Finish Line Tubeless Tire Sealant - A Review
This stuff came on the market recently as one of the first sealants to claim that it will never dry out. I believe there are a few others on the way or perhaps out by now with similar claims but the Finish Line sealant was hyped up quite a bit being the first to market.
Considering the claims and with summer fast approaching in Phoenix, it seemed only logical to get some of this to try out in the land of dried up sealant. I've been trying various sealants since I first started running a tubeless setup, some have performed better than others but all seemed to do the job adequately.
I will say my short experiment with Finish Line provided, umm...adequate results. I had picked up some Cush Core inserts (more on those in the future, hopefully) on sale over Memorial Day and decided to try the new sealant when I was doing that install. Three days before installing the Cush Core, I punctured the sidewall on my Maxxis Aggressor rear tire. Not ideal but the tire was still relatively new so I threw a plug in it and my current sealant at the time (TruckerCo Cream - my current favorite sealant out of all the ones I've tried) handled the puncture with ease. No slow leaks, no loss of air pressure, back on the trail and riding in no time.
Anyway, back to the Finish Line sealant...with the Cush Core inserts and tire installed, I squirted in about 5 oz of the Finish Line sealant and called it a day. The next morning my rear tire had lost about 5 psi. This could have been anything really so I didn't pay much attention to it. I will say that I hardly lose any air with TruckerCo and often go a few days before topping off my tires.
Out on the trail, I lost another 5-10 psi over the course of about a two-hour ride. Not horrendous but not ideal either. Luckily the Cush Core was doing its job and the lower air pressure meant my back wheel was hooking up around corners like never before. Still, I credit this more to the Cush Core than the sealant...I mean, technically the sealant wasn't sealing and leaving me with saggy tires, the Cush Core was just really great at doing its job.
As the days went by I still noticed some dampness around the sidewall plug but the air loss was becoming less and less but still enough to notice. The Finish Line sealant just didn't seem to seal up as well as the latex sealants that I've tried in the past. It would hold air overnight but out on the trail, I'd still lose a bit of air.
I really was putting the sealant and the inserts to the test, picking up my first mountain bike KOM - yay Strava or whatever!! (I mostly just use Strava to track my hours on the bike but nothing wrong with celebrating a crown when you pick one up randomly.) The downside of picking up that KOM was another sidewall puncture, this time about a half inch long. The sealant never sealed, not even after a handful of plugs went into the hole. To be fair, I don't think any sealant would have done the job, so I won't fault Finish Line here. Still, the tire was dead and it was time to throw on an old tire while I wait for my tire order to show up.
That night (seriously not even two weeks later), I pulled the old tire off the rim and found the Finish Line sealant had turned into an oatmeal-like consistency. It had been pushed between the rim and the Cush Core. There were clumps here and there and while it hadn't quite dried up, it no longer resembled anything that had come out of the bottle. They say the Kevlar bits (Fiberlink Technology) are supposed to clump up around punctures the more you ride and agitate the mixture, perhaps the Cush Core inserts banging against the inside of the tire caused premature clumping?
At this time, it's hard to say what caused the clumping or if the sealant would have continued to work. I gave up on it in the mountain bike tires. The way it looked with the tire off just didn't inspire confidence. Perhaps it would work better in tires without Cush Core or in lighter riding conditions? I do have it in my gravel bike tires and after one ride, everything is working great. I still have a half bottle of the stuff so hopefully, it will work well enough in those lighter situations to not be a waste of $40. If you're a rock smashing, technical loving, hauling ass down the hill type of rider, this probably isn't the sealant for you.
And just in case anyone cares about the other sealants I've tried...
TruckerCo Cream is my favorite.
Stans No Tubes is ok.
Continental Revo isn't that great.
Finish Line Sealant is meh.
I've got a couple of bottles of Orang Seal to try out next. From everything I've seen online it seems to be comparable with TruckerCo, so fingers crossed!