The Front Wheel:
I wanted some more rubber on my Redline Conquest and run lower pressures since I was riding it a bit more like an MTB than a cross bike. So I decided to try WTB Mutano Raptors 700cx44. I am using Salsa Delgado Cross rims, Stans’ rim strips, and CaffeLatex sealant. I was so eager to start the project that I did not mount the tire with a tube first.
The front wheel: Salsa Delgado Cross rims, Stans’ rim strip already mounted on the rim, a WTB Mutano Raptor 700cx44, and the CaffeLatex sealant and syringe.
I mounted the tire, but I could not seat it with the compressor, even after liberal applications of soapy water and a lot of cussing. So I decided to add sealant and then try it again. I pulled the valve core to to add the CaffeLatex.
The CaffeLatex syringe comes with a Schraeder valve and a Presta valve adapter. The Schraeder valve has a cool little one-way valve. But neither the Schraeder nor the Presta adapter would screw onto the Presta valve’s post.
The valve adapters on the end of the tube did not fit the Presta valve stem (I had the core removed) so I floated the end of the tube under the bead like a catheter and injected the CaffeLatex into the tire.
After adding the CaffeLatex I blasted in air with the compressor. The tire was brand new, never seated on a rim before, and I could not seat the bead before I added the sealant. At first I blew CaffeLatex sealant everywhere. Little drops of stuff that turned into stringy rubber. After a few seconds foam and bubbles formed and sproing… the tire seated and sealed.
I cleaned the CaffeLatex foam off the tire with a sponge and some soapy water. The tire sealed very quickly but there was minor foaming around the rim and CaffeLatex liquid was running around the bead. I think the thin liquid was a mixture of CaffeLatex and soapy water.
CaffeLatex doing its job. What you are actually seeing is CaffeLatex seaping through the rim/bead interface and some soapy water making the sealant even more viscous. After several iterations of shaking and flipping the wheel the foaming stopped and the tire held pressure overnight. There was some minor seepage and a small puddle of liquid on the floor the next day.
The Rear Wheel: (Fugging Catastrophe)
After making a mess (see CaffeLatex_8) with a brand new tire, I mounted the rear tire with a tube and let it conform to the rim overnight.
I mounted the WTB Mutano Raptor 700cx44 on a Salsa Delagdo Cross rim fitted with a Stans’ rim strip. Even though the tire did not seat when try to inflate it with the compressor I thought this was OK since the front tire seated and held air after adding sealant. See pic CaffeLatex_8. It was NOT ok as it turns out.
When I added sealant to the front wheel I pulled the valve core. Guitar Ted’s blog mentioned that he injected the sealant with the valve core in the valve so I did that. Easy… just inflate now like the front tire. Bullshit. The rear tire would not seat itself. The only difference to the front tire was that the tire had been mounted overnight with a tube. Using the compressor I blew out all the sealant, added more, blew it out in streams of foam and got CaffeLatex everywhere. I could not take pictures. It simply did not work like the front tire.
The CaffeLatex was trying to seal the rim/bead but it could not, it was too runny and the air kept blowing it out of the tire. I needed some thicker stuff so I took everything apart and washed the tire, rims strip and rim. CaffeLatex cleans up easily with soap and water. Then I added about 30 or 40ml of Slime “Tube Sealant” by popping the bead and pouring a scoop in.
Initially the tire did not seal and I was now blowing green shit all over the place, getting pissed, and about to give up on this tire when ‘spronk’ (that’s the noise it made) the tire seated. Escaping air bubbled out of the rim / bead interface sounding like frying bacon, but it seated. Shaking did not help much since the Slime Tube Sealant is so thick that it does not coat the inside of the tire quickly. I dropped the tire pressure to about 1 bar (14 or 15 psi), put 50ml of CaffeLatex in the syringe and screwed the tube onto the Presta valve. The Presta valve adapter screws into the Schraeder valve adapter which has a one way valve. This is cool because the tire pressure can not blow sealant out of the tire back into the syringe, so all you have to do is put more pressure onto the selant in the syringe and it will flow into the tire. That is some cool shit. Anyway, after adding the CaffeLatex and shaking the tire the bubbling and oozing on the rim/bead interface stopped. I cleaned up the tire and it held pressure overnight.
So is CaffeLatex and Slime compatible? I really don’t know and my little test here doesn’t prove anything… but… I added a small squirt of Slime to a clear water bottle. Vigorous shaking could not get the snot-like Slime to coat the bottle. I added an equal amount of CaffeLatex and shook. The CaffeLatex and Slime mixed and created a viscous green foam that covered everything. There is not a lot in the pictured bottle, less than 20cc total, about 10cc each of Slime and CaffeLatex.
Refilling the front wheel:
Since I blew a lot of seleant out of the tire (see see pic CaffeLatex_8) I topped off the tire. The CafeLatex syring is pretty cool because of the one way valve and the sealant will flow over the valve core. I dropped the tire pressure way down, screwed on the syringe and squeezed. The sealant flowed in and all was good.
When I mounted the rear tire with a tube, it fit, I even rode it around a bit. I guess the tire stretched overnight because now, after all this work, the rear tire just barely fits with the eccentric hub’s axle all the way to the rear. Unfortunately the chain is now just a bit too short, if I add a complete link the chain will be too loose on the rear axle, so I guess I need a half link… or a smaller tire.
I always thought it was better to mount the tire first with a tube so it conforms to the rim. In this case the new tire, folded and flattened out, seemed to initially push the beads tighter towards the rim allowing CaffeLatex to seal. The previously mounted tire’s beads did not push against the rim as much ans as such the thin CaffeLatex would not create the initial seal needed to seat the tire. Slime Tube Sealant (not the tubeLESS sealant), with a consistency thicker than sinus-snot, did form such a seal and it appears that a CaffeLatex and Slime mixture might work.
The WTB Mutano Raptors mounted and are holding pressure, but the bead does not sit crazy tight like the GEAX TNT tires. And it looks like I might have to find a 700cx38/40 tire for the rear and the associated unpleasant removing and cleansing.
Removable valve cores: not necessary with CafeLatex.
Anyway, it was kind of fun, not a lot of fun, but working on bike is almost as good as riding them.