I picked up a puncture in my rear tire while out on my road bike. Quite a bit of sealant leaked out, but eventually the hole fixed itself with plenty of air pressure left in the tire to ride home.

I'm not sure how I should follow up on the puncture. Can I consider it "fixed" and reinflate the tire to ~100psi? Do I have to remove the tire and properly fix the puncture with a rubber patch? How can I tell whether I'm low on liquid sealant inside the tire, and if I should replace it?

  • 1
    Two major questions to consider: 1) Is there something (thorn, nail, wire) still embedded in the tire, and 2) is the hole larger than reasonable for the self-sealing stuff to work reliably. Good luck! Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 23:33
  • 1) I don't think so and 2) maybe. I lost a lot of fluid, and the hole didn't close until I stopped and rotated the wheel so that the puncture was at the bottom, but it did seal and the hole wasn't so large that I lost a lot of air. The tire was quite hard after the hole had filled in.
    – user229044
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 1:11
  • Guessing - I'd inflate the tube to the maximum supported by the tube/rim/tyre combination. and then leave it overnight at least, or three days ideally. If it holds that pressure then you should be good to ride at your normal pressure after adding more sealant. Don't ride it at this high pressure though.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 2:59
  • @Criggie - Tubeless road and max pressure is not always the best combo. Depending on the rim and tires (there is no real standard yet) your probability of a blow out at max pressure is higher. I would simply inflate to operating pressure then monitor that for loss of pressure. Typically, punctures that haven't sealed are pretty evident as they his and spew sealant everywhere.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 6:04
  • What tire are you running? You need to add sealant to any tubeless periodically.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


If there is no debris still in the tire, then add pressure back to what you regularly run. If it holds, which it most likely will, then consider it fixed! Sometimes if the sealant hasn't had sufficient time to cure (or there is still debris) the hole will re form. In this case spin the wheel a bit so sealant meets the hole and wait for the sealant to do its thing. Let it cure a bit longer, then try adding more pressure.

If there is something still in the hole, you should remove it (to prevent further tire damage), then go through the above described steps to get the sealant to reseal.

The only time you really need to patch is when the hole is too large for the sealant to plug.

What do I do if it won't seal?

  1. Check that you have sufficient sealant in the tire.
  2. Is your sealant old (e.g., over 6 months)? It may have degraded to the point where it won't seal properly. In this case you will need to change your sealant.
  3. Is the hole is too big? If (1) and (2) do not fix the puncture then the hole may be too big.
    1. Try adding a particulate (e.g., glitter) to your sealant, this can help plug larger holes. Some sealants include particulate as part of their "formula."
    2. The hole may simply be too large for any sealant to successfully plug. In this case you repair with tubeless tire repair kit. These are either a cord that you use to physically plug the hole or a special patch for the inside of the tire.

      Note: Avoid using a regular inner tube patch as these are not designed to provide the structural reinforcement needed for a tire carcass.

Will the hole reform?

Maybe, but you will probably never know because the sealant in the tire will simply reseal. The only time I have ever had an issue with previous punctures is when I tore down and scrubbed out the sealant from my winter tires which had a number of punctures. The scrubbing removed the sealant plugs. When I re-seat that tire I simply need to take a minute or two to reseal the old punctures. That is about as hard as it gets.

How do I know I still have enough sealant?

If you set up the tires with sufficient sealant (e.g., 40-50 ml for 700x25) then there should be enough sealant to handle multiple punctures which should get you through the 6 month window when you should refresh or change the sealant. Otherwise if you get additional punctures, that do not seal, that may be an indication you do not have enough sealant remaining. If your setup is mission critical (i.e., upcoming events or races). It is a good idea to open up the tires and ensure everything is set up properly.

  • 1
    It might be a good idea to make a short test ride, eg over a nearby psych of cobblestone. My puncture sealed, but opened again when the tyre went over rough ground.
    – gschenk
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 21:19

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