When to replace sealant?

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When to replace sealant?
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Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 7:09 Quote
Hello, I got back to MTB after many years. Everything changed, there are so many new gimmicks and the standards that were then, are not standard today so I have to get used and learn new stuff.

One thing is tubeless: I got a YT Jeffsy used with 29" tubeless. Despite checking youtube for all the possible tutorials and info videos, one question is still open for me: do I need to do maintance to the tyre? The guy who sold me the bike mentioned that I should spray sealant every 3 months. Does that make sense? What happens to the old sealant if the bike stays in storage? Is it normal to spray sealant if the tyre has still the old sealant inside?

Do I really have to take the tyre out, clean all the slime out, and close and seal with new sealant every few months? How is this better than just using a tube (despite all the advantages of the tubeless, this maintance thing kinds of destroys all other advantages)?

Common sense tells me that if the bike keeps pressure over time (while in storage) then the sealant is good? But I would not want to have a tyre instantly lose pressure on a ride (where hits and rider make a difference) because the sealant is not sealing.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 7:13 Quote
rogermorse wrote:
Hello, I got back to MTB after many years. Everything changed, there are so many new gimmicks and the standards that were then, are not standard today so I have to get used and learn new stuff.

One thing is tubeless: I got a YT Jeffsy used with 29" tubeless. Despite checking youtube for all the possible tutorials and info videos, one question is still open for me: do I need to do maintance to the tyre? The guy who sold me the bike mentioned that I should spray sealant every 3 months. Does that make sense? What happens to the old sealant if the bike stays in storage? Is it normal to spray sealant if the tyre has still the old sealant inside?

Do I really have to take the tyre out, clean all the slime out, and close and seal with new sealant every few months? How is this better than just using a tube (despite all the advantages of the tubeless, this maintance thing kinds of destroys all other advantages)?

Common sense tells me that if the bike keeps pressure over time (while in storage) then the sealant is good? But I would not want to have a tyre instantly lose pressure on a ride (where hits and rider make a difference) because the sealant is not sealing.

Yes, you should refresh the sealant after maybe 4 months or so. You do not need to clean out anything at that point, just put a few ounces in. For me, I ride a good bit so usually I’d clean out the old gunk after a year, but usually at that point I need new tires so I jusr replace the tire with fresh sealant. Honestly, it really is not too difficult to squirt some sealant in every couple months. One thing is if you do get a puncture and see a bunch of sealant squirt out then I’d maybe think about putting a bit more in so that it’s not super low on sealant.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 7:20 Quote
You don't necessarily have to disassemble the tire, but you should check to make sure you have liquid sealant in the tire before each ride to counter any punctures you may get on the trail. The only time I've disassembled the tire from the wheel was when I wanted to do more involved maintenance to the wheel. You should be able to swing the wheel a bit and hear the sealant sloshing inside. Or you can remove the valve core and insert a dip stick to check the sealant level, but that seems a bit excessive.

The sealant will eventually dry out inside the tire and become a rubber lumpy thing. It's never been an issue for me, but some have reported hearing it thunk around inside while riding.

I just wiggle the bike around, make sure I can hear sloshing. If it's been a while or I can't hear anything then I add a few ounces. Easy.

If that seems like too much work then just go with tubes and enjoy your ride. Maybe get the tubes with sealant added inside to help prevent flats.

Good luck.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 11:25 Quote
I've gotten by with just adding an ounce or 2 of sealant every season. But it doesn't get a lot of use when it's hot and it's stored inside at room temp. Would guess that has something to do with it.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 13:13 Quote
It really depends on what your local riding is like. If you're not leaking sealant a lot because things are well put together and you don't have massive numbers of thorns, you can go a really long time with it sealing up your tire...so long that you won't notice that it has dried up and the first puncture will flat you out. It's a good idea to put a bit more in every so often. You'll eventually get the feel of your needs.

If you park your bike for the winter, you'll most likely have a dried lump in the bottom of the tire when you get it out. Assuming the tire is still good, I'd then clean out the old and add new because otherwise it will be out of balance.

I used to live where 40-50 goat's head thorns per tire was a normal ride. I replaced tires because they'd eventually just not hold air well enough. I went through a lot of sealant.

Contrary to the previous poster, I really don't think you should have so much that you can hear it sloshing about, but that's also heavily dependent on what your local riding is like.

Some sealants are easy to remove(orange seal) and some are a pain in the ass to remove(stan's). They both seal thorn holes while riding equally well in my experience.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 13:38 Quote
Explodo wrote:
Contrary to the previous poster, I really don't think you should have so much that you can hear it sloshing about, but that's also heavily dependent on what your local riding is like..

The amount of sealant I'm describing is a normal amount for most applications and not some extraordinary volume or anything.

In a quiet garage, take the wheel off the bike. With ~3 ounces of sealant in the tire give the wheel a shake: hold it by the top of the tire and with your hands at about shoulder height wag the bottom of it back and forth. You will hear the sealant moving inside.

You can do the same thing without removing the wheel, it's a little tougher to waggle the bike. Lift the front and wiggle. Lift the back and wiggle. If you know what to listen for then you don't have to shake as hard.

If you have problems making the same observation then I respectfully recommend a hearing exam.

Posted: Aug 9, 2022 at 15:16 Quote
2 Oz. of sealant works just fine. Add a little somewhere between 4 and 6 months, or if you get a puncture and notice no sealant coming out. I only take my tire off and clean up the rim when I'm changing tires.

Posted: Aug 15, 2022 at 3:14 Quote
I too listen for the sound of the sealant still being liquid - if I CAN'T hear anything when I listen to the wheel in a quiet garage, I definitely need sealant.

I generally don't peel all the old sealant out (Orange Enduro) because my tyre will be worn out within two or three sealant cycles (I ride two bikes share 7-8 hours a week).

Posted: Aug 17, 2022 at 20:16 Quote
Some sealants also off gas ammonia that can pit aluminum and cause problems with spoke nipples and spoke threads causing the nipples to seize and beeaking spokes, i like to clean out sealant once a month and if not riding winter months clean out completely

Posted: Aug 18, 2022 at 6:32 Quote
forrestgladding wrote:
Some sealants also off gas ammonia that can pit aluminum and cause problems with spoke nipples and spoke threads causing the nipples to seize and beeaking spokes, i like to clean out sealant once a month and if not riding winter months clean out completely

If you've got sealant on your spoke nipples then you installed the tape improperly. If you fix that problem then you'll never have to worry about it.

Posted: Aug 18, 2022 at 6:58 Quote
I think it really depends on your riding style and how long you go between tire changes. You can lose sealant by punctures that don't plug right away and by briefly dislodging the bead in hard corners/roosts, to name the two that happen the most in my experience. Basically, if you can't hear it in your tire when you shake the wheel or spin it, its time to get a valve core tool, take out the valve core, and put some more sealant in.

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