Effetto Mariposa “Caffelatex” Tire Sealant: First Impressions

The Effetto Mariposa “Caffelatex” sealant has been applied to some tires here at “The Lab” and I have some observations to pass along. To remind everyone, I have the 1000ml bottle size here. Caffelatex comes in several different packages which you can check out in my previous post on this product.

I will say that out of the bottle, Caffelatex seems to be of a thinner viscosity than other popular sealants. (This would account for how easily it can be introduced through a valve stem without removing the core.) It was well mixed with no obvious settling after sitting on my bench for a couple days before I could get to it. Since I was mounting a different tire, I opted to go with adding the sealant in by pouring it from the cap into the tire directly just before snapping the last of the bead over the rim. This went well and if you are careful, you won’t spill a drop. I used a tire I had been running with tubes and tubeless before. I cleaned out the inside before installation. The tires are Bontrager “Dry-X” tires, (now called XDX) and I mounted them to Bontrager Rhythm Comp wheels with the TLR rim strip installed.

The tires went on in the usual manner, which is to say excellently. The tires were then brought to 40psi and I shook and spun them in accordance with “traditional tubeless tire mounting techniques”. Afterwards, I noticed something on one of the tires. Check out the picture below.


Notice the wet spot eminating from the knobs side. Apparently I had a puncture in this tire I was unaware of and the Caffelatex sealed it almost immediately after I installed it. Impressive. So that is a good start.

One thing I noticed that was maybe just an oddity was a noise emanating from the wheel when it was spinning at slower revolutions. It was a sound that was soft, but perceptable. Like that of a piece of fabric lightly draging on the tread. I inspected the wheel, thinking it may be the rubber seals around the axle, but ultimately surmised it was the sealant rolling around inside the tire. Weird, but perhaps not out of the ordinary. I just haven’t heard that before.

Now for some trail time. I’ll be back with a report in a week or two.


No Responses to “Effetto Mariposa “Caffelatex” Tire Sealant: First Impressions”

  1. Oderus Says:

    GTed, did you get the injector? That thing makes set up a snap. I have been using this stuff for the past week and have now gone as far as to remove the Stan’s from my other bikes is favor of the Caffelatex. I like the fact that there are no particles that settle and that the fluid remains at the same consistency without having to shake it. I have 3 mountain bikes and my cross bike all set up at this point and I am quite pleased. I get quality time on all three as I ride everyday and I have yet to have an issue. Loving it. Have you been able to get a hold of their tubeless rim tape? Supposedly that is all you need to convert most standard width XC rims. No rim strip required! Interesting to say the least. For you other folks, it’s worth a look and try if you haven’t already done so.

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    Oderus: I fully expected your enthusiastic reply! 😉

    I did not get the injector, unfortunately. That sounds like the way to go for ultimate ease of use.

    Nor did I get the rim tape. I’ll have to look into that.

    I agree that the non-particulate, non-settling nature of the Caffelatex is encouraging. It means that it stays that way inside the tire, which I would think would be ideal for sealing properties in case of a puncture. It sure sealed up my unexpected puncture!

    I’m going to be testing this for the long haul, so I will withhold my final judgment until a few months have passed, but this sealant seems to be a definite improvement over other commercially available sealants for bicycles so far.

  3. captain bob Says:

    Best part about this stuff is that when you are out on the trail and need a shave, all you have to do is open up your tire and grab a handfull. Don’t forget your razor though.

    Ok, back to those puntures. It’s cool! I saw them first hand today and you can see the pin holes where the sealant came though and set up. There is a little nipple of sealant on the tread. Very cool!

  4. Greg Says:

    Maybe there’s hope for Gordos?

  5. Cloxxki Says:

    How does the foaming work? Does it happen during riding/shaking, and then setling much like a beer does? This stuff requires a ballon demonstration video 🙂

  6. Guitar Ted Says:

    Greg: Actually, I was remarking to myself about how well Specialized 2Bliss tires fit the Gordo. I think they may set up tubeless rather well, but then again, you have to like Specialized tires!

    Cloxxki: A demonstration like that might be in order! Actually, the solution was foamy in the bottle and stayed that way for quite some time after I opened the box it came in. It does sort of resemble a head of foam on a good beer! 😉

  7. chris_geotec Says:

    Hi GT,
    all this sounds very promising – I might give the Caffelatex a try – once I find out a distributor here in Germany.

    Aside: Gordo ridden tubeless – I know you would never do such a thing (especially since it is explicitly forbidden by Salsa) but purely hypothetically speaking:
    How would the Gordo (or Semi) behave with its special sealing lip and design for low pressure riding? I think by word of mouth it sounds tempting. How would inflating the tires go with tubeless ready (or TNT tires) – purely hypothetical to be clear.
    With all your expereince I am sure you can (theoretically) create such a scenario.

  8. Oderus Says:

    The fluid doesn’t foam up until it becomes agitated from either riding or just shaking your bike cause you’re abusive that way. You should never shake a bike……..or is it baby? Either way, once you park the bike, it will eventually settle into a pool inside your tire until you start riding again.

  9. Greg Says:

    Where’s the best place to buy this stuff? Assuming i live in California…

  10. Greg Says:

    G-Ted, I’d like to request a Caffe-Eskar-Gordo review please. With extra sugar.

    If I could get the Stout or WWLT to work that’d be even better, but i’ll settle for Eskar.

  11. GreenLightGo Says:

    Greg – no reason the Stout or WWLT won’t seal. I think GT was commenting on how well the tubeless ready bead on the Specy 2Bliss tires meshed with the Gordo bead seat.

  12. Guitar Ted Says:

    chris_geotech: I think the Gordo would set up okay with some tires. I have tried Racing Ralphs, WeirWolf LT’s, Eskars, and The Captain on them so far with the first two on the list fitting too loose for my tastes to try tubeless. The Specialized tires have an impressive fit on the Gordo. I feel they would work quite nicely. Since the Specialized tires are the 2Bliss models, I think we’re looking at any tubeless ready tire as being a candidate for tubelessness on Gordos. But that is only in a parallel universe. In reality, there is absolutely no way I’d recommend this. 😉

    Greg: try this: http://www.cantitoeroad.com/catalog/index.php?manufacturers_id=13

    On your other request: I might actually try that, but only behind tightly closed doors, and I’d never tell anyone if I did that. 🙂

  13. mtbboy2000 Says:

    In another univerese the conti Mtn King 2.4 seals up great on a Gordo Rime with just Yellow tape and a valve stem cut from a tube…….but I’m just saying….

  14. maheo Says:

    How would you recommend cleaning the Stan’s sealant from a tire and wheel?

  15. Oderus Says:

    maheo, use cold water and a stiff brush. Something like a dish brush or wheel brush from your car if you have one.

  16. Guitar Ted Says:

    maheo: Oderus’ suggestion works well, but if you find your Stan’s all dried up, much of it can be peeled off like a skin too. Depends upon what you find once you crack open the tire.

    Oderus: Just to let you know, I am getting the injector now, so I am excited to try that out with the CaffeLatex. 🙂

  17. maheo Says:

    Thanks to both of you. The cantitoe link is great, I was ready to resupply, by Mon I will be sucking latte with my Stan’s injector, it will be good.

  18. Greg Says:

    Ordered a Venti CaffeLatex with extra foam. Too bad they were out of the rim strips.

  19. Theran Martin Says:

    The guys at cantitoeroad have awesome customer service. They answered all my questions I had and then some! It was also a relief to find out they ship to APO in Germany, so I will be trying some out soon!

  20. Thunderlump Says:

    Since its been a few weeks now im curious how the Caffe seal is holding up vs’s Stans sealed tires?

    Does it seal holes in the tire faster because of the foaming action?

    I am curious about what makes it better than Stans beyond the Idea it doesnt produce rim corrosion?

  21. Law Says:

    Any tried this stuff in cyclocross tubular tires or any high pressure tubular road tires?

    Very interested….

  22. David Belden Says:

    I’ve been running Stan’s in various tires for about 2 yrs now and switched to Caffelatex on my MTB 2 months ago. It was just as easy to set up as Stan’s, and I think it does a better job of initially sealing the tires. I started with one wheel with Stans and one with Caffelatex, the one with Caffelatex would lose less air pressure over the course of a few days. Then I switched ’em both over to Caffelatex.

    However, I hate to report that yesterday I got a 1mm or maybe 2mm cut in my MTB tire (WTB WeirWolf 2.55 LT) and the Caffelatex was not able to re-seal it. I rode it for a mile or so with the solution spraying out all over the back of my bike & leg before my buddies pointed it out to me. Then I stopped, put my finger over the puncture and rotated it into the down position so the sealant was pooled up right above it. With Stans this will help it seal. Didn’t work. It just kept slowly bubbling out. Then I lowered the air pressure to the point that it stopped bubbling out and seemed to seal. I ride at 28 psi generally, but I would guess had to lower it to 15 or 20 to get it to seal. Ok, no problem, we had a long sandy climb coming up, and I figured I could use the traction that comes with lower PSI. I started riding and sure enough, it kept leaking. Ultimately I had to put in a tube after a few minutes of climbing.

    Compare that with my race at the Sea Otter Classic 2 yrs ago where I put in 3mm cut in a similar tire with Stans with about 2 miles to go (long uphill), kept racing and was able to climb out and finish with about 18 psi in the tire. I took 4th in my category, and changing a tire would have cost me a podium finish at Sea Otter, which was my main go for the season.

    I thought I preferred Caffelatex, and even got my local shop to start carrying it, but after this experience, I’m switching back. I don’t want to risk having to change a tire at the Downieville XC.

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