How to Add Sealant to Tubeless Tires

By : Mr Mamil
Updated :

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Tubeless tires require regular maintenance to keep them performing as intended, unlike clinchers. Besides checking the tires for cuts and tiny pieces of rocks and glasses, you’ll need to regularly top up the sealant.

The cuts might not completely seal without a sufficient amount of sealant and that’s why you need to regularly check and top up.

How often should I top up the sealant?

It can be anywhere between 1 to 3 months depending on the factors such as sealant viscosity, temperature, and tire size.

Give the wheel a shake and you’ll hear the sealant slushing inside. If you can’t hear anything and you have not topped up for more than 3 months, it’s time to top up.

Some watery sealants such as Joe’s No Flats are very audible and more viscous ones like Muc Off don’t produce any sound at all.

How to top up tubeless sealant

Place the Tire Valve at 3 or 9 o'clock Position to Inject the Sealant
Place the Tire Valve at 3 or 9 o’clock Position to Inject the Sealant
  1. Place the tire valve at either the 3 or 9 o’clock position.
  2. Deflate the tire completely.
  3. Use a valve core remover to loosen (turn counterclockwise) the valve core.
  4. Remove the valve core. If dried sealants are gunked up around the valve core, clean it up, or replace it with a new one.
  5. Shake the sealant bottle.
  6. If you are using a large bottle sealant (20oz or more), you can use a syringe such as Park Tool TSI-1 (easier and cleaner) to extract the sealant from the bottle before injecting it into the valve core.
  7. If you have a small bottle for one-off use, such as Stan’s 2oz version, you can inject sealant directly from the bottle into the valve core.
  8. Top up around 30 to 40ml of sealant per tire, which equates to about 50 to 60% of the required amount.
  9. Reinstall the valve core.
  10. Inflate the tire to the intended tire pressure.
  11. Rotate the wheels to distribute the sealant inside the tire evenly.

Should I get a small (2oz) or large (30oz) bottle?

The larger bottle will be cheaper in the long run but would require a syringe to extract the sealant from the bottle and then inject it into the valve core.

The smaller bottle, while more expensive, will be easier to use as you can directly inject the sealant into the valve core without needing a sealant injector. They will come in handy if you’re traveling with your bike.

For example, Stan’s 2oz bottle retails for $3.50 ($1.75/oz) as compared to the 32oz that retails for $32 ($1.06/oz).

Common mistakes when topping up sealant

  • Mixing sealants. It’s generally not a good idea to mix sealants with different brands/model. If you’re using a different sealant than the existing one, it’s best to remove the tire, clean up, and start fresh.
  • Not deflating the tire. Removing the valve core with the tire sis till inflated will lead to a sudden gush of air, and the valve core might be ejected.
  • Placing the tire valve at the 6 o’clock position might cause the newly injected sealant to overflow from the tire beads.