Change your sealant!

Latex sealant seeping from pinhole in bicycle tire

With rain in the forecast for today (although it has yet to materialize) I thought it would be a good chance to try my new Stan’s sealant to see if I could get any better result than the poor showing I’d had from the previous stuff.

I gave the new bottle of sealant a good shaking and then removed the seal. I prepped the tire — the one with the pinhole that’s turned into a nightmare — by unseating one side and using paper towels to mop up the remaining sealant there.

Once that was cleaned up, I poured in a like amount of new sealant, reseated the bead, and gave it a blast with the tire pump. The tire seated immediately, and air started leaking from the hole in the tread. I quickly rotated the wheel until the hole was pointing downwards. There was a brief spray of latex and then it held.

Detail of bicycle tire showing sealant leaking from hole, and sealant bottle
Stan the Man!

After reinserting the valve core I pumped up the tire once again. As the pressure increased, there was another brief spray and then it sealed again. There was a further spray when I reached 40psi, and at that point after making sure the latex was sealing and set the tire aside. I’ll keep the hole pointed down and let it sit for at least 24 hours, and at that point I’ll try getting it up to 60psi. If that holds for a couple of days, I’ll consider it a usable tire once again.

Latex sealant seeping from pinhole in bicycle tire
That’s holding!

Rinse, repeat

With the rear holding, I turned my attention to the front. This is the one with the small leak at the base of the valve. I followed the same steps as with the rear and it all went smoothly. This time when I pumped up the tire after changing the sealant, I didn’t even hear any hissing of air. It was only after I finished inflating the tire that I noticed a small dribble of sealant.

Detail of bicycle tire vavle showing dribbles of sealant
Simply doing its job

I finished by inflating the tire to 60psi and swirling the sealant around inside. As with the rear, I’ve set it aside and will check again tomorrow to make sure it’s holding.

The tension is palpable

With the leaky tires taken care of, I turned my attention to the ticking spokes I’d noticed on yesterday’s ride. I got the wheel off the bike and into the truing stand, and then I measured all the spokes with the tension gauge. There were a few on the non-drive side that were lacking in tension, which was probably the result of the spokes seating in during the first few hundred kilometers of riding.

Measuring bicycle spoke tension with a gauge
Tense situation

I went around the spokes and tightened each one a bit at a time until they were all up to snuff, and then I spent some time retruing the wheel. Once I was happy with the trueness, I measured all the spoke tensions once again.

As a final step, I put the wheel back on the bike and then cleaned and oiled the chain. The next time there’s a gap in the rainy weather we’ll be ready to roll.

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