Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Two Great Questions About Repairing Tubleless Road Tires

Here are a couple questions in regards to my previous post on fixing tubeless road bike tires.

Question #1:
Thanks for this blog. I'm new to road tubeless but liking it so far. I was wondering if you have tried one of the plug type repair kits like the ones from Panaracer and Innovations. They are meant for MTB tires, but I would think they could do for road as well.
Aren't we all new to road tubeless!   I have not had any experience with these plug type products, at least on a bicycle.    I actually carry the automotive version in my car, which is virtually identical.   They are a great solution when you pick up a nail or a staple.   In those cases, I can remove the nail and plug the tire, but the solution is considered temporary until I get the tire patched at a tire dealer.

As for these plug type repair kits, I don't imagine that I will ever use one for my road tubeless bicycle tires.   I just can't see any advantage over the patch type repair kits.   Certainly the kit from Genuine Innovations (pictured above) is clearly not meant for a roadside repair.  If I am going to remove my tire to fix it at home, I am going to patch it, a solution that has worked for me in the past.

Finally, I find that small punctures are taken care of by sealant, and it is only a larger gash that necessitates a patch.   Such a linear gash does not lend itself to a plug type repair, especially on a bald road tire.

Question #2:
Do you always run sealant? Does it affect the ride quality? Do you think it makes roadside repairs more difficult?

Have you tried any kind besides Stan's?
I do always run sealant.   At first, I only ran about an ounce in order to help inflate the tire.  Now, I am convinced that an extra ounce will go a long way towards sealing any punctures. Consider that a very strong testimonial from this committed weight weenie.  Also, be sure to add about an ounce more every 3 months or so.

I have never noticed any affect on ride quality, nor heard of anyone complain about it, so that is definitely not a factor.   As for roadside repairs, using sufficient sealant will eliminate the need for a roadside repair 99% of the time.   I have worn through or am using currently riding on about a dozen tires, and only once was the sealant not able to completely plug a puncture.     In the one case where the sealant didn't completely fix the problem, the tire still held pressure, just not fully.  

Yes, the sealant contaminated the glue on the patch the first time I attempted a roadside repair.   Now that I know better, if I am ever forced to attempt a roadside repair, I will try extra hard to clean the affected area.   More likely, I will insert a tube and temporary cover (like a dollar bill or a Powerbar wrapper) to the hole between the tire and the tube, and work on the repair at home.

Finally, I have yet to try another brand besides Stan's.   I have read reviews on other products, but so far, it doesn't seem like they do any better than Stan's.   Frankly, I wish they were less expensive, especially their shipping costs, but otherwise I am satisfied with the product.  

Thanks for the questions and feel free to keep them coming.

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