smoothmoose
I'm pretty new to gravel coming from MTB.  I haven't had any issues setting up big balloon MTB tires (2.2-2.6") tubeless, but smaller gravel tires just seem to be more difficult as there's less the grab onto.

I'm trying to setup tubeless for my Gravelking slicks 700x38c onto my WTB i23 alloy rims.  It could be the rim/tire combo as I needed to use tire levers just to get the tire on the rim.  Now the tire is sitting in the deeper center channel, and I can't pull either side's bead up into hook/side of the rim to secure it.  Any air I try to blast through just escapes through the gaps in the center channel.

I plan to put the wheel/tires in the sun for awhile later this afternoon to soften it up, but any other tips?  
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HollyBoni
The tyre being tight is not a bad thing, actually a pretty good thing. I wouldn't bother with trying to pull up the beads from the center. Compressor, valve core out, soapy water on the bead. I've had a little trouble setting up one of my 32mm GK SKs. Like in your case, even with a valve core out all the air was coming out and the tyre didn't want to move. I was trying to pull the bead out but just gave up. A bit of soapy water solved the issue. After spraying the soapy water, the beads popped into their place instantly.
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spectastic
I've found it helpful to make sure the tire is adequately covering the valve stem and that there's no major holes there, where air could escape. I've had decent success getting the tires to bead without a compressor so far.
as of 3/24/19, I vow to not argue with idiots on the internet
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shelbym
You may have resolved this by now but.... I've had success mounting the tire initially with a tube. Deflate and then break loose the bead on only one side to remove the tube and install the tubeless valve.  I've been able to mount GKSK 43s with a regular floor pump.
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NoCoGreg
For difficult to mount tires a lot of people use the method of first installing the tire with a tube, and airing up to get the beads to seat.

Then deflate the tube and carefully remove the tube by unseating only one of the two beads.  The above recommendations also help.  The basic challenge is to get enough of  the bead to seat that the air coming in will push the rest of the bead into the rim.

The tube method is also useful in sealing the tape against the rim.  When running tubeless the air pressure is trying to work it's way under and out through any wrinkles which are not sealed.

Good luck,
Greg
 
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smoothmoose
shelbym wrote:
You may have resolved this by now but.... I've had success mounting the tire initially with a tube. Deflate and then break loose the bead on only one side to remove the tube and install the tubeless valve.  I've been able to mount GKSK 43s with a regular floor pump.

Yes - this is what I ended up doing yesterday!  I got the same tip from the bike shop where they didn't have time to help me and their air compressor didn't help either.

Tires are now installed - one was so tight that it didn't seat until I hit ~55psi.
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smoothmoose
Finally got my first ride on the GK slicks 38c ~ 1/3rd paved, 2/3rds gravel.  They are slightly faster than my WTB Crossboss 35c on paved (not that much faster) - but at the same PSI as the Crossboss is noticeably more supple, even with a tube.  The sidewall is definitely stiffer and thick on the GK slicks.

Another thing to note on the same i23 rims, the both Crossboss blows up to 37mm while GK slicks are at 38mm right now.  I'm curious if they will stretch out to 40mm per their 40-622 ERTRO measurement - I guess we'll see.  I'm still confused why they market 38c, but the ERTRO is 40.

Also, not too surprisingly I found the GK slicks limits pretty quickly - cutting a quick turn on semi-loose gravel got my front end skid-dancing and a couple miles later I hit a muddy patch over concrete - making sure I was pointing straight and going slow - but I still went down like flamenco dancer on ice.

Will definitely keep these on for awhile - but it definitely wasn't love at first ride.
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