Getting a puncture while out riding is something that most bikers with experience and have to deal will at some stage. There are a number of puncture repair kits you can get that you can bring out on the ride. There are also the alternative solution is to use self-sealing bike tubes.
Self-sealing bike tubes can repair punctures in moments as the tube comes with a special sealant. The sealant will flow through the inside as the wheel spins. When a puncture develops, the sealant enters the open space. The bond covers the opening, ensuring air will not leak from the tube.
In this post, we will go through do self-sealing bicycle tubes work. Let’s get started!
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How Do Self-Sealing Bicycle Tubes Work?
Self-sealing bike tubes can repair punctures in moments as the tube comes with a special sealant. The sealant will flow through the inside of the tube as the wheel spins. The sealant flows to ensure it covers the entire surface as necessary.
When a puncture develops, the sealant enters the open space. The bond covers the opening, ensuring air will not leak from the tube. The sealant may feature a black texture that matches the tire tread. The effort ensures the bicycle can keep on running and that the rider won’t worry about a flat tire.
The compound that works here is similar to what you might find in a traditional tube sealant spray compound. It will feature a natural latex base that will dry when exposed to air. The latex compound binds to the outside and will not leak or seep further.
Do Self-Sealing Bicycle Tubes Work?
The answer to this question heavily depends on the size of the puncture. The tube works well against punctures less than 0.2 mm in diameter on average. The sealant will go through the opening and close it in less time.
But a more massive puncture could be dangerous, as it can cause air to flow out of the tire in moments. It could take longer for the sealant to cover a hole greater than 0.2 mm in diameter.
The good news is that most of the punctures you might experience can be small enough for a self-sealing tube to work. Many punctures come from small rocks or pebbles that might appear on the road while you’re riding.
Considerations Self Sealing Bicycle Tube
The self-sealing tube is ideal for your riding needs, but you should look at your riding habit and the surfaces you ride on before figuring out if you need such a tube. The self-sealing tube might influence your riding experience depending on your riding style.
There are a few points when considering using a self-sealing bicycle tube.
- A self-sealing tube will weigh more than a traditional one on average. It can go from 50 to 100 grams more than a regular tube.
- You may notice the tires feel a little less lively when riding. The added mass requires you to put in extra effort when pedaling.
- The bicycle may not bounce or vibrate as much when you have a self-sealing tube. The sealant material can absorb some of the shocks, but they won’t prevent all of these from developing while you’re riding.
- The tube fits the same way as any other tube. It can also handle the same amount of pressure.
- Self-sealing tubes can fit both lighter summer tires and heavy or thick winter tires.
You don’t have to add any sealant materials inside your existing tubes either. While you could add a sealant into a non-sealing tube, you’d have to utilize some additional equipment to make it work.
You’d also need to add the sealant quick enough to keep it from drying before entering a tube. A self-sealing tube that already has the adhesive on the inside will be easier to manage, as you won’t have to add anything extra to the setup.
Is It Worth Patching A Bike Tube?
You may have more luck in patching a bike tube if you have a more substantial tear that a self-sealing bicycle tube cannot support. A patching material can be easy to apply over an opening, plus it can flex well after you inflate the tire once more.
It will also conform to the shape and treads on your tire, ensuring it remains functional. A bike tube can last for at least ten years if you take good care of it. You can ensure the tube will last longer if you patch the space.
A self-sealing model will do this for you, especially if you have a small enough opening where the tube can handle the issue.
But be advised that a self-sealing bicycle tube might be hard to patch while keeping the sealant in its place. The tube might have lost more sealant material than you can afford to waste before you can get the patch ready.
Finally, self-sealing bicycle tubes are worth it if you get small punctures regularly but the tubes are a little bit heavier than the normal tubes. You will still need to bring a puncture repair kit to repair punctures that are bigger than 0.2 mm. It always better to be prepared.
And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on do self-sealing bicycle tubes work was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.