Saturday, July 19, 2014

Re-tubelessifying the Monocog

Nope. No sealant. Dry as a bone.
Last fall, I went tubeless with my Monocog as a test with the low budget do-it-yourself method. I've since ridden this super dependable bike nearly daily, on many different surfaces, including goathead infested Albuquerque. In all that time, I never had a flat, until a few days ago.

Off and on, I'd been wondering what was going on inside the tires during the past nine months, so when I went out to the bike barn and found the rear completely flat, it was a opportunity to take a peek.

First I tested to see if there was an obvious, egregious leak by pumping it up. The tire held air fine, though it lost much of its pressure in a few minutes. So, I popped one of the beads open and discovered that the Stan's sealant had disappeared.

I suppose it's more accurate to say that the pool of sealant inside the tire was no longer present, but lots of goo was adhering the bead to the rim. A puddle of sealant, or tire blood as Big Sis likes to call it, is essential to tubeless tire health by coagulating into small leaks, so its absence was the likely reason for the flat.
While I was at it, I was wondering how the Gorilla Tape was holding up, so I pulled the tire off to inspect. After carefully going over the whole surface, things looked good. The single layer of tape was still strongly adhered. Along the way, I cleaned as much goo off the rim as seemed practicable, paying special attention to the bead seating surfaces, so reseating the tire would go smoothly.

I also cleaned the tire beads, ending up with a pile of Stan's sealant boogers.
After I remounted the tire, I hit it with a shot of compressed air. Both beads popped confidently into place and the pressure held well. Bingo. So I cracked open one of the beads and added two ounces of fresh Stan's to the inside. Shake. Spin. Ready to roll for another several months. I'll just have to remember to have some valve stems with removable cores on hand next time.

In all, remarkably quick and easy, especially considering the epic struggle with the same brand of tire and rim that I experienced not long ago. In the end, it's been well worth the time investment, and gets easier each time.

Now, for no particular reason, some recent photos from my yard.


  1. Since you have more experience with tubeless driving then I do, would you say adding in some of "stan's sealants" is something that should be added in once a year as a preventative task or to just deal with the problems as they arise?

    1. I knew that the sealant would eventually dry up, but wasn't sure how long it would take. It probably varies by climate, humidity, and quantity of use, but I'd say that if it's your only bike and ridden daily, adding more sealant every 4 to 6 months is about right.

      The procedure that I used on the rear wheel is what I've shown here. However, for the front, all I did was to crack the bead enough to add sealant. I didn't dismount the tire and remove dried sealant, and all was fine. A perfect case of a few ounces of prevention being worth a lot of cure.

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    1. Thanks, Darryl. Since posting this, I've acquired exactly those items. It makes a world of difference. Still happily rolling tubeless!