Jim’s Tech Talk
By Jim Langley
- Repair tubeless punctures without wheel/tire removal
- No need to drain sealant from tire as when installing spare tube
- Large and small hole plugs pre-loaded in Racer tool
- Racer comes with a frame mount for easy access
- Both kits Include extra plugs for more flat fixing
- Both are small; Racer is super light
- Air includes 2 16-gm CO2 cartridges, small air hose and carrying pouch
- Air has controllable inflation so you can fill only as much as needed
- Can use multiple plugs to fill larger tire cuts
- The Carbon Racer comes in Carbon color. The Air is available in Black, Purple, Red, Blue
- If you’re prone to flatting you might wish more spare plugs were included
Price: Carbon Racer $47.99; Air $74.99 (includes 2 CO2 cartridges)
Weight: Carbon Racer 14 grams + 10 grams for the included holder; Air – it depends on which setup you choose to carry, but about 75 grams
Source: Carbon Racer: http://www.dynaplug.com/carbonracer.html
How obtained: samples from manufacturer
RBR sponsor: no
Fix Tubeless Flats the Super Easy Way with Dynaplug
Back in early May, I attended the Reveal Global virtual bicycle show and wrote up some of the product highlights. One of the goodies that grabbed my attention was a way to patch flats on tubeless tires by the company Dynaplug.
It turns out that they’ve been making plugs to repair tubeless tires since 1991. Their do-it-yourself kits are for making permanent repairs fast on motorcycles, cars, trucks, SUVs, ATVs, scooters, trailers, garden tractors and now even bicycle tubeless tires.
Just Plug It Up
To use their kits you simply remove the object that punctured the tire and insert one of their repair plugs. In case you’ve used plugs to repair automotive punctures, with Dynaplug you don’t need to do any reaming or use any chemicals or wait for patches to dry. Once the repair plug is in place, it seals and cures on its own.
After the Reveal show, Dynaplug sent a couple of samples of their latest road bicycle products for us to try, the tiny and super light Carbon Racer and the Air. The big difference between these models is that the Air (as its name suggests) includes 2 16-gram CO2 cartridges so it both repairs punctures and inflates tires.
The Carbon Racer
The Carbon Racer is designed strictly to repair punctures. So, you won’t want to leave your pump at home as you could with the Air. Both tools are made in the USA to exacting tolerances. The Carbon Racer is made of “Nylon 6 with 30% glass fill” for durability and an impressive weight of only 14 grams!
The Air Road
The Air is made of 6061 aluminum. For quality manufacturing, Dynaplug uses Swiss CNC machines. They say they are actually designed for watch making so they’re well suited to carve the components of Dynaplug’s precision plug-pushers.
With Dynaplug’s Air, you twist to turn on/off the flow of CO2 into the tire. That way you won’t overinflate and can save CO2 for later if needed (in other words not waste the whole cartridge on a single flat). Also, the Air acts as a regular pump with the included air hose that screws onto the cartridge and Presta valves.
The way the tools work is that the plugs that patch the hole in the tire load into the nozzle of the tool, which is a hollow stainless-steel tube (you choose the length based on your tire type – road, gravel). The plugs are small rubber cylinders with pointed metal tips (aluminum or non-abrasive brass so as not to risk rims). The rubber goes inside the hollow end of the tool leaving the pointed end out so it can be pushed into the tire. The pointed end will follow the path the object that punctured the tire took.
Once you’ve pushed the pointed end into and through the tire (takes considerable effort to do this), when you pull the tool’s end out of the tire, the plug is left inside the hole sealing it. If air is still escaping, another plug can be added next to the first and even more if needed until there are no more leaks.
The plugs are made of viscoelastic impregnated rubber designed to mold to the tire for an airtight seal. They’re long enough to patch thick rubber treads and if there’s a tail left, you just trim it flush with any blade – or you can leave it to wear off while riding.
What You Get in the Packages
Dynaplug Carbon Racer
Dynaplug Carbon Racer tool
3 Standard Soft Nose Plugs
1 Silicone Dynaplug holder (mounts to bottle cage screws)
Dynaplug Air tool
4 Soft Nose Plugs
2 16-gram CO2 Cartridges
1 Air Hose with Presta Adapter
1 Pipe cleaner (for cleaning tool after use)
The Fastest Flat Fix in History
The best thing is, because you don’t have to remove the wheel or tire, there’s no need to deal with the tubeless sealant or use your spare tube. If it’s a larger hole and requires more than one plug, or if you lost a lot of air removing whatever punctured the tire and pushing in the plug, then you’ll need to inflate the tire. But, that’s still much quicker than removing the wheel and tire and installing a spare tube to get home.
A Game-Changer for Racers
For fast group rides that don’t wait for those who flat, or any race, Dynaplugs would save your day. If you had the tool in your jersey pocket, you’d just leap off the bike, look for the sealant leaking, pull out the sharp, insert a plug and get racing again. With a little practice, you could do this in seconds not minutes. It’s pretty amazing.
My Test Results
Please watch my video to see the whole test. The basic results:
- Installed 4 plugs in a single tire
- Let sit for 26 hours – tire retained 82% of its pressure
- Installing plugs takes much more force than I expected
- Plugs work with the sealant to fix the flat in seconds
- I could not feel the 4 plugs in the tire when riding
- As far as I could tell, the plugs do not damage the tire
If you’ll forgive the pun, I’m blown away by the performance of these Dynaplug flat fixers. Finally, if you flat with tubeless tires and the sealant can’t stop the leak, you can fix it in seconds with a Dynaplug.
It’s always a pain to fix tubeless tires because of having to dump the sealant and deal with installing a tire that wasn’t made to go on easily with a tube stuffed in it. Not to mention having to take out the tubeless valve and trying not to lose it. And, also the tendency for tubeless tires not to seat right away when installed with a mini pump with a tube inside.
These issues are reasons lots of roadies who try tubeless give up on the technology after a few bad flats like this. I think now with a weapon like Dynaplug along, tubeless tires become that much more viable and if you get a chance to try it, I believe the Dynaplug will blow you away, too.
Ride total: 9,688
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s streak of consecutive cycling days has reached more than 8,000. Click to read Jim’s full bio.