So I arrived in New Mexico a bit over a month ago from the East Coast. Little did I know, there are things called "goatheads" that will give you flats like crazy. So I found that out fast on my 29er. Knobby tires don't matter at all, it's about the tube. So, because I do not want to spend money at this time on a tubeless upgrade (I just got a 1x drivetrain), I needed a solution.

I went into the city and thought I found my magical solution. Orange Seal. Pour 4oz of that in each tube and I'm good. Well it seemed to work for a bit, but then after buying 2 CO2 canisters and 2 tubes this weekend, I've already had to use them on two separate rides. Both times I actually wasn't riding singletrack but just pavement. Deflated in about a minute or less and had to put in a new tube and use a canister.

So now I'm thinking these thick Bontrager tubes may be the ticket. But I'm not sure which to go with, the thorn-resistant or self-sealing ones.

  • 2
    Orange sealant needs to be changed/replenished every few months as it dries out. How long had it been from when you added the sealant to when it stopped working?
    – Rider_X
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 20:42
  • I had put in 4oz of fresh, shaken up, Orange Seal the day before after I got some from the shop.
    – Macuser
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 0:10
  • If you need the best performance there will be no way around sealant/tubeless. For puncture resistance I think the best option would be to get a puncture resistant tire such as the Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus or Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 11:21
  • 2
    CO2 is expensive and really only worth it in a race or on a group ride when you need to swap fast. Otherwise, just use a pump.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 7:38
  • 1
    @Criggie The reason I use CO2 is because I don't wear a backpack when I ride. I just use a saddle bag. And I don't want to attach a pump to my frame. Anyway, I never expected to flat this much anyway so CO2 price is not a problem.
    – Macuser
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


I used to live in the Mojave desert and had that problem a lot. The only thing that seemed to work was a hard plastic strip that you can install on the inside of your tire, that's the first line of defense. Then I bought thick thorn-resistant inner tubes on top of that.


I never had any luck with sealants that go into the tube, even in northern countries where no thorns are present but only occasionally some broken glass. The only thing it did to me was leak, soil everything, clog the valve and prevent the patch to glue itself to the tube.

Another alternative that you might consider is going tubeless with sealant that is put directly inside the tire. This way, no inner tube puncture can happen because there is no tube to damage. Any tire puncture is then sealed by the sealant which tends to work better than inside the tube.

There are kits designed to convert your wheels to tubeless ones. It will help if your tires and/or rims are already marked as "tubeless-ready" of course.

Another option I am aware of is certain downhill tubes that are shipped with sealant pre-applied. I had better experience with them.

  • 1
    Yes, I'm familiar with tubeless setups. I just can't afford it at this time. I've decided to go the route of thicker, thorn-resistant tubes. And I'll put what sealant I have left in it.
    – Macuser
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 15:07

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