Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Bicycle Tire – Bicycles In Motion

Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Bicycle Tire

Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Bicycle Tire

Fix-A-Flat is a superb product that was initially designed to seal holes in automotive tires so you can get to a repair shop.

However, the fix is similar for a bike, coating the inside of the tire with a sealant to plug the hole where you were losing air. Can you use Fix-A-Flat on a bicycle tire?

Fix A Flat is made for car tires and shouldn’t be used on bicycle tires because the mixture is not made for tires with tubes. It can quickly gunk up the valve stem from the inside making it difficult to add air or other sealants as it seals off the hole where air would come in.

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Fix A Flat For Bicycles

If you’ve ever used Fix-A-Flat on a car tire, you know how incredibly useful this internal sealant can be.

You simply attach the hose, connect it to your tire and use the whole bottle to fill a tire that is going flat. It’s easy, effective, and completely normal to wonder if you can just use the same stuff on your bike.

Whether you bought the wrong bottle by accident, it’s all you have on hand, or you’re just curious, please stop.

Fix-A-Flat has a warning label on the side that very clearly explains how you should not use it on tubed tires, including motorcycle tires.

Unless you bought tubeless tires, then your bike uses tubed tires too. Incidentally, tubeless tires on your bicycle also can’t use Fix-A-Flat.

Can You Use Fix A Flat On Any Bicycle Tire

You cannot use Fix-A-Flat on bike tires. Assuming you have the correct type of sealant, you can use it in almost every kind of bicycle tire.

Leaving aside the solid tires that can’t lose air and go flat in that way, there are still differences to consider. Tubeless tires aren’t compatible with sealants.

Be aware that some portable sealants are meant to be discharged all at once.

It could be too much if you are dealing with very small wheels, such as those on a child’s bike or some of the more diminutive BMX bikes. Be careful not to overfill the tire, or it will burst.

Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Tubed Tire

You cannot use Fix-A-Flat on a tubed tire. This product indicates explicitly that it’s not made for tires with tubes, including some motorcycle tires.

The type of valve stem on bicycle tires can vary, and only some are compatible with Fix-A-Flat, so you can’t always get the foam into your tire in the first place.

If the seal isn’t proper then all you get is a mess on the outside of your tire, and potentially a wrecked valve stem.

Even if you can manage it, filling a bike tire with Fix-A-Flat is still a terrible idea. The tube isn’t meant to contain the mixture.

It can quickly gunk up the valve stem from the inside making it difficult or impossible to add air or other sealants as it seals off the ‘hole’ where air would come in.

Even if none of that happens to you, removing a bike tire tube filled with classic Fix-A-Flat is complicated, messy, and smells awful since it wasn’t made to be deployed outside a car tire.

Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Mountain Bike Tire

The difference between a mountain bike tire and other tires is the way you use it and the tread pattern. All tubbed tires are essentially the same.

You can use a regular bicycle sealant on an MTB tire. Unfortunately, Fix-A-Flat is not likely to give you a good ride on a trail, particularly if there are jumps.

The foam in a can of Fix-A-Flat is not a permanent solution for a tire. It is meant to help you get home or to the nearest shop so you can get a proper repair done.

Putting too much pressure on your tires can force the sealant out of the hole, and then you have another leak, plus you’ll be out of Fix-A-Flat.

I recommend checking out this video to see what happened to Ryan Needle when he used regular Fix-A-Flat on his BMX and then tried to do tricks instead of following the directions and riding on the tire as described right away.

Ryan achieved a seal and then did a couple of jumps on his bike, which resulted in a huge mess.

Fix A Flat For Bikes At Walmart

You cannot get Fix-A-Flat for bikes at Walmart. The only varieties of Fix-A-Flat you’ll find through Walmart is the regular stuff meant for car tires.

This yellow bottle is the one with a warning against using it on tubed tires.

According to the Fix-A-Flat website, “Fix-a-Flat is designed to be used in automotive highway tires (Cars, trucks, SUVs, etc.). Fix-a-Flat should not be used in tires on motorcycles, ATVs, tractors, lawnmowers, bicycles, scooters, golf carts, etc.”

How Long Does Fix A Flat Last On A Bike Tire

Fix-A-Flat will get you 2 to 5 miles on a car tire, but it probably won’t get you anywhere on a bike. Instead, I recommend Slime Tube Sealant and Tube Repair from Amazon.

This famous green goop will seal up your punctures using Fibro-Seal technology so you can keep riding for up to two years.

Better still, Slime is eco-friendly and cleans up with water. Plus, it’s non-flammable, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. You can learn more about Slime when you click here.

Slime Tube Sealant and Tube Repair - 1 Gallon
  • Don't let a flat ruin your day, let Slime's tube sealant protect your tires and get you back on the road quickly and easily when you get a flat..Gallon size includes a pump for easy installation in all your tube tires. Great for shop use or home garages with multiple bikes.Effective under the most extreme temperatures: Low freezing point of -35˚F (-37˚C) and a high separation point of 182˚F (82˚C)Dispenses approximately 1 oz per pump
  • Slime Tube Sealant seeks out and instantly seals punctures in your tubes up to 1/8" (3mm) using Fibro-Seal Technology
  • Use Slime Tube Sealant with an air source to prevent punctures, giving you two years of continuous flat tire protection
  • Use Slime in an emergency to repair/seal punctures and slow leaks on all Bicycles, dirt bikes, wheelbarrows and strollers
  • Environmentally friendly. Non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-hazardous, Non-flammable, Water soluble

How Do You Use Fix A Flat On A Bicycle Tire

Do not use Fix-A-Flat on a bicycle tire. However, the process for using this from sealant, in general, is straightforward.

I have listed the steps below if you need them for your car or decide to waste a can and a bike tube experimenting.

  1. Remove the plastic hose from the side of the can.
  2. Connect the hose to the top of the FIx-A-Flat.
  3. Remove your tire’s valve stem cap by unscrewing it.
  4. The other end of the hose will fit over a valve stem. Ensure that you press it down completely.
  5. Hold down the trigger until all the foam in the can is discharged.
  6. (Optional) if you need to add air to your tire, do so right away.
  7. Immediately go for a short drive (preferably on flat ground) to spread the sealant around the inside of your tire.
  8. Get your vehicle to a repair shop for a proper fix right away, as this temporary solution will not hold up forever.

Pro Tip: Using most bicycle tire sealants is very similar. You may need to connect a hose, though this part can also be integrated. Then you fill the tire with the manufacturer’s recommended amount of the sealant and air immediately as some sealants can dry and plug a valve stem.

Helpful Tips To Know About Using Fix A Flat On A Bicycle Tire

Please do not fill your bicycle tires with Fix-A-Flat. Using an automotive product from a company that specifically warns you not to use its product on bicycles is foolish and can lead to damage.

Here are more helpful tips to know about using Fix-A-Flat on a bicycle tire.

  • Sealants on tires can be beneficial, but they are not necessarily made to be a permanent fix. Always replace a damaged tire or tube as soon as possible.
  • Fix-A-Flat is not the same as Fix-A-Flat Bikes Only, which used to be a separate product. It is essential to get the correct product for the type of tire you have because otherwise, you’re going to end up with a mess rather than a helpful repair. As far as I can tell, the Fix-A-Flat company stopped selling its bicycle tire repair product several years ago. Even the Fix-A-Flat website doesn’t list the Bikes Only sealant anymore.
  • Tubeless bicycle tires don’t generally go flat, though it can happen. More importantly, they already have sealant inside. Adding Fix-A-Flat, another sealant, would not significantly improve the situation and worse, it could cause a bad chemical reaction.

Final Thoughts

It’s an easy mistake to make, but grabbing a can of regular Fix-A-Flat for a bike tire could leave you with an even bigger problem.

If the filler seals the hole fast enough, you still only have a few miles at best. Meanwhile, a suitable bike tire sealant will go a lot further.

It’s never a solid plan to use the wrong product, but in this case, it can leave you stranded miles from home.

Instead, it would be best to use a high-quality bicycle tube sealant like Slime. It will last longer, and it’s made for bikes.

Brian Smith

Brian is the founder of Bicycles In Motion and an avid cyclist for 17 years. On the weekends, he enjoys exploring new bike trails and countryside roads to enjoy the outdoors.

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