Author Topic: "Best" sealant for tubulars?  (Read 3610 times)

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Offline heppm01

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"Best" sealant for tubulars?
« on: April 18, 2014, 03:03:37 PM »
I picked up a set of tubulars a while ago along with some Vittoria Corsa tires and soon will be taking them out on the road. They will be primarily race-day wheels but they will also be used as the mood hits for solo training rides.

I'd like to use some sealant as a preventative measure but haven't found conclusive recommendations for what would be best for a high-pressure tubular. From what I gather the sealants that are based on particulates in suspension work well for low-pressure tires (MTB) and but so well for a tubular. The latex based sealants work well for tubulars but tend to dry out in a relatively short period of time and need to be re-dosed, eventually adding to the weight of the tire (and potential balance issues).

What have you used for a sealant under similar circumstances? I'm probably overthinking this but on the other hand I don't want to end up with tires that are unpleasant to ride in four months.

Offline umd

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 09:55:10 PM »
I've had the best luck with Caffelatex liquid poured in tires preemptively. Not much luck with sealant cans after the fact. It tries out after a while for less used tires remember to re-up it once in a while.


Stan's worked ok too.
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Offline umd

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2014, 09:48:52 AM »
I'd also like to add that despite the name it is not latex-based and it works well on butyl-tubed tires (i.e. Conti) as well as latex.


Sometimes it automagically seals while I ride but more often I have to stop, put the leaky puncture at the bottom and let it sit there for a minute or two, then air it back up and continue. More than a few times I've futzed around with it for a while hoping it would seal before ultimately abandoning it and just replacing the tire. In some of those instances, the tire did eventually seal and I was able to reuse it. Sometimes if I add more sealant when I get home it will seal and then I can reuse it.
Vicelord: if I stay in the right position I could win any of the races I've been in
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Vicelord: Stop being dicks to me.
ls01: then man up
Herbie53: ok, but vaginas tend to attract a lot of dicks

Offline <gmt>

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 10:14:04 AM »
I've been pre-loading tubulars with Stan's for at least 6 years now.  Some of them many times over.

Once the liquid is all evaporated, what is left has very little mass.  I haven't yet noticed any wheel balance issues or perceptible increase in weight.  Of course I haven't bothered to weight-weenie-scale the wheels over that course of time to see the actual difference, but if you are wondering if the difference is significant, it isn't.
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Offline <gmt>

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 10:17:44 AM »
The biggest weight increase and increase in imbalance will not be when the liquid dries up.  It will be when you first put the liquid in there.  This only shows up while spinning the wheel with the bike on a stand.  Riding on the road, in my opinion, renders these things insignificant.

I have also found that carbon wheels tend to be badly balanced anyway.  Their low mass makes the imbalance less of an issue on the road and I just don't worry about it.  There is more imbalance just from the valve stem anyway.

If you really want to deal with wheel balancing, you would have to start adding mass opposite the heavy end by injecting resin into the wheel.  F that.
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Offline heppm01

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 10:50:32 AM »
Thanks for the input guys, I was making too much of this. umd's experience of sealant that doesn't always seal is a little worrisome, especially since the place where the air escapes the casing isn't always where the puncture is. I don't think I have the patience to futz around trying to get it to hold.

In the end I'll probably just get whatever is on sale. Apart from the mile of gravel I have to ride to get to the nearest paved roads the surfaces around here are pretty good and - knock on wood - I usually go thousands of miles without flatting. I just don't want to go back to the days of stuffing a backup tubular in my jersey pocket.

Offline <gmt>

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2014, 10:55:14 AM »
There is only so big a hole in the dyke that the Dutch Boy's thumb can plug.  Sometimes the sealant will almost fill the hole but leave a bit left and then you have to fiddle with it to try to get it to plug.
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Offline <gmt>

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 10:55:58 AM »
You can also ride home on a flat tubular.  It isn't much fun, but possible.
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Offline umd

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 03:57:51 PM »
You can also ride home on a flat tubular.  It isn't much fun, but possible.

Been there done that
Vicelord: if I stay in the right position I could win any of the races I've been in
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Offline heppm01

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 09:06:01 PM »
Same here, but would not relish it on expensive (for me) carbon hoops.

Offline umd

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Re: "Best" sealant for tubulars?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 10:42:22 PM »
I've never had any damage doing it.
Vicelord: if I stay in the right position I could win any of the races I've been in
---------------------------------------------
Vicelord: Stop being dicks to me.
ls01: then man up
Herbie53: ok, but vaginas tend to attract a lot of dicks