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Tubeless Road Tire Sealant Recommendations
Last Post 06/27/2013 08:35 PM by Andy Eunson. 16 Replies.
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Funk

Posts:22

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06/25/2013 10:13 PM
A little background: I'm running Fulcrum Racing Zero 2-Way Fit wheels, Hutchinson Fusion 3 tubeless tires and Continental sealant. This is my first shot at tubeless and I picked the Continental sealant because it was supposed to be safe for the rims. Tonight I was riding, ran over something and cut the tire. Sealant came spewing out all over. I stopped, rolled the tire around and it appeared to seal. I started riding again and the rest of the sealant came out a few hundred yards later. I had to call for a ride home. What I'm wondering is, is there a better (or thicker?) sealant that would have plugged this hole? It wasn't that large of a cut honestly. I had 1500 miles on the tires with no issues before this incident. Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Oldfart

Posts:461

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06/26/2013 12:07 AM
I'm running Slime right now. It's thick. The tires seem to hold air well but I haven't punctured yet (as far as I know) nor have I slashed a tire yet. I know Stan's can't seal giant one cm gashes in off road tires. Carry a tube and pump for the next puncture.
jrt1045

Posts:361

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06/26/2013 08:59 AM
supposedly the Bontrager stuff uses glitter to seal bigger holes. slime is really heavy from what I've seen and makes the wheel seem to warble around in the stand. does it do it on the road, too?

at certain point, when you get a big cut you are doomed no matter what and will be forced to use a tube. just one of those things. Not been motivated to try road tubeless but atb tubeless is the way to go for a myriad of reasons so I don't mind still carrying the tube
Funk

Posts:22

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06/26/2013 09:27 AM
This wasn't a large cut. I didn't measure it, but it wasn't huge. The thing is, it is beyond difficult to get the tires on/off. I muscle them on with tire levers, but I can't imagine doing this on the side of the road with a tube involved -- never mind the mess from the sealant. I changed the tire last night in the basement (went back to standard tire & tube as I don't have another tubeless tire handy) and it was a pain. Has anybody had a problem out on the road -- and if so, what have you done? I guess I'm looking for the right backup plan in case this happens again. Slime sounds like it would have worked in this instance, but what about the wobble JRT describes? The Continental sealant is similar to milk in it's viscosity, but obviously it's not the solution. Thanks.
jrt1045

Posts:361

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06/26/2013 10:16 AM
steel core park tire levers do the trick, make sure you break the bead first. No worse than the worst tire/rim combo with regular clinchers. PIA but doable with the right set-up
Oldfart

Posts:461

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06/26/2013 10:28 AM
With all respect guys you're doing it wrong. No levers are needed to mount them. Soapy water and a rag or gloves for grip. To remove you must push one bead off into the drop channel all the way around. No more challenging than a tight regular clincher. I have even removed a Hutchinson road tubeless from a Dura Ace rim by hand. Not easy and was old and little less tight.
jmdirt

Posts:683

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06/26/2013 11:24 AM
oldfart, I read that you should not use dish soap because the molecules can mess with the sealant (although, Stan is the guy who recommends soapy water). I've never had an issue so I haven't tried this yet but a guy I ride with runs a stick of Body Glide around the tire bead so that it slips up/out of the channel and pops into place easily.
79pmooney

Posts:1095

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06/26/2013 01:16 PM
Thanks, Andy. Sounds like a spare tube, patches, some Park tire irons and small rag ought to keep me self sufficient out in the boonies. That makes tubeless sound a lot more feasible. (Actually, sorta too bad. I was kinda hoping to hear that only sew-ups would really do what I want! I really want that unarguable excuse that I have to go that route.)

I know some will ask "patches?". Simple. With patches I can assist others.

Ben
jmdirt

Posts:683

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06/26/2013 02:22 PM
Related:: I put my race tires on last Thursday with 2 oz of Stan's per tire. When I took the race tires off there was only ~1 oz of Stan's to suck out. That wasn't enough time to evap much so I assume that the tire absorbed 1 oz. FYR: Tires: Schwalbe Rocket Ron EVO Pace Star 2.10 that have been raced (Stan'sed) several times already this year. Yep, they ate about 1 oz each time.
Funk

Posts:22

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06/26/2013 02:33 PM
FYI, I purposely haven't been carting an extra tube around because there is no way in hell I'd ever get the tire on and off. Maybe it's the rims/tires combination I have, but they are extremely difficult. I haven't tried the soapy water trick Andy, but that obviously wouldn't help me out on the road. I love the tubeless ride, but hate the stranded situation in case of a catastrophic failure. I'm really wondering if there isn't better sealant out there that wont corrode my rims. Again, I'm running Fulcrum Racing Zeros, which are basically re-stickered Campy Shamals. Also, when I took the tire off last night, there was still a ton of sealant and sealant residue in there. Were you guys thinking that in case of a failure you'd simply put a tube inside with the sealant? Would that work?
Oldfart

Posts:461

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06/26/2013 03:42 PM
Funk. The soapy water is for install only and you can do it dry too. My wife has Fulcrum 2way rims and they are just as hard/easy as Shimano. You do not need tools to install road tubeless. Stan's sealant is what I usually use in off road tires. I have seen it fail a couple times but the holes were very large. Maybe a cm or so. No sealant will work for that. In the desert of Moab I have used Stan's sealant in tubeless ready tires and when i took them off eventually I found numerous little rubber lumps stuck fast to the casing inside. I assume these are healed thorn punctures. Usually with road tubeless I use no sealant until I puncture. I always carry a tube on the road in case I flat. If I have sealant that won't seal I wash it out with water, remove the valve install the tube and pump up and go. I is a bit messy but less messy that tubular glue. Actually I pinch flatted a rim a couple winters ago and had to do that. Must have nailed a sharp narrow rock dead center because the rim bed was cracked right through the yellow tape. Rim is still true and round with new tape on my wifes bike. Don't tell her.

As for corrosion, I have used Stan's for years off road and on road. I think the issue of corrosion is with non anodized rims where I have experienced some corrosion (hence the Slime in my current Dura Ace wheels) {the shop said Slime is approved}. Never had any corrosion of the numerous Stan's, Mavic, Fulcrum and older scandium Dura Ace wheels. All those are anodized. I would contact Fulcrum/Campagnolo and ask if it is OK to use Stan's. I think it is the best. Tried Bontrager Super Juice a few years back and it worked well, no rubber ball inside but within a few months it was absolutely gone in my tire. Tire wasn't holding air so I thought I needed to top up the fluid. Took off the tire to do so and there wasn't even a residue that I could see any more.

I wish you guys were neighbours. I'd certainly help demonstrate my technique learned over the years. My technique to mount is thus. Bare rim. Hold the axle spin the wheel and spray with soapy water solution in a recycled Tilex shower spray bottle. I seem to have many. Install first bead by hand. That is usually easy. Put the wheel down with the valve up and non mounted bead opposite. Reach down and start pushing the bead in working around both directions simultaneously pulling the bead on with fingers until it gets tight enough to stay in place and not have the bead climb out of the rim by itself. Brace the wheel against tour knees and pull hard with your thumbs against the opposite side of the rim while pulling the bead on with your fingers. Do it incrementally from one side of the unmounted section of bead to the other in small bits. . Just try small bits at a time and don't try and get the entire last section on at once or in big sections. Make sure to push the mounted section of the bead your trying to get on deep into the center channel of the rim too. That is key. If it gets slick or you're loosing grip, grab a rag or use gloves. On the road I always have gloves available. You should be able to get that bead on by hand. I am certainly no Awnolt and I can do it. Those Carbon beads are tighter than a nun's foofaw but it's doable. Trust me.
Funk

Posts:22

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06/26/2013 07:45 PM
Appreciate the feedback, Andy. I guess I need to practice my technique. I've installed hundreds of tires, but these seemed especially difficult. Also worth noting, the shop I went to today (unrelated issue) had the Schwalbe tubeless you raved about. Those might be my next tires. Thanks again --
longslowdistance

Posts:637

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06/26/2013 08:25 PM
Paging those with experience: Do the beads stretch a bit over time?
Dale

Posts:469

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06/26/2013 10:22 PM
I've had good luck using rubbing alcohol to make the tires slick enough to mount up easily. It evaporates off when the project it done without any residue.

lsd, I think they do stretch some... they either get looser or I get better putting them on the second time.
Oldfart

Posts:461

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06/27/2013 12:14 AM
They say the bead won't stretch because its carbon fibre. But I think they do become easier to mount once they have been on and off once or twice. Maybe the rubber stretches or becomes more pliable. Maybe the new tire with the folds are what make new tires especially hard to mount. They are the hardest tires I have ever mounted. That's true. But it can be done. I think once you've done it, you know it's possible.
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