The best tubeless tyre sealant will keep the air in your tyre for longer and actually fix punctures while you ride. No more inner tubes, patches and buckets of water!
We put several mountain bike tubeless sealants through the slash test to rate their puncture powers. Just what is the best tubeless sealant out there?
Best tubeless sealant
- Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle – WINNER
- Stans No Tubes Race Sealant
- Orange Seal Endurance
- Vittoria Pit Stop TNT EVO
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Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle, £9.99 (140ml)
Muc Off’s oddly named No Puncture Hassle sealant is brand new and, regardless of the size you buy, is one of the most expensive sealants out there. We tested the 140ml sachet, which easily filled our 29×2.4in test tyre but it has a thin nozzle that fits directly in a Presta valve stem reducing mess and waste.
Despite being one of the thickest sealants on test, NPH distributes evenly around the inside of the tyre. When we first squirted the full 140ml there’s didn’t seem like much left in the bottom of the tyre but we needn’t have worried because this luminous pink gunk sealed the 2.75mm puncture in barely a revolution. It also sealed the larger 5mm almost instantly and, while most sealants on test only sealed the sidewall cut temporarily, NPH sealed it permanently and we even manged to re-inflate the tyre after about an hour.
Muc Off No Puncture Hassle isn’t cheap but it works, and in our book that makes it a top buy. If you want the best out there, this is currently it.
MBR rating: 10/10
Stans No Tubes Race Sealant, £32 (946ml)
The original and still on e of the best, Stan’s Race Sealant is definitely worth the small premium over the standard blend. Or heaviest-hitting test riders swear by this stuff – a potent magic formula that heals cuts and makes holes vanish. Stan’s No Tubes Race Sealant is expensive, but contains twice as many sealing crystals and uses bigger particles that can make larger holes air tight.
Latex-based and natural, Stan’s is one of the first and best-known tyre sealants. Its popular original formula is proven to work without the familiar issues of drying out prematurely or simply not being able to plug small holes and rips in damaged tyres. Race formula is only available in bigger tubs (just under a litre for just over thirty quid), but the extra price over No Tubes standard sealant is worth it since it’s worked extremely well for us on multiple occasions; plugging big holes fast before we’ve lost all air, which is something that rarely happens out on the trail with other sealants.
MBR rating: 10/10
Orange Seal Endurance, £7.99 (118ml)
Orange Seal claims its Endurance sealant can last up to a 120days before it dries out, which is about four times as long as its regular stuff and you only pay an extra £1 across all the sizes for this increased durability. At £7 per wheel, only Muc Off’s sealant is more expensive but Orange Seal Endurance remained totally fluid in cold temperatures and easily sealed the 2.75mm and 5mm holes in our test tyre. The company claims it will seal slits up to 19mm and, while it did plug our 8mm cut, it was only temporary, when we added a bit of weight the tyre split open again. Like a lot of sealants, we reckon you’re just going to have to work it into the cut repeatedly and let it partially dry out if you’re trying to get going out on the trail.
We’ve haven’t noticed Orange Seal lasting significantly longer than most but it does form into a protective skin on the inside of the casing, which is really effective at sealing small and medium sized punctures.
MBR rating: 9/10
Vittoria Pit Stop TNT EVO, £22.99 (500ml)
We’d like to be able to tell you there’s a difference between Vittoria standard Pit Stop TNT sealant and the Evo version shown but details have been really hard to come by. In fact we’ve had both and they seem identical, so we reckon it’s just the way they’re named.
Pit Stop TNT EVO is a thin sealant and it retained this viscosity when chilled, however we noticed a skin had formed over the sealant when it was heated. In our torture chamber the Pit Stop TNT EVO sealed the 2.75mm puncture after barely one revolution and did the same for the 5mm hole initially but it eventually when we put weight on the tyre. It didn’t seal the sidewall cut either we played around with positioning the slash rotating it to the bottom where it could submerge in sealant but it didn’t help.
Pit Stop TNT EVO plugs holes quickly but lacks the larger particulate to seal bigger cuts and sidewall tears. You could easily add some home-made additive to boost its clogging power but there are cheaper alternatives where you could do the exact same thing.
MBR rating: 7/10
Conclusion: the best tubeless sealant
What’s surprised us most about this test was the actual cost of the different sealants. Converting to tubeless is a totally no brainer because there are some really obvious advantages but when you look at how much it actually costs to fill two tyres and then re-charge them over the course of a year, sealant is actually pretty expensive. If there’s a hot summer or heat wave, which is what we’re having right now, then you may need to renew the sealant in as little as two weeks, we’ve tested some sealants that really do go off this quick. Even if we’re generous and you only have to top up your sealant, say every three months, that’s still four times a year, and based on our costs per tyre prices can be anything from £22.96 to £68.48! When you consider inner tubes are as little as £2.50 on-line are you really going to get through 27 tubes in the same amount of time? We’re not suggesting you go convert back to tubes but if you’re constantly swapping tyres or ride in hot weather, a big tub of sealant is a must buy because you’re going to get through it.
One of the corner stones of this test was the ability of the sealants to do what they say on the tin and that’s to seal a puncture. Every sealant we tested plugged the smaller 2.75mm hole but when it came to the 5mm puncture, some didn’t work and with others we had to wait quite a while for it to congeal and plug the hole. Very few sealed the 6mm sidewall cut, which surprised us because 6mm isn’t that big, you’re only looking the thickness of a pencil.
It’s not all bad news though, some sealants did a great job. Stans NoTubes Standard sealant is good value and readily available in a lot of bike shops, and while it can be hit and miss on the biggest holes, it’s definitely worth paying the extra for the Stans No Tubes Race sealant, which is a lot more effective. The top two sealants in this test are the most expensive but they sealed both hole sizes and did a good job at sealing the cut in the tyre sidewall, so that you could actually ride home rather than having to repair the tyre or fit a tube. We found you do need a bit more of the Orange Seal Endurance than claimed but it creates a nice layer on the inside of the tyre and the dipstick for measure the sealant level is a nice touch.
Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle will cost you over £17 to do two standard sized tyres, more if you run Plus tyres, but it works. It’s a little bit thicker than most but it spreads out evenly in the tyre and sealed all the holes and cuts. It’s better value in the larger one litre size but the small 140ml pouch is convenient and even comes with a scoop, a valve core remover and a UV detector, which is a little light that you shine on the tyre to spot tiny leaks. If you’re running thinner tyres, compete in XC or Enduro events or just ride in a place where there’s lots of thorns, Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle is the one we’d recommend.
Want to know more about tubeless sealant?
Converting to tubeless is one of the best upgrades you can do to your bike and since most modern rims and tyres are ‘tubeless ready’ you have everything you need to cross over. In fact, the only things you’ll have to buy are a couple of tubeless valves and a bottle of sealant.
As the name suggests, tyre sealant seals punctures but in a tubeless system it also has another function – it coats the inside of the tyre, creating a barrier against air loss. The is because tubeless ready tyres are not fully air tight and eventually leak air through the casing. Some of the first UST tubeless tyres were better at retaining air but they were heavy and expensive and it doesn’t make sense to have them on your bike if you’re not intending to switch. This is why bike manufacturers fit lighter and cheaper tubeless ready tyres and leave the conversion up to you.
Tyre sealant is the life blood of a properly function tubeless system, which is why it’s important to buy one that really works. They are loads of formulations available, with unique and often secret additives to help seal punctures and there’s also a wide range of prices. We have nine on test – all put through the ringer to find that one sweet blend.
Tyre sealant particulate
The best sealants contain particulate, which helps clogs the hole when you get a puncture. A variety of sizes works best but only the larger particles are visible.
Tyre sealant viscosity
Sealant is basically a glue (a bit like Copydex) so will eventually dry out. To keep it liquid ensure there’s always a pool of reservoir in the bottom of the tyre and top it up regularly.