Having a reliable tubeless puncture repair kit close to hand is important on any bike ride, as even my go-to Orange Seal won’t seal a snake bite hole at the tire-rim interface that is 12mm long. That, and a 7mm long hole at the center tread, is what I was left with having foolishly gambled with just 21 PSI in the WTB Judge Tough Casing tire on the rear of my Revel Rail at Bike Park Wales. Luckily, I had installed the Muc-Off Stealth Tubeless Puncture Plug Tool inside the handlebar for this very moment.
Review: Muc-Off Stealth Tubeless Puncture Plugs
Muc-Off sell the Stealth Tubeless Puncture Plugs for £30. That gets you a two-in-one puncture plug and reamer tool, 5x thin tire worms, 5x medium tire worms, 5x thick tire worms, and a knife trimming tool. The plug/reamer and knife trimming tool are designed to live inside your bike’s handlebar, each held in position by a silica expansion plug. Thus, it’s practically impossible to forget them when you go riding.
The repair kit comes with 3 sizes of silica expansion plug (17mm, 19mm and 21mm) to accommodate the differing internal widths of aluminum and carbon bars. The 19mm expansion plug was the best fit for my OneUp Components Carbon Bar.
To install the tools, you need to run grips that aren’t closed at their outer edge. You need to be able to remove the bar-end plug so you can replace it with the tool. An example of a grip that isn’t compatible with these tools would be the Fabric Funguy Grip. An example of a grip that is compatible with the Muc-Off Stealth Tubeless Puncture Plug would be the Ergon GD1 grip shown here, though literally any lock-on or slip-on grip that comes with bar-end plugs should work.
After inserting the tool into the bar, you simply turn the Allen head clockwise until you feel sufficient resistance. This will cause the silica plug to expand, exerting a force against the internal diameter of the bar, holding it snug.
So, do the tools rattle?
I’m pleased to report they do not. The expansion plug seems to do a very good job of holding the tools in position, so they don’t move around and hit the inside of the bar when you’re descending rough terrain. You’ll likely forget they’re there at all, until you need them that is.
In comparison to the WTC Bar-End Plug I removed in order to install the Muc-Off Tubeless Repair Tools, each tool did add around 2mm of effective handlebar width. From the outside edge of the Ergon grip’s plastic sleeve, the tool adds 6mm of width.
This is something to consider if you ride trails that are lined with trees, and the gaps between them tend to be rather narrow. This is true for me; my bars are cut to 740mm wide for the narrow tracks of the Tweed Valley. Since instaling the puncture plug tool, I have actually clipped a few more trees on the right hand side than I normally would.
To be fair, the Muc-Off bar-end is chamfered to ensure that if you do clip a tree, the bar glances off it. The chamfered edge means it can’t dig in to whatever it hits. Each time I’ve clipped a tree, it has been entirely uneventful. It just knocked the bar back momentarily and I’ve been able to carry on riding unhindered. The impact did however tear the white rubber end-cap cover, leaving it flapping around looking very untidy. Personally, I didn’t find that extra plastic at all necessary. I run my hands at the edge of the bar, but not over hanging so much that my pinkie is gripping onto the bar-end plug.
As for repair tubeless punctures, the Muc-Off kit performs as it is designed. For the 12mm cut at the tire-rim interface, I stuffed two of the medium size worms in alongside one another. The 7mm hole on the tread area was plugged with one of the medium worms. One CO2 canister later, I was back on the trails… until the worm a the tread area was ripped out in a turn.
I hadn’t yet installed the Trimming tool in the opposite bar end, regrettably. A second repair was performed which held successfully. You could probably get away with cutting each worm in half; the result would be less waste and no need to trim excess worm, but you’d need to be extra careful when inserting the worm to be sure you didn’t push the whole thing right through to the inside of the tire.
Later, I successfully trimmed the tire worms so that there wasn’t too much excess left on the outside. The knife was plenty sharp enough for the job.
- Successfully repairs tubeless punctures
- Impossible to forget on rides
- Doesn’t rattle
- Increases effective handlebar width
- Rubber covers are delicate and will tear off easily
Pricing & Availability
The new Muc-Off Stealth Tubeless Puncture Plug kit is available in ten different colorfully anodized options, which conveniently match their tubeless valve kits. The pair of hidden tools sells for £30 / 35€ and is available now from Muc-Off in: oil slick iridescent, matte black, silver, gold, orange, red, Muc-Off pink, purple, blue, or green. Refill worms are available at £4.99 per pack of 15.