The Best Tubeless Tire Sealant for Your Mountain Bike

Tubeless tires had a slow acceptance from the mountain bike community for many reasons, but as tire and rim interfaces improved, sealants became more available and better at sealing punctures, tubeless tire systems have now become the norm. When setting up your tires tubeless, a sealant will help to manage any small leaks that may form in the tire casing while also providing additional peace of mind for small punctures that may be encountered from thorns, goatheads, and other sharp trail debris.

Related: How to pick the right mountain bike tire

What is tubeless sealant?

Tubeless sealant is a liquid designed to plug small punctures encountered during riding. Sealant utilizes a liquid paired with a mixture of fibers and small particles which, in the event of a puncture, coagulate at the site of air escape. There are two main types of sealants: latex-based and latex-free.

Latex-based sealant

Most common sealants function best due to the coagulating properties of their main ingredient: latex. Latex, coagulates because it is is a dispersion of polymers base in either water, or a water-based solution of ammonia. As a hole forms, air pressure drops creating a rush of air which causes the water/ammonia-solution to evaporate through the puncture while the latex particles are left to plug the puncture.

One main problem with latex-based sealants is that with normal use, airing up and airing down, the liquid solution slowly evaporates leaving a ball of coagulated latex after a few months of use and rendering the sealant rather useless. Meaning the sealant needs to be topped off every month or so depending on your climate and riding habits.

Latex-free sealants

These sealants contain no latex meaning no chemical reaction takes place. These contain a thicker liquid solution that is aided by a wider variety of sealing particles of various textures and sizes. Latex-free sealants inevitably last longer in tires, but in our experience aren't quite as good at sealing problematic punctures and leaks

What are your needs?

As with most products, sealants performance is dependent on many factors. Defining your personal needs for a sealant come down to your local climate, tire choice, and riding preferences. Cese in point: If you live in the dry Southwest part of the U.S., your sealant will not only dry out more quickly, you will also likely encounter more punctures due to the sharpness of the vegetation in this zone. If you're a rider living in the PNW, the colder climate and increased humidity will mean you can go longer without replacing your tubeless tire sealant.

Related: Maxxis Tires - Which bike tire is best for you?

Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle Sealant
Tubeless tire sealant


Developed with the world's top downhillers and pro peloton teams, Muc-Off's new sealant uses microfiber molecules to fill the bigger holes and tears, while a latex formula forms a strong seal instantly. The formula also contains a unique UV detection system that highlights any punctures you haven't seen during your ride. It's non-corrosive and easily washes off with water. Compatible with tubeless-ready and full UST wheels/tires, No Puncture Hassle works from 15psi-120psi and temperatures from -20°C to +50°C. The pouch is designed to fit your Presta valve perfectly and is ideal to add to your toolkit or ride pack for emergency top-ups on the go!

Pros:
  • Seals most punctures well
  • Non-toxic
  • UV Detection System
Cons:
  • Cost
Price: $39.99/ 1liter (33.8 fl oz)

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Stan's No-Tubes Sealant


Tubeless tire sealant


As one of the pioneers of tubeless tire sealants, Stan's is still known as one of the most popular sealants among mountain bikers. Stan's Tire Sealant is formulated to stay liquid in tires with even thin casings for up to seven months. though we have had the best luck by adding sealant every couple of months. Made in the U.S., this latex based sealant is easily found at most bike shops and about 2oz of sealant will protect a standard MTB tire with a puncture of up to 1/4".

Pros:
  • Readily available
  • Works well in most conditions
  • Seals most smaller punctures
Cons:
  • Dries out quickly in arid climates
  • Race formula better for large punctures
Price: $28/ 32 fl oz

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Orange Seal Endurance Sealant


Tubeless tire sealant
Available in two forms, Orange Seal's Endurance formula is claimed to last longer and plug larger holes than the traditional Orange Seal. We liked the thicker viscosity of the Endurance formula and it did seem to last longer than the OG Orange Seal, but it does cost more.

Pros:
  • Lasts
  • Seals decent size punctures and slices
  • Easy fill injector included in small bottle
Cons:
  • Expensive per ounce
  • Clogs valves
Price: $11/ 4 fl oz

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Effetto Mariposa Caffélatex



Tubeless tire sealant


Using a blend of liquid synthetic polymers gives Caffélatex its "latex-like" behavior as it becomes solid when exposed to fast evaporation and thus repairing holes in this process. The Italian engineered product benefits from its foaming behavior (passing from liquid to foam when activated by wheel movement). When wheels are turning, centrifugal force drives standard liquid sealants against the outer circumference inside the tire while Caffelatex foams up and is able to be forced into punctures at any area on the tires carcass.

Additive: Vitamina CL is a sealant additive that is made to mix with Caffélatex sealant to improve large puncture repair. The powder is added directly to the inside of the tires Caffélatex mixture for improved and more even dispersion. The V-CL particles will significantly increase the maximum repairable puncture size while reducing repair time and pressure loss, and the precisely tuned particle size and density offer optimal diffusion within the sealant

Pros:
  • Foaming property
  • Manages punctures at many point internally
  • Additive option
Cons:
  • Not as effective with larger punctures
Price: $29.99/ 1000ml (33.8 oz)


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e*Thirteen Tire Plasma
Tubeless tire sealant


"We've used our share of mediocre sealants, messy, smelly slop that left us yearning for the halcyon days of tubes. So when it came time to formulate our own sealant, we knew what to avoid." e*Thirteen says about setting out to create a sealant of a different nature. At under $20 per 32oz bottle, this is just about the cheapest sealant, plus it is designed specifically around MTB specific punctures. It's a little different from other latex-based sealants in that it's instead formulated with compounded acrylic resin with self-cross-linking properties. It is also designed to help make tubeless setup easier as well. Its eco-friendly formula is non-toxic, safe for tire casings, and cleans up easily with water.

Pros:
  • Compounded acrylic resin provides quick-sealing protection
  • Designed to coagulate to seal punctures up to 4mm
  • Water-soluble ingredients are eco-friendly
Cons:
  • None
Price: $17.95/ 1liter (33.8 fl oz)

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Joe's No Flats Super Sealant
Tubeless tire sealant


Joe's offers a very robust line of sealants, bike wash and lubrication products that are effective and non-toxic. Their latex based Super sealant is a grea option for riders looking for something outside of the mainstream sealant market. It's ammonia free and isn't as adhesive as some other options out there. It seems to last well and seals decent size punctures. It's available in a variety of sizes from single serving 2-oz. trailside bottles to large 1-liter bottles.

Pros:
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Seals quickly
  • Non-adhesive
  • Works in tubes
Cons:
  • None
Price: $29.99/ 1liter (33.8 fl oz)

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