Tubeless sealant for road/gravel

I’ve had great success with Bontrager’s blue sealant for setting up tires and for retaining air. But only decent success with it sealing very small punctures from teeny bits of glass and pine needles but not very good success with sidewall puncture (pinch type flat), or anything bigger than a couple of millimetres. I’ve had to use dynaplugs a few times. My least success was with 32 mm Bontrager R3 Hard Case lite tubeless road tires. My best success has been with 35 mm Panaracer Gravelking+ Slicks and in-between success with a pair of 40mm Conti Terra Speeds. Regardless of the tire, it always seemed to have a few wet spots on the centre of the tread at random points (though air was always exceptionally well maintained with only fractional/marginal air loss overnight)

I’ve come to the end of my bottle of Bonti sealant, and I’ve decided to switch teams. From reading reviews on the interwebs, for what I am looking for (good longevity, low maintenance, good sealing for most puncture types) I’m heading to either Muc-Off or Caffelatex but I’d like to hear from others.

So, what do you use? Do you use the same for road and for gravel? Why do you use what you use? Have you tried more than one brand?


I’ve been using Stan’s Original sealant for quite a few years now. I’ve used it for road, MTB, gravel and cyclocross.


Originally Stan’s was the one recommended by my LBS and fellow MTBers. It’s now a case of inertia. I’ve had decent experience with it sealing small (thorns etc.) punctures. For larger punctures (e.g., pinch flats) I’ve needed to use a plug and then it’s taken a little while to seal.

I like the theory of sealants like Stans Race Day and Silca Ultimate that have larger particles, but haven’t made the jump to any of those yet. Part of my hesitance in going to these sealants with larger particles is that I don’t want to have to break the bead once I’ve seated the tire for the first time.



I wont use anything other than Stans after having used several brands.
I wont touch tubeless on road after an experience from hell that resulted in 90 minutes to repair a pu cture along with 4 broken tyre levers and a dislocated thumb. Gravel tubeless all the way tho.

Also, dyna plugs I save for the big holes. Bacon strips are the bomb for some of the smaller ones. Ive also been known to “stitch” a sidewall using dental floss and a tyre boot. Amazingly didnt leak at all. :+1:


I’m with @DameLisa on this one. Stans on MTB and gravel bike, tubes on road.

I switched to Stans Race sealant on the MTB about a year ago, and breaking the bead is a pain, but not a deal breaker (:grin:). My gravel bike has Conti Terra Speed tyres, and they constantly weep with normal Stans, but it doesn’t seem to affect anything so I ignore it and just keep topping up the sealant occasionally.


Interesting with the weeping on the Contis. I run Vittorias or Rene Herse or Pirelli and virtually no weepage on new tyres for the first 24 hours then nothing. Do the Contis weep all the time? I found WTBs weep for about a week then are just fine.

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Ditto. And the Bonty’s been fine for that. Very long lasting and easy to top up through the valve stem with core removed.

Dame Lisa: Re: conti weepage…the sidewalls are dry as a bone and easy AF to set up. Just wet spots at a handful of places on each tire (front and rear) along the tread that would show up after bringing the bike indoors and settling in for the night. It wouldn’t take more than an hour or so to notice the wet spots. And, like @Natasha.R, the weeping doesn’t affect anything and there’s no pressure loss. I’d just be sure to top up now and again. I’d also take care not to rest them on carpet :stuck_out_tongue:

@DameLisa and @Natasha.R I started going tubeless on my road tires in 2021 and it’s been mostly good (except for my experiences with the R3s). The tires are generously wide, currently running 35mm Panaracer GK+ slicks (with a fine file tread, making it suitable for hardpacked gravel, though over 90% of the time they’re on poor pavement/chip-seal). Very comfy on the road with pressures of 45-48 psi (to account for my weight). I didn’t flat at all on these where the sealant didn’t quickly do its thing with no pressure loss in all of 2022 and 2023. I’ve just had crap luck with the R3s (despite being super easy to seat and seal) very early into their use. 2 separate times on brand new tires.

I guess Stan’s has been around as long as it has for a reason, but my fear is I’ll have the same experience with that as the Bontrager blue stuff.

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@Glen.Coutts My answers are almost the exact same as @way9e0 except I only use sealant for MTB, gravel and cross - not road.

Stans has been great and the only time I had a flat was because I didn’t top off the sealant properly after a few months.


Another vote for Stans here. Yesterday I took my tyres off for the first time in two years. Only topped up the sealant once in that time. Opening them up showed the sealant still as new, no dried crud, and a couple of medium sized punctures plugged and a more small punctures plugged - none of which I was aware of while riding.

Running 32mm WTB expanse tyres at about 50 psi.

It’s my first tubeless set-up and very impressed with it so far…


The muc-off stuff has a lovely pink glow under black light when it gets everywhere, including all over your favorite sweatshirt and work laptop. Something about having the valve at the top and not the bottom when you go to let the air out and then removing the valve core and having a 60ish psi old faithful because the sealant plugged the valve stem, not that all the air was out of the tire.


Orange Seal Endurance on everything.
MTB Schwalbe NobbyNic 29x2.35.
Road Conti 5000S TL and TR 700x32mm.
Gravel Tufo Gravel Speedero 40mm.

Started because it was recommended by my shop many years ago. It’s never let me down, frankly. One huge cut on MTB that nothing was going to seal, had to run the bike down the mountain 4 miles into the oncoming darkness.
One road flat with tiny puncture that would have sealed easily if I hadn’t let it go completely dry.
Other than those, Orange Seal has always worked and worked well. I used to add my own glitter to it to add some bits that might help close bigger holes, but haven’t done that for the last few years, just use the Endurance type as is and it seems fine.

I’ve only had to use a plug on the MTB and it’s always held (if the cut wasn’t huge, as mentioned earlier) and I’ve continued to use the tire without issues, plug staying in place and sealed. I did have a cut from a sharp rock that was right down at the tire bead, and nothing fixed that due to the stress at that point of engagement to the rim.

I began tubeless using Stan’s and I didn’t have great luck with it, but I also cut the WTB Mutanoraptors within a few rides of getting them, and the cuts were too large to seal. I gave the remaining 24oz or so of Stan’s to a friend who used it, and I quit on tubeless altogether for several years. This was back in the earlier days of tubeless and frankly, sidewalls were crap, IMO. I swore off WTB from then on as well.
When I finally relented and tried tubeless again, it was with Orange Seal (Original) and Schwalbe NobbyNics. Have had no complaints since and am an avid fan of all tubeless now, road, gravel, and MTB.
The only reason I possess tubes at all is for emergency use, and that generally means I provide my spare to a fellow rider who needs it! (Hope I don’t have to eat those words tomorrow…)


Just cut the sidewall of a tire that’s been on for about a week. The shop used Stan’s. I found dried sealant on the tire and “Stan’s collection” in the tire. I’ve heard of the latter in MTB tires after about three months. I wasn’t expecting either of these conditions in a relatively new tire.
As an adjunct, I normally use Orange Seal or Seal-It (the latter is specifically designed not to dry out in our desert environment). I’ll not be using Stan’s anymore.


Bummer! Sorry about the tire! That’s painful to lose a new one!

I’ve seen the huge masses of dried Stan’s Boogers, as I’ve heard them called, and I used to hear people say Orange Seal won’t do that. That is incorrect, actually.

I’ve seen it several times with Orange Seal as well, though it usually isn’t quite as DRY as I saw with Stan’s, nor as large. What I DO see with Orange Seal is a long, thin strand of semi-dry sealant around where the tire is seated at the bead, which usually can be pulled/peeled off in a long stretchy strand whenever I have reason to unseat the tire.
Sometimes that is at disposal time, or maybe just when I want to actually SEE how much sealant is inside. I then will peel out that long strand (trying to keep it all intact as one piece, just for the challenge :slightly_smiling_face:) and I also may remove the thinner skin all around the inside of the tire to start fresh again, including cleaning out the valve that does tend to partially block off with sealant.

I’m not really bothered that it does that, other than the fact that it can make it difficult to get a good reading of how much sealant is in the tire using a “dipstick” approach. That dried sealant at the valve can wipe the “stick” clean when you pull it back out. That’s when I sometime just pull the bead, open up and clean out the residue, and start fresh again.

I’ll say this, I totally appreciate the benefits of tubeless far more than the fiddling with tubes. The lower pressure and better rolling resistance and the self-sealing of tiny holes is wonderful. Sealant is not cheap, and it does have to be maintained, added to regularly enough to do its job, but for me, it just flat works! (Until it doesn’t… but that’s true for everything.)


been there. Not with Muc-Off but yeh, learned the hard way about where the valve should be when letting air out, or removing the core. :man_facepalming:

get OUT of my brain, dude! I have done this with the Bonty blue whenever I’ve taken a tire off. Same with mandarin orange peels :wink:


I’ve always used Schwalbe Doc Blue (which I believe is re-badged Stan’s) both on and off road for as long as I’ve run tubeless. No issues at all.


I figured your answers would be all over the map, Sir.

I switched to Muc-off recently for all my CX tires (Vittoria and Challenge Grifos). Followed instructions, have had no problems.


I find tubeless setups work best at lower pressures and less well at higher pressures. It’s not a hard dividing line but I haven’t found it to work well in tires 70+ psi. It works well and reliably 35psi and below. I’ve always used Stan’s. Latex based sealants like Stan’s use ammonia to keep the latex from congealing. Ammonia is basic and can be neutralized by carbonic acid created using CO2 to inflate tires. This can cause the sealant to congeal in the tire and lose effectiveness…and sometimes ball up creating Stanimals.


I need a new pump. And I think the next one will gave some sort of pressure gauge.
As to the Stan issues, the sealant was in the tire less than two weeks. This is really unacceptable. I’ve been using Orange Seal for over four years and never had a dipstick wiped clean. I’ve had to disassemble a wheel because of dried up sealant but I’ve heard you can “reliquify” it using a magic formula. Not going to inside of my tire.
There’s a third option here and that’s Seal-It. It’s supposed to be made for high temperature, low humidity environments. I’m not happy with a sealant shower, and that’s what I got when I pulled a thorn out of the tire.

I rarely make recommends, but pump gauges are @#$%. I have a couple of high-end pumps and they are still garbage for readings. Get yourself one of these:

(my German SKS gauge)

…or something similar to check and verify actual tire pressure. Since I started racing CX, this guy is literally in my jersey pocket when I’m trying to run tubeless pressures of 25-25psi on race day. Mine can check pressure, and also has a real-time feature so I can over pressure, then use the gauge to bleed off. Think I paid $30. Invaluable.

Secretly I crave this Silca gauge, but in no world could I justify this to myself…


+1 on the SKS. I have that exact one and it’s great as my old pump was a good (but consistent) 10 psi under.


I have a Topeak Smarthead digital gauge that does the job very well.