This guide covers everything you need to know about choosing the best tubeless sealant. We tested several of the top brands, in both road and mountain bike tires, to see which sealant offers the best puncture protection. In the end, we were able to determine which sealant lasts the longest, too.
Here are the brands of tubeless sealant used in this test:
- Muc-Off No Puncture
- Orange Seal Endurance
- Bontrager TLR Sealant
- Stan’s No Tubes
Before we get too far into this tubeless sealant comparison, its important to mention the proper way to fill your tire with sealant. For mountain bike tires, avoid using an injector entering through the valve stem. This is a bad idea for two reasons. First, you have to remove your valve core. Those valve cores are small and very easy to lose. Second, the valves themselves get clogged by excess sealant. This makes letting a little air out of your tires impossible.
To add sealant simply remove the tire from the wheel on one side and pour it directly into the wheel. To get the tire to set on the rim you will need a good bike pump that inflates quickly. Read my guide to the Best Bike Pumps here. This trick to avoid a clogged valve doesn’t work as well with road bike tires, and gets messy.
One last bit of information to know about tubeless tire sealant is that it is not a one time solution. The tire sealant will dry up and need to be refilled from time-to-time.
Best Tubeless Sealant For Mountain Bikes
When testing mountain bikes I used a 29 x 2.4 inch tire and punctured it with nails, screwdrivers and a razor blade to make holes of varying shapes and sizes. This is the best way to simulate punctures found in neighborhoods and on trails. Initially this test started at 32 psi in each tire, but after the two smaller punctures it was dropped to 24 PSI. The lower PSI is more realistic to what riders will run on the trails.
One of the benefits to running a tubeless setup is being able to ride with lower tire pressure. Its a more comfortable ride with more traction too. The benefits to tubeless extend beyond puncture protection.
There are two things tested during this project. First, did the sealant fill the hole created by the puncture. Second, how quickly did it fill the hole. To measure this I tested PSI before and after the puncture. The tires with the highest remaining PSI after puncture obviously filled the fastest. Each test started by puncturing the tire, spinning the wheel then riding on the the tire to ensure the seal remains intact with the bike under load.
Here are the results:
In the end, the best tubeless sealant for mountain bikes turned out to be Orange Seal. (Check Current Price on Amazon Here). Each brand did its job on smaller punctures. It’s also worth noting, although I didn’t track it, the Muc-Off sealant seemed to fill the puncture the quickest. Muc-Off was also the most pleasant smelling of the tubeless sealant brands tested.
Best Tubeless Sealant for Road Bikes
To test the best tubeless sealant for road bikes I used a 700 x 28c tire. I tested a thumbtack, nail and screw puncture for each brand of sealant. The higher PSI of the road bike tires made blowouts a problem. I was able to test each sealant’s ability to fill the punctures by attempting to reinflate each tire after spinning it for 15 seconds.
Here are the results of the road bike tire sealant test:
The higher PSI of road bike tires definitely had an impact on the results. None of the sealant brands were able to seal the roughly 6mm razor blade cut. All of the tires oozed more sealant from the puncture hole too.
In the end, the results were a three way tie between Orange Seal, Muc-Off and Bontrager TLR. Muc-Off will be my brand of choice in my road bike tires. The sealing ability may be the same as other brands, but the smell is more tolerable. (Check Price of Muc-Off on Amazon).
Which Tubeless Sealant Lasts The Longest?
In this test we used all the same brands except the standard Orange Seal. We already know the Orange Seal Endurance formula last longer than the original per the manufacturer. Testing Endurance vs Original formulas seemed pointless.
For this test I filled four gravel tires with exactly two ounces of each sealant brand. I inflated the tires to 40 PSI, but would reduce them to 25 PSI on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I would fill them back to 40 PSI on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Inflating and deflating this often drastically reduced the lifespan of the ammonia based sealants. This test was completed in a very dry climate which also contributes to the shorter shelf life.
In the end, I am confident the results of this test indicate which sealant lasts longest under normal conditions too. You will get a much longer span between refills by checking and inflating your tires only as needed. I intentionally expedited the drying process by inflating and deflating so many times.
Surprisingly, Orange Seal Endurance did not last as long as the name implies. The Bontrager TLR and Stan’s No Tubes had the shortest life span at 11 weeks. The silver medal went to Orange Seal Endurance at 12 weeks, and once again Muc-Off takes gold lasting 16 weeks. Muc-Off still wasn’t completely dry when I stopped tracking at week 16.
Can You Put Too Much Tubeless Sealant In A Tire?
No, it is not possible to accidently put too much tubeless sealant in a tire, at least in terms of impacting performance of the sealant or bike. When your bike is in motion the centrifugal force pushes the sealant outwards and evenly spreads it around the circumference of your tire. The sealant is so light that you cannot tell it is inside the tire until you get that first puncture.
The only adverse effect of too much sealant in your tire is the waste of money on the unnecessary sealant in your tire. Adding more than the manufacturer’s recommendation does not gain you additional flat protection. It doesn’t necessarily last longer either. Don’t waste your money by overfilling on sealant. Add the recommended amount for your tire volume and refill as needed.
2022 Best Overall Tubeless Sealant
The best tire sealant was Muc-Off No Puncture No Hassle Tubeless Sealant. (Check Current Price on Amazon) The bag-style packaging is great if you want to store extra sealant on your bike, but for practicality purposes in the garage they are too flimsy. Other than not loving smaller sized packaging, Muc-Off has been my go to sealant since running these tests.
Muc-Off is an ammonia-free tire sealant. Other sealants that use latex add ammonia as an anti-coagulate which keeps the sealant in liquid form. Ammonia and water based sealants dry out much faster when you let air in and out of the tire. That means you are filling your tires more often and spending more time and money on maintenance.
In conclusion, this test was the best way I could simulate different riding conditions for both road and mountain bikes. The Orange Seal Endurance Sealant finished in the top two of every test performed, and on both types of tires. The differences across all brands were minimal, but the Orange Seal Endurance lasting second longest before drying makes it the runner up. (Check Current Price of Endurance Orange Seal on Amazon)
Let me know in the comments about other brands worthy of testing. I will be completing this test again in video form soon. Also, if you are looking for information on drivetrain lubrication, read my Ultimate Guide to Bike Chain Lube.