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Road Tubeless Maintenance Q

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Road Tubeless Maintenance Q

Old 05-05-22, 10:56 AM
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DirePenguin
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Road Tubeless Maintenance Q

This January I was able to replace my Trek Domane ALR 5, which was destroyed in November when I was hit by a car, with a Domane SL5. It came already setup tubeless.

Iíve read some info online about tubeless maintenance and several articles recommended replacing the sealant every six months. To do this, is it necessary to remove the tire, clean it all out, then remount the tire and add the right amount of new sealant?

Any other maintenance tips you more experienced tubeless riders have come across?
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Old 05-05-22, 11:36 AM
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Personally I would just remove the valve core and top up with some fresh sealant (of the same type), leaving the old sealant in there. The only time I would consider cleaning out the old sealant is if I was doing very low mileage and the tyre was likely to be on there for multiple years. Or if I didn't know what type of sealant was in the tyre.
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Old 05-05-22, 01:00 PM
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Dried up sealant is mostly harmless, unless you are a true weight weenie. I only bother to clean it out if I'm not using a wheel for multiple months. How often you need to top off depends on the sealant and storage conditions. Some sealants have shorter lifespan (Orange Seal regular purports to being good for only 3 months), but I've found that I lose far less than what I'd expect because I store my bikes in a usually cool garage.
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Old 05-05-22, 02:43 PM
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I add a second valve to all my tubeless wheels, and then use one of those Navšge gizmos to clean out the old sealant.
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Old 05-05-22, 03:04 PM
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I prefer adding/removing sealant via a syringe - so much easier and cleaner. They can be found on Amazon for 10 or 12 bucks. It should be noted, though, that some valve stems have internal obstructions and can't pass the tube all of the way through, so you might need to replace them with compatible stems (I think that most of the aluminum ones have straight internal bores - I usually use some from Muc-Off).

Also, keep in mind that your service interval isn't only a matter of how long a manufacturer states their product will last - it's also a matter of how fast you deplete it by getting punctures. If you're a much higher mileage rider during one part of the year, or if there's a "flat season" in your area, due to road debris or goat heads or whatever, you may want to shorten the interval at which you check.
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Old 05-05-22, 03:16 PM
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My wife and I been riding road tubeless for 6 years now - what I do is about every 3 month I check sealant level by removing the core valve and sticking a bamboo skewer (or any thin stick) to measure a level, just like what you do with a dip stick for oil level in your car, and top up if needed.
I only clean up old sealant if the bike was sitting for a very long time without riding (a couple of month) and a tire un-sitted.
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Old 05-05-22, 03:18 PM
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Forgot to mention - I use stans syringe https://www.jensonusa.com/Stans-Notu...ctor-Syringe-2 to top up
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Old 05-07-22, 02:11 PM
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I have a reminder in my calendar for the first Saturday each month. During this I at least look over everything, recharge Di2, recharge the Favero Assioma pedals, lube chains, and top off tire sealants. Me personally I'll only adjust brakes if they need it, clean drivetrains, and perform other basic maintenance as needed. KOM makes a perfectly fine and inexpensive syringe.
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Old 05-07-22, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
KOM makes a perfectly fine and inexpensive syringe.
That's the one that I use, too, though I need a new one - they get gunked up over time, 'specially the "needle."
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Old 05-07-22, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
That's the one that I use, too, though I need a new one - they get gunked up over time, 'specially the "needle."
I had to replace mine when the dog chewed up the needle!
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Old 05-11-22, 04:37 AM
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In my experience the tire wears out before the drried sealant becomes and issue. I waited too long before adding more and it was dry at about the 7-8 month mark.

The tires will be done soon at about the 1 year mark so the dried sealant will end up in the garbage soon.
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Old 05-15-22, 12:47 AM
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I bought an inexpensive ($12?) syringe with the slender needle type of extension to put the sealant directly into the tire. I don't see how it could get gunked up if you simply rinse it out after use. It came with two valve cores and a valve core tool. 1Pcs MTB BIKE TUBELESS Tyre Repair Sealant Filling Injector Large Syringe US | eBay

I've only done two pair of tubeless tires so far. First was done with pouring the sealant into the tire before seating, the second with the above syringe after dry seating. In my two little cases, the pour in method was a little less messy, although the syringe method, considering that the sealant is water soluble and easy to clean up drips, is the way I'll go from now on. I especially like the idea of being able to remove the sealant when i put the bike into dry dock for a couple of months for whatever reason, and easily replace it without having to remove and remount the tire to get it cleaned out. I have a rim set that is a real mother to get off and on.

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Old 05-15-22, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I bought an inexpensive ($12?) syringe with the slender needle type of extension to put the sealant directly into the tire. I don't see how it could get gunked up if you simply rinse it out after use.
Are you assuming that this thought hadn't occurred to others? Get more than two tires under your belt with it - even with very thorough rinsing, film will start to develop, you'll eventually suck in a mini sealant booger, etc, etc. The thin tube and "needle" tend to be the most problematic. If you're a high-mileage rider and you take care of it, you might be able to stretch out the lifespan to a couple of years.
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Old 05-16-22, 08:19 AM
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Congratulations on the new bike! If you don't know what kind of sealant the bike came with, it might be a good idea to clean the tires and rims before using the sealant you want to use.

Also, pay little attention to time intervals for servicing that works for others. This depends on too many factors and you'd be better served to check the sealant level every couple of weeks, so you learn the routine needed in your own riding situation.
I'll also pass on that it's helpful to position the valve stems at the 5 or 7 o'clock position every time you park the bike; this allows the valve stems to drain, putting off clogging issues, etc.


Originally Posted by DirePenguin View Post
This January I was able to replace my Trek Domane ALR 5, which was destroyed in November when I was hit by a car, with a Domane SL5. It came already setup tubeless.

Iíve read some info online about tubeless maintenance and several articles recommended replacing the sealant every six months. To do this, is it necessary to remove the tire, clean it all out, then remount the tire and add the right amount of new sealant?

Any other maintenance tips you more experienced tubeless riders have come across?
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Old 05-16-22, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
Congratulations on the new bike! If you don't know what kind of sealant the bike came with, it might be a good idea to clean the tires and rims before using the sealant you want to use.

Also, pay little attention to time intervals for servicing that works for others. This depends on too many factors and you'd be better served to check the sealant level every couple of weeks, so you learn the routine needed in your own riding situation.
I'll also pass on that it's helpful to position the valve stems at the 5 or 7 o'clock position every time you park the bike; this allows the valve stems to drain, putting off clogging issues, etc.
lol, strangely enough in the 8-9 years that Iíve been using tubeless Iíve never thought of parking my wheels with valves in any particular position but it makes sense!

Funnily enough, I decided to wash/lube the bike yesterday. Weíre coming into our hot season and since I had the time I decided to rotate my front tire to the rear which I basically never do. Of course, both tires were completely dry of sealant, I think the last time I added was about 3-4mths ago but I probably didnít put much in and itís been pretty warm here as of late.
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Old 05-16-22, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post

Funnily enough, I decided to wash/lube the bike yesterday. Weíre coming into our hot season and since I had the time I decided to rotate my front tire to the rear which I basically never do. Of course, both tires were completely dry of sealant, I think the last time I added was about 3-4mths ago but I probably didnít put much in and itís been pretty warm here as of late.

A scenario like that is most likely to require use of a carried "bail out tube", to install after suffering a flat, with no sealant left in the tire. It happens. On the plus side, it's not a messy job putting a tube in a tubeless tire when the sealant is dried up.
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Old 05-16-22, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
A scenario like that is most likely to require use of a carried "bail out tube", to install after suffering a flat, with no sealant left in the tire. It happens. On the plus side, it's not a messy job putting a tube in a tubeless tire when the sealant is dried up.
Yep, absolutely. As mentioned I've been using TL for a fair bit. I'm pretty horrible at checking my sealant levels made more "interesting" due to the heat out here. More often than not I end up with no sealant in the tire when it's time to change out said tires. Luckily for me, the few times where I've sprung a leak I had sealant ready to fix the job, and the 2-3 flats I've had in all my years with TL were pretty large gashes that sealant would not have helped anyway. I do carry a spare tube with me at all times, I've gone through about 5 this year but only because I give them to someone on our ride who flats lol! About a year ago I started to carry some Lezyne plugs but haven't had the opportunity to try them yet.
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Old 05-16-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
I do carry a spare tube with me at all times, I've gone through about 5 this year but only because I give them to someone on our ride who flats lol! About a year ago I started to carry some Lezyne plugs but haven't had the opportunity to try them yet.
My main group of riders is nearly all converted to tubeless now, with only a few holdouts remaining. Sadly the holdouts are also the riders we had to stop most often for when we were mostly all running tubes.
I've only flatted once while running tubeless road tires, and it was a pretty big gash in the tire. I carry a Dynaplug Racer kit, one CO2 and inflator, a mini-pump, and one tube. If solo, I'm more apt to use the mini-pump for flat repair.
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Old 05-16-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
A scenario like that is most likely to require use of a carried "bail out tube", to install after suffering a flat, with no sealant left in the tire. It happens. On the plus side, it's not a messy job putting a tube in a tubeless tire when the sealant is dried up.
Nah, just fire a Dynaplug in.
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Old 05-16-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Nah, just fire a Dynaplug in.
Just curious if you've actually done this with dried sealant, Dynaplug and if so, how far did you ride that repair. I don't know anyone that's tried it.
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Old 05-17-22, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
Just curious if you've actually done this with dried sealant, Dynaplug and if so, how far did you ride that repair. I don't know anyone that's tried it.
Only with mtb tyres as it happens and I've ridden them for the life of the tyre. Dynaplugs (and even bog standard bacon strips for that matter) don't rely on sealant to work. I've got to the point where I don't even bother topping up sealant in my mtb tyres. In fact with some mtb tubeless tyres I never even used sealant and bacon strips still worked fine on punctures. On my road bike I get through tyres a lot quicker, so the sealant is usually still effective when I change them. Sealant is great for preventing pin-prick punctures and maintaining pressure with the more porous casings, but doesn't really do anything when it comes to plugging a larger hole. My experience of using tubeless plug repairs is that they remain air-tight regardless of the presence of sealant.
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Old 05-17-22, 05:08 PM
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Interesting. I always assumed that dynaplugs and the like were pretty much making the gap(s) that the sealant had to plug much smaller so as to increase the success ratio.
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Old 05-17-22, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Interesting. I always assumed that dynaplugs and the like were pretty much making the gap(s) that the sealant had to plug much smaller so as to increase the success ratio.
Same here. Though I haven't needed to use my Dynaplug kit yet, after looking it over, I didn't think the product was something that would seal a high pressure tire on its own, but again...haven't used it. That said, I've been thinking even dried up sealant coating the majority of the inside surface of the tire, probably helps at least a little in flat prevention and puncture sealing.
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Old 05-17-22, 06:01 PM
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If Dynaplugs are anything like bacon strips, which I assume they are, they're super tacky - like a cord coated in tar.
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Old 05-18-22, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If Dynaplugs are anything like bacon strips, which I assume they are, they're super tacky - like a cord coated in tar.
They are, but they have the metal tip that helps hold them in the tire better than just a bacon strip.

I have been successful with bacon strips getting them to hold long enough on my road bike tire to get me home at a lower pressure than I usually ride. But when I brought the tire back up to 60ish PSI the bacon pushed right out. The Dynaplug didn't do that when used on another repair because the metal tip acts as a barb.
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