If you’re riding on tubeless tires, then you know the importance of keeping them properly sealed. Topping up your sealant is an easy way to ensure that your tires stay airtight and perform at their best.
When it comes to topping off your tire sealants, there are few factors that will determine when and how often this should be done: terrain type, temperature, your tires quality, how often you ride... Some folks say to check the sealant level every couple of weeks, some other say the sealant lasts as long as the tyre itself. I think it's a good practice to check and top up at the start of the year before I'm off for some serious adventure, and later in mid-season, as part of a general check up.
Now let's get into actually doing it - here is a simple step by step guide on how to top up tire sealants, without taking the tires off the wheel.
Here's what you'll need:
- sealant (I chose Stans NoTubes The Solution Tyre Sealant, available in Halfords, Tredz and many more stores)
- sealant injector (plenty of options available online). It's really just a syringe with a rubber tubr that can fit in the valve. Mine came with a handy tool to unscrew the valve cores
- a tool to unscrew the valve cores (pliers, or a specific tool)
Step by step how to top up tubeless tires keeping them on the wheel:
1. Depressurize the tires and unscrew the valve cores. Some valves have small slits that can also be used for unscrewing, so use whatever works best for yours.
2. Shake the sealant bottle well. To ensure that all of the important particles are mixed in, rotate the bottle upside down first before shaking it.
3. Check how much sealant is left in the tires. To do this, insert a cotton earbud (without the cotton tip!) into the valve stem, just like you would check the oil level in a car with a dipstick. If the earbud comes out dry, you need to add more sealant.
4. Fill the injector with sealant. The amount of sealant you need will depend on the size of your tires and how much sealant is already in them. As a reference point, I used 40ml of sealant in my injector after seeing a 7mm reading on my dipstick.
5. Insert the injector tube into one valve opening. Be careful not to build up too much pressure inside the tire. Slowly push out all of the sealant in the injector.
6. Replace the valve core and pump up the tire.
7. Rotate the wheel and move it sideways in all directions. This will help the sealant to coat all sides of the tire.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the other wheel.
And voila! You've successfully topped up those seals without breaking sweat.