The Orange Seal Versa-valves are the best tubeless valves I've tried so far. They're well designed, easy to seal and sturdy. If you're struggling to seal your rims with other valves on the market it might be worth forking out the rather salty £19.99 for a set of these.
- Pros: Easy to fit, sturdy
- Cons: Expensive
These valves specifically address some issues I've had with other valves. Firstly, you generally need to do them up tight to get a seal. That can be hard with the small lockring that you normally get, which often has me resorting to pliers, which can scuff the ring. The Versa-valve locking ring has flats machined on each side so you can do it up with a 9mm spanner, making the job a whole lot easier.
Secondly, I've had valves fail when the rubber grommet that seals the rim has pulled away from the shaft, having been bonded on. That can't happen here: the alloy shaft has an extended flat section the top, and the grommet just slides on and is held in place by that. You can choose from two types of grommet – conical and half-cylinder – and both are included, as are spare valve cores and a valve core tool.
The choice of grommets means they should fit pretty much any rim; I fitted them to Hunt rims and Reynolds rims and got a seal easily in both cases. The only issue was on the Hunt rim, where the asymmetric rim shape meant that the locking ring didn't sit flush and the rubber O-ring poked out a bit, but it still sealed fine.
The Versa-valves are available in four lengths up to 80mm so you should be fine with anything up to a 50mm section road rim. Orange Seal has clearly considered the issues with current valves and its solutions are very neat and work very well. They're expensive – £19.99 is more or less top dollar for tubeless valves – but they perform very well, and if you struggle with sealing your rims they're probably worth the extra tenner over a cheaper set.
The best tubeless valves I've used yet, at a price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Orange Seal Versa-valves
Size tested: 32mm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Orange Seal says, "VersaValve consists of a valve stem with a large, sturdy base plate that can be fitted with different shaped rubber grommets. The large base plate ensures a solid contact with the rim bed and the adaptable grommets guarantee an airtight fit on all shapes and depths of rim. VersaValve will work on most rims: mountain, road or CX. Grommets are easily replaceable and the various stem lengths mean valve extenders are no longer necessary on deep section wheels."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Orange Seal:
Universal fit. One valve for all rim types
Ideal for road, mountain, CX, and ALL presta valve applications
Four lengths: 32mm, 48mm, 60mm, 80mm
Handy paired packaging includes VersaValve stems, two types of grommet, extra valve cores, RVC tool
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: sealed every time and easy to use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Design addresses three problems very well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're more or less the most expensive ones out there; basic tubeless valves can be had for less than half this.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're the best designed tubeless valves I've used, but you pay for that privilege.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.