Thursday, June 23, 2011
Some More Great Road Tubeless Tips
I have been using Stan's valves since they came out for road. They have had the rectangular rubber plug at the end. Recently, I actually pulled the valve through the hole into the cavity between the walls of the rim. The only way to extract it was to actually drill out the rubber!
Now, I have noticed that Stans is now shipping valves with round rubber plugs. This seems like a much better design, as I had always had issues with trying to get the bead around the rectangular plug. Invariably, tightening the nut would cause the rectangle to rotate, making it even more difficult to seat the bead. Frankly, the only problem I have with these valves is their cost. At $8 each, I have yet to see the justification for a valve costing twice as much as an entire tube.
The other day, I had a puncture of my Hutchinson Fusion 3 Tubeless tire. Stan's sealant squirted out until about half my pressure was gone. Re-inflating it was no help as it would continue to leak down to about 50 psi. This would have been fine for an off-road application, but it was marginal for road riding. I was able to complete my ride, albeit cautiously.
Later, I was able to re-inflated it to full psi, only to have the leak re-appear one minute into my next ride. At that point, I did the unthinkable and utilized my spare tube. At the very least, it gave me the opportunity to note the poor ride quality of a tubed tire, something I had not experienced in some time.
The moral of the story is that you need to apply a tire patch to any puncture large enough to visibly leak sealant. Sealant is, at best, a temporary solution.
For the birthday of a good friend, I decided to upgrade him to road tubeless. Frankly, I was tired of sitting on the side of the road fixing his flats when we rode. Unfortunately, his rims were pinned, not welded. As in the past, I have had trouble sealing these rims. Surprisingly, one of the two sealants I have tried failed to seal the rim. I tried the other and it worked. The key was continuous air pressure from a compressor while shaking the rim with the joint side down. I did this while immersing the joint in water so I could visually detect the minute leak. I took about two minutes to seal.
Which sealant worked and which did not? Stay tuned to this blog to find out.
Posted by Jason at 12:57 PM