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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I shook the bottle well. Gosh I stirred it so hard. I definitely followed the instructions as precisely as I could.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  1. 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)
  2. When punctures appeared, it was very easy to find them - the sealant started to bubble, hiss, come out from a hole.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. There is a risk of partially sealing the valve, making inflation and deflation problematic.
  6. 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.

Written by Grigory Rechistov in Uncategorized on 30.06.2016. Tags: rants, sealant,

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