The cold weather this weekend had me looking for a bike related activity that didn’t involve grinding through semi-frozen piedmont clay. I’ve been thinking of turning my 2014 Specialized Epic Carbon Comp tubeless and spending 30 very cold mins. yesterday fixing a pinch puncture on the trail sealed the deal.
The Epic’s tires are Specialized Fask Trak 2Bliss Ready so all that was required was to find the tubeless valves that came with the bike and to buy some sealant and actually make the transition.
I started with the front. Fitted the valve (there’s an obvious right an wrong orientation), put the tire back on, unscrewed the valve and then added sealant via the valve stem with a Stan’s syringe kits. Rolled the sealant around by rotating the wheel through a couple of different axes, fitted he valve back on then tried to inflate the tire using a track pump. Lots of pumping but no seal. Used a 20g CO2 canister and instantly the tire popped onto the rim and sealed – nice sound. But there was still little air (and a little sealant) coming out of the valve so I had to wiggle and rock it while tightening the nut until it stopped.
The rear went on much quicker – fitted the tubeless valve tight by applying some sealant to the area and rocking it and wiggling it while tightening the nut. Didn’t bother using the syringe to add sealant – just poured some into the bottom of the tire before popping the tire on. Another C02 canister instantly inflated the tire and popped the tire onto the bead. Just like a pro !
I inflated both tires to 60 psi using a track pump and witnessed the magical sealant doing it’s job on an old, decent sized hole in the front tire. I rode the bike to the end of the street and back just to circulate the sealant and left it in the sun for an hour or so. Checked the pressure when I came back and everything looked good so deflated both tires to my usual 40psi.
I did a quick trail ride but didn’t notice any immediate difference – I suspect that’s more to do with the current conditions (ice, mud, clay); looking forward to a longer ride later in the week. Will still be packing a spare tube until I’m confident of the sealant’s ability to fix small punctures. I did notice that my usual 40psi feels rock solid so will likely have to experiment with pressure a bit. I’ll post an update when I’ve ridden some more.
Also what should I carry on the trails for repairs now ? Just sealant and C02 ?