Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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danfoto
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Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby danfoto » 12 Aug 2020, 8:20am

My wife and I are getting on a bit, and it occurs to me that if we get a puncture whilst out on our bikes, roadside repair is not going to be as straightforward as it was when we were younger. All our bikes have "puncture-resistant" tyres nowadays which seem to be very effective, but in my experience one characteristic of them is that they're a pig to get off the rim, particularly if one has arthritic hands. I'm therefore wondering which if any of the "get you home" sealant/inflator things actually work. Has anybody used one in earnest and found that it performed as advertised?
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

mattsccm
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby mattsccm » 12 Aug 2020, 8:47am

Most do most of the time.
You could add some gunge filled tubes which may help. Not sure if adding other stuff to that woulx work if it failed.
Nothing works everytime and some situations won't allow built in protection to work.
The most reliable system I have found is tubeless tyres. To some people they are a pain to set up but they work well almost always.

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danfoto
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby danfoto » 12 Aug 2020, 9:00am

Thanks. I know nothing whatsoever about tubeless bicycle tryes. Is there such a thing as a puncture-resistant tubeless tyre? Whatever, I've never been keen on the idea of adding sealant to a tube, if nothing else because surely it must go off at some point, which point one won't have discovered until it fails to work when required.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

freeflow
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby freeflow » 12 Aug 2020, 9:02am

An alternative solution is to accept that you have occasional visitations and use lighter tyres that are easy to remove. Chances are that it will also improve the quality of your ride

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danfoto
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby danfoto » 12 Aug 2020, 10:03am

Thank you, but I'm not after an alternative solution. For various reasons, all I'm trying to establish is whether or not these things work. So far, the impression I'm getting is exactly as mattsccm said - most do, most of the time. Which at least is better than "waste of time and money" ...
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2020, 10:53am

They "work" by treating any escape of air as a puncture. My own experience is very limited, but having once tried out on the road to inflate a previously emergency-repaired tyre, only to find that it had sealed the valve, I didn't try again.

I would say that unless the puncture is too great ie a cut or split rather than a simple perforation, then they should both inflate the tyre and keep it inflated enough to get you home. If you want to avoid the problem being deferred to a later occasion, then sort it out before your next ride. Think in terms of at least replacing the tube and cleaning up any gunge which has escaped from the tube while it was stopping the puncture.

NB This is only the same system but on a different scale that is common in modern cars sold without a spare wheel.

RH20
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby RH20 » 12 Aug 2020, 10:55am

I have used Lezyne sealant spray. It is about £5 per can from Evans, it is probably on sale at other cycle shops. This is an excellent product. My first use was at the end of an afternoon shift I returned to my bike and found I had a puncture. All I had to do was shake the can, screw it onto the valve, press the button, and I could not believe it, the tyre inflated and the inner tube was sealed, just had to give the wheel a spin to distribute the sealant and was on my way. I rode on this for about a month occasionally putting a bit of air into the tyre before deciding to change the inner tube.
The can is small enough to fit in a pocket, it is also possibly to buy with a strap to fix to the bike frame.
I have had to use it again with the same excellent result. Obviously it will not fix a big hole, but for small punctures it is invaluable to have on you for emergencies. Never leave home without it

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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby UpWrong » 12 Aug 2020, 10:59am

Presumably Schraeder valves only? Sounds handy.

RH20
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby RH20 » 12 Aug 2020, 11:10am

I have used Lezyne on schraeder and Presta. The first time on Presta it did the job. The second time, the foam came out between the tyre and wheel rim. I had hit a lump of metal in the road that I did not see due to dappled shade. An almighty bang but after removing the inner tube I found a long gash in it and had to change the tube.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2020, 11:12am

UpWrong wrote:Presumably Schraeder valves only? Sounds handy.


As this type of system is widely used on cars, valve type cannot be a problem.

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jezer
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby jezer » 12 Aug 2020, 11:17am

Due to arthritis I have been unable to fit or remove tyres for several years now. I have used Vitoria Seal & Inflate on presta valves with excellent results, and it is permanent not just ‘get you home’. It’s not cheap, but then again you don’t need to replace the tube each time you get a puncture. It’s claimed that the sealant will automatically seal further punctures for a period of time. I now have tubeless on my main bike, which so far has also proved to be a good system.
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danfoto
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby danfoto » 12 Aug 2020, 12:51pm

Ahah! Thank you for sharing your experiences, gentlemen. That's exactly what I was hoping to find out.

Much obliged :D
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Greystoke
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby Greystoke » 12 Aug 2020, 1:17pm

I use cheapo tyres and sealant (from Wilko) on my mtb tourer commuter.
I regularly cycle on rough tracks with hedge trimmings.
Sometimes I hear something catching on my mudguards, stop and remove a big thorn that would have needed a puncture repair.
Only once have I had an issue where the tyre went down over a few miles but stayed up at both ends of my commute.
Closer inspection showed a thorn c20mm long which was inside the tyre and everytime the wheel rotated and weight was on it the multiple holes opened and let out air only to reseal immediately.
This both impressed me and highlighted the only potential issue I see with using sealant.
Someone mentioned they'd had a valve issue. I've had this where the tyre went down after pumping it up due to sealing the valve partially open.
I always remove the pump and quickly depress the valve to let air out. This has prevented valve issues since.
Would I use it again? Yes without hesitation.

thirdcrank
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2020, 2:02pm

I think people are discussing two different types of product here: one is the stuff which comes in a pressurised container and both reinflates the tyre and repairs the puncture. The other is poured into the the tyre, sloshed around and then is intended to repair punctures as they occur, hopefully before much deflation occurs.

I mentioned valves above. Once, some years ago, when riding home after a winter night shift - in snow IIRC - I punctured and used the pressurised container type I had in the side pocket of the good old Camper Longflap for just such an occasion and it worked, to the extent that I more or less forgot all about it on what was a winter hack. On a subsequent occasion, - cannot now remember how long afterwards it was but it was late at night - I realised that the tyre was really soft. Out with the pump - presta valve btw - and there was no way I was going to get air into the tyre so I had a walk home. A post mortem revealed that the valve was totally choked. And yes, I should have carried a spare tube, I usually do but not on that occasion. Also, we are advising somebody who would not be able to replace the tube at the roadside.

FWIW, I'm of a generation unimpressed by cars without a spare wheel. Car salespersons - usually men but my last discussion was with a woman - will tell you that a spare wheel is unnecessary but will come up with the goods when the alternative is a lost sale. People in tyre dealerships will tell you that while a tyre inflated with this gunge can theoretically be repaired, in reality cleaning out the gunge is necessary but out of the question so using it will generally mean buying a new tyre.

Re the slime, in my capacity as team mechanic, I helped my my daughter-in-law with a stroller type pushchair ie pneumatic tyres. She had a couple of punctures from thorns on cross-country walks which she couldn't fix. I invested in some Slime sealant from Wilko's and it worked a treat.

https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/slime-tube- ... /p/0289616

I know wheelchair retailers recommend it. I have no experience of it other than on pushchair tyres. And in relation to the thread title, they don't inflate the tyre.

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danfoto
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Re: Tyre sealer/inflaters - do any of them work?

Postby danfoto » 12 Aug 2020, 2:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:FWIW, I'm of a generation univexatious siutationmpressed by cars without a spare wheel.
...
Me too. I'm unimpressed by cars full stop nowadays, but that's a different matter. Yep, some folk were talking about the sealant stuff, about which I have no interest. All I need is an emergency tyre fixer-upper/reinflater which with any luck might help us out of an otherwise vexatious situation. One factor which comes into this is that if Madam is out on her own and gets a puncture despite the puncture-resistant tyres (in our experience, unlikely but obviously possible), all I can do as things stand at present is get a bus or a taxi to wherever she is and push the bike back home for her. And I really can't get excited at the prospect.

As things stand right now, I intend to get a can of the Lezyne stuff and one of Vitoria Pitstop Magnum: Madam carries one and I carry t'other, so that whoever's mobile can go to the aid of the other if needed.

That's the plan, anyhow ...
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.