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Stop N Go Tyre Plugger Observation

Blog Date 29th January 2019

What is that in my back tyre? And why are there tiny bubbles forming around it?
I don't need a masters degree to calculate I have something stuck in my rear tyre and it is sufficiently deep to cause a puncture. Gosh darn it! But fear not, for verily 'tis true I have with me my trusty and wondrous "Stop N Go Tyre Plugger". Plus I've just arrived back home so it's not like I'm in dire circumstances is it.
I'll not describe the tyre plugger's operation - if you wish to know I have an idiot's guide here
It's been a while since I tried out the tyre plugger. I must recommend practising with the tyre plugger in the comfort of your own back yard. The plugger is easy to use BUT you don't want to be learning how to use it at the side of a busy noisy main road on a cold and wet night. Luckily the plugger has a small sheet of plastic coated instructions to act as a reminder just in case you suffer a little brain fade.

The rear tyre on the 125 has a rubber plug inserted into it
There, that ought to do it.

With the rear tyre now plugged as a matter of practice and proof I pump it up with the small bicycle pump I also carry in the top box. It is far from ideal but it is way better than nothing. It takes some time even with the small tyre of the 125 but I can get the pressure up to 25psi without having to get forceful with the pump. The pump is likely capable of 50psi, but not my patience and now slightly trembling feeble arms.

I grab the sponge from the kitchen and add a dab of washing up liquid. Hmmmm. There are still bubbles coming from the plug. Not a lot. The plug is more than sufficiently sealed to get me home. I'd be happy to continue with a tour so long as I checked the pressure each morning. I also recall... I've been here before.
The next day I check the pressure, I've lost 2psi which I replace. The next day I've barely lost any pressure, enough to say it's more likely atmospheric conditions. Over the next few days the plugger seals completely and pressure drops return to their previous very low levels.
Foamy washing liquid shows the plugger has now sealed tightly in the tyre
No unexpected bubble in the foam suggests a good seal after 3 days' ride.
It's a quirk of the plugger. I can only presume the heat cycles, the rubber movement and the centrifugal forces settle everything down to complete the initially very raw seal.
Should you leave a plugger in place? The correct advise is no. The tyre needs to be inspected by a skilled tyre professional who can advise whether a permanent repair can be made or if the tyre needs to be replaced. 

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Reader's Comments

Steve said :-
I never had much luck with the stop n go when i needed it for real. It was fine on old tyres in the garage but never quite delivered for me in the field so to speak.I put it on ebay and it was snapped up so worthwhile experiment.
The normal rubber strips seem to work fine and i have used them a couple of times on tours where it was days to get back home. Then i just ran the plugged tyre till it needed changing. When the tyre was due to be replaced I looked inside to seem a big knot of rubber squashed up against the casing, very comforting.
29/01/2019 12:31:58 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ahhh the rubber worms, is that what you're talking about? It's a funny old world because I struggled with the rubbery worms, particularly the one I fitted when it was raining. I figure we're all different and get along better with different methods.
30/01/2019 10:13:22 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Both my bikes have tubed tyres and both had punctures in the rear tyre within the first 1000 km with the normal catastrophic failure of the tubes. I think I am a puncture magnet. I have filled both bikes tubes with sealant fluids, Puncturesafe Tyre Sealant in my 125 and Bikeseal in my Himalayan. The only problem with this stuff is that you dont know if it works or not until you change the trye or you get an object big enought to see sticking out the tyre when you check them. The puncture in the Himalayan was caused by a sliver so thin you couldnt see it from the outside but the mechanic felt it when he was checking the inside of the tyre during replacement. I've had 5000 uneventful km with the 125 since putting it in but that may just be luck.

30/01/2019 11:26:04 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I hate tubes. Until someone can demonstrate to me that there's a slime or additive that stops tubes going "POP!" then I'll do my best to avoid them. If that nail had gone in to a tube I'd have been at the side of the road immediately, if not lying on it. As it was I only noticed when I got home.

It's a real shame because several of the bikes I like are tubed. Himalayan, CRF250L for example.
30/01/2019 04:30:35 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I may have mentioned this here before but I converted the spoked wheels on my Tiger to tubeless by sealing the spoke nipples with aircraft fuel tank sealer. I only had the bike for a further 5 years / 15,000 miles but had absolutely no problems with it despite being told by "experts" that the sky would fall in. The only sad bit is that I never had a puncture so never had to take advantage of the mod!

Some details on the link although the photos may have disappeared. If anybody's interested I probably still have them somewhere so could make them available.

Of course such a mod is entirely at the user's own risk as I have no way of knowing the level of technical skill anyone has, so I can take no responsibility. But as I say, it worked for me.
31/01/2019 12:33:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I have never checked for myself but I was lead to believe tubeless rims have a different profile to tubed rims? I guess the tech must work as you're here to tell the tale
31/01/2019 05:11:49 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
In theory tubeless rimes have a ledge to stop the bead leaving the rim but I've never seen that on a bike wheel, only on car rims. Having said that, I don't think I'd try the trick on the Dunlop steel rims like the ones on my Norton as I wouldn't be confident that the tyre / rim interface would be leakproof.

If you think about it, why would a flat tubeless tyre be more likely to leave the rim than a tubed one which has gone flat?* The main advantage is that when a tube goes flat it's often a catastrophic deflation which makes the bike virtually uncontrollable. Many of us will have experienced this. A tubeless tyre rarely suffers this dramatic scenario as any hole will only allow gradual air leakage and hopefully the rider will notice this before it's too late.

*Hint: it wouldn't.
01/02/2019 03:02:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
The ledge? I figure you're talking of the small ridge in the rim before the valley that is there to help (not very much) with tyre changing? Like the one seen on the front wheel of my tubeless CBF125? I'm not entirely convinced it would be much help in the event of a catastrophic deflation though.

01/02/2019 04:32:05 UTC
said :-
In my experience most tube type rims don,t have the safety lip on the rim which is a nuisance if you want to make the wheel tubeless as companies won,t undertake the work . One exception i know about is the xt660z. I ran one for a few years. The rear wheel was such a pig to remove and the tyre almost impossible to change unless you were ex Dakar rider or trail god that i got mine made tubeless.Like Ian though i never had a puncture in 20k.
I would like to make the Himalayan tubeless but it involves changing the rims too, a £1000 job!!
Here's the 90 euro Bart tubeless conversion

02/02/2019 10:40:06 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Is that conversion done by the supplier or do they just sell you the bits? I remain unconvinced that a tubeless conversion with or without ledges is any less safe than a tube. Let's face it, a flat tube will offer no resistance to the tyre coming off the rim anyway otherwise you'd never be able to fit it.

Ah, a quick duckduckgo tells me I can have it done via Central Wheel, and they do make that stipulation.
02/02/2019 10:51:30 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Said, £1000.00 to have two wheels built sounds very expensive to me. Is that figure right?
It'll upset me all day thinking about that.
02/02/2019 11:50:28 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I think BMW got it right with the tubeless spoked rims on the GS's. There are several designs now where the spoked don't actually pierce the air-containing section this rendering them suitable for tubeless. Presumably, in spite of Ian, they will have the not very safe safety ridges.

02/02/2019 05:16:09 UTC
said :-
Ian, the conversion is done by Bart in Italy. it was very effective, it hardy lost any pressure over long periods when I did,nt check. In the case of the XT660z wheel, you could loose all the pressure and run the tyre and it still would,nt come off, lots of anecdotal stories to that effect.Central do the legwork etc and i see they quote £300 per wheel, but I think the Himalayan wheels need something extra, I have copied the Bart direct price below.

Up North that was a round up but here's the link, by the time you add postage/insurance etc etc

02/02/2019 05:30:59 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yeah it's 2 new rimes with new laces (spokes) then given the Bart treatment to seal the rim from the spokes. A grand is a fair old chunk of cash but these days I'm afraid for this kind of work it sounds about right.
03/02/2019 07:39:32 UTC
Åsa said :-
What kit is it you're using? I've had a couple if tyres plugges with the rubberstring and glue and then I've run them until the end without problems. But I know there are different opinions on the practice of doing so :) It does save a lot of money if the tyre is otherwise good.
07/02/2019 05:11:42 UTC

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