I wanted to see what people are using for road and MTB/gravel sealant. I’m running tubeless now on both my road and gravel bikes. I’ve only used Stan’s regular sealant. Either through luck or s great product, I’ve never had a problem. But always looking for “upgrades.”
Which sealant do you like or dislike and why?
I’ve just used Stan’s also, and have had good luck with it.
One thing I don’t like however is when I take the tires off the wheels - there is a lot of dried Stan’s on the inside of the tube, including on the bead, which makes getting a successful seal the next time more difficult. I usually spend 20-30 mins picking off the biggest chunks which is annoying.
Anyone have any tips on how to get dried Stan’s off a tire? I’m too cheap to just buy new tires
I have used the regular StansSealant with great success but have had some issues with Stans Race Sealant. Anytime I have taken the tire off when using Stans Race there has been a buildup of small balls of the particles used for sealing. See the photo below.
The technical term for these little coagulations of sealant are “Stanimals”. A local bike shop here keeps them and gives them names .
I have never gotten a stanimal with Orange Seal, but I have had Orange Seal clog my valve stems, which can be a pain.
I’ve recently switched back to Stan’s normal sealant for anything that isn’t a high consequence race, and have yet to collect a stanimal, and my valve stems remain unplugged!
That said, when it’s a race that matters, I use Stan’s Race Sealant.
Something I’ve found that has been super helpful with this process has been the Sealant Injector from KOM Cycling (podcast listeners too!). A simple but SUPER nice tool to have. Valve stems no longer get a chance to clog .
As far as tubeless tape, I like gorilla tape. I’ve had too many puncture problems with strips and rim tape-specific solutions. Gorilla tape let’s you easily get the right width for different rims too.
@Jonathan I have taken to approaching it pretty much the same way as you have and just live with the “Stanimals”. I haven’t had a flat using the Race sealant but I also haven’t had a major puncture or sidewall tear with the race sealant in place though. I’m hoping if that is ever the case that the “stanimal” will be the first line of defence against large holes
Those stanimals gotta start making themselves useful!
Anybody home brew sealant? Not something I think I want to do, but a friend of mine has made his own with liquid latex, glitter and the lint collected in the dryer trap . Actually worked well!
Man, just picked my mud tires clean today so I could set up for a race tomorrow. Definitely interested in tips to clean that up faster.
I used to make my own…mold builder latex, windex, glitter, and corn starch. Worked pretty well, about as good as basic Stan’s.
I’ve got no comment on sealants or the amount of flats I’ve had…if I did I would jinx myself.
A vote for Stan’s Race Sealant formula here. Never had an issues.
I’ve used Orange Seal Endurance and like it to, it’s just hard to find here (in Poland) and I save it for winter because I believe it’s the only one rated to go to 8F and they have a subzero one that goes down to -20F. I guess I’ve been lucky that I’ve never had a valve clog with it yet.
You don’t necessarily need to clean the tire of all remnants of sealant. You’ll want to make sure you clean it around the bead, but if there is a sealant coating on the inside of the tire, it’s not absolutely necessary to remove it.
I leave the coating in there and usually find the tire will need replacing before that layer gets so thick it causes problems.
I use the Stans sealant, both normal and race. So far so good, the race sealant does dry up quicker so it needs to be checked a little more.
I’m also going to try the new Muc-Off sealant on the road bike at some point.
Most sealants should work reasonably well at the sort of pressure you would be using for gravel and MTB. You’ll have a bit of a trade off between longevity and ability to seal larger holes (the particles needed to seal large holes tend to cause more problems with valves and also impact on longevity, so stans race sealant doesn’t last as well as the normal stans sealant, but is better at dealing with bigger holes).
At higher pressures, so for road use, the differences between sealants really shows. I find normal stans just doesn’t cope with road pressures. Orange seal works really well unless it’s a puncture on the shoulder of the tyre. Hutchinson’s sealant works reasonably well. None of the sealants I’ve tried come anywhere close to sealing holes the size they claim they should be able to deal with
Yep - its the stuff around the bead that I focus on so it seats cleanly against the rim. On some of my tires, the dried latex sticks so strongly to the tire rubber its like they are chemically bonded/glued. So can take a while to pick reasonably clean.
Another Orange Seal user for road here… I’ve struggled with everything else when you put the system at 85psi+. As @Jonathan says though, it seems to clog the valves slightly quicker than Stans. Tried Joes NoFlats sealant too, which I didn’t have much luck with.
Just wondering why no one uses Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex Tyre Sealant?
Haven’t had any issues in the Road Tubeless that’s all. (more looking for roadie comments, sorry Johnathon)
I only have tubeless MTB, I ride pretty hefty stuff and (jinxing myself now) have never had a flat using Stan’s normal sealant. No valve issues, and only minimal Stanimals
I know many people do this. A while back I heard an episode of Bike Shop CX (great podcast all about CX and gravel specific wrenching - imagine Car Talk but for your bikes!) with a Stan’s pro CX team mechanic talking all things tubeless. TONS of great info in that episode, but he specifically warns against using any kind of duct tape around the 52:30 mark here:
He does also note that for MTB tubeless things are a little easier and more flexible because of high volume, low pressure tires. But as you get into CX and gravel volume goes down, pressure may go up (depending on many things) and the tubeless setup becomes more susceptible to problems. And road tubeless follow all the rules and only use road tubeless specific equipment because that’s low volume/high pressure - the toughest scenario.
He’s not even specifically pitching Stan’s brand tape there. Just pointing out the problems with duct tape solutions - actually can be porous and leaves residue on rims. Also it will be thicker than tubeless specific tape, which can make mounting harder to impossible on some CX or gravel rim/tire combos.
All the tubeless tips in the episode start around 24:20 and are well worth a listen for anyone looking for tips.
Another good one in there? Don’t create your valve tape hole with a knife. It will likely cause a longer radial split in the rape right at the valve and that will forever want to leak. I’ve had this. Ever had a tubeless setup always wanting to leak at the valve? It’s probably that. You shouldn’t have to wrench on that valve nut - that causes more problems! (Roadside removal!)
My favorite in there? For rim/tire setups that are extra hard to seat (again probably more likely in CX or gravel) mount first with a tube to get the beads to pop and seat. Then remove tube from only one side of tire, leaving other bead fully seated, then you only have to deal with your pump/compressor seating one of the beads. Has helped me a number of times. Tight WTB gravel tires to name one.
As for sealant, I like Orange Seal Endurance because it lasts longer, is usually easier to clean up but still seals well. As others have noted it does clog valve cores though. I figure those are cheap/easy to replace occasionally though. When it’s hard to pump up your tire you’ll know it’s time!
I’ve run Stan’s in the past, but switched to Orange Seal about two years ago. I’ve used their regular and endurance formulas. Orange seal “seems” to seal up problematic weepy tires better. I have no stanimals and the orange seal definitely lasts longer before drying up.
On the occasion that I inject sealant through a valve stem I simply take a Q-tip and push it through the stem to wipe out any remaining sealant. Works like a charm.