I converted to tubeless in Dec 2019 and just had my first puncture after about 4 months/1000 miles (I do a fair amount of Zwifting on my other bike). After I heard the hissing stop and seeing the sealant on the frame I stopped and could see a shard of glass in the tire and the tire was soft. No more air was leaking. With only 8 miles left in my ride, I just road it home instead of squirting some CO2 into it. At home, when I put air in the tire at about 40-50 psi air started leaking from where the glass shard was (it apparently dislodged from the tire on the rest of the ride home). So had I stopped and put CO2 in the tire it wouldn't have improved my situation.
Q1: I expected the sealant to close up the puncture, so that all I would need to do is squirt some CO2 in and continue riding (or racing) in all except severe punctures. This was not the case, is this normal? Or is there something different or better I can do with my tubeless setup?
Q2: I tried to plug the tire with a leyzene plug and tool but it didn't hold. The puncture was much smaller than the tool, so I made it 'larger'using the tool to get the plug in. In the end I just put a new tire on, but aside from the puncture there seems to be plenty of life left in the tire. Should I expect to replace tires most any time I get a puncture?
When I removed and replaced the tire, there was plenty of sealant still in the tire. The sealant was still viscous and appeared as if it was fresh out of the bottle after 5 months of riding.
My setup is HED Jet 6 wheels with 23mm Schwalbe Pro 1 tires (on the wide rim HED's they look and fit more like 25's). I run them at 80 psi with Stan's sealant. I am 168lbs/76.2kg at 5'10"/178cm.
Thank you in advance for your collective wisdom! This thread has been a great source of information.
1. Hard to say - not all punctures will automatically seal with tubeless. I've certainly experienced some that don't seal. One thing that almost universally helps is using wider tires and less pressure (less chance of blowing out the seal provided by the sealant).
2. All depends on the size and type of puncture. Personally, I haven't done a whole lot with plugging tires. I typically replace the tire if it's cut bad enough to not seal.
Greg Kopecky - Slowtwitch Tech Editor