Some time ago I was riding home and almost missed my turn. I turned the handlebar rather harshly, almost went over the bar, and the front tire sidewall of my on GP5000 TL tire was somewhat jammed. The next day I noticed a flat tire. The sidewall started leaking. I added Stan’s sealant, the side bubbled for a while, then stopped. But it did not help. After some riding the tire started loosing air fast. I thought my sealant was old. I removed the tire, cleaned it with a solvent, cleaned the bead and everything. Then installed the tire anew with a fresh Continental sealant. Same situation - the sidewall bubbled for a while, then stopped. But when I went for a ride, it ran flat in less than an hour and I had to install an inner tube to get home.
I ran over a sharp stone and the tire went flat. Sealant could not help. I removed the sealant, cleaned the inside with a solvent, pathed the hole from inside and installed anew. The patch came off rather quickly. For once I decided to use Lezyne tire plug. The plug made the cut bigger and did not help fixing it. Now the tire had to be replaced. Even an inner tube would be dangerous in this situation.
Now I am thinking that it does not worth my time trying to fix a tubeless tire. Prove that I am wrong.
Every time I removed the tire the sealant looked like a transparent liquid with white flakes. Not sure if this is to be expected. The original sealant was quite old, but even after I cleaned the tire and installed it with a fresh sealant, it looked the same after I removed the tire again. Is this how it should look like?
I’ve had very good experiences with road tubeless, on the whole.
The first set of tubeless I used were Bontrager R3 Hard Case Lite. The rear had one plug which held fine, though the front was fatally wounded by a sidewall cut after ~3000 km.
My next set (GP5000 TL, old model) ran until worn out without a single puncture.
My Pirelli P Zero had one puncture, which sealed with a plug, and ran until I took the tyres off for my current GP5000 S TR.
I’ve never had sealant bubble through the walls, and generally they have all seated fine (though the old GP5000s were swines to get on). I’ve always used Orange Seal (original, not endurance) and I have always used in ml twice the stated size of the tyre (i.e. a 28mm tyre gets approx 55ml sealant). I think that’s been important.
In over 20,000km on road tubeless, on generally crappy UK roads, through all seasons, I can recall 3 punctures (that I needed to stop for), 2 of which were routinely repaired at the roadside. I’d call that progress.
General rule - don’t bother fixing sidewall tears.
Patching larger holes on the tread works. I simply remove the tire, and use a paper towel to wipe it dry. About 2 or 3 minutes total. Then use sandpaper or a metal scrubber (from the patch kit) to rough up the area to be patched.
Then use the glue and patches in this kit:
to finish the job. Its pretty quick. The longest part of the job is cleaning the inner rim, and removing any sealant from the bead before putting the tire back on. Maybe 30 minutes total.
I’m using Orange Seal regular (regular, not endurance) and top off every 30 days. Remove valve core and use a dipstick to check on sealant level, and only top off if needed. Can’t comment on your liquid and white flakes because I don’t use Stans.
My first road tubless set was also Bontrager R3’s. They came on the bike and I rode them bald which took about a season. I got 1 puncture that I know abut - I ran over a giant staple. I stopped and pulled it out, then spun the tire a bit. medium sized drop of Stan’s came out, and that was it. no loss of pressure, and I never had another problem. I’m pretty sure I hit other stuff that was sealed and I never knew. The tread had all the usual hallmarks of running over stuff, but I never flatted.
My next set of tubeless was Schwalbe Pro1 TLE. I hit something on a double century that I didn’t even notice until I stopped for water, and noticed the tire was a bit soft and my seat tube was covered in Stans. That one wouldn’t quite seal. After a couple of top-off’s with the pump over the next hour, I plugged it with a DynaPlug. That lasted the rest of that tire’s life with zero issues.
I’m on my second set of Schwalbes, and am trying the Silca sealant. A couple thousand miles at the end of last season were uneventful, so no conclusions yet on how well the Silca is working. Though, as before, I suspect I’ve hit things that were sealed quickly enough not to notice.
When I’ve changed old Stan’s in the past, It sometimes looked watery with white/beige globules in it. Kind of like curdled cream in coffee (you know, right before it goes bad for real), but thicker. But that was always in MTB tires that had a fair amount in them, that was a full season old (or more). I never had problems with those tires sealing.
Touchwood since I have ditched FinishLine sealant. I can only recall two events for me and one non event.
Once was in the middle of my chemotherapy and as my wrist was constantly bruised from the catheter I was running stupidly low pressure (circa 25-30psi) in my road tyres. That was fine until my mates route took us down a gravel track. Sidewall p’ture. My hands were wrecked but my other mate plugged it for me with a tyre worm. That was good for circa 30miles at speed but it eventually started to fail on me. On hindsight I should have went straight home instead of cycling further away from home and having to walk to a train station and get two trains.
The other was a mahoosive pothole that ripped my rear tyre apart, I thought for a moment about the spare tube but I was close enough to home to call for a lift and the tyre was still seated. I thought I might get away with adding more sealant at home but the tyre was wrecked but it had done a fair amount of miles anyway, so I wasn’t too gutted about having to order a new tyre.
The one other time I used a repair was a non event for me but for a mates tubeless disc. I put a worm in but he insisted on pumping it up to high pressure (around 100psi) and it kept blowing out. I eventually convinced him not to try pump the tyre as hard and the repair was good for a 21min 10mile after that.
All of my tubeless tires have multiple patches in them, including a few sidewall tears (pinches, not cuts). The problem is that I keep getting new punctures!
I never had any issues with tubeless tires until I went hookless. 5000 TLs were basically bombproof. Other TR (not TL) tires on hookless rims have basically been a nightmare, but only with my rears.
It’s probably because of two things:
TR tires are thinner and less puncture resistant (they can’t run without sealant due to porosity)
Hookless rims don’t let you run enough pressure to keep the tire from bottoming out if you are very heavy and limited by tire clearance.
I have got the repair process down the point where it “only” takes about 15-20 minutes.
On another note, adding sealant will usually block any small punctures, but the tire will lose a lot of pressure over the course of a day. I mostly use patches to prevent this.
I’ve only had sealed punctures reopening on rollers. Last one I had on my road bike (on the Marmotte), GPS computer shows me having stopped pedalling for only 40 seconds to plug one (I ride with dynaplug very quickly accessible, on the top tube bag).
Not. To tempt fate, but I’ve had a similarly positive experience with tubeless. Probably about 2 or 3 punctures in 7500kms, one of which was over a pothole… Ironically while signalling to the rest of the group there were potholes. That was a double sided rip which required a cab of shame home.
The other resulted in spray, but was fixed with a dart and a pump up.
Yes, GP5000s lose air and that’s a pain, but I’ve had barely any punctures over the last 3 years.
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