Sealant can plug punctures without you even noticing, but some formulas work better than others. We put 80ml of each in identical tubeless tyres, inflated them to 30psi and punctured them until they no longer sealed. So which one performed best?
Orange Seal — Tubeless Tire Sealant
- Price: £13 for 227ml / 8oz (= £57.20 for 1l) / $14.99 for 8oz
So good: Orange Seal’s thick latex solution contains particles of varying sizes, which really makes a difference. Even after wiggling our 6mm screwdriver back and forth, the tyre was sealed after just two wheel revolutions and held 40psi without leaking.
When we put a pick straight through both sidewalls, the holes were sealed after a little encouragement. The provided tube allows easy topping up too.
No good: It’s pricey and only works at its best for a claimed 30 to 45 days in the tyre, so it’s best kept for the race season or regular tyre swappers.
Effetto Mariposa — Caffélatex
- Price: £20 / $28.99 for 1l
So good: This Italian-made sealant is designed to foam up, allowing it to better coat the inside of the tyre. It also contains tiny particles to help clog up holes.
When we removed our 6mm screwdriver, the Caffélatex sealed the hole almost instantly. Even after wiggling the tool around it didn’t take long to plug the hole.
If you buy the one-litre bottle, it’s great value too.
No good: After shaking the tyre vigorously, we expected the foaming action to plug sidewall holes easily, but this only worked when the hole was at the lowest point of the tyre.
Stan’s NoTubes — Tire Sealant
- Price: £15.99 / $17 for 473ml / 16oz (= £TBC / $28 for 946ml / 32oz)
So good: Probably the best-known sealant, Stan’s is popular for a reason — it works.
The hole left by our biggest screwdriver was sealed within just one or two revolutions of the wheel. To make things harder, we stuck the tool in again and wiggled it around from side to side. The tyre sealed up eventually and we were able to reinflate it to 36psi before the seal broke once again.
No good: Sidewall punctures are dealt with OK, but performance isn’t quite as impressive as with the two highest-scoring options here, because the Stan’s sealant doesn’t cling to the tyre casing quite as well.
Continental — RevoSealant
- Price: £30 / $33.86 for 1l
So good: Conti says this sealant is designed to work with its own tyres, but it performed well with our Maxxis test subjects all the same.
A thin latex solution with a thick sludge of particles to shake into the mix, the RevoSealant seals punctures in the outer casing very well indeed. Our 6mm hole was plugged within a few revolutions of the wheel, but started leaking air again once we reinflated the tyre to 30psi.
No good: While the thin Continental solution worked well on the tyre casing, we found that it struggled to seal holes in the sidewalls.
Joe’s No-Flats — Super Sealant
- Price: £12.99 for 500ml (£18 for 1l)
So good: Joe’s is the cheapest sealant here but it does the job. It’s on the thinner side, which allows it to coat the inside of the tyre nicely but remain mobile enough to fill any holes. It deals with sidewall punctures fairly swiftly as a result.
Our testing involved puncturing the tyres with increasingly bigger screwdrivers, and the Super Sealant did manage to plug a hole made by our biggest 6mm tool. The seal broke once we pumped the tyre back up to 20psi though.
No good: Many of the holes that it plugs still leak slowly afterwards. You need to shake the bottle more vigorously than the others here to get the particles mixed in.
Wickens & Soderstrom — No.8
- Price: £12 / $TBC for 300ml (= £40 for 1l)
So good: The yoghurt-like consistency and large particles make the W&S sealant handy for seating baggy tyres or fixing bigger holes, so long as you’re patient and keep feeding it in.
It works best when mixed with a runnier sealant and inflated with a track pump to force it into the holes.
No good: The No.8 is so thick that it spreads itself thinly around the tyre instead of forming a pool at the bottom ready to fill any holes. It can’t always fix small punctures at normal riding pressures (30psi or lower) and sidewall punctures are virtually impossible to plug unless it’s mixed with a thinner sealant. It’s not cheap either.