Stan’s No Tubes

Stan’s No Tubes Cyclocross Kit

Stan's No TubesYou will see that many of my “Stuff We Like” posts will relate to cycling. When it is January in Salt Lake City, cycling is not as smooth as it will be in June or July. Still, having the right gear makes a world of difference. This year, I am running Stan’s No Tubes on my cyclocross bike (Kona Jake the Snake).

I have been using the Stan’s system with Raven tires for about five months. Some of the time has been on dry asphalt. Some of it has been on six inches of snow. Lots of it has been on packed snow and ice. Some of it involves a stretch of goat’s head thorns. My thinking in going to a tubeless system was to avoid the hassle of flats in the coldest weather and to be able to ride the goat’s head path to avoid the busiest road on my commute. Thus far, I have been more than happy.

BT23-Raven700The installation of the tubeless system was simple enough. I got the Cyclocross Kit and two of the Raven tires. I admit that I was a little nervous about the installation. That was in part due to the attitude of a worker at a local bike shop who was very anti-tubeless. Of course, he didn’t sell tubeless supplies, so I shouldn’t have been surprised if he made it sound harder than it was. I took my time and worked to follow the instructions carefully. It took me about 90 minutes, with time out to watch the instruction video online. The only part of the process that could have been challenging was the initial inflation. It requires a pretty good airflow to get the tire to seat. I use my compressor and Prestaflator to do the job. In the months since then, I have only had to top off the air a few of times.

The only problem I have has was one puncture that would not seal up. I suspect that the sealant needed to be replaced. Once I did that, it sealed and has been good for the last two months. For some perspective, if I don’t use some kind of sealant, I can’t get home with out a flat. That is primarily the result of the goat’s head thorns. (Fun fact: the latin name is tribulus terrestris. The tribulus comes from the latin that also referred to caltrops. No wonder I hate them.) Even with a tube sealant like Slime or FlatAttack, I do good to get a couple of weeks without problems. Having one flat in five months is a real achievement for me.

I find that getting out the door on a really cold morning can be a challenge. Finding a flat tire saps my enthusiasm. Stan’s No Tubes has kept me going better this winter than I have ever done.