Anyone who has mounted up tubless tires and has not suffered a serious puncture for a while must wonder if the latex sealant is still sloshing around inside them, or if it has become hardened blobs of rubber. The MilKit system from Switzerland was born after a trip to Moab was hampered by a puncture that would have been small enough to self-heal, providing that the tubeless fluid had not dried out. Inventor and flat-tire victim Pius Kobler pondered a simple solution to check the level of his tubeless sealant that didn't involve removing the tire. His solution was a syringe and a special tubeless valve design that allows the user to add, remove, or to gauge the level of sealant in a tire. The entire kit, including two valves, fits neatly inside the syringe. The valves are suitable for any rim type and the kit costs $49 USD / €49. www.milkit.bike Performance
I'm going to be honest. When I met the guys from MilKit last year at Eurobike, I wasn't particularly excited to hear about a glorified syringe in the midst of hundreds of more interesting products. I, for one, have no need to check sealant levels - I don't think I have ever used the same tires or wheels long enough for this to be an issue and more so, I would be too lazy to use it. I took a sample away with me, which ended up lost in my garage and would have remained lost had I not been in desperate need for some tubeless valves for a new test bike. Staring at the depleted tubeless valve section of my toolbox joggled my MilKit memories, and I installed the odd-looking valves.
Still doubtful of the fancy syringe, I was shamed into having a go with the MilKit - and I discovered that Installing a tire without sealant, freed from the juggling act of wrestling with a wheel while keeping my clothes un-spattered by white liquid, was a much more pleasant tubeless experience. It goes like this:
Remove the valve core and inject as much fluid as required with zero spillage. The internal tip of the MilKit's Presta valve has a one-way rubber valve, so the second pleasantry came when I used an air compressor to quickly seat the tire and realized that I didn't have to race against a jet blast of escaping air after removing the airline to re-install the valve core. The valve's seal stops the air from escaping so I had all the time in the world. The third benefit of the valve's rubber seal is that tubeless fluid can't enter into the valve core and clog it up over time. MilKit made the task of mounting up tubeless tires seem simple and civilized.Problems
I encountered two problems with the MilKit - the first was purely negligence on my part. I failed to turn the stopcock to the "off" position before inserting the syringe tube into the valve to remove sealant. With around 30psi in the tire, the syringe blew apart and I, as well as most of my garage, were sprayed with sealant as the tire's contents emptied into the atmosphere. Note to self: "Make sure to insert the syringe into the tire (Milkit recommend 22psi Max.
) when the stopcock is closed, then gently
open it. After which, the pressure from the tire will fill the syringe."
The second problem was that the valves didn't seal perfectly after a few months of use and would leak slightly without the valve core installed. Re-installing the cores was an easy and intuitive fix. Aside from my mistake and the slight air leakage, the MilKit went from something I didn't care about to a must-have in my toolbox.Pinkbike's Take:
|The MilKit does what it set out to do. The valves' design is an upgrade over standard tubeless stems, and they make inflating tubeless tires that little bit simpler, as well as preventing sealant from clogging up the valve cores. Using a Syringe to transfer the fluid in and out makes life a lot cleaner when changing tires, and the way all the accessories can be contained inside the syringe keeps the kit organized and compact. - Paul Aston|
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