First Look: Orange Seal tire sealant system

Gear

Clean, easy installation a plus to great performance thus far

Orange Seal Tubeless Kits

Orange Seal’s tubeless kits supply everything you need to set-up tubeless wheels—sealant, rim tape, removable valve cores, alcohol wipes, and even a valve stem tool that doubles as a bottle opener.

Boasting the ability to seal tire cuts as large as three-quarters of an inch, Texas-based Orange Seal has set their sights high not only in terms of product performance, but in challenging the established leader in the category. And while it seems like a tall order, those prospects don’t appear to frighten company founder John Vargus who thinks his company has built a better mousetrap…err airtrap.

With full tubeless kits for everything from skinny road wheels on up to ginormous fatbike tires, Vargus says Orange Seal is designed to be both higher-performing and more versatile than prior such offerings on the market. They even offer their special Subzero Sealant for cold weather riding.

In addition to fixing larger cuts, Orange Seal promises better coating and adhesion to seal sidewall slices as well as the porosity of the tire. They also claim the ability to seal imperfections between the tire and wheel bead, and say their seals will last as a permanent fix for the life of the tire. The sealant was also designed to work at pressures as high as 120 psi for road applications, and was formulated to be both eco-friendly and anti-corrosive to aluminum, which is an issue with certain rim/sealant combinations.

Clean, easy set-up

One persistent complaint about using sealant is complicated and messy set-up routines that require measuring cups or special injectors. Any way you slice it, initial set-up has some complexity, but Orange Seal attempts to remove some of the anguish by including all the necessary components in its easy-to-use kits.

Orange Seal Multi

The Orange Seal bottle includes a tube for injecting sealant directly into the valve or tire. The system is simple to use and less likely to create a mess than other systems.

By making the product bottle double as a sealant injector, the likelihood of spills because of pouring and measuring is greatly reduced. When used in conjunction with removable-core valve stems, both the initial fill and subsequent sealant top-offs are a snap.

Orange Seal Injector

The Orange Seal bottle includes a Twist-Lock Injector—a mess-free of getting sealant directly into the tire.

Airing-up

Getting tubeless tires to seat for the first time can be an exercise in frustration. Even with the use of a compressor it can be difficult to get tire beads properly snapped into the hook. On the first wheels we set up—a pair of Easton Haven Carbons with new Specialized Ground Control Grid 2Bless-ready tires—we were able to air-up using only a floor pump. To do so, we removed the valve cores to allow maximum airflow, then pumped until beads snapped into the hook.

Orange Seal Valve Core

With the valve cores removed, air can flow into the tire faster making seating easier.

Our mounting ease was likely more a matter of the specific tire and rim combination than the sealant—the Haven’s are natively tubeless without even a rim strip, and the Grid-version Specialized tires are thick and supple—but we’ll be trying a number of combinations in future set-ups.

Initial performance

In the world of tubeless sealant, no news is good news, which is to say we haven’t had any failures in the month we’ve been riding our Orange Sealed wheels. During that time, we’ve racked-up a fair amount of ride time including two trips to Moab, Utah—a place not known for its kindness to tires and wheels.

Last week we unmounted our tires to check the sealant condition and found a nice, wet coating of Orange Seal on the inside of the casing along with a small pool of the stuff at tire’s lowest point. When we unseated the tire, we pulled off a couple stringy strands of dried sealant along the bead hook.

The particulate matter that serves as a clotting agent is less obvious than that used in Stan’s NoTubes, but we presume it to be still suspended within the liquid. No crusty accumulations or “Stanimals” were present in either tire.

It was hard to tell if the sealant had actually plugged any leaks, or whether we’d just been lucky enough not to have any punctures, but we’ve been flat-free for the duration. Truth-to-tell, flats are a relative rarity when running tubeless on our home trails, but we more-or-less expect some in Moab.

In any case, we remounted the tires and added another ounce of sealant per Orange Seal’s recommendation and re-aired the tires without a hitch.

Torture testing and company Q & A

While we will continue to monitor and report on our Orange Seal-equipped wheels’ performance in the real world, we’re also going to conduct some staged torture testing over the few weeks that we’ll video record and present here. We’ll also perform the same tests with the Kleenex of tire sealants—Stan’s—to see if we can find any differences in performance.

The company’s founders will also entertain a question-and-answer session on all things tubeless, so if you’ve got any burning questions about Orange Seal or tubeless in general, comment below and we’ll run it by them.

Orange Seal Tire Sealant

Orange Seal Kit

MTB Tubeless Kits
  • 18mm or 24mm (tested) rim tape
  • 2 Removable Valve Core (RVC) valve stems
  • RVC tool
  • Twist-Lock Injector
  • 8-ounce bottle of sealant (enough for two wheels)

MSRP: $49.95

Fat Tire Kits
  • 45mm or 75mm rim tape
  • 2 32mm Removable Valve Core (RVC) valve stems
  • RVC tool
  • Twist-Lock Injector
  • 8-ounce bottle of sealant (enough for two wheels)

MSRP: $59.99 (45mm), $64.99 (75mm)

Fat Tire Kits with Subzero Sealant
  • 45mm or 75mm rim tape
  • 2 32mm Removable Valve Core (RVC) valve stems
  • RVC tool
  • Twist-Lock Injector
  • 8-ounce bottle of Subzero sealant (enough for two wheels)

MSRP: $61.99 (45mm), $66.99 (75mm)

Individual Items
  • 8-ounce Tubeless Tire Sealant Refill – $12.99
  • 8-ounce Tubeless with Injection System – $14.99
  • 4-ounce Tubeless Tire Sealant Refill – $6.99
  • 4-ounce Tubeless with Injection System – $9.99
  • Rim Tape – 18mm $12.99
  • Rim Tape – 24mm $12.99
  • Rim Tape – 45mm $24.99
  • Rim Tape – 75mm $29.99
  • Removable Valve Core (RVC) valve stems (pair): $15.99

For more information visit orangesealcycling.com.

First Look: Orange Seal tire sealant system Gallery
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Orange Seal Multi

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Orange Seal Tubeless Kits

Orange Seal’s tubeless kits supply everything you need to set-up tubeless wheels—sealant, rim tape, removable valve cores, alcohol wipes, and even a valve stem tool that doubles as a bottle opener.
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Orange Seal Injector

The Orange Seal bottle includes a Twist-Lock Injector—a mess-free of getting sealant directly into the tire.
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Orange Seal Valve Core

With the valve cores removed, air can flow into the tire faster making seating easier.
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Orange Seal Kit

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Orange Seal Multi

The Orange Seal bottle includes a for injecting sealant directly into the valve or tire. The system is simple to use and less likely to create a mess than other systems.
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About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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  • eric zigga says:

    i have a bontrager duster29 wheel that i couldn’t get to seal around the valve stem. i tried everything!!!! retaped the rim three times, used several different valve stems, even applied permatex form a gasket around the valve stem!!!!!! nothing worked (stans is junk) on my last attempt i added 4oz of Orange Seal. after inflating the wheel and doing the orange seal shake, like freaking magic it worked!!!! i would buy this stuff over stans anyday

    • Brian says:

      Bontrager makes their own rimstrips and valves for the duster rims. Why did you use Stan’s instead of those

    • Steve says:

      Use Bontrager strips, they are far superior to anything Stan’s offers. Leaking from the valve stem usually means it’s going through a gap in the tape, through a spoke hole, and that’s where it comes out.

    • Shred Man says:

      I’ve used Stan’s for years without any issues. However, I do use American classic valve stems. They are simply the best.

  • Alex Bo B'Alex says:

    I have a trek stache 29er w/ bontrager duster and stans crest. I’ve never had any problems with stans sealant on either wheel pair. Orange seal is roughly twice as much as Stan’s. Coming from a super rocky geography w/ a ton of different cactus species I would not call Stan’s junk. Mtbing for 10 yrs since I was 12 I would say the only junk sealant is Slime. I would give Orange seal a shot if A) Stans sucks (which it doesn’t) or B) Orange Seal was more competitive w/ the price.

    • Dennis says:

      In my experience with Orange seal, I have to “top it off” about once every 3 months compared to monthly with Stans (because i could hear the stans bugger in the tire). NO BUGGERS with Orange seal. So yes it is more expensive up front, but since I am topping it off much less it is lasting a lot longer. In the end it has ended up being cheaper and less hassle (not having to break the bead to get the bugger out).

  • Bruce W says:

    What is the maximum safe air pressure for use on a MTB tire? Stan’s says 40 psi. How about Orange Seal?

    • Joe says:

      I believe Stan’s pressure recommendation is for the rims they use, not the sealant or the tire.

    • Mtbr says:

      Bruce- Since Orange Seal is made to work with tubeless road tires at very high (100+ PSI), there should be no reason 40 would be a problem in an MTB tire. The question is, why would you run your tires that hard?!

  • madsedan says:

    I switched over to Orange last summer and have really been happy with Orange sealant, allot of us in Texas have been using it and everyone seems to agree it last a little longer than Stan’s and seals up sidewalls a little better. The reason I gave it a try was because I was having a hard time sealing up some Racing Ralph’s, guy at the LBS suggested it and it was perfect.

  • Pasta says:

    I’ve used stans for awhile. It failed on me several times on small tread puntures. It would seal until the puncture spot was rolled over again. I switched to Orange Seal and speciously reasoned it was better without any proof. Then OS failed to seal a small puncture on the tread on a new tire that had only ever had OS in it. It was during a race too. I ran out of air cartridges and had to DNF. No sealant is perfect.

    I look forward to the results.

  • Singlespeedr says:

    I have used both Stan’s and Orange Seal and didn’t notice any significant difference between the two. I don’t believe either will seal certain punctures and tears that create a hole too large for the “clotting” fibers to adhere to. Also, there’s no time factor in their claims about sealing. If you have a big hole in the tire, it may eventually seal (it’s happened to m), but you need about half an hour trailside and continuously pumping the tire back up while the fibers gradually fill in the hole and the sealant dries.
    At the end of the day, I’ve started making my own sealant. Easy recipes are out there, and they work as well as either offering, in a large quantity, and at about 2/3 the price of Stan’s.

    • trailsnail says:

      I second that statement. I also have been using the “brew” which is one of the many recipes in the forums with lots of success. I’m riding the Rockies and it’s doing the job.

  • EddyKilowatt says:

    Saw the article, started reading, and thought “oh good, some competition to keep Stan’s on their toes (and prices under control)”. But upon reaching the prices in the article… that’s are the WRONG direction for the competition to be headed in!

    I’ve been using Stan’s since 2008 and it works remarkably well. Orange Seal either needs to work a WHOLE lot better, and bring proof/demonstrations of same, or else be cheaper than Stan’s. Either of those will get my interest… otherwise, meh.

  • Tom says:

    Thx for the great review, much appreciated. You have me confused though with the “removing the valve core” procedure.

    Your floor pump puts out X volume of air, with each push. If there are no leaks along the way, all that X volume goes into the tire, regardless of the size of the valve opening.

    The valve core probably does make the air go through a smaller opening, but again all the X volume of air gets through, albeit at a higher pressure. I can’t see this helping or hurting the initial tubeless setup. (?)

    • Don says:

      @Tom When trying to seat the bead volume is more important than pressure. That’s why you remove the core. To get the highest volume of air into the tire as quickly as possible.

      • Redeye says:

        I think Tom is sort of right. Your pump will send “X” volume of air every time you push down on it. You could be filling a tire via a small opening or filling by a huge opening but the pump can still only send “X” volume.
        The small opening creates a higher pressure as you pump so the pump would be a bit harder to push down. Im not sure if you would notice the difference tho but no harm in trying with the core gone.
        Orange seal looks promising.

  • MBR says:

    With four bikes in our family stable, I’m too cheap to even try OS. I buy Stan’s in the quart container. OS needs to make larger sealant sizes available. Even if OS doesn’t dry out as quickly as Stan’s, I doubt it would be cheaper. Re: The review above – Pretty much nothing of value regarding puncture resistance. How can it be a test if you don’t cut the tire and/or puncture it? Come to New Mexico and let us test it with our goatheads everywhere. Re: Homebrew – I’m ready to give it a try. Somebody post the latest and greatest recipe. I waded thru 20 pages on one forum and still couldn’t find a consensus recipe.

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