ZEFAL REPAIR SPRAY
75ml 92g €7.95 (£6.96)
Not a tubeless sealant, but similar, Zefal’s Repair Spray offers a temporary puncture fix when speed or convenience are desirable. Whilst it has limitations, I imagine most of us could think of a time when this would have been just perfect to fix and inflate without removing the wheel, and heading off all neat and tidy.
Pros: quick and effective enough to get you home.
Cons: messy if not used properly, temporary fix.
Coming in three sizes, the spray contains a foaming sealant and gas propulsion to fix the puncture and inflate the tyre. Ours was the 75ml size, recommended by Zefal for “road”. There’s a 100 ml recommended for MTB use, and a bigger 150ml version, too. The 100 ml comes with a strap to port it to your seat post, too, but something effective would be easy enough to fashion from the spares box.
The tube had two heads, allowing use on Presta and Schrader type valves. It also works on tubeless tyres.
Important things to remember are these; it is not intended to be a permanent fix. The foam will dry out, but should last for a day or so. Inflation is unlikely to take you up to full pressure. Zefal recommend riding for three km or so and then getting to work with your pump. In that context, don’t see this as a panacea for puncture woe and leave all the usual stuff at home. It is aimed at punctures less than 2mm, above that, you may get some help, but don’t bank on it. Mind you, how many punctures rip out more than 2mm? Well, possibly quite a few if some off-road expeditions are anything to go by.
Safety warning are profuse. Highly inflammable is amongst them, and usual precautions are should be taken for keeping it away from pets, children, and your own eyes etc. Read the label.
Application and use 3/5
Things are not quite as intuitive as one might think, so it is worth getting familiar with how it works before emergency calls. You only really have one shot. There’s handy video from the manufacturers at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vjxRg8E-D8 .
Start by finding the cause of the puncture and removing it. This can be problematic with anything small and deeply embedded, but it is important. Of course, it could have dropped out already.
Shake the cannister and, selecting the appropriate head, screw it onto the valve – nice and tightly. Holding the cannister upside down, press on the cap and you’ll see the foam propelled along to the tube and inti the valve. If you have not got things tight enough, this is when you will find out.
Things can get messy if you are not spot on, so having a rag and keeping the mixture off your Sunday best are both good ideas.
How much? Well, since Zefal recommend cycling for two miles or so and then inflating further with a pump, you need to get to a suitable pressure.
Once you have replaced the valve cap etc. ride for a couple of miles before inflating further. By this time the sealant should have been spread around the inner tube.
Remember, change the tube or clean out the sealant from your tubeless set-up within a couple of days. The foam will dry out and it is not intended to be a long-term fix.
Ours managed to get a28x700c with a Presta valve up to around 45 psi. (since then, another batch went higher on a 700x23.) That was just enough to ride on for a couple of miles. Mind you, I might have got a little too much pressure in if the minor eruption of foam was anything to go by when loosening the valve to attach the pump. I was then able to ride on for ten miles home. Could have gone further. The tyre was still inflated thirty-six hours later, when I went to change the inner tube.
Getting to a suitable pressure to ride those couple of miles may, however, be problematic for heavier riders or those loaded down with the weeks shopping or camping gear. So, whilst the Repair Spray, seems to do just what it says, performance will depend a lot on your cycling context.
Well, it could be invaluable to you in certain circumstances. For a rapid repair in bad weather when you are rushing to your next meeting, it could be a life saver. However, it does have limitations, and it does not do away with the cost of a new tube – for those who are not running tubeless.
Vittoria Pitstop Magnum is a little more expensive (and I’ve seen Zefal’s further discounted on-line). The Pitstop is aimed at larger volume, lower pressure tyres, so may be more suited to MTB contexts, although roadie friends have used it successfully, with as little top up from their CO2 cartridge.
Equally there are sports superstore brands available for half-the price – though these tend to cater for a max of 1mm punctures.
Time hungry, need to get moving, hate repairing punctures in the rain and just want to get home? Lightly-laden, seeking your PB? Well, Zefal’s Repair Spray may just be for you. On the other hand, it won’t completely replace your pump, or old repair kit in the long term, so those not in a rush or who are luck enough never to puncture when precipitation is persistent may see little to be gained.