Stan’s DART Tool Review
Photos by Sean Leicht
Stan’s DART – Dual Action Repair for Tubeless, tool is one of the smallest items we’ve tested this year, yet it has made one of the biggest impacts. We haven’t hit the trail without a DART stashed in our bib or pack since we got our first units a while back. There’s not a ton of products out there that have completely changed our load-out or packing routine as much as Stan’s DART. In fact, this dual-action plug has impressed us so much, we honestly think that everyone who rides with tubeless tires should carry one. Read on to see why.
The DART is Stan’s NoTube’s answer to filling gashes in tubeless tires that sealant just can’t fill. DART stands for Dual Action Repair for Tubeless, it is a vast improvement over traditional tire plugs. Instead of just relying on sticking material into a hole with the hopes of blocking the air from escaping enough for the sealant to fill in the voids, Stan’s DART does more. As the acronym denotes, Stan’s Dual Action tool not only relies on filling the gap but a chemical reaction between latex-based sealants and the laser-cut wings of the material used in the DART insert. Once inserted, simply spin the tire so that the DART is at the bottom and let the sealant contact the material for a nearly instant chemical reaction.
The tool is made out of an ultra-strong, yet light molded plastic and is capable of holding two ready to deploy DARTs, one on each end. We stuffed two additional DART inserts into the cap as well. The rod that the DART attaches to, is made from an ultralight, corrosion-resistant carbon and is gauged to the proper length to insert the DART while not causing damage to the rim or rim tape. The DART’s sleeve also features a built-in valve core remover, to allow for easy sealant topping off in case you lost a significant amount during your puncture.
The DART insert is made of a strong barbed plastic with laser-cut material attached. The barbed insert goes into the tire and anchors itself in place. The excess material is made to wear off while riding, requiring no trimming at all.
Stan’s was quick to tell us that although we may be overly anxious to try the DART on any flat we could get, the inserts are designed to work on cuts that are 5mm or larger. “Anything under that and the sealant should do the job,” Chris Currie persuaded us. Lucky for us, our first ride out on an epic day of testing ebikes on steep and rocky slopes of Central Oregon proved to be the perfect test ground. In five runs we had four flats! Maybe that’s actually not lucky for us, but it did allow us to properly and thoroughly test the DART and continue riding and skidding over very chunky terrain with the inserts installed in multiple tires.
We tried using GUP, we waited for the sealant to work, we even packed the cuts full of dirt. Nothing worked, so we felt confident saying that the DART fixed wholes our other typical solutions did not. And it worked fast! Even though we were concerned the excessive skidding required on these steep, shale-littered trails would pull the DART and its laser-cut material out, they stayed put.
Installing the DARTs is an easy task, riders with very little experience or mechanical know-how could perform the operation, making them look like veteran EWS racers. Simply clear away debris around the tire’s cut, remove the plastic cap, locate the hole and insert the DART. Stan’s pre-gauged depth is perfect, making the install brainless. Push the DART tool in until it’s bottomed out on the tire and pull back out. The barbed insert remains in place. Next up, spin the tire so that the material of the DART contacts your latex-based sealant and listen to the sounds of air no longer escaping your tire.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Stan’s DART tool is one of those things that makes you say, “How did no-one think of this before!?” We’ve used our share of plugs in the past, most have worked, many have not. Others we’ve been able to spit out of our tires leaving us on the side of the trail once again. Despite our best efforts on skidding and slashing 48lb ebikes down incredibly steep desert trails, Stan’s DARTs remained in place and kept the air in our tires. We really don’t have any negatives when it comes to this product, although we would love to see some color or customization options available. Maybe we could even make some Loam Wolf Edition kits, what do you say Stan’s?
We’re lucky enough to test lots of products, and while most things we find ourselves on these days are pretty good, there aren’t many we claim are must-haves. In fact, this may be our first one. If you ride with tubeless tires, regardless of the type of bicycle, Stan’s DART system is something we highly suggest you carry with you. It stops flats better, faster and more consistently than anything else we’ve ever tried. On top of that, it’s light, packs easily and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Two thumbs up.
Price: $25 (Tool), $20 (Refill Kit)
Weight: 15 grams
Easy To Use
Lack of Customization/Colors
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