Photos: Nick Waygood


Designed and made in Australia, Ride Mechanic Hoop Goop is fresh to the shelves of your local bike shop, but it's far from a knee jerk reaction to creating yet another sealant for us all to buy.

Owen Matthews from Ride Mechanic is an absolute world of knowledge and information and it is no wonder with his background that he has been asked to help develop and test items for other brands.

Hoop Goop is Owen's take on a tubeless sealant, which he actually calls a puncture repair liquid not a sealant.

There are a few things that stand out with Hoop Goop and one of them is a used by date of 30 days from opening, yep that’s right 30 days. This is a premium product and in turn it offers high performance when used correctly, as it contains a natural rubber latex which goes off just like other natural products. This process can be sped up depending on the temperature, which is the same as, you guessed it, natural products.

Owen supplies some extremely easy to follow instructions on the back of the bottle which means you get the most out of your product without out having to know the science of it. Due to the natural rubber latex Hoop Goop only comes in small 235ml bottles to save on waste and only 60ml for a 29” tyre is needed.

I also learnt a little more about tyre pressure. Let’s say you have a smallish hole, say 1-2mm and you are running 30psi, it is likely that you might only notice a small amount of noise as air escapes and a small amount of sealant coming out. Now if you flip this a bit and say that you had 80psi + (road bike) and a 0.5-1mm hole you will find a bit more dramatic effect as the sealant tries to escape until the pressure drops down to a pressure it is more happy with say around 30-40 psi.

Now naturally most of us won't run much more than 35psi on a mountain bike so this force based escape reaction isn’t going to be a big issue (unless you have a large hole) and when getting a puncture the lower force of the lower pressure will allow the Hoop Goop to do its work slowly exiting the hole and grabbing on to the now damaged fibres of your tyre around the hole. As more and more particles of the Hoop Goop pass each other at the hole they start to all hold hands until there is no room for any more particles to get near the hole and thus the hole is sealed. This can be a very quick process you sometimes don’t even notice depending on the size of the hole.

I did get a puncture during testing and it was a big one, right at the base of a knob and close to 5mm in size. There was noise and Goop coming out so I stopped right away and made sure the hole was facing the ground to allow maximum coverage by the sealant. As the air slowly stopped, I waited to check there was a good seal. And off I went.

It wasn’t until checking the tyre back in the workshop did I see the extent of the damage. Passing on the experience to Owen, his response was not what we expected, saying that he wasn’t surprised, and if it were him, he would just jammed a Stans Dart in there right away.

Tubeless sealant or puncture repair liquid is going to work, or not work and this can be due to several reasons like pressure, temperature, sealant age, and how big the hole is. Owen recommends using a Stan's Dart kit or a tube and not always relying on repair liquid.

Natural rubber latex does not like being under pressure or high temperatures hence its desire to escape and sometimes the bad smell if it has been in there a long time. So keep your sealant fresh and you'll likely have much greater reliability.

RRP: $19.95

From: Your local bike shop

Hits:

- Works on all but the largest holes

- Developed in Australian and Australian owned

- Natural product

- Not very expensive

Misses:

- Short life span might not work for everyone

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