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Stans NoTubes Sealant for Repair of Tubular Tires
Stan’s NoTubes tire sealant is about $2.79 for a 2 oz bottle.
If you don’t rotate the tire, 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.
You might have to inflate/slosh/install sealant/repeat for larger cuts, but the sealant should start to coagulate after a few tries. Start with moderate pressures first, as this can help start the coagulation process; using 120 psi right away often just geysers the sealant out of the hole.
I do not recommend pre-installing Stan’s NoTubes sealant on road bike tires in general because it adds significant weight.
However, if conditions warrant, it might be just the ticket to reducing the possibility of a flat during an event in which one expects glass or other hazards.
Stan’s 2 oz bottle: 77g total weight, 61.5g sealant (30 grams for 1/2 bottle)
With road bike tubular tires, 1/2 bottle of sealant is enought to plug a leak caused by a pinhole puncture. But with larger cuts, a whole bottle might be needed as “bleed” can lose a lot of sealant before a plug forms.
Experience with Stan’s and road bike tubular tires
In early 2012, I had very satisfying success using Stan’s NoTubes tire sealant to fix punctures in my road-bike tubular tires, which cost over $100 each, plus about $60 to have a new one glued on. So getting a flat can be a very expensive proposition. It’s not so bad when the tire is well-worn, but with a new tire, it doesn’t feel so good. And way out there away from home, Stans NoTubes is a very helpful way to raise the odds or riding home.
- With one flat, the tire was completely deflated overnight, though I could find no visible cut or puncture. A half a tube of Stan’s NoTubes, and the leak has not reappeared.
- With other slow leaks (10-20 psi per hour), the Stans NoTubes sealed up the leaks so the tire held air better than new and allowed full service life.
- With another tires, there was a 2mm cut in the center of the tire (relatively large cut). This one took a little more care, but with several inflations and a full tube of Stan’s NoTubes (since a half tube or more blew out of the cut when inflating), the Stan’s booger formed, and the tire held air very well for a long ride, and through the next day... jury is out on whether it will continue to hold.
In short, I’m quite happy with Stan’s NoTubes for my road tires, since I saved two tires in the two weeks! I now consider it an essential part of my road bike kit for repairing a flat. It is FAR SUPERIOR to the other latex products on the market— it works well enough to not only get me home, but to save for months more riding.
Tips for using Stan’s NoTubes with road bike tubular tires
Even on the road, if one carries a valve-removal tool, the valve can be removed and the sealant squeezed in.
- Carry a full tube of Stan’s NoTubes; with larger cuts, significant “bleed” can be expected when repressurizing to 120 psi or so.
- Don’t buy tubulars lacking 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 to pump up the tire. Certain valve extenders (Bontrager or Vittoria) work well for this.
- Carry a mini pump or CO2 or both.
- Be GENTLE in squeezing 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! Ditto for a valve extender.
- While it’s worth carrying a canister of pressurized sealant for its air, that stuff is much inferior to Stan’s NoTubes, so think of it as air (only), and carry the Stan’s NoTubes sealant also. Insert the Stan’s NoTubes, then use the pressurized stuff to inflate. CO2 is better, but heavier. Always carry a pump in case you run out of other inflation options.
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