It’s kind of crazy to think that 15 years ago, the idea of tubeless conversion was just starting to hatch. Back when UST was attempting to become the “official” tubeless standard, Stan Koziatek began experimenting with liquid sealant and tubeless conversion kits. We all know how that went. Now, tubeless conversion is one of the most common upgrades to new bikes offering the benefits of tubeless tires with the additional convenience of self sealing tires. Mostly.
Every once in a while, you’ll end up with a puncture that just won’t seal. In a race situation (or when you’re far out in the back country) that just won’t do. Following an evolution of more than 14 years for their sealant, Stan’s is celebrating their 15th anniversary with a new logo – plus a new “Race Sealant.” Designed to seal better than ever, the Race Sealant claims to be the go-to sealant when flatting out just isn’t an option…
How do you make a tubeless sealant that seals punctures better and more quickly? It all has to do with the magic “crystals” suspended in the liquid latex blend. Not only are there double the amount of the average sized crystals, the Race Sealant adds larger crystals that interlock with the smaller variety after a puncture forming a clot more quickly, losing less air in the process, and forming a stronger seal. These “XL” crystals supposedly seal even larger punctures and make the seals on smaller punctures more durable. The trade off? For starters you won’t be able to inject it through your valves. The new crystal structures are big enough that the bottle requires a special cap, and you have to pour the sealant directly into the tires. While lighter since you can use less sealant overall with the same results, Stan’s Chris Currie states,
“We’re recommending checking it [the sealant] every two weeks, and it’s really designed for big events or occasions where you really, really want to avoid getting a flat (hence the racing origins).”
That seems to indicate that it will dry up more quickly inside the tires, but Currie also mentions it can be mixed with the standard sealant which will make it easier to add it in for big events, or to go back to regular sealant. Only sold in quarts for $39.00, the sealant uses the same latex blend as the standard sealant so it will have the same shelf life and the same temperature range (down to -30ºf/-34.4ºc), as well as being non-toxic.
Along with the new logo, the Race Sealant is part of the new Stan’s Racing Development program which is “a division within the company that’s dedicated to moonshots, the kind of “innovation for innovation’s sake” projects that have always been our passion.” Like the Race Sealant which has been present on the pro circuit in the form of non-descript black bottles with hand marked labels in silver paint pen, the SRD products will be devoted to helping the fastest riders go faster without worrying about flats. Currie mentions there may not be a huge market for a few of the products, but that they are definitely needed by racers and pro athletes.
Stan’s No Tubes History (courtesy of Stan’s):
- Stan Koziatek begins experimenting with liquid sealant as a replacement for inner tubes.
- First batches of sealant are tested by riders like Thomas Frischknecht on the World Cup circuit.
- Stan Koziatek begins selling sealant and conversion kits.
- Stan Koziatek begins developing a rim
- First alloy ZTR Rims are sold.
- First BST rim is tested by riders: Marie-Hélène Prémont wins a silver medal using Stan’s NoTubes sealant and Sabine Spitz wins a bronze medal using both the sealant and prototype rim at Athens Olympics.
- Olympic rim with Bead Socket Technology (BST) becomes available.
- Flow and Arch alloy rims and wheels are released.
- First alloy road tubeless rims get released.
- Valor, Stan’s NoTubes first carbon fiber rim with Bead Socket Technology (BST), is released.
- Neo hub design is tested by riders.
- New Neo hub system is introduced.
- Bravo carbon fiber trail wheelset is launched.
- Avion carbon fiber road wheelset is released, marking the official introduction of BST-R rims designed to handle special requirements of road tubeless.
- Stan’s Racing Development program is unveiled.
- Stan’s NoTubes Race Sealant is introduced.