Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
There are many things that can happen to you on an average ride. Having a mechanical issue is one of the many things that can put a damper on a mountain bike ride. There are some products that make issues on the trail that much less painful. Our friend William shares his take on the Stan's NoTubes Dart Tool. Check it out!
I don't often get punctures in my mountain bike tires but when I do...I usually struggle hard to get a "bacon strip" plug in the tire, pump it up to find its still leaking, wiggle the plug, make it worse, get frustrated, kick the dirt, shake fist at sky, throw pump in the woods, retrieve said pump repeat this process a couple of times until I give up, put a tube in and ride back to the trail head humiliated and mad. Well no more thanks to the Stan's No Tubes Dart Tool. I purchased this tool from Worldwide Cyclery a little while ago and put it in my riding pack. Recently on a fairly remote ride out in the Cherokee National Forest I crossed paths with one nasty, hard, sharp edged rock and immediately heard that gut wrenching sound of air gushing out of my tire. Not hissing but gushing as the rock had cut a decent sized gash in the side wall, probably close to 1/2". The slash was large enough that I likely would have just put the tube in and not even tried to repair with the traditional back strip type plugs but now I had my chance to use the No Darts Tool.
Immediately I found it great that all parts were self contained and a dart was loaded on the plunger, no more scouring for the needed parts and struggling to peel those sticky bacon strips apart and get it in the jaws of the puncture device. The dart plug inserted with little effort and seemed to fill the cut nicely. I gave the tire a spin, pumped in some air and spun the tire some more to get the sealant to the cut. The rubbery pieces on the dart are supposed to react with Stan's NoTubes sealant to make for a solid bond and it did seem that was occurring as the material was getting tackier than Rodney Dangerfield's golf pants . I let it sit for a couple of minutes, pumped it up riding pressure and it was fixed, first attempt, no adjusting or adding another plug. I was impressed and happy with the tool and myself, master bike mechanic.
I have used several of the traditional tubeless patch kits in the past with varying degrees of success. Many of those other brands, I have found to be on the flimsy side and so small that it is hard to get leverage on to push the bacon strip into the tire. The Dart Tool, while mostly plastic does have a more solid feel and it's shape and size allows good leverage to push the dart into the tire. The Dart Tool is a bit larger then the others I have used and does take up more room in the pack. Because of the kind of large size of the plastic dart tip I suspect it would not be as easy to insert the dart into a smaller puncture, especially on a skinny tire. You would likely have to enlarge a small puncture to get the dart into the tire so may not be the best for road or gravel bikers. The other draw back is the cost. I paid $25 for the tool with two dart plugs and the average for 5 replacement darts seems to be $20 so it is a good bit more expensive then a lot of the traditional tools and bacon strip plugs.
My final thoughts, Stan really is da man when it comes to sealing and plugging them holes. The No Tubes Dart Tool is a great tool for mountain bikers running tubeless tires. They took a basic tire plug concept and optimized this device for effectiveness and efficiency. The Stan's No Tubes Dart Tool now has a permanent place in my trail kit. Thanks Stan!