A new tire sealant called Black Ox has launched, which contains carbon fiber strands that are designed to quickly seal up punctures.
Relying on technology from the company, Omnia Products, that’s known for its expertise in producing speciality coatings containing carbon, quartz, and ceramic fibers for the aerospace industry, Black Ox was developed by the company’s president after his son and a co-worker’s son both lost out at the collegiate national cross-country mountain bike championships due to punctures.
“There was a premium, top-brand sealant in there,” said John Dispennette, president of Omnia Products. “After the race, we were kind of joking around, looking at all the products we make. We use a lot of latex in our business. We use the majority of chemicals that are in sealants, and we have this capability of the fibers we produce, and we thought, heck, let’s see if we can come up with something better.”
Black Ox Sealant incorporates carbon fibers processed by Omnia Products to optimize sealing performance. “We feel the carbon fibers are a significant contributor there, and we do have some other additives for coagulants in the sealant as well,” Dispennette said. “But we’ve done a lot of testing trying to optimize fiber lengths and (the length’s) impact on how efficiently and quickly it seals and permanently seals.”
Upon returning from nationals last September, work began on Black Ox, and it entered the crowded tire sealant market in April. Manufactured in Oxford, it’s sold through its website and about 10-15 local bike shops, mainly in Eastern North Carolina.
Designed to be injected through the valve stem, a 4-ounce bottle that will seal up to a 2.5-inch wide mountain bike tire is $5.99. A 16-ounce container is $17.99, and 32 ounces is $27.99. It’s also designed to work with road, gravel, and fat bike tires.
“We’re getting more and more bike shops we’re working with,” Dispennette said. “We haven’t taken out any advertising anywhere yet. We’re starting to consider that. COVID derailed a lot of our plans this year. We plan to sponsor some events soon as they come available.”
While he said e-commerce is new to Omnia Products and something the company is learning more about daily, “it’s becoming pretty obvious that that’s tough to do — direct sales — on a constant basis.” So Dispennette said he’s looking for distributors to carry Black Ox.
“We’re getting a lot of traction locally in North Carolina and South Carolina,” said Dispennette, who added marketing so far has mostly been through social media. “Locally is as far as our recognition is.”
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