Cantitoe Road is a small importer and distributor of specialty products for bicycles. They sent me a sample of the “Espresso” bicycle tube inflator and sealant that they import from Effetto Mariposa (“the Butterfly Effect”) in Italy.
You can buy the cartridge alone or in a kit with the bottle cage mount, which firmly and unobtrusively holds the cartridge in place. It looks bulky compared to frame pumps, but in two weeks of riding I’ve never bumped a foot or leg into this, and the cartridge hasn’t budged in spite of curb hops and bumpy roads.
I finally had opportunity to test the sealant this morning when I went off road to explore a homeless trail behind the Costco on Coleman Avenue in Santa Clara. I searched for a way to cross the Caltrain tracks under De La Cruz Avenue. I found numerous goathead thorns in both of my tires. Bah.
I kept the thorns in place to keep the holes plugged and managed another five miles before the front tire became too soft to ride. I quickly slid the inflator onto the bicycle tube valve (Presta only; this doesn’t work on Schraeder valves), and pressed the button to watch foamy latex fly all over the place.
I then looked at the pictorial instructions a little more carefully and noted the part where I’m supposed to hold the plastic tube in place on the valve. I couldn’t hold phone, the tube, and press the inflator button simultaneously so there’s no video, but I successfully sealed and inflated the tire on this second go around. In spite of my minor beginner’s mishap, there was still plenty of pressure and sealant to seal and partially inflate both tires. This product is super easy to use.
I inflated the front tire to about 60 lbs with this canister, and had enough left over to inject sealant into my rear tire. I topped both tires with the frame pump and went on my merry way.
The latex used inside is the same stuff used to seal tubeless setups. It’s moderately messy — you don’t want to use this indoors — but cleans up quickly and easily. I got some on my hands but it rubs right off after it dries. Still, it beats the mess of removing tire and tube from a bike to patch or replace the holey tube.
I suspect the liquid latex doesn’t do well in below freezing temperatures, so the icebikers who read Cyclelicious may consider storing this in an inside pocket while riding.
The stuff is pricey at $15 a can, but I can see it coming in handy if you’re in a hurry or riding in darkness or inclement weather and just want to get going. I recommend it and I plan to buy another can to replace what I used this morning.
Many of the usual bike shops in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Santa Cruz carry Cantitoe Road products, although I don’t know which stock the Espresso sealant canister. See the full dealer listing here. Cantitoe Road also sells direct through the Internet. They have a number of other cool products that I plan to look at in the near future.