(Gravel) Tire Inserts and tubeless sealant

I wanted to give tire inserts (Tubolite) a try in my gravel tires (Kenda Booster). When mounting, I installed the tire and the inserts first. Then, I added sealant through the valve like I always do. The tire lost all of its pressure within a few hours. Even shaking and turning the wheel for days did not really improve this.

After that I removed the insert and just installed the tire with sealant. To my surpsire, it hold air immediately.

My question: is the tire insert so tight that it does not let through the sealant??? I could not imagine this. I even thought about drilling a few holes into the insert, so that the sealant can travel from the inner rim to the tire sidewall. Anybody experienced the same?

Did the tires seat without the sealant? If not there’s no sense adding sealant and hoping they will hold air

For my vittoria airliners I also needed special valve to get the liners to work

Yes, they seated properly.

What purpose does the special valve have?

My vittoria airliners block standard tubeless valves, so getting air or sealant in or out is very difficult to impossible with them.

1 Like

Yeah I have tried both the traditional single hole tubeless valve and the multi-hole valves that come with the Airliners. You can get them to inflate with a traditional single hole valve but they won’t deflate properly after seating them or any time after that.

I don’t think Vittoria sell the multi-hole valve independently of the Airliners, but it looks like the new Muc-Off valves and Nukeproof ones are designed to let the air flow round the valve rather than having a single hole the insert will rest against. Have a close look before you buy!

Have to say for gravel wheel inserts I’m not totally sure I can tell much of a difference. The other issue with inserts is that if you get a sidewall tearout unless you are very close to where you can finish your ride you’re still likely using a tyre boot and putting in a tube, which then means you’ll need to put the insert over your head like a climbing rope. I can clearly see the benefit in other settings and intend to use them if I do any CX races next season.

You’ve got a tape issue. Retape.

The other thing that can happen is that sealant is all on one side of the tape and not the other. Poke some holes in the foam.

When all is right, taking air OUT of an insert tire is impossible.

Taking into account all the variables between both setups, do you think the valve core was not screwed in 100% on your first setup?

If I was you, I would go through the hassle of re-I setting the liner, and sealant etc and ensure the valve core is tightened 100%.

Sealant is only useful for punctures really. And you say the tyre seated correctly. Sealant is not used to seat the tyre, nor really assist in that aspect. Although it could fill a gap of leaking air. You could insert the liner sans sealant and see if it holds pressure.

My bet is you had valve core mishap when you tried the liner set up the first time.

His makes the most sense need to me too

Sealant is only useful for punctures really. And you say the tyre seated correctly. Sealant is not used to seat the tyre, nor really assist in that aspect.

I have to disagree. All my bikes are running tubeless and some tires hold air without sealant, some need sealant to work. Tried it several times on the same rim.

I do not think so. The valve core is the same as in the previous setup and very tight.

Not possible as the rim has no spoke holes :slight_smile:

Update on the issue: I drilled 4 holes into the liner, so that the sealant can travel through the liner. Now the tire holds air! I do not know if that will shorten the lifetime of the liner, but for now it´s working.

Is the bed cracked? de-laminated?

Then in the insert is not letting the bead seat rotation-ally. Try over-filling the tire. Like 55psi on a 54c. This should compress the closed cell foam and convince the bead to right itself.

1 Like