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Stans NoTubes Sealant
I generally use 4 oz of Stan’s per tire on both 26" and 29" mountain bike wheels.
Stan’s is about $2.79 for a 2 oz bottle.
If you don’t do this, too little sealant may reach the puncture, and thus it will not seal. For pinholes, enough sealant sloshes around to take care of things, so one can just keep riding.
Using two 2-ounce bottles of sealant adds 123g per tire.
Stan’s 2 oz bottle: 77g total weight 61.5g sealant per bottle goes into tire = 123g for 4 oz of sealant into tire
Experience report with pinhole-filled tires
One word of caution— don’t even think of using a TLR tire like the Schwalbe Furious Fred tires in a tubeless setup without two bottles (4 oz total) of Stan’s sealant.
The Furious Fred tires are “tubeless ready” for UST rims, but they are not UST tubeless, and thus need sealant to fill pinholes! In fact, most TLR tires have many pinhole leaks, and thus require sealant no matter what.
The Furious Fred tires have very thin sidewalls full of pinholes, and it took me an hour of pumping and riding around the neighborhood to get the sealant to plug up all the holes, which sealed the pinholes pretty well, with occasional hisses and small geysers of white sealant erupting momentarily. This subsided over the course of an hour.
A subsequent ride showed modest pressure loss in one tire, so I just pumped it up; the Stan’s sealant continued to seek out the holes and over the course of a 90 minute ride the pressure loss was minimal in one tire, and modest in the other. Bang around during initial setup, as the flex tends to stretch the rubber and open up weakly sealed areas, then the sealant goes to work.
Stan’s NoTubes sealant works. Many other brands do not work. Don’t mess around.
Tips for using Stan’s NoTubes with road bike tubular tires
Even on the road, if one carries a valve-removal tool, this valve can be removed and the sealant squeezed in. Tips to repairing the tire on the road—
- Carry a full tube of Stan’s NoTubes; significant “bleed” can be expected when repressurizing to 120 psi.
- Don’t buy cheap tubulars that don’t have removable valves.
- Don’t buy tubulars with valve stems that are so short that they barely protrude from the rim; this can make it hard to get the sealant in or pump up the tire.
- Carry a mini pump or CO2 or both.
- Be gentle in forcing the Stan’s NoTubes sealant into the valve. Too much pressure and the sealant will coagulate (as designed) right in the tip of the bottle, clogging the bottle very securely!
- While it’s worth carrying a canister of pressurized sealant, this stuff tends not to work as well as Stan’s NoTubes, so think of it as air (only), and carry the Stan’s NoTubes sealant also.
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Experience report with substantial punctures
Stan’s is excellent, but cannot work miracles.
Punctures up to 1-2mm will seal, but usually after significant loss of some sealant spewing out, and you might have to add additional sealant— so carry an extra tube or two. When such a puncture occurs, rotate the tire so that the puncture is at bottom, so that the sealant pools around the puncture and has a chance to fix it.
While the seal on a larger puncture might last enough to get you home on smooth pavement, when the tire starts getting impacts on rough ground, the sealant will usually rupture.
If you find yourself in significant puncture situation, let the sealant work, and keep tire pressures to 10-20 psi, ride slowly, and avoid hard bumps. This has worked for me more than once. Do not attempt to use 30-40 psi as this is more likely to blow the hole open again. However, the initial refill with CO2 is fine— this can help the Stan’s do its plug job. If more than 10-20 psi remains, drop tire pressure down to lower the risk of blowing out the sealant plug.
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Example of a plugged puncture
This is what a significant puncture looks like from the inside when the Stan’s NoTubes sealant has done its thing.
The size of the lug is about 15mm in diameter— quite large. This particular puncture was from a ~1cm cut in the tire, with a 1-2mm hole at the end of the cut.
A white geyser blew out of the hole, and most tire pressure was lost. Adding a tube of Stan’s NoTubes sealant and reinflating with a CO2 cartridge, the extra sealant filled the hole, and I rode home. See What to Carry for Mountain Bike Rides.