Caffélatex, valves and inner tubes

Caffélatex is used with success as puncture-preventative inside latex and butyl tubes, for tyres and tubulars. Knowing how to use Caffélatex, valves and inner tubes together is easy and might avoid problems down the road.

Fitting a Caffélatex Valve Estension on a tubeless valve
Fitting a Caffélatex Valve Estension on a tubeless valve

Being a synthetic latex, Caffélatex is not as intrinsically “sticky” as natural latex sealants, showing a lower tendency to clog valves and valve mechanisms. Still, it’s important to learn how to use it properly to take full advantage of the puncture protection, reducing the drawbacks to the minimum.

General tips for long lasting valves, when using sealants:

  • to prevent clogging in the valve mechanisms, immediately inflate the inner tube after injecting Caffélatex through the valve, so that the air pumped inside will push any residual sealant inside, away from the valve mechanism.
  • As a regular practice whenever inflating Caffélatex-treated inner tubes, valve should be kept at a 3 or 9 o’clock position, to avoid sealant leaks through the valve.
  • Valves should always be closed after inflation.

What to do when clogging happens?

  • With RVC valves, clean or replace the valve core.
  • If the valve mechanism can’t be removed, a droplet of Caffélatex Remover can save the day (or the valve, or the tubular).

What to do when clogging happens in presence of valve extensions?

2 mm opening
4 mm opening

Valve extensions, like our Caffélatex Valve Extension, fitted on replaceable valve core valves (threading the valve mechanism on top of the extension) reduce the internal valve opening from 4 to 2 mm, a size compatible with that of punctures usually sealed by Caffélatex.
The sealant has obviously no way to distinguish the valve opening from an actual puncture, and might want to “fix” it.
In similar cases the valve functionality can be easily restored removing the valve mechanism and inserting a spoke inside the valve extension, freeing the valve opening.

If the valve extension (acting more like an inflating extension) leaves the valve mechanism on the original valve, so that it’s recessed inside the rim, freeing it becomes more difficult… but Caffélatex Remover is recommended.

Maximum repairable damage in a tube:

inner tubes stretch when inflated – being limited in their expansion only by the tyre – and punctures in a tube tend to change geometry and size depending on the inflating pressure.
As punctures in a tube grow in size increasing the pressure, the maximum damage a sealant can repair in a tubeless tyre (where the puncture size and geometry don’t change much with pressure) is bigger than that of an inner tube.
A sealant can generally repair punctures up to 1 mm in tubes, while it’s up to 4 or 5 times more in a tubeless tyre.

5 responses to “Caffélatex, valves and inner tubes

  1. I use cafffe latex in latex tubed tubular road tires. Since I can’t “see” into the tire / tube – I want to refresh the sealant on a regular schedule. What schedule do you recommend? I have decided on 20ml added every 90 days. OK? Too much? Too little? Too long? Too short?

    1. Hello Pierre,
      in a tubular latex inner tube, the expected Caffélatex lifespan is very long. We’ve seen cases where Caffélatex (around 30 ml for a normal road tubular) lasted more than 1 year inside a tubular. For safety, you could eventually add 20 ml every 6 months.
      Although there’s no direct method for checking sealant status inside a tubular, here’s what we recommend as indirect evaluation method:
      – put the valve at 3 or 9 ‘o clock (so that there’s no sealant coming out);
      – completely deflate the tubular;
      – allowing some minutes for the sealant to flow to the bottom of the tubular, pinch with your fingers the 6 ‘o clock area of the tubular (lowest point). If the sealant is still liquid, you should be able to feel or hear it when you squeeze the tubular.
      With this procedure you won’t be able to measure how much sealant is left inside your tubulars, but you’d know there’s still some liquid sealant inside and get an idea of how much.

  2. Thank you very much Alberto, due to the specific properties of Caffelatex, I think the first option is the easiest and cleanest. I will try that way!
    Many thanks.

  3. After filling tubeless setups with Caffelatex I have had a loss of latex from the base of the tubeless valve. It seemed to be a normal adaptation process, but some Caffelatex has been lost.
    Can I add more Caffelatex through the valve using the syringe? Will it damage the core of the valve? Is there any other procedure I can follow in order to add more sealant to my tubeless wheel?
    Thank you for your reply

    1. Hi Andrea, there’re several ways to add Caffélatex to your wheels.
      First of all, as Caffélatex formula is based on synthetic latex, it’s not as sticky as natural latex and won’t clog valve mechanisms as fast. So you can insert Caffélatex through the valve without removing the valve core (use an Injector, or the little tube provided with Caffélatex 60 ml pouches) without problems. When you’re done, just make sure you pump some air through the valve to avoid trapping sealant inside the valve mechanism when you close it (air pressure will push Caffélatex inside the tyre, where it’s needed).
      Otherwise you can do all the above but removing the valve core and mounting it afterwards. Still quite easy.
      As another option in case you don’t have an Injector or a similar suitable device, you can partially dismount the tyre and pour sealant inside that way… but breaking the tubeless tightness you will have to use a good air volume (compressor or a good floor pump) to have tyres inflated again.
      For any further question, please let us know.

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