Last summer I conducted my test of CaffeLatex sealant. (You can find my final review here) In short- I found CaffeLatex to be an excellent sealant for tubeless use and that it worked well in tubes also. It was found to be easy to use and install with the CaffeLatex injector system. All was pretty positive in the short term. Now that the summer is gone and we’re well into fall, I wanted to check back in with some of my experiences since that time.

junetesting09-016
The Conti Race Kings with CaffeLatex saw the most usage since the final review on CaffeLatex in the most varied of situations.

I probably got the best all around conditions for testing this sealant from the Continental Race King set up I used since mid-summer. This wheel set saw single track, pavement, and gravel use over hundreds of miles of all three types of surfaces mentioned. It also bears mentioning that I was using a Stan’s Flow rim with yellow tape and Stan’s valves in this set up, which is arguably going to be representative of the most common set up 29″er riders would use CaffeLatex in. Since this is the case, I am basing my long term research comments on this example, although I do have other CaffeLatex set ups in my stable.

Long Term Performance: Several things about CaffeLatex still hold true from my original commentary. It sealed up punctures well, held air pressure reasonably well, and otherwise was “invisible” from the standpoint of riding. The only sign of CaffeLatex present being the occasional bubbling at the valve stem during pressure checking of the tires. I never experienced any burping, or major tears, punctures, or other calamities, so I can not speak for such occurances. I can only say that I rode the Continentals hard on all surfaces and did have a few crashes, tires bottoming out on the rims, and ran them through glass on the road without any concerns at all.

The longevity of the sealant is where I feel CaffeLatex doesn’t perform any better than current competition in the sealant market. I checked the Continentals recently after seeing some leak down in the rear tire over a period of a few days, which had not been typical before. I peeled off the tires to find that the sealant had in fact all dried up. Only a dried, brownish covering of residual CaffeLatex was found on all the surfaces inside the tire/rim well. My best guess is that somewhere between three to four months is what I got out of the sealant for lifespan. This compares to my Stan’s experimentation pretty evenly in terms of how long it takes for the sealant to dry up. CaffeLatex was boasting of a longer service life, but in my experience with a well used wheel set, this doesn’t seem to be the case. I will say that other, lesser used wheels do still exhibit evidence of CaffeLatex being present, (audible when shaking wheel, puffs of bubbles at the valve stem when opened), but I think my main test wheel set is going to be a more representative example of lifespan for the product.

Conclusions: I still feel that CaffeLatex is a superior sealant in terms of installation, and use over the lifetime of the sealant, but I will modify my overall impressions of the product in terms of the length of usable life of the product. In this light, it is no better or worse than anything else I have tried that is commercially available. However; the sealant is a synthetic latex, with no ammonia, installs into tubes and tubeless tires easily, and does seal minor punctures with ease. Due to these attributes, I will still give it my recommendo, but with the caveat that you will be well advised to check on the status of CaffeLatex every couple of months. In the sealant market, CaffeLatex is a great choice amongst some other great choices. If the life span claims would have panned out, it could have rated the best, but that accolade is reserved for the time being.