Road Bike Special: The Effect of Tubeless Sealant on Rolling Resistance

Published: 2014-10-15 by Jarno Bierman
Facebook like buttonTwitter like buttonEmail share button

Tubeless sealant in road bike tires

How much does rolling resistance increase after adding sealant to a road bike tire? I think it's a given thing that nobody likes flats, but plenty of people do not want to give up a couple of watts for better puncture resistance. That's why I've been doing tests with sealant in a Schwalbe One Tubeless. Today I will share this information on Bicycle Rolling Resistance so everybody can decide for themselves if it's worth the trade-off.


Ad Buy Tubeless Sealant at Amazon.com


I have been doing more fun tests with a Schwalbe One Tubeless that are only possible with a tubeless tire, like testing the rolling resistance of an inner tube. For this article I have used the same Schwalbe One Tubeless I've used before, I've done tests with 0, 20 and 40 ml Stan's NoTubes Tubeless sealant and reran all tests.


Test Results


Adding sealant makes only a very small difference, noteworthy is that the rise in rolling resistance doesn't seem to be linear with the amount of sealant added to the tire. The first 20 ml only makes a very small difference, I suspect this is because a small amount of sealant sticks to the rim and bead where it doesn't add any rolling resistance.


Schwalbe One Tubeless 0 ml 20 ml 40 ml
Rolling Resistance 120 psi / 8.3 Bar 11.8 Watts 11.9 Watts 12.4 Watts
Rolling Resistance 100 psi / 6.9 Bar 12.5 Watts 12.7 Watts 13.2 Watts
Rolling Resistance 80 psi / 5.5 Bar 13.8 Watts 14.0 Watts 14.4 Watts
Rolling Resistance 60 psi / 4.1 Bar 16.3 Watts 16.5 Watts 17.1 Watts
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 120 psi / 8.3 Bar 0.00354 0.00357 0.00372
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 100 psi / 6.9 Bar 0.00375 0.00381 0.00396
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 80 psi / 5.5 Bar 0.00414 0.00420 0.00432
Rolling Resistance Coefficient (Crr) 60 psi / 4.1 Bar 0.00489 0.00495 0.00513

The optimal amount of tubeless sealant


After I removed the tire from the rim after testing, it contained 40 ml of tubeless sealant. There was quite a big puddle at the bottom of the tire, this should give very good puncture resistance. After removing 10 ml, there was still a decent puddle, removing another 10 ml resulted in not much of a puddle left. Based on these facts, I think the optimal amount to use should be 30 ml for a 25 mm road bike tire.


What about tubeless sealant in inner tubes?


These tests are run with a Schwalbe One Tubeless, which is a true tubeless tire that doesn't need sealant to hold air. Schwalbe does recommend adding some sealant to make this tire almost immune to punctures. You might think adding tubeless sealant to inner tubes to have the same effect but from experience I can tell you that it doesn't.


When conducting the puncture resistance tests, I use a standard butyl tube filled with Stan's NoTubes tubeless sealant. After puncturing the tire it does seal but it takes longer and after reinflating to high pressures, some holes start leaking again. The funny thing is that the outer tire does seal the hole and the air escapes through the rim and valve hole. Especially bigger holes in inner tubes don't seal as well when compared to a carcass of a tubeless tire which is much thicker. Tubeless sealant in inner tubes does work but not as well as in true tubeless tires, this is a big advantage for the tubeless tires.


Conclusion


The increase in rolling resistance of adding tubeless sealant to road bike tires is much smaller than I expected it to be. When using 30 ml of sealant in a 25 mm tire, total rolling resistance for a pair of tires increases by 1 Watt at a typical road bike speed of 23mph / 36 km/h. In my opinion, it definitely is worth it to run tubeless fluid in road bike tires.


Ad Buy Tubeless Sealant at Amazon.com


Comments



Get updates on new articles
Road Bike Rolling Resistance Reviews
Excludes previous models/discontinued tires
Visit the road bike overview to view all
Brand Model Watts
VittoriaCorsa Speed G+ 2.0 (TLR)7.0 W
SchwalbePro One TT TLE Addix7.5 W
ContinentalGrand Prix 5000 TL8.3 W
MichelinPower Time Trial8.6 W
VittoriaCorsa Speed (tubular)9.1 W
ContinentalGrand Prix TT9.9 W
ContinentalGrand Prix 500010.0 W
MichelinPower Road TLR10.1 W
HutchinsonFusion 5 Galactik TL10.1 W
SpecializedTurbo Cotton10.1 W
PirelliP Zero Velo TT10.2 W
ContinentalGrand Prix SuperSonic10.2 W
SchwalbePro One TLE Addix10.2 W
PirelliP Zero Velo Race TLR SL10.3 W
MichelinPower Competition10.9 W
ContinentalGrand Prix Force II11.0 W
BontragerR4 32011.5 W
ZippTangente Speed11.6 W
MavicYksion Pro UST Tubeless11.7 W
PirelliP Zero Velo Race TLR11.7 W
ContinentalGrand Prix Attack II11.7 W
VittoriaRubino Pro Speed11.9 W
VittoriaCorsa G+ 2.0 TLR12.2 W
VittoriaCorsa G+ (tubular)12.3 W
MichelinPower Road12.4 W
PirelliP Zero Velo12.5 W
VittoriaCorsa Control G+ 2.0 TLR12.6 W
SchwalbePro One (tubetype) Addix12.8 W
VittoriaCorsa Elite (tubular)12.9 W
VittoriaCorsa G+ 2.0 (open)13.0 W
HutchinsonFusion 5 Performance TL13.1 W
MaxxisPadrone Tubeless Ready13.1 W
MaxxisHigh Road13.2 W
ChallengeStrada Pro13.4 W
VeloflexCorsa13.4 W
SpecializedS-Works Turbo13.4 W
PanaracerRace L Evo 313.9 W
ContinentalGrand Prix14.0 W
ContinentalUltra Sport III14.1 W
VittoriaCorsa Control G+ 2.0 (open)14.1 W
MichelinPro 4 Endurance v214.2 W
ContinentalCompetition (tubular)14.2 W
HutchinsonFusion 5 All Season TL14.3 W
MichelinPower Endurance14.5 W
PirelliP Zero Velo 4S14.7 W
MichelinPro 4 Service Course14.9 W
MavicYksion Elite15.0 W
VittoriaZaffiro Pro G+ 2.015.2 W
VittoriaRubino Pro G+ 2.015.2 W
ZippTangente Course15.3 W
MichelinKrylion 2 Endurance15.4 W
SchwalbeOne Performance Addix15.4 W
PirelliCinturato Velo TLR15.6 W
SchwalbeOne TLE Performance Addix15.8 W
MichelinLithion 215.9 W
SchwalbePro One HT (tubular)16.1 W
PanaracerRace A Evo 316.4 W
SchwalbeDurano Plus Addix16.4 W
VittoriaRubino Pro Control16.9 W
ClementStrada LGG16.9 W
ContinentalGrand Prix 4 Season17.2 W
MichelinDynamic Sport17.3 W
PanaracerRace D Evo 317.4 W
SchwalbeDurano18.0 W
SchwalbeLugano II18.0 W
VredesteinFortezza Senso All Weather18.0 W
ContinentalGatorskin19.3 W
ContinentalGator Hardshell19.5 W
SchwalbeDurano DD Addix19.5 W
MichelinPower All Season21.3 W
MaxxisRe-Fuse22.6 W
View All
CX/Gravel Rolling Resistance Reviews
Brand Model Watts
PanaracerGravelKing TLC20.8 W
ContinentalTerra Speed TR20.8 W
MichelinPower Gravel24.1 W
PanaracerGravelKing SK TLC24.7 W
PirelliCinturato Cross Hard Terrain25.2 W
ChallengeGrifo Pro25.7 W
ContinentalTerra Trail TR26.0 W
HutchinsonOveride26.0 W
WTBRiddler TCS Light26.6 W
VittoriaTerreno Dry G+ 2.027.0 W
VittoriaTerreno Zero G+ 2.027.2 W
WTBNano TCS Light28.6 W
ChallengeGravel Grinder28.7 W
VittoriaTerreno Mix G+ 2.029.4 W
PirelliCinturato Cross Mixed Terrain29.7 W
SchwalbeG-One Ultrabite29.8 W
VittoriaTerreno Wet G+ 2.032.2 W
MaxxisRe-Fuse Gravel33.9 W
View All
Mountain Bike Rolling Resistance Reviews
Excludes previous models/discontinued tires
Visit the MTB overview to view all
Brand Model Watts
ContinentalSpeed King II RaceSport19.1 W
ContinentalRace King Protection20.2 W
ContinentalRace King RaceSport22.4 W
SchwalbeRocket Ron LiteSkin Addix Speed22.6 W
SchwalbeRacing Ralph LiteSkin Addix Speed25.0 W
ContinentalRace King Performance26.3 W
SchwalbeRocket Ron TL-E Addix Speed26.7 W
SchwalbeRacing Ralph 2019 TLE Addix Speed27.0 W
ContinentalRace King Sport27.0 W
SchwalbeRocket Ron TL-E Addix SpeedGrip27.2 W
VittoriaMezcal TNT G+ 2.028.0 W
SpecializedS-Works Fast Trak28.0 W
SchwalbeRacing Ray TLE Addix SpeedGrip28.3 W
SchwalbeRacing Ralph TL-E Addix SpeedGrip28.7 W
ContinentalCross King Protection29.0 W
VittoriaBarzo TNT G+ 2.030.0 W
MaxxisAspen EXO TR30.6 W
IRCMythos XC30.8 W
MaxxisRekon Race EXO TR31.1 W
SpecializedS-Works Ground Control31.3 W
MaxxisIkon 3C MaxxSpeed TLR31.5 W
ContinentalMountain King II RaceSport31.5 W
MichelinJet XCR33.2 W
MaxxisArdent Race 3C EXO TR35.1 W
MichelinForce XC35.3 W
KendaSmall Block Eight35.6 W
MichelinForce AM37.4 W
MaxxisIkon eXCeption Silkworm38.2 W
VittoriaAKA40.7 W
View All
Touring Bike Rolling Resistance Reviews
Brand Model Watts
SchwalbeMarathon Almotion17.1 W
VittoriaVoyager Hyper17.7 W
CompassBon Jon Pass18.6 W
SchwalbeMarathon Supreme19.1 W
ContinentalSport Contact II20.6 W
SchwalbeMarathon (GreenGuard)21.3 W
SchwalbeEnergizer Plus21.5 W
CSTE-Series Reach21.9 W
ContinentalTop Contact II24.2 W
ContinentalContact II24.3 W
SchwalbeMarathon Racer24.6 W
SchwalbeKojak24.8 W
ContinentalCity Ride II25.1 W
SchwalbeMarathon Plus25.5 W
SchwalbeMarathon Mondial Evo26.7 W
VredesteinPerfect-E27.3 W
SchwalbeMarathon E-Plus27.4 W
ContinentalTop Contact Winter II28.5 W
VittoriaRandonneur32.4 W
ContinentalE.Contact33.4 W
View All
Fat Bike Rolling Resistance Reviews
Brand Model Watts
SchwalbeJumbo Jim LiteSkin PaceStar36.9 W
SchwalbeJumbo Jim SnakeSkin38.6 W
SpecializedFast Trak Fat43.4 W
VeeRubber Vee 845.8 W
SurlyLarry48.4 W
45NRTHVan Helga51.0 W
45NRTHHusker Du51.7 W
SurlyLarry 27 TPI53.0 W
VittoriaBomboloni TNT53.9 W
MaxxisMammoth54.7 W
PanaracerFat B Nimble55.4 W
KendaJuggernaut Pro59.2 W
View All