After about 6 months of riding my Velo Routier on tubeless Hetre ELs, it was time to “change the fluid”. I wasn’t sure how long before the first batch would be dried up and gone. After riding to the beach and back, I noticed a slow leak in the front tire. I brought it back home, got out the Stan’s, and gave it a refill without having to remove the whole tire. I noticed that there was a uniform white residue along the inside of the tire including the sidewalls. There were a few chunks of latex that pooled up around what I took for small holes, and I wiped out the inside of the tire before putting in a fresh couple ounces and refilling the tire. I was able to remount the tire and use my floor pump to pop the bead back into place with little effort.
After a few rides, I started to wonder if I was running on borrowed time with the rear – since that is always the tire that goes flat for me. There had been no noticeable puddle of Stan’s in the front tire when I popped it open. To put my mind at ease, tonight I put the bike up in the stand and popped one side off the rim of the rear wheel. While wiping out the remaining Stan’s (about a teaspoon left – mostly viscous yellow – no sign of the white latex still in the suspension), I noticed the twin prongs of a perfect staple that had pierced the tire mid-tread.
I tried to find it on the outside of the tire to remove it the way it had gone in, but the connecting bar had broken off the tines. I removed them from the inside. I have no idea how long that staple was in there. It could have happened shortly after I started riding these tires tubeless, or it could have happened last week. One thing is certain – I would have had a flat had I been using tubes. As it stands, I didn’t notice the puncture until I went to perform maintenance on the tire.
Pretty cool! I think a few more of my tires will be losing their tubes in the future.