Some people worry about Caffélatex or Végétalex early solidification after inflating the tubeless tyre with a CO2 cartridge, as this is an unwanted side-effect common to most latex-based sealants. Plus, what about using Espresso inflate and repair cartridges with Caffélatex or Végétalex? We explore these topics here below.
Caffélatex and Végétalex have very different compositions, and they behave differently to CO2 inflation.
Caffélatex and CO2
While Caffélatex resists well to both low and high temperatures (between -20 and 50°C), sudden temperature changes are not good for its stability. A strong thermal shock could be a polymerization-starter for any latex-based sealant (natural or synthetic), so we suggest to limit the use of CO2 cartridges or, if necessary, to do it with extra care.
Follow these tips to avoid negative effects on Caffélatex:
- given the fact that the biggest thermal drop is close to the valve, use the CO2 cartridge keeping the valve in a 12 o’clock position. With the valve in that position, wait some seconds before inflating, so that the sealant flows down and escapes most of the temperature gradient;
- use adjustable CO2 adapters (connecting the CO2 cartridge to the valve) to control the inflation rate. By keeping a low inflation rate, you will prevent solidification issues. The temperature drop is indeed connected to the CO2 expansion rate: if the expansion is slower, so is the inflation rate and the temperature drop; you’ll save your sealant… and avoid freezing your fingers!
Végétalex and CO2
Végétalex, instead, won’t be damaged by CO2, as it doesn’t contain latex. It’s a big plus for Végétalex users, as they normally value the reliability and user-friendliness of this plant-based sealant.
What about Espresso?
Another common question is related to using Espresso inflate & repair cartridges when your tubeless tyre already contains Caffélatex, or Végétalex.
The quick answer is, no problem!
If you worry about temperature drop that might damage Caffélatex, consider that the typical CO2 cartridge has a pressure much higher than the one of Espresso sealant (which uses Propane), so the expansion of the gas is brutal with CO2, not so with Espresso. If you think about it, a 16 grams CO2 cartridge can inflate a road tyre 25-622 from 0 up to 8 bar pressure in just a few seconds, while Espresso takes almost a minute to inflate the same kind of tyre up to 5 bar.
If you worry about mixing the sealant inside Espresso with Caffélatex or Végétalex, please note that the three formulas are compatible, so that the mix won’t be unstable. We still recommend inspecting the tyre upon returning home after a successful repair with Espresso… and eventually clean/top-up sealant inside.