ASK MBA – THE SEALANT & DROPPER POST WOES
Q: After not using my bike for a few months over the winter (in Rhode Island we have snow, then mud), I noticed that one of the tires was not maintaining pressure. I checked, and the Stan’s sealant was dried out. Thought I would remove it and start fresh as you recommended in the May issue in “Garage Files.” You say “a rag and a little elbow grease.” Well,
I guess you have better rags and elbow grease than I do. That stuff seems stuck to the tire. I tried soaking it in a tub of water for an hour or so, and that might have started to soften the bond a little, but maybe not. I got tired of messing around and put it together and went rid- ing. It was a beautiful day up in the 80s, and I wasn’t going to miss that. So, how do you deal with really dried-out sealant?
—Tom, who always gets a flat tire
A: Every sealant is different, and every sealant gets more stubborn to remove the longer it’s in the tire. We actually do use the rag-and-elbow-grease method to remove old sealant, but we do so knowing that we’ll never get all of it out of the old tire. Actually, it’s not even all that necessary, unless you’re changing sealant formulas. Some sealants don’t get along with one another, which can keep the new stuff from working. That said, if you’re only running Stan’s, it’s safe to get as much of the dried stuff out as you can, especially the dried clumps, and then simply add another couple ounces.
DROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT
Q: After waiting more than a decade, I finally moved up to a modern bike last summer when I bought a Trek Fuel 8.0 29er, leaving my old 2004 26-inch Stumpjumper behind. One of the things I most looked forward to in a new bike was a dropper post, as everyone I know seems to love them. But, after riding my new bike for eight months, I haven’t wanted to use the dropper at all. Try as I might, I never really like putting my post down. I’m 49 years old. I’ve been riding pretty seriously since 1987, and I’m a fairly aggressive XC/ trail rider. But, I like having the post in a pedaling position, using it between my legs to position the bike. Am I alone? Are there other riders who don’t use a dropper? Or, are there others like me who like a fixed post position? I’m curious, because I either need to learn how to use the dropper the right way or get rid of it and save some weight.
—Erik, who wants a saddle drop
A: Yep. You’re nearly alone on that one. While we can certainly see how the saddle would give you a bit more leverage on the bike, that’s outweighed by having it out of the way with a dropper. Dropper posts make bikes easier to ride. We’d suggest you keep riding with one, learn to unlock your descending prowess, and let go of the old-school, high-posted mentality.
Have a question for the MBA crew? You can send your brain busters to [email protected].
“Ask MBA” peeve of the month:
Riders with huge, lifted pickup trucks that have way too many “No Fear” stickers on them. You do not impress anybody. Just ride your bike instead of spending all your time upgrading your vehicle to look cool at the trailhead.
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