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by James Huang
October 7, 2019
Photography by Stan's NoTubes
Tire plugs have rapidly grown in popularity in recent years, but when all is said and done, they’re all quite similar (here are some of our favorites). Stan’s NoTubes has developed a new system called DART — Dual Action Repair for Tubeless — that supposedly seals much bigger holes and cuts than other plugs, and makes for a more permanent repair, too.
Conventional tire plugs basically consist of goo-covered bits of textile thread that are inserted into the damaged casing to help fill gaps that sealant alone can’t handle, and while there are several variations on the formula, in reality, they’re not really all that different.
Stan’s NoTubes claims the DART plug not only provides a better mechanical seal than traditional plugs, but it also incorporates a chemical that instantly reacts with sealant to more quickly plug leaks.
DART, on the other hand, is more like a piece of flat fabric that is inserted through the cut or hole, sort of like stuffing a miniature rag into the tire casing. According to Stan’s NoTubes, DART not only provides a sort of scaffold that is easier to seal, but also incorporates a chemical that reacts directly with the sealant to actively plug the hole. In addition, the soft material doesn’t rely on a snug fit for proper functioning, so NoTubes claims DART won’t put any additional stress on the already-damaged casing, it supposedly won’t come out accidentally, and it doesn’t require trimming.
NoTubes also claims DART isn’t noticeable while riding, and will work on both road and MTB tires (and, presumably, gravel and cyclocross setups).
Stan’s NoTubes has also developed a tool to go along with those new plugs. A built-in depth gauge helps ensure the DART plug is inserted to the proper depth, and the tool is dual-sided so there are always two plugs at the ready. Fans of Dynaplug’s higher-end machined aluminum kits won’t be wowed by the carbon-reinforced plastic construction of the NoTubes DART tool, but on the upside, that also keeps the claimed weight down to just 15g.
Retail price for the DART tool kit is US$25; five-pack refills will cost US$20. Pricing for other regions is to be confirmed, with global availability starting in late October.
The DART tool is dual-sided, so two plugs are always at the ready (assuming you haven’t already used one, that is).
The entire tool is roughly the same size as a CO2 cartridge. The clear cap protects the DART plug until it’s needed, and also provides an easy visual reference as to whether or not a plug is actually loaded on to the tool.
The tool is designed so that it’s almost impossible to insert the DART too far into the casing.