My Experience with Joe’s No-Flats Sealant
I’ve been using the Joe’s NoFlats 0.5 liter sealant bottle for filling my MTB and road bike inner tubes for about half a year, until the bottle was empty.
To summarize up my experience: inconclusive, yet with a strong bias to “not working for me”. I am uncertain because the liquid seemed to seal some punctures, but I am not praising it because it did not make my life easier. It even made it harder somewhat. I will not buy another pack of this stuff.
How did I use the stuff?
- I used the sealant on two bikes, one with road tubes (622-25) and one with MTB tubes (559-50). I had not tried it with a tubeless setup because I do not have such thing at the moment.
- I used it in winter and during warmer seasons. No punctures when there was snow around, as things tend to be smoother, speeds lower and rides less frequent.
- I poured the sealant through the valve stem. For Shrader valves, I used a core remover to simplify application. With Presta systems, I had to use a syringe with a needle to get the stuff past the valve into a tube.
- I shook the bottle well. Gosh I stirred it so hard. I definitely followed the instructions as precisely as I could.
- I used regular cheap tires. I did not attempt to mess with my pair of Michlein self-healing DH tubes, as they seem to work all right.
- Amount of sealant that I poured in tubes varied from moderate to twice as seemed to be moderate. The manufacturer instructions are not very clear about that.
Details of my resulting experience follow.
- Punctures still happened. The sealant was not able to heal neither small snake bites (shame on me, yeah) nor regular tiny punctures from city’s debris. God I hate cities with their dirty roads, glass and wires. I never happened to get a puncture outside a major town, only within a city borders)
- When punctures appeared, it was very easy to find them - the sealant started to bubble, hiss, come out from a hole.
- Fixing holes with a glued (or pre-glued) patch becomes harder, because the surface around the hole becomes wet from the sealant, and it continuously reappears from the orifice.
- Working with tubes and tires becomes messy. Some amount of sealant always manages to escape bottle/tube/puncture and to spill on the floor, spoil some clothes, make hands sticky, wet the tire or all of that.
- There is a risk of partially sealing the valve, making inflation and deflation problematic.
- One last time when I got a puncture from a barbed wire hidden on the ground, the damaged tube refused to inflate. But it also failed to deflate, as the valve and the puncture both sealed! I had to carry it around in half-inflated for a couple of days until I became tired of it and threw it away at the first encountered garbage bin (and then I almost immediately punctured the last good tube, but that is a different story).
This is all sad. Such a big promise, such a poor execution. Until I have a bike with a tubeless setup, I won’t lay my hands on any sealant product.