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Are tubeless mountain bike tire systems appropriate for winter riding in below freezing temperatures? Is there a low temperature limit that I should avoid riding in? Does the cold affect performance of the sealants?

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All of my winter rides are tubeless now. I have successfully used tubeless setups with Stan's at -40F. Many other riders in my area have used them extensively and without issue at temperatures well below zero. Stan's happens to be the fluid used by my LBS, but I am sure there are others that work as well.

The hard part is getting the initial seal to work properly on fat tires. If they don't fail on the initial ride, they are just as reliable as in warmer temperatures.

  • So reliability is on par with a tube? – Batman Jan 10 '15 at 0:23
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    No. It's on par with a tubeless system used in warmer weather, which I would consider more reliable. I carried a spare tube for two winters, this year I took it out of my frame bag because it just doesn't seem necessary. – Deleted User Jan 10 '15 at 0:34
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According to this link Stans is good up to -30 F

Stans Sealant

Special anti-freeze agents allow the sealant to be used in environments as cold as -30° F.

A comment asked about -40 F. Would it seal a puncture? I don't know. I imagine you can go a bit past -30 F and sealing performance would degrade. At some point it would out right freeze and then for sure it would not seal.

According to the MSDS the freezing point is -20 F. Which does not make sense with the -30 F use.

MSDS

As for appropriate for winter. If you want to ride at low pressure then yes. Your winter riding may differ from your summer riding. Rock gardens may be covered in snow. Swapping out tires on a tubeless is a LOT more more work. If you ride different tires from summer to winter then factor that in.

  • Stan's is actually good below that as well. I have rode Stan's at -40F with no issues. – Deleted User Jan 9 '15 at 22:39
  • Be interesting what would happen if you get a puncture at -40F, would the Stans be viscous enough to plug the hole? – DWGKNZ Jan 10 '15 at 6:19
  • @DWGKNZ I will add my 2 cents to the question. – paparazzo Jan 10 '15 at 14:22
  • @ChrisinAK Just because you have ridden Stans past -30 F does not mean good. You can also run a tire outside the pressure range on the sidewall. – paparazzo Jan 10 '15 at 14:44
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    @Blam, my LBS did that test some years ago when they started using Stan's. It was a bit thicker at -40F, but still fluid. – Deleted User Jan 12 '15 at 17:19

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