Caffélatex and CO2

We sometimes get complaints about Caffélatex solidifying when people use a CO2 cartridge to inflate the tire. This is a known unwanted side-effect related to CO2, common to most latex-based sealants.

CO2-damaged Caffélatex: avoid this following our tips

While Caffélatex resists well to both low and high temperatures, the sudden (and localized) change of temperature is not good for its stability. A strong thermal shock could indeed be a polymerisation-starter for any latex-based sealant (natural or synthetic), so we suggest to limit the use of CO2 cartridge or, if needed, to do it with extra care following these tips:

  • since the biggest thermal drop is at the valve, have the wheel with the valve in a 12 ‘o clock position before using the CO2  cartridge: like that, the sealant will tend to flow down and will escape most of the big temperature gradient. If some foam is still around the valve area, that won’t be a problem.
  • with modern CO2 adapters (connecting the CO2 cartidge to the valve) you can control the inflation rate. Keeping it low will prevent solidification issues. Infact the temperature drop is related to the speed of expansion of the CO2: if the expansion is slower, so is the inflation rate… you don’t quite freeze your fingers and save your sealant.

As for the use of the Espresso inflate & repair cartridge when the tyre has already Caffélatex inside: the pressure at which CO2 is stored inside the steel cyclinders is much higher than the pressure of the sealant inside Espresso, so the expansion of the gas is not as brutal with the Espresso. That won’t negatively affect Caffélatex lifespan.

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