Re: Flats-I tried something different today...for me.

Harvey Miller

Hi James!

You asked me some questions so I'll list them one at a time and answer them accordingly.

What do you think of the tubeless system so far? How long have you been using the system?

There are places where riding with tubes will all but certainly guarantee flats, sometimes more than one on each day of riding. That's because that type of riding (off road and in the desert for example) is a tubed tire's nightmare. On Long Island, though, that's not as much the case but, considering the state of our side roads at times, the fact that tubeless allows for significantly lower air pressure with no chance of pinch flats, I'm grateful that tubeless has evolved to the point they have at this time.

But, besides the above, I got my first flat after riding about 8,000 miles (about 2 years) and it slowed me down about a minute. Compare that to the tubed alternatives. Of course that was only my singular experience and we've all heard of the horror stories with tubeless. But, after questioning the people who've had some royally lousy history with their tubeless, I've concluded that it's probably due to not having the knowledge and/or equipment needed to handle it all with repose. I could be wrong but I don't think so.

So, so far, with the 38x700s, I love'm.

Have you had to replace sealant, use a tube on the road and/or any other issues?

I ride with a tube always. Anything can happen and I have the room so, why not? I've never had to use that tube so I keep it well protected from anything in my bicycle mounted bag that can wear it through since, at this rate, that is more likely to happen than it ever getting a flat, assuming I'll ever need it.

I routinely replace the sealant, about every 3-6 months with around 2-3 ounces worth. To do so I mount my bicycle on a stand to reduce the likelihood of the tire losing its seal from the weight of the bicycle. I then open the valves and let out the air pressure, remove the valve stems and inject the proper amount of sealant through the open valve (I use an injection tool made for this purpose and it prevents the mess that can occur using other methods). Then I replace the valve stem and, if the tire lost its seal I use a tool that is pre-pressured to 140 lbs. to quickly reacquire the seal, otherwise I simply pump it up again. I don't use CO2 for this purpose since the resultant cold temperature can damage the sealant.

Simple. Quick.

If so how easy have the issues been to resolve?

My concern, at this point in my experience, is with thinner, "road" tires. I have a second set of wheels and would like to use them on my bicycle because of the tires that are now fitted to them. These tires have tubes but I'm considering using tubeless. I'm not confident yet but I hope to gain confidence once I decide to try it.

One issue concerns replacing tires once they either need to be replaced or if the seal part on the boundary of the tire and rim needs some clean-up time (rare). Even if you throw out the old tire, the wheel is a mess with old sealant that needs to be cleaned off. It's not too bad but it's worse than replacing a tubed tire, by far. If you're reusing the old tire, well, unless there are tricks I don't know about, it's a royal pain and a job that should be done outside unless you have a room that can be sacrificed.

The main issue is how many cyclists I know that found their tubeless tires impossible to repair and/or the mess that was made after a puncture. I haven't experienced that and feel fairly confident that I could handle it if I had to.

I'll consider tubeless for road. As preparation I did invest in a pair of high volume/less likely to clog with sealant MTB valves. It got good ratings on

I've bought 25 presta valve cores for $10 on Amazon. At the rate I'm going with them they'll last past my death (hopefully that's saying a lot, fingers crossed). Yes, the sealant did some minor clogging which I repaired when I did my routine maintenance (the injector pushes out anything in that regard) and the few cores I replaced could have been cleaned but I was too lazy to do that when simply replacing a very available core was my other choice. But, heck, either way it's not much of a big deal. I wouldn't worry about it though.

FYI, I'm the one who said you had a flat.

Ah, so it was your fault! ;)


------ Original Message ------
From: jamesosz@...
Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2022 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: [HBCRiders] Flats-I tried something different today...for me.

Hi Harvey,

What do you think of the tubeless system so far? How long have you been using the system? Have you has to replace sealant, use a tube on the road and/or any other issues? If so how easy have the issues been to resolve?

I'm considering adding a second MTB wheelset, this time tubeless. Based on that experience, perhaps eventually I'll consider tubeless for road. As preparation I did invest in a pair of high volume/less likely to clog with sealant MTB valves. It got good ratings on

FYI, I'm the one who said you had a flat.



On Friday, April 15, 2022, 05:43:00 PM EDT, Harvey Miller <hmiller@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

On Karen's Breezy Park ride to Caumsett today, within minutes of starting, the rider adjacent to me shouted that smoke was coming from my bicycle. Looking down I saw tiny white dots on my black chain stay, proof that Stan's sealant was doing its job on my rear tubeless tire, appearing as smoke rushing out from its mysterious origin until sealed. Calling out "mechanical (!)", I stopped to squeeze the tire. I lost some but it was rideable, probably having about 45 lbs. of pressure in my rear 38x700c Pathfinder. On tires like that you can get away with 45 lbs. Anyway, the leak stopped.

This was the second time in two weeks that this happened to me and, unless the valve was not sealing properly (my theory), I had to have had a puncture. When I got home and examined the tire closely I realized that I'll never be able to brag how puncture proof the Pathfinders are. It wasn't the valve. After pumping the pressure to 70 lbs. the foreboding hiss of air was easily heard. Apparently Stan's Sealant works well but when the tire pressure is high enough and the puncture is big enough, not so well.

I was prepared to take the tire off, clean the resulting sealant mess, and place a large tire patch over the pinpoint hole on the inside but, instead, I tried something else, something that I had been riding with in my tool bag for the last 7,700 miles and never used. It's called Stan's NoTube Dart Tool, one of, now, several methods used to easily patch leaks in tubeless bicycle tires but the one that's the most sophisticated. I also carry the DynaPlug as a backup, a great second choice.

The way the Dart Tool works is this: find the leak, push the tool into the hole, remove the Dart while allowing the small, black leaflike material to plug the leak while sticking out of the tire. Unlike the old method of using "bacon strips", you don't have to cut off the part that sticks out as the Stan's "leaf" wears away without any bumpy road feel to it. But the best part is that the part that remains inside chemically combines with the sealant to form what is, in effect, new, reinforced tire material. It becomes the tire, with no chance of a leak due to high pressure. So, even high pressure road tubeless tires can use it.

I did it and time will tell if everything I've read about the glory of the Dart is true. But, it was easy, fast, clean and, if it works as well as the reviews say it will, fantastic. The hardest part was finding the leak. Using a pin helped me confirm the exact position but I've since discovered an item sold by DynaPlug that stays in the hole temporarily to prevent further air leakage while pin-pointing the leak so to apply the Dart (it's called the Air Stopper from Dynaplug, found at: ) so I'll have to add that to the retinue of small items to carry that few ever think of carrying.

For a link to it go to:

How it's used:

One place it's sold:

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