tubeless and cold weather- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    tubeless and cold weather

    anyone have had issues with their stans freezing up ?
    does the stuff still work at -20/ -30 C, or do you need to add a sip of glycol / alcohol?

  2. #2
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    I have been wondering this as well... Getting ready to set up tubeless for the Chicago winter. Are some sealants better than others in the cold?

  3. #3
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    Orange Seal is currently hawking a cold weather specific sealant. No clue if it is any good.

    At the temps the OP is looking for I am usually on skis....

  4. #4
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    Re: tubeless and cold weather

    Stans works fine.
    It's 20-40% propylene glycol. - 50 c freeze point.
    15-30% natural latex.
    Balance of water.
    The small balance of water should be greatly outdone by the very low freezing point of the pg.
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  5. #5
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    Stan's works to -40F or less. I found Orange Seal works to roughly -15F. If it hits -20, do you want your sealant to stop working and throw in a tube? Neither did I.
    I proudly ride for these guys.

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  6. #6
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    Re: tubeless and cold weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Stan's works to -40F or less. I found Orange Seal works to roughly -15F. If it hits -20, do you want your sealant to stop working and throw in a tube? Neither did I.
    Yeah. Me thinks I'm good for the - 40! Won't find me biking at that temp.

    Also, I'm starting to hear similar issues with orange seal weeping clear, not sealing, etc. So what makes it better than stans at this point is the question.
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  7. #7
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    IMO the trick is to ride with sealant for long enough in the fall and early winter so that the sealant has coated every part of the tire, bead, etc... That way you have an airtight seal regardless of temp or fluid viscosity.

    The other way to look at this is that there aren't many thorns to worry about at -40, and probably not many sealants are going to fix them if you find them at those temps.

  8. #8
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    Thorns, no... but I keep managing to find the occasional nail and screw on my commute to work. I don't really want to be changing (and pumping up) a fat tire in the snow.

  9. #9
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    Stan's states on the bottle that it is good to -20oC or so.

  10. #10
    Anchorage, AK
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    Slime pro is supposed to be good to -30F, but I also wonder how reliable tape (stan's, 8898, or gorilla) is as a sealant at really cold temperatures.

    Having tried a few different tubeless setups on occasion, I am pretty skeptical of the whole enterprise.

    The weight benefit seems small--a light tube like the Schwalbe SV13F (185 grams) and a rim strip made out of 3M 8898 or decorative duck tape (15-22 grams) gets me down to between 200 and 207 grams total. That's a setup that I have used successfully for two years winters without a single failure and until yesterday no flats in summer or winter.

    Very few tubeless setups get anywhere near that low in terms of set-up weight and even if they did, I can't imagine all the tinkering would justify the weight-loss and increased failure-risk. I suspect taht people who identify large weight savings are comparing a stock, heavy tube, heavy rim-strip set up to their tubeless effort.

    I do recognize that in certain situations, tubeless is the only way to go (summer riding in areas with thorny plants). But, the prospect of a tubeless failure in -20F weather seems quite unpleasant, especially given how hard it can be to dismount tires from some of the newer tight fitting rims.
    --Peace

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    The weight benefit seems small--a light tube like the Schwalbe SV13F (185 grams) and a rim strip made out of 3M 8898 or decorative duck tape (15-22 grams) gets me down to between 200 and 207 grams total. That's a setup that I have used successfully for two years winters without a single failure and until yesterday no flats in summer or winter.

    .
    I quit using those Schwalbe tubes as the batch I was using would not adequately inflate a fat tire - I had sections of tire not evenly inflating when the tire gage read 10psi. When I pumped them up without being in a tire, they had an erratic shape where some areas would be a very small diameter and other areas at almost twice the diameter of the smaller sections. They do not evenly expand like the Q-Tubes do. Are you getting different results? I had one go flat and it did not provide adequate support to the tire. Luckily I was traveling on a straight slight downhill so no harm was done to me.

  12. #12
    Anchorage, AK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Balogh View Post
    I quit using those Schwalbe tubes as the batch I was using would not adequately inflate a fat tire - I had sections of tire not evenly inflating when the tire gage read 10psi. When I pumped them up without being in a tire, they had an erratic shape where some areas would be a very small diameter and other areas at almost twice the diameter of the smaller sections. They do not evenly expand like the Q-Tubes do. Are you getting different results? I had one go flat and it did not provide adequate support to the tire. Luckily I was traveling on a straight slight downhill so no harm was done to me.
    That is a very good point, Steve, which I should have made in my post. I have had two SV13F tubes that had the reinforcement sections positioned in such a way that they would not inflate evenly enough to be usable in fat tires (even with a lot of talc). That said, among the tubes that inflated evenly enough to work, I have not had any problems and have had one in my front tire (and two in my daughter's tires) that have been in place for over a year with no problems at pressures as high as 20 psi and as low as 3-4 psi. Obviously, because of the high number of tubes with significant uneven inflation issues, I test my spares before I need to use them and put a fair amount of talc on the ones that inflate reasonably evenly.
    Last edited by Lars_D; 09-08-2014 at 10:48 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thickfog View Post
    Stans works fine.
    It's 20-40% propylene glycol. - 50 c freeze point.
    15-30% natural latex.
    Balance of water.
    The small balance of water should be greatly outdone by the very low freezing point of the pg.
    Put your nose really close and breath in a big whiff.

    That's ammonia.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    Re: tubeless and cold weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Put your nose really close and breath in a big whiff.

    That's ammonia.
    Don't think they use that anymore except the trace amounts in the latex. My info is straight from msds data.
    I certainly can't verify it. And no, to me it does not smell like ammonia.
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  15. #15
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    I like Stan's a lot, but I agree with MikeSee, nothing seals tires at -30. That said, Stan's still works after it has seen -30, once it has warmed up to above freezing again.
    If I get a puncture at much below freezing, I just put a tube in it.

  16. #16
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    I usually use a combination of Slime and Stans. For a couple of years I ran a clear material and clear tape under the rim cutouts so I could visibly watch the sealant while riding in various temperatures. Down to around -30F, I never saw any issues the sealant becoming frozen. While Mike might have a point about the lack of thorns at those temps, there are other dangers. For example, while riding down a frozen river a couple of winters ago, the guy I was riding with rode over numerous sections of barbed wire and had sealant coming out of his tires. It's not uncommon to have guys flat in races where there is no dirt or thorns to be seen.

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