First Look: An Innovative Take on the Tire Plug, The Stan's Dart

Oct 7, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  

Ever since the wide acceptance of the tubeless tire, the conundrum has been "how to best fix a tubeless flat." Sure, there are a ton of advantages to riding tubeless but a hole in the tread of your tire or sidewall can quickly deflate the fun of a ride and render an $80 tire trash.

Sealants can do a good job closing up smaller punctures and tire plugs have become increasingly popular for larger wounds. Most tire plugs consist of a metal barb and a rubber strip designed to fill in and plug a hole or cut, similar to the plugs that have been used in car tires for years and while these work well in many situations but they do have their shortcomings.

Stan's NoTubes have long been a popular sealant and rim brand, They've decided to jump into the business of tire plugs with an innovative take on the tire plug for those larger holes that sealant won't seal by itself.

The Dart (Dual Action Repair for Tubeless) is designed to work as a plug in situations when sealant alone won't do the trick. It is unique in that it works in two different ways, mechanically - like a standard tire plug, and chemically.

Mechanically, it's a plastic barbed tip with a special material, developed by Stan's, that sits on a carbon post. The tip is pressed into the tire, as a plug, anchoring it into the tire. According to Stan's, the material is coated with a safe chemical that reacts with any latex sealant to further help seal the hole in the tire.
Stan's Dart Details
• Mechanical tire plug with sealant enhancing chemical
• Small size
• Two heads on tool
• Valve core remover
• Weight: 15 grams (complete tool, two Darts)
• Price: $25 USD, 5-pack of refills ($20 USD)
• Available: Late October
• More information: www.notubes.com


The Dart's ability to react with the sealant, theoretically makes it more effective than a traditional tire plug, according to Stan's. The plug itself also avoids some of the shortcomings of traditional tire plug tools, mostly by avoiding sharp metal tips that can damage rim strips or users. The barbed tip of the Stan's Dart is designed to stay in place during riding and will not back out. Stan's claim that the Dart is best used on cuts 5mm and larger, with sealant typically sealing those smaller cuts.

The material of the plug on the Dart is laser cut, flexible, and more easily contours to the shapes of various punctures than a strip of rubber. It also has an increased surface area for the sealant to react with. The Dart material is supple enough that riders won't feel it when riding and it can even be used with road bike tires.

Using the Dart is a straightforward process. Riders simply press the Dart into a puncture, just as they would a standard plug, until the head of the Dart tool contacts the tire. The length of the carbon post that the barb sits on is the correct length so that when the tool bottoms out, the Dart is properly inserted to the proper depth. The head is dual-sided and can be flipped around so riders with larger cuts can quickly insert a second Dart.

The tool is compact and, at 15 grams, lightweight. The plastic body of the tool holds the dual-headed Dart apparatus and there are plastic covers that keep the pointed tips of the device safely covered.



Performance
So, does it work? Yes. I went through two packs of refills making various cuts in tires and was able to successfully seal most any puncture on the mountain bike tires I tested, minus the time I accidentally made a three-inch gash in the sidewall with a knife...whoops. The Dart is beyond simple to use and easy to throw in your pocket. Coming from having to separate rubber plugs that have melted together off a plastic backing, then attempting to get them through a tool, and finally finagling them into the tire on the side of the trail with sealant all over my hands and gear, the Dart is a HUGE upgrade.

Ease of use alone, the Dart outperforms any traditional tire plug tool. Reloading it is painless and the Darts do their job in sealing most punctures in mountain bike tires in my testing. I was surprised to see the Dart seal up several cuts I didn't expect it to, in tires with minimal sealant.

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Stan's made some excellent instructional videos for the Dart as well, check them out below:

Development:



Install:



Refill:






115 Comments

  • 256 5
 I think they should call it the "but plug". Hey sealant won't work "but plugging it" will
  • 36 1
 I'm not sure 'barbed' and 'but (butt) plug' should ever be used in the same sentence. *grimace*
  • 6 0
 @sewer-rat I just re watched the install and substituted dart for butt plug. Works a treat
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: U've never been to Berlin right?
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: that's my kink and I feel personally attacked
  • 1 0
 @cottontm: do you feel butt hurt buddy?
  • 1 0
 They stuck it right up Specialized ass a few years ago...
  • 40 0
 I'd be interested in other people's experiences with regards to the largest hole they've sealed using sealant alone, I've never got close to sealing a 5mm hole with Stan's personally.
  • 46 4
 This product certainly looks like it will help plug a very certain hole. Maybe even a bigger one than the one in your tire.
  • 39 2
 When you're out for a rip with the buds and gotta have a quick dart before returning home to plug some holes.
  • 31 0
 I and many friends have had lots of success using pieces of an old cotton t shirt. Stuff it into the hole and then it sucks up the Stans sealant and creates permanent seal on the inside. Just trim the excess cotton on the outside with a knife and you are good to go. I have run months with multiple cotton plugs in my tire with no leaking issues. The cotton tshirt also costs next to nothing if you use an old one.
  • 7 1
 On a Outback country ride we tied some dry field grass in knots and crammed it through a hole pull it back out tight against the tire. About a half an hour it held air and got us back to the car. It worked good for a organic free tire plug. I also believe my invention is way more environmentally friendly ;-)
  • 5 9
flag Lagr1980 (Oct 7, 2019 at 7:37) (Below Threshold)
 @smashnuk: you won the internet today. Made my morning hahaha
  • 4 0
 @danny: I've found little bits of T-shirt can even be better than traditional style plugs, they adapt a bit more easily to weird shaped holes and cuts in the tire!
  • 5 0
 @keeqan:

+1 for the cotton t shirt patch. Sealed a 8mm slice once and the cotton went super hard inside and out. I struggled to remove it when i came to fix it several rides later. As its textured and soaks up sealant it doesn't slide out of big holes like worms do if the holes are big.
  • 5 8
 I'm convinced that sealant does do shit other than spray profusely everwhere and create rotating mass in your tires. I have never, ever had luck getting anything to seal and I've used Orange Seal, Stans and Finish LIne. Orange Seal wouldn't even seal up a microscopic pin hole puncture in the center of my tread.
  • 18 0
 @danny: Just wait until someone brings out a riding t-shirt or jersey with tear off strips for plugging tyres.
  • 1 0
 Ya that sounds like a joke with stans sealant.
  • 11 0
 @skycripp: If I was a betting man, I'd wager that the sealants working as desired, but doing it so well that you never even noticed.
  • 3 0
 @danny: Note to self. Throw some T-Shirt scraps in my CamelBak.
  • 1 0
 I just found a very big thorn in my tire. could only have been there since last time france 6 weeks ago. this time the sealant was great
  • 2 0
 Ive found if you get glitter and mix it in with your sealant it works to seal pretty big holes. The glitter packs up on itself near the hole and the stans seals inbetween the glitter peices
  • 3 0
 @endurogan: But when it inevitably doesn't work, or at least blows sealant for a few seconds, you're spraying plastic bits all over the trail. Kind of a bone head move.
  • 1 2
 @skycripp: a few peices pf glitter the hundreds of thousands of micro plastics in almost every bottle of soap and cleaner you have in your house that goes down the drain straight to the ocean... bonehead
  • 3 0
 @endurogan: I worked in the Plastics industry for years. A truly scary industry. Spartech Plastics used ground up porta potties to make tube slides for kids to play in. Any plastic that is the color black can have literally anything hidden in it as a filler. Anything from medical waste 2 wood chips.
  • 17 2
 Am i the only one who thought, at first glance, that the thumbnail for this article looked a little NSFW? Also, i should get to work...
  • 4 0
 Why, no. Not at all. *giggles*
  • 14 0
 To date I've found that small, backpack-friendly plug kits work fantastic on YouTube and about 50/50 on the trail.
  • 10 0
 Maybe its just me, but Ive had great luck with the Genuine Innovations Bacon strips, including similar sized holes in a sidewall. Just jam as many as you need into the hole, spin the tire to get some sealant on it, and reinflate with some CO2. Way cheaper too.
  • 6 0
 I have 4 strips of bacon in my tires right now. Still holds air after several months.
  • 2 0
 @EKrum: max ive had in a single tire was 9, two of them were doubles too. those bacon strips seriously work wonders!
  • 8 1
 Kuddos to Stans. The "worms" and their jenky installation tools just don"t cut it. I like and have been carrying/using Dynaplugs since they came out, but they don't work too well on sidewall punctures. This is next level stuff and could be useful on epics, enduros, and simply saving an otherwise nice tire.
  • 2 0
 Agreed, looks cool. A better carry solution would be nice though. Make a version that fits in a handlebar, pedal spindle or steerer tube.
  • 10 2
 Man has found a process that is satisfied by only inserting the tip. 2019 ladies and gentlemen.
  • 6 0
 Would this work with any other latex-based tire sealant? I get that you're trying to pair it with Stan's Sealant, but I am asking for those who don't run this particular sealant for any reasons.
  • 3 0
 He says in the video that it reacts with the latex. So I guess yes. But not Finish line.
  • 4 0
 Orange Seal is latex based, so I'm going to assume it works with that.
  • 7 0
 So the big question is: will the darts fit on a standard plug tool? The darts themselves look like a good idea but that tool looks bulky and my OneUp tool fits in my headtube
  • 5 0
 Anyone complaining about the cost. How much would you pay to A) NOT have to install a tube, B) NOT have to stop to pump up a tire with a slash that leaks even after using a couple a plugs. To me any improvement on what I already consider to be a pretty good system is welcome.
  • 7 0
 Does it fit into hollowtech cranks? If not, why?
  • 1 0
 yup, same idea here, putting it into cranks axle
  • 3 0
 @S851: I am using a "ghetto" one made from cork plug with the needle and prepared plug just fitted into there.

You get the Giant kit (which is like 150 CZK/ under 6 EUR) cut out the needle tool from the handle, put it into the cork plug, put there a coin into the cork to not push the needle thru on wrong end, glued a bit so it´s keeping in the place and voilà. It s maybe 20grams and its on the bike
  • 2 5
 That's what she said
  • 3 0
 I've already seen something very similar in trail (motor) bikes which are tubeless many many years ago. It's a good idea, but i guess that when you have to work on a completely flat tire with thin sidewalls it might be far less easy to use...
  • 5 1
 Ya the test he does isn't very realistic... Don't think I've ever had a flat where I've been off my bike, have the wheel off the bike and tool in hand. Usually only find out I have a flat after I eat shit into a corner... get up, dust myself off... think "wtf??"... pick up my bike, get on... then realize I have a flat. By that time the tire is usually completely flat. If I'm racing, I've already lost enough time that I'll just sit there and take the time to put a tube in. Or if I'm not racing, I have time to just sit there and throw a tube in... vs. trying to plug a totally flat tire that already had most of it's sealant shoot out.

At least when I get it home... I could probably save an expensive tire with something like this. Which would be worth the $25 entry price.
  • 30 25
 Our sealant doesn't seal punctures so well so here's a new product to buy from us.
  • 5 0
 Nobody's sealant will close up a 1cm gash.
  • 1 0
 @alexsin: most stuff for me will do pin holes form cacti and goat heads, but anything bigger than that and im out of luck. OS, bontrager, stans, its all the same shit! running no sealant in one of my current bikes, going to see how long i can go.
  • 8 2
 Lol, it looks a lot like a ....
  • 5 0
 A plug?
  • 33 5
 Trek session??
  • 2 1
 @IntoTheEverflow: but, a plug
  • 1 0
 Session Plug?
  • 2 0
 This looks pretty legit. As a long time advocate for large strip type tire plugs (not Dyna plugs) , this new techy design from Stans seems to have its merits. With that said, it still amazes me how many folks out on the trails still don't carry any type of plug.....
  • 3 0
 Design of the applicator is way too big to fit into most peoples tool kits nicely... At least you could just buy the refill pack of plugs and improvise your own smaller applicator though, which is what I will do!
  • 3 0
 Cool idea, but the applicator looks much bigger than a dynaplug applicator and it doesn't look like it would fit in my current tool setup. Why is it so big?
  • 43 0
 I get asked this alllllll the time.
  • 1 0
 So, that plastic tip stays in the tire. In the off chance you get another puncture, and the tire deflates enough, would you run the risk of that plastic tip gouging your tubeless tape should you accidentally run over that tip on a flat tire?
  • 1 0
 Really like the idea of the plug design but would've been nice of it was engineered to work with a standard plug insertion tool. I've currently got a plug reemer and inserter in my bar ends that I forget is there unless I need it and that plastic case/handle is a bit bigger than anything I really want to ride with.
  • 4 0
 Will the chemical reaction work with Orange Seal?
  • 2 0
 At the end of one of those vids, he said if using CO2 to replace the air when you get home to preserve the sealant. I didn't know that was a thing - am I the only one?
  • 1 0
 sadly Stans doesn't always work with C02.
  • 3 0
 CO2 escapes more quickly from tires and tubes than air does and tends to dry sealants out more quickly. It's a good rule of thumb to always deflate and reinflate from a pump or compressor after using CO2 cartridges to fix a flat.
  • 2 0
 LOL that they call it 'environmentally friendly', and then clearly state that the rest of the chemical filled rubber will just fall out.
  • 2 0
 I mean if you really going to nitpick like this, why not go further and say that everyone should walk barefoot in woods, as the shoe soles also leave a bit of rubber and even glue(!) behind with every hiker out there.
  • 1 0
 @Zaeius some people like to run the dhr2 backwards I do occasionally when climbing in loose and Sandy conditions. Less braking traction but the climbing traction is like a paddle tire.
  • 1 0
 My experience with plugs says that something with that much material left sticking out after insertion is going to get torn right back out of the tire. hope you can trim it.
  • 3 0
 You got a ****ing dart in your tire man.
  • 2 0
 I like you man... I like you.
  • 2 0
 ...we're going streaking...
  • 3 0
 WELL TICKLE MY NUTS AND CALL ME SUSAN
  • 4 1
 perfect, something new to shove up my ass
  • 1 0
 "be careful here to not create a gash"

In the desert, it's either pin hole that seals instantly, or huge gash. Do some real testing then you'll earn my business.
  • 1 0
 Yep, never going to see these plastic containers on the side of the trail. Ill stick with the metal, non plastic variety. Nice concept though.
  • 1 0
 I apologize for being crude, but did anyone else watch the "Stan's DART Tool Instructions" video and hear what was said from 0:29 to 0:35?
  • 2 0
 Many tires were harmed in the making of this video
  • 1 0
 If they made this where it would slip in to a crankset spindle, they'd really have a winner on their hands.
  • 2 1
 If you're balding or your barber screws up your haircut, this is a great fix!
  • 2 1
 Just don't mistake it for your pocket pussy fellas, I doubt it feels good up your urethra.
  • 1 0
 just carry it in your teeth so you can use it in the 3.5 seconds before all the air has blown out
  • 1 0
 those tires have grumpy lettuce.
  • 1 0
 Minion DHR2 is on backwards
  • 1 0
 Sooo, the little rubber bits just get left on the trail?
  • 1 0
 I bet couple of good rear wheel skids leave more rubber on the trail though. And I've never heard anyone complain about leaving rubber on the trail because of it. It's a bit stupid and wasteful (skidding), but the environmental impact of those minuscule rubber particles is pretty much none whatsoever.
  • 2 2
 It also works as a sex toy for when they screw you over with other parts! Double the action for a single payment!
  • 1 1
 Never liked Stans, never did what it said on the tin. Last 5 years ive used Goop and now all is green man.
  • 1 2
 So how long does it last? Bacon strips only last for a few rides, then break down and allow the hole to open again. That $80 is still worthless even with plugs.
  • 5 0
 What I've done with plugs is use them to continue my ride, but when I get home remove my tire,remove the plug, and patch my tire up from the inside. A butyl patch is cheap and reliable.
  • 2 1
 or put a tube in and move out
  • 1 0
 The designers were having a field day with that one Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Dual
A$$
Reaming
Tool

When you want to keep that white goo from oozing outta that gash, reach for a DART.
  • 1 0
 Stan's is doing something other than making bad wheels?!?! Way to go!
  • 1 0
 Never leave this thing next to your wife's bed...
  • 3 3
 It definitely looks like a dildo.
  • 1 0
 April fools?
  • 2 1
 Tire titty tassells.
  • 2 1
 Tire Tampon.
  • 5 6
 Am I reading this right, it's $10 per fixed flat? oh right, Stans.
  • 9 0
 $20 for a refill pack of five.
  • 2 0
 @danielsapp: That's more reasonable. I see the info has been updated.
  • 5 7
 @danielsapp: actualy he's right - it's only TWO plugs for 25 !
www.notubes.com/dart-tool
"Includes two pre-loaded DARTs for sealing multiple and larger punctures"

Five - it's additional 20$
  • 2 0
 @danielsapp: What size hex could effectively substitute the post on that bulky tool?
  • 1 2
 StansFart? No, thank you :]
  • 1 4
 That's what she said.
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