tubeless sealant deforming the tire carcass
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  1. #1
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    tubeless sealant deforming the tire carcass

    My mtb tubeless tire, and a buddy's road bike tubeless tire, have deformed considerably. When you spin the wheel, you can definitely see the tire wobble. At first, we both thought our wheels were out of true, but then upon closer examination, it was the the tire carcass that had deformed.
    But because my tire still has good tread left, I'm hesitant to replace it because the tire still hold pressure, and mtb biking speed is slower than road cycling so the wobbling affect is not as great.

    My buddy tire, which is a Conti 5k TL in 25mm, is more problematic. It does not hold psi greater than 80. When he pumps to 80 psi, tiny amount of sealant will seep out of the tire bead, and will continue to seep like this until the psi decreases to around 60, then the seepage will stop, but still continues to lose air every so slowly. He has put in an inner tube and continue to use the tire because tire tread is still good.

    Another buddy of mine also had his tubeless mtb tire deformed, but he kept riding that tire because tread was still good, and eventually one day when he left his bike in the sun (on a car rack), the tire burped completely, and so he decided to trash it.

    So the question is, could some sealants contain chemicals that would serve to degrade a tire carcass over time? In all cases, all tires are quality brand name tires, and the sealant used is Stans. It was not the case of sealant drying out, there was still plenty of sealant in those tires.

  2. #2
    tlg
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    I've been using Orange Seal for years. Haven't seen anything like that.
    I know some people who use Stans and haven't heard anything like that either. I know there have been stories online about Stans being corrosive to Alum rims.

    Do you have any photos of the deformation?
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    It's just my experience, but I've used Orange Seal for a couple of years without issue. My bike shop used Stan's on my newest set of tires and both tires would show seepage through the tire surface. I wore out the rear, but the front having lasted longer eventually developed what I would describe as blisters. I speculate the sealant caused the seepage and subsequent blistering. I questioned the tires safety and put on new tires using Orange Seal. No problems.

    I know blistering might not be considered deformation, but maybe has a similar cause, i.e. the type of sealant?? Just sharing in case it might be helpful.

    20200519_120738.jpg 20200519_120730.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I've been using Orange Seal for years. Haven't seen anything like that.
    I know some people who use Stans and haven't heard anything like that either. I know there have been stories online about Stans being corrosive to Alum rims.

    Do you have any photos of the deformation?
    I don't have photos, but a photo would not easily show the tire deforming. Even if I dismount the tire and lay it flat, it's hard to tell if something is wrong with it. It's only when you mount the tire onto the wheel, pump it up to proper psi, spin the tire, will you see the tire appear to wobble (making you to mistakingly think the wheel is out of true). The effect is similar to an imperfectly glued on tubular. Back in the rearly days of mtb tubeless, I have some across tires with pooling sealants (Stans) that would cause the carcass to bubble out and/or with the rubber layer delaminating from the carcass.

    Now regarding my buddy's Conti 5000 TL, upon closer examination, we now think the tire was damange when he hit big chip seal on a mountain descent. I say this because when we examined the Conti close, we could see a section of bead appearing to slightly fray/cracked a bit (ie, it doesn't look normal), so we think the impact might have damage the tire bead and not the carcass. But how knows, it could also be that we had a bad Conti that was already going bad and that the impact just pushed it over the edge?

    But for the mtb tires, we're pretty sure it's carcass that has deformed (under proper psi). But it could very well be that sealant has nothing to do with this but just the tire has reached its lifespan (even if tread and knobs are still good to the eyes.). Who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogus View Post
    It's just my experience, but I've used Orange Seal for a couple of years without issue. My bike shop used Stan's on my newest set of tires and both tires would show seepage through the tire surface. I wore out the rear, but the front having lasted longer eventually developed what I would describe as blisters. I speculate the sealant caused the seepage and subsequent blistering. I questioned the tires safety and put on new tires using Orange Seal. No problems.

    I know blistering might not be considered deformation, but maybe has a similar cause, i.e. the type of sealant?? Just sharing in case it might be helpful.

    20200519_120738.jpg 20200519_120730.jpg
    Thanks for the pic.
    Yep I've had my fair share of blisters on mtb tires back in the early days of tubeless, using Stans too, exactly like your pic. Looks like Stans is still causing this all these years later. Not sure if blistering and deformation are related, hmm

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I don't have photos, but a photo would not easily show the tire deforming. Even if I dismount the tire and lay it flat, it's hard to tell if something is wrong with it. It's only when you mount the tire onto the wheel, pump it up to proper psi, spin the tire, will you see the tire appear to wobble (making you to mistakingly think the wheel is out of true). The effect is similar to an imperfectly glued on tubular. Back in the rearly days of mtb tubeless, I have some across tires with pooling sealants (Stans) that would cause the carcass to bubble out and/or with the rubber layer delaminating from the carcass.

    Now regarding my buddy's Conti 5000 TL, upon closer examination, we now think the tire was damange when he hit big chip seal on a mountain descent. I say this because when we examined the Conti close, we could see a section of bead appearing to slightly fray/cracked a bit (ie, it doesn't look normal), so we think the impact might have damage the tire bead and not the carcass. But how knows, it could also be that we had a bad Conti that was already going bad and that the impact just pushed it over the edge?

    But for the mtb tires, we're pretty sure it's carcass that has deformed (under proper psi). But it could very well be that sealant has nothing to do with this but just the tire has reached its lifespan (even if tread and knobs are still good to the eyes.). Who knows.
    Just to double check, are you seeing a physical up and down or are you seeing the wheel spinning cause the frame to wobble. If it is the latter, it could be that the sealant is pooling causing things to be out of balance. In other words, the out of balance weight is causing the movement as opposed to the physical shape of the tire changing.

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    MDM
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    tubeless sealant deforming the tire carcass

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogus View Post
    It's just my experience, but I've used Orange Seal for a couple of years without issue. My bike shop used Stan's on my newest set of tires and both tires would show seepage through the tire surface. I wore out the rear, but the front having lasted longer eventually developed what I would describe as blisters. I speculate the sealant caused the seepage and subsequent blistering. I questioned the tires safety and put on new tires using Orange Seal. No problems.

    I know blistering might not be considered deformation, but maybe has a similar cause, i.e. the type of sealant?? Just sharing in case it might be helpful.

    20200519_120738.jpg 20200519_120730.jpg
    I think if you are seeing bubbles in the tread it's the fault of the tire. Tubeless tires are supposed to have a liner that prevents leakage through the casing. If sealant is getting through the casing under the tread to form a bubble, I think the liner is substandard. I had a Compass tire that bubbled and they covered it under warranty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Just to double check, are you seeing a physical up and down or are you seeing the wheel spinning cause the frame to wobble. If it is the latter, it could be that the sealant is pooling causing things to be out of balance. In other words, the out of balance weight is causing the movement as opposed to the physical shape of the tire changing.
    it's definitely the physical shape of the tire changing.
    Reason we know this is we would spin the wheel (with tire mounted to proper psi) very gently and immediately notice the tire's shape changing (it's very obvious to the eyes), but the bike itself is not vibrating/wobbling because we're not spinning the tire that fast at all. Even on the trial, we don't feel the effect of the deformed tire, at all, but you know on mtb trail speed is not as fast as on the road and you're going thru bumps and rocks on the train anyway, and with a fully suspension bike, the deformed carcass won't be noticable at "casual mtb riding and speed".

    I'm just wondering if this tire is safe to ride if you hit a berm hard or if braking hard, will the rubber delaminate. Ideally, we should replace it. But that tire cost around $60 and knobs are still pratically new, hell it still has some teets on the side

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDM View Post
    I think if you are seeing bubbles in the tread it's the fault of the tire. Tubeless tires are supposed to have a liner that prevents leakage through the casing. If sealant is getting through the casing under the tread to form a bubble, I think the liner is substandard. I had a Compass tire that bubbled and they covered it under warranty.
    interesting! I'm no expert on tire construction.

    hmm, what about those road "tubeless ready" tires. They don't hold air until you put sealant in them. So the sealant must be able to seep into the casing and make the casing air tight, right? and if so, then shouldn't we more road "tubeless ready" type of tire blister up more? But again, i'm no expert, maybe mtb vs road tire construction is different.

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    OK, tires.... tires are made with layers of cords going several directions. With normal tire construction, the tires are vulanized (with heat!) so that all the layers of cords are melted/bonded together to make the carcas.
    At racing speeds, if the layers are not bonded, that tire is going to blow apart from lack of adhesion and/or heat. I don't think bicycle tires reach that level of traction/racing loads/heat.
    But if I was coming down a mountain I personally would not ride a road tire where the casing has become compromised. Now a mtn tire on a normal trail, I wouldn't be that much concerned unless there was a lot of exposure, if there is exposure, I'm not going!
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  11. #11
    MDM
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    interesting! I'm no expert on tire construction.

    hmm, what about those road "tubeless ready" tires. They don't hold air until you put sealant in them. So the sealant must be able to seep into the casing and make the casing air tight, right? and if so, then shouldn't we more road "tubeless ready" type of tire blister up more? But again, i'm no expert, maybe mtb vs road tire construction is different.
    I'm not sure how they make tubeless ready tires. They are not nearly as porous as regular tires, but they need sealant to completely seal. I don't think there's a butyl liner, like in UST mountain bike tires, for example, that don't need sealant.

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    interesting. I would suspect if it was a chemical reaction / interaction related failure we'd hear more about it like was the case with rims and the ammonia that was in a sealant (I think Stans) at one time. Construction techniques are probably different but I suspect the tire materials of construction are pretty much the same or few variants with the exception of graphene in some Vitoria tires.
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    MDM
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    This is what Jan Heine said https://www.renehersecycles.com/how-...beless-tires/:

    Dr J February 19, 2019 at 8:47 am #
    Jan, whatís your experience with sealant seepage through sidewalls over time? Iíve never experienced this myself but I saw pictures (somewhere on internet, canít find it now) with Compass tires showing this issue (Maybe in that case tire installation wasnít done right). Because sidewalls are so thin and not fully sealed (as you pointed out), thereís a chance that sealant my sweat through the sidewalls. Have you ever heard about such problems?


    Jan Heine February 19, 2019 at 8:57 am #
    In many cases, this is probably due to the sealant not having been shaken properly. In some rare cases, it may be that the tire is slightly out of spec: We are trying to make our tires as light as possible, so the casingís rubber coating is very thin. At the factory, the casing is impregnated in huge swaths of fabric, and itís impossible to make that coating totally even. With a thickly coated tires, thatís not a problem Ė there is always more than enough rubber. With the thin coating of our tires, some areas of the casing Ė meaning a few tires out of a production run Ė may not have enough rubber to seal. (These tires work great with tubes, in fact, they are the lightest and most supple of the batch.)
    When installing these tires tubeless, why doesnít the sealant close those pores? I appears that the holes are so small that they strain out the solids and only let the liquid through Ė they donít seal. In all my tubeless installations, I have not yet experienced this, but if it happens, we cover it under our warranty.

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    In this new era of mtb riding, itís fairly common to deform tires. Running lower pressures with tubeless, and hitting berms and catch ruts stretch the casings, which gives you a wobble. I just watched an interview with the Vittoria tire designer where he addressed it. Inserts help, and stiffer casings, but it happens.

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    Another possibility of the cause of a tire bubble/blister could be the tread was not properly vulcanized to the casing. When some air bleeds through to the tread, it forms a bubble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harryman View Post
    In this new era of mtb riding, itís fairly common to deform tires. Running lower pressures with tubeless, and hitting berms and catch ruts stretch the casings, which gives you a wobble. I just watched an interview with the Vittoria tire designer where he addressed it. Inserts help, and stiffer casings, but it happens.
    ah ha! you may be on to something here.
    I usually run higher psi (22-23 front, 25-26 rear) on a 2.3" tire, and i'm a lightweight (123 lbs). I run relatively higher psi because of my generally more aggressive riding and like to huck. I'm used to the 35 psi feeling on my dirtjumper. So running relatively high psi is what I'm used to. And as I recall, I haven't seen tire deformation when running higher psi.

    But recently, at the strong suggestions of some friends to run lower psi to get more traction and a more comfy ride, I gave it a go, and use 16-17 psi front, 20 psi rear. While I do feel more comfy, softer ride, but hitting berms do feel like the tires are squirming. I didn't think much of it, but now that you mention low psi deforming carcass, it does make sense!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDM View Post
    Another possibility of the cause of a tire bubble/blister could be the tread was not properly vulcanized to the casing. When some air bleeds through to the tread, it forms a bubble.
    improper vulcanization is a definite possiblity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    ah ha! you may be on to something here.
    I usually run higher psi (22-23 front, 25-26 rear) on a 2.3" tire, and i'm a lightweight (123 lbs). I run relatively higher psi because of my generally more aggressive riding and like to huck. I'm used to the 35 psi feeling on my dirtjumper. So running relatively high psi is what I'm used to. And as I recall, I haven't seen tire deformation when running higher psi.

    But recently, at the strong suggestions of some friends to run lower psi to get more traction and a more comfy ride, I gave it a go, and use 16-17 psi front, 20 psi rear. While I do feel more comfy, softer ride, but hitting berms do feel like the tires are squirming. I didn't think much of it, but now that you mention low psi deforming carcass, it does make sense!
    Heres the video if you want to watch it, Iím a tire nerd and like this sort of stuff. At 15:30 he talks about tire wobble. https://youtu.be/WINUlq2y8QM

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