With road tubeless being established well over a decade ago, it has an army of followers that will swear by it and wouldn’t ever go back to using inner tubes, expelling the virtues of their flat-free rides and lower rolling resistance.
Tubeless certainly does have its merits, and depending on where you live and the type of surfaces you regularly ride on, the list of benefits associated with it could be something that you are interested in. It promises lower rolling resistance in most cases; the ability to run lower pressures, which in turn, offers more comfort and better grip; a reduced chance of punctures from small pieces of grit or glass; and the ability to fix the punctures from the inside, courtesy of the sealant used inside.
Maybe you’re already a die-hard road tubeless fan looking at what’s on the market, or maybe you’re just curious as to the benefits of tubeless and whether they are for you. Here’s our guide to best tubeless sealant on the market for road tyres.
But first, with any tubeless setup, you’ll want to start with a tubeless-ready rim and tyre.
- Don't have tubeless-ready tyres? Our guide to the best tubeless road tyres will help you pick the right ones
Then you’ll need to check that you have a tubeless rim tape or rim strip installed to seal the rim and make it airtight - some rims are designed to forego this - along with a tubeless valve installed where you would normally have your inner tube valve. Once all of this is in place, you should be ready for the sealant.
Of course, not all sealant is created equal, so below, we've rounded up our pick of the best tubeless sealant for road tyres.
Stan’s No Tubes Original
Best for running high pressures
Sizes available (ml): 59ml, 473ml, 946ml | Sizes available (oz): 2oz, 16oz, 32oz
Stan’s is arguably the most recognisable name in the tubeless cycling market, it’s in their name after all. Stan’s was among the very first to produce a sealant specifically for cycling, and now offers two sealants, Original and Race. They are both based on the same base sealant solution with the Race offering twice the amount of sealing crystals to help fix larger holes. The downside to the larger crystals is that it must be poured directly into the tyre and cannot be injected through the valve core to top up as it dries out. Both of the sealants work well with small holes, with the race sealant being more suited to gravel or off-road use.
If you’re looking for something to help coat the inside of a lightweight road tyre and heal small holes, the Original is the way to go. Stan's Original is available in 59ml, 473ml and 946ml bottles priced from £4 to £26 ($3 to $28), while the more expensive Race sealant is only available in a 946ml bottle priced at £32.
Effetto Mariposa Caffélatex
Best for even distribution
Sizes available (ml): 250ml, 1L | Sizes available (oz): 8.8oz, 33.8oz
The unique selling point of the Caffélatex is that it contains a foaming agent. When the sealant is in the tyre, it foams up so it is spread around the tyre evenly, helping it reach a hole sooner because of the even distribution. The sealant on its own is great for fixing smaller holes that you would likely find while riding on the road but struggles to cope with larger holes or cuts. If you intend to ride off-road or over gravel, Effetto produces a product called Vitamina CL with is an additional particle additive that you can add to the inside of the tyre that helps fix larger holes and cuts if you want the added protection. A good option if you have both road and mountain bikes and want to use the same sealant for both.
Caffelatex is available in 250ml and 1L priced at £9.99 ($14.35) and £19.99 ($31.20) respectively.
Orange Seal Endurance
Best for longevity
Sizes available (ml): 118ml, 236ml, 473ml, 946ml | Sizes available (oz): 4oz, 8oz, 16oz, 32oz
With its introduction just over half a decade ago, Orange Seal burst onto the sealant market with two products, Regular and Endurance, and has since become one of the market leaders. With the Regular sealant aimed at riders looking for the best puncture protection and sealing capabilities, it regularly tests among the best on the market, with excellent protection against both small and large holes. Be sure to shake the bottle before installation or topping up as the particles that help seal large holes will sink to the bottom of the bottle over time.
For those users that would like a longer life span out of their sealant with slightly less protection, Orange Seal's Endurance version of their sealant has a claimed life of two-to-three times that of the Regular sealant, so you could be looking at up to nine months under the correct conditions before it needs replacing.
Both the Regular and Endurance sealants work well with small hole protection and the Endurance offers proven protection for holes up to 6.35mm. Orange Seal is available in 4oz, 8oz, 16oz and 32oz size bottles with prices ranging from £7.99 ($7.99) to £40.00 ($37.99) at RRP.
Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle
The best all-rounder
Sizes available (ml): 140ml, 1L, 5L | Sizes available (oz): 4.7oz, 33.8oz, 169oz
Muc-Off’s No Puncture Hassle sealant is one of the newer products on the market, introduced in 2018. The sealant is available in a 1L or 5L bottle along with a neat 140ml pouch reminiscent of a Capri Sun that handily fits straight onto your presta valve stem, so you can inject it straight into your tyre without any additional tools or accessories. In tests, it has easily sealed holes up to 5mm and sidewall cuts permanently. The sealant is thicker than most, as a way to be there when the tyre is punctured it forms a thick layer around the entire inner surface of the tyre rather than pooling and running into a puncture.
It has an excellent life span, checking the tyre after six months and there was only minimal drying of the sealant, quickly remedied by a top-up from the handy sachet. No Puncture Hassle is also UV reactive, so if you have the small UV light provided in the tubeless setup kit (or you happen to have one anyway) you can check your tyres for holes by running the light over the tyre and it will show where the sealant has come though when fixing a puncture. I’m not sure how useful this would be for me under normal riding circumstances but an interesting feature none the less.
If you’re looking for reliably the best performance on the market, this could be your choice but it does come at a price. The sealant is priced at £8.99 for a single sachet, which will fill three road tyres or one mountain bike tyre, £30 for a 1L bottle, and £120 for a gigantic 5L workshop bottle.
OKO Magic Milk
The best for combined lifespan and even distribution
Sizes available (ml): 65ml, 250ml, 500ml, 1L, 5L | Sizes available (oz): 2.2oz, 8.5oz, 16.9oz, 33.8oz, 169oz
OKO has been producing sealant since 1978 so they should know a thing or two about fixing holes in tyres. Originally producing world-renowned products for the off-road, mining and agricultural industries, it has branched out into sealant for bicycles. The first product that it brought to our market was the original Magic Milk, an all-purpose water-based sealant.
It has an excellent life span, and the homogenised liquid means there is no need to shake to distribute the puncture sealing particles, so you should have an even distribution around the inside of your tyre at all times. More recently it introduced the Hi-Fibre variety of the Magic Milk, which contains - as you might suspect - a higher level of the puncture sealing fibres, more suited to high-pressure environments where you need to seal a puncture faster, or off-road use where you are looking to seal larger holes.
This covers the extremes of each end of bicycle tubeless use. Available in a 65ml, 250ml, 500ml, 1L and 5L sizes it is regularly on sale making it one of the most affordable options on the market, while still coming from a reliable brand name with a proven history of puncture protection.
Separate sealant and particles allows customiseable sealant consistency
Sizes available (ml): 150ml, 1L, 5L | Sizes available (oz): 5oz, 33.8oz, 169oz
Squirt Seal tyre sealant consistently performs well in tests. In its standard form, it performs as well as many other sealants on the market, but what sets it aside is the addition of ‘Bead Block’ particles which is Squirt Seal's name for the puncture sealing particles found in its formula.
Additional particles come in a small bottle attached to the larger sizes of Squirt so you can customise the level of sealant to your specific riding conditions. Happy to have better protection at the cost of slighter shorter lifespan? No problem, the choice is yours. The smaller bottle of Squirt comes with a handy tube to fill your tyres directly, whereas if you pick the larger bottle you’ll have to supply your own syringe or similar for filling them.
Squirt will seal holes up to 6mm in testing so should be good for most situations you’ll find out on the road or trail, anything more catastrophic and you’ll find yourself fitting a tube. Squirt is availably in 150ml, 1L and 5L bottles priced from £9 ($12.50) to £98.00 ($139.00)
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