist belt works in a pinch.

  1. Invert wheelbarrow
  2. Align the tire to the rim (as shown in the first photo, above)
  3. While adding air using an air compressor, give the tire a sharp rap with your fist
  4. Adjust tire to proper pressure

If the tire went flat it has a leak. Just reinflating the tire will not fix the problem. The most likely causes are a tire puncture, or a bead leak from either degraded rubber on the tire or rust on the wheel (not likely in your case with a plastic wheel). The easiest solution is to remove the wheel, the tire and the Schrader valve. Purchase an inner tube of the correct size. Most big box stores carry them. If you have trouble finding the correct size for a wheelbarrow look for a tube designed for a snow blower or lawnmower.

  • 2
    "Just reinflating the tire will not fix the problem" — The asker specified that they replaced the tire.
    – Kevin Reid
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 21:49
  • Was the tire replaced because it went flat?
    – mikes
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 22:01
  • "Was the tire replaced because it went flat" - this seems immaterial - the asker replaced the tire and now has an issue.
    – mike65535
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 13:58
  • I've had more problems with plastic rims not sealing. than with metal ones. However, please read the question carefully.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 17:03

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