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We've Reformulated Our Tire Sealant

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Posted By: Mason Copeland

Sep 20, 2021

Tubeless has become the standard for many cyclists in recent years because it reduces the frequency of flat tires and saves quite a lot of time in the long run. It also allows for the rider to use lower PSI's because "snake bite" punctures are no longer possible. However, traditional tire sealants are latex-based and come with a series of issues, issues that we have addressed. Recently, WPL updated our tire sealant formula to "plug some holes" in the previous formula, and we explore these below. 

 WPL Tubeless Sealant
Our race ready sealant seals punctures and prevents flats to keep the wheels spinning, always

 

Unlike the standard tubeless sealants on the market which are latex-based, our Bio-Based Tire Sealant is a gel like formula so it doesn't dry out inside the tire. This is ideal because the standard latex-based formula requires the user to change it out every 3-4 months. Time and time again we see tire sealants that simply can't seal punctures because most of the sealant has already dried out on the inside of the tire. By using a different base substance, we are able to maintain the correct moisture content in the sealant which results in a longer-lasting, most consistent sealant. It is also very easy to clean out in the event that the tire needs to be changed off the wheel (maybe riding in a different terrain) and is water soluble, so you simply spray it with a hose to remove it. If you've ever tried to get dried latex-based sealant out of your tire, you know what a relief this will be!

WPL Tubeless Sealant
Fresh sealant showing off that gel like consistency 
 WPL Tubeless Sealant
Even after several weeks the old sealant still maintains it's gel like state, and will indefinitely.

How do bio-based sealants perform?

When it comes down to it, our bio-based sealant performs exactly how it's supposed to. It will seal a puncture in a matter of a few seconds and will save you time dealing with patch kits or tubes on the side of the trail. The original WPL formula was a little too viscous in some colder climates, so a key part of this reformulation is reducing its viscosity and improving its pinhole leakage capabilities.

As you can see this pinhole is no match for our tubeless sealant
Even on the sidewall the WPL Tubeless Sealant has no issues sealing a puncture. 
The screwdriver puncture test ensures the sealant works on even the larger tire injuries. 

Since WPL doesn't use the same volatile compounds such as ammonia like most of the competitors (yes, that "eco-friendly sealant you use has ammonia in it), WPL's sealant can result in slightly more sidewall seepage than you might be used to. This occurs when base fluids in the sealant seep through microscopic pores in the rubber, which can be opened up when the sidewall incurs damage from riding. In a typical sealant, the volatile compounds would evaporate fairly fast, but since we do not use toxic volatile compounds there are some lingering droplets. This is simply an aesthetic cost of using bio-based, non-latex ingredients but doesn't have any effect on the performance of the sealant. In fact, it can be seen as a benefit. By not using toxic compounds you'll have to sacrifice minor sidewall seepage, but you'll never again have to worry about your sealant drying up, which means you'll be able to seal punctures when it matters most! 

So why should you make the switch?

The mountain bike industry is currently experiencing its biggest growth period in history. With lack of supply and increased demand, there are more people than ever starting to ride bikes (if they're lucky enough to get their hands on one). So as more bikes fly off the shelves, this means more bikes that need to be maintained. Up until recently the only options available were non-renewable resources like synthetic latex or petroleum, but now with the use of WPL products you can maintain your bike with fully renewable and fully bio-based products. As the world shifts to a more sustainable future, we want to encourage all mountain bikers to protect outdoor landscapes by using sustainable products that perform for your bike and are safe for the planet.