If you ride tubeless tires you might have always wondered how many punctures thing can take or if you already have enough on your bike and you are wondering how many more it can take before it goes out of commission, here’s what I have come up with my experiments and a little bit of research through various channels.
Mtb tubeless tires can endure 5-6 punctures that sealant can’t seal and they are 5mm in size or bigger, punctures damage the internal threadwork of the tires that making the whole tire more weak and prone to punctures rendering it useless.
Now there is a difference between when you feel like you have worn your tires out with the punctures and when they actually are worn out and you need to replace them, tubeless tires are not cheap.
Good brands cost too much and you want your tires to do the maximum for you but in mountain biking, tire’s life or punctures are insignificant compared to traction worn-out tires will not provide traction and that is worse than having 5 or 6 punctures.
So now you know how many punctures your tires can take but you have stuck large punctures or sometimes big holes on new tires if you are unfortunate and you may be wondering how you can fix those punctures and just pushing your tires to last another 6 months, well here’s how you can accomplish just that.
How to seal a (small) puncture that sealant can’t handle :
If you had a large puncture the sealant can’t do the job and you are stuck wondering what to do. here’s what to do
If you are on trails the first thing you need to do is ride back home with your spare tube.
All you need is a tire repair kit this is for substantially smaller holes that sealant can’t seal but the holes are not that big.
Make sure your repair kit has these
- T-handled reamer and insertion tool
- adhesive sticks/tire plugs
- Rubber cement and patches
If you think you will have a hard time looking for one you can check out the Silverline tire repair kit costs around 30$ not sure about the price now you can check it out on Amazon.
moving on you can stick the adhesive sticks with the insertion tool into the punctured area make sure you cut off the excessive stick with a knife or something then spin the tire and just let the sealant work with it it will be sealed in a matter of seconds.
How to fix a large puncture in the tubeless tire :
If you hit your tire on something and your rim ripped the tire or if a glass pierced really bad through your tire and you are not sure if that hole can be covered with ordinary patching methods then here’s the way to it.
You need 3 things to patch up the big hole in your tire.
- patches for repairing tire tubes (they are available on market in different sizes choose what’s ideal for you)
- Rubber cement or any glue(containing industrial vulcanizing solution)
- sandpaper or something which can shave off the upper layer of the rubber for the glue or the vulcanizing solution to sit on it tightly.
Tube patches work fine on the tubeless tires as well so you don’t necessarily need something that’s for tubeless
Again if it happened on the trail you need to ride the bike home, remove the tire from the rim and free it completely get the sealant out of it if there is something left in it and clean the tire completely or be sure to clean the spot that you are going to patch.
How to patch the tire properly :
After cleaning the spot you had like to patch what you need to do is to cut the patch that can cover the area usually I cut twice the size of the hole on my tire you should do the same it ensures that the tire will not leak again and the patch will stay longer on it and then you need to rough that spot up with sandpaper or something better than can save off that upper layer of the rubber from it apply the vulcanizing solution or any other glue that you have spread it across the whole patch area and place the patch on it.
Once done press on the patches with the help of something so that it seals properly once that’s done if you are not very sure that one patch is enough applied the same method from the outside but let it dry first.
It will increase your time life by much much longer and hopefully, they will stay on before the tires expire but if they don’t know you know what to do, I will advise you to run the bike with the tube in it it will apply the pressure on the patch naturally and you can take the tube out once you are sure that it’s sealed completely and put back the sealant into the tire again.
Cut or hole on the side wall of the tire :
If you cut your tire on the side wall of the tire then the process is almost the same with a little bit of twist all you need to do if you cut the side of the tire is to sew it with a needle and a plier don’t try to do it with bare hands, once you sew the cut apply the same method as patching the big hole and fill in the sealant and off you go.
One thing I should mention is don’t try to sew big holes because sewing will shrink the tire size and the tire will keep losing air as you ride your bike so be sure to avoid it and instead use the patching method on them.
Do MTB tires hold air without sealant :
Yes, the sealant is there to fill in the little punctures that may occur when you are riding off-road but the tire can hold air just fine with or without a sealant.
Know that sealant is not like something that if you don’t have a sealant in the tire then its bad and vice versa but it has many advantages and it saves you a lot of money and time if a thorn pierced your tire it will seal the hole up quickly without even you knowing if the sealant wasn’t there you would be sitting and patching it right on the trail so it’s really a good product to have but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t run tubeless tires without a sealant.
Why MTB tubeless tires lose air :
Tubeless tires should not lose air especially if you have sealant in them or if there is no puncture in the tire but I think you are not looking it up for that reason.
It is quite common for tubeless tires to lose air if you even have a sealant in them and it’s still losing here are some reasons why it should be doing it.
- your tires already had low pressure and you hard smashed into a rock and it lost air without you knowing
- the other thing could be that your valves core is either loose or busted you can replace it with the spare tube’s valve core
- another thing could be that if you let the bike stay too long it eventually releases tire air because of wear and tear in the tire that is invisible to the eye but its definitely there and the air was always leaking from it but it was in so low quantity that you never noticed because you were pumping air into it almost every other day.
- there is also the reason that the tubeless tires are strictly in contact with the rim and going on the trails fast you run into rocks and roots and the air may release during the tire compression or deflation its quite common.
I did an article on Do tubeless tires hold air without sealant | should you use sealant anyway
You can check this guide out if you are concerned too much about this.
Why did tubeless tires take so long to appear on the market :
Now you might ask okay if tubeless tires were an option right from the beginning then why not just take them to the market?
Well for tubeless tires to cover the whole market the machinery had to be changed also they had to research more on tires to make them durable whereas in the past if you see a tire it was really a thing now that the machinery has been changed technology is there to mass-produced them
and they have improved the overall quality and the customers have also adjusted to the new system it became easy to circulate the new way and general public reaped massive benefits from it.