I’ve become a new convert to tubeless tyres this year. What started as a little dabbling with my cyclo-cross setup, has now spread to all my racing. The milKit system has helped me speed up my changes and keep a check on the state of the sealant in my tyres.
Like all the best ideas, the milKit system is pretty simple; a syringe to measure and add/remove sealant and self sealing valves that enable you to access the sealant in you tyres without having to remove them first. Like I said, simple. The system came to be when Pius Kobler was out riding and suffered a flat, despite running tubeless. The problem was due to dried out sealant, not something you can easily check.
Pius decided to do something about it and this led to milKit. The system uses valves with a split rubber piece on the bottom of the valve. These enable you to unscrew a valve’s core without any air loss. Inserting a plastic hose down the valve and past the rubber ends, allows you to draw off sealant. The air pressure inside the tyre helps push the sealant out into the clear plastic syringe, allowing you to see what state it is in.
Watching the videos on the milKit site and I was thinking ‘well, that’s all very nice and clean, I fancy a go!’ And after a few tries the whole procedure is simple, although I’ve yet to get it as clean and slick as the video!
Set-up is straightforward, you swap your cores for the two that are provided, everything fits very neatly into the handle of the syringe. There is a simple plastic core removal tool in the milKit as well – I was initially a little doubtful about this lightweight tool, but it is still going strong – and when you screw out the core you find a long plastic extension to the core. This is part of the design that helps keep the core from clogging with sealant.
With the tyre fitted and inflated you can now leave it inflated and remove the core. Hey presto! The air doesn’t come rushing out as the rubber valve ends do their thing. Now you can fill the syringe with sealant and get ready to fill your tyres, but WAIT!
See at this point I forgot the helpful manual that milKit had provided, which I hadn’t properly read. It quite clearly tells you to make sure there is only a maximum of 22psi in the tyre and that you have the stopcock in the off position when inserting the syringe. I had 80psi and the stopcock was open… I only wish I had been filming what happened next, it would have been all the warning you would need!
With 60ml of sealant in the syringe, I plunged the injector tube into the tyre, breaking the seal and allowing all that air to suddenly erupt into the syringe, which promptly popped loudly and showered me with sealant, much to the amusement of my children.
Lesson learnt I’ve been happily filling and emptying my tyres. As I’m constantly swapping between ‘cross and road tyres of different types, being able to quickly remove the sealant during the swap has been a blessing. No more knocking over cups of sealant, or forgetting them outside when popping in for a cup of tea, only to find them dried up with various floating flies in them. It all stays clean and neat in the syringe until needed, great.
It’s nice to be able to quickly check and see that there actually is some sealant in the tyre before a ride, without having to faff around and getting the tyres off. The inner cores while not staying completely untouched by dry sealant have always worked and cleaning them off is simple and takes seconds. And of course you don’t have to deflate your tyres to do this.
All in all, I have found the milKit system to be a simple and useful piece of kit and would recommend it to anyone running tubeless.
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