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Effetto Mariposa Végétalex Tyre Sealant uses the power of olives to clog those pesky holes in your tyres. During a month of testing, I've been impressed with how it's repeatably sealed punctures quickly and easily, but you do require slightly more than other sealants. Nevertheless, it's still excellent value and should be better for the environment as well.
Most tyre sealants are made of two parts: the particles which plug the holes, and the carrier that transports them there. This carrier is often either natural or synthetic latex, but in the case of Végétalex, it's a sugar-based Xanthan gum from eucalyptus trees. This gum degrades quickly in the environment.
While natural latex comes from a rubber trees and biodegrades too, the problem is the ammonia many latex sealants also contain – not to mention any microplastic or metallic particles that could be in there as plugging agents. These days manufacturers seem more aware, though, hence the likes of Panaracer Seal Smart that uses ground walnut shells as its hole-plugging weapon.
Effetto Mariposa, by contrast, uses olive pits, an extremely abundant waste product of oil production. And after a month and a bit of testing, I've been thoroughly impressed with the performance of Végétalex.
The 1L bottle comes with a tube for sending it through the valve after the core is removed. The scale on the side of the bottle is handy, and it's actually clear and easy to read too – the liquid doesn't leave the same obscuring residue as, for example, MucOff's No Puncture Hassle Tubeless Sealant.
Végétalex is thinner than some other sealants I've used, which makes it easy to slosh around the tyre for even coverage. The small amount of mess after inflation is easy to clean up, too, and doesn't get smeared around like latex sealants can. If you find yourself on the roadside with less air than required, it's worth noting that Végétalex is compatible with CO2.
I tested this in a set of 28mm road tyres and a pair of mountain bike tyres. The iCaffetalex app, available for Apple and Android devices, is a easy way to calculate how much sealant you need, but Effetto Mariposa say to add a further 20%.
For my road tyres the app calculated 40ml, and I settled at around 50ml per tyre on the road and 160ml in my big, 3.2in mountain bike tyres. Overall, I reckon I'm using about 10% more Végétalex than other sealants, which doesn't concern me much, but it might on a hill climb bike.
Out on the road and trails I've been pulling multiple thorns out my tyres all month. The Végétalex has sealed them all within a few spins of the wheel. It also sealed a larger hole (around 4mm) inflicted on the road by a sharp piece of flint. Effetto Mariposa's 5mm hole-plugging claims are easy to believe, though it's slightly down on some other sealants' claims.
After only a month and a bit it's hard to comment on durability, but three months is the claimed worst-case scenario and 'most tyre applications' supposedly last more than six months. If you're wondering what a worst-case scenario looks like, it's a small amount of sealant in very porous tyres in a hot climate. Judging by its condition so far, it seems in line with other sealants such as Juice Lubes Tyre Juice.
At £24 for 1L, you're not paying a premium for the eco credentials, either – in fact, it's a strong price. Muc-Off No Puncture Hassle and Peaty's Tubeless Sealant are both £29.99 per litre, Bontrager TLR Sealant is £24.99, and Stans NoTubes Race Sealant is £32.
Végétalex is good whether you're concerned about the environment or not. It works well, proves excellent value and can plug holes up to at least 4mm. This might not be the product that saves the world, but it's saved me from using at least three tubes, and if we all switch to ingenious products such as this one, it might just make a difference.
Effective, simple, plant-based tyre sealant that's both eco and plain good
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Effetto Mariposa Végétalex Tyre Sealant
Size tested: 1000ml
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?
Effetto Mariposa says: "As we should all do our best to reduce our impact on the environment, we started working on a plant-based sealant that was both good with nature and very effective – similar to Caffélatex – against punctures. It took us more than two years of development, but we can now say Végétalex has exceeded our expectations."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Unique plant-based puncture repairing ingredients (that's why we call it Végétalex)
Adds little weight to wheels, following the suggested quantities (see iCaffelatex app + 20%)
Compatible with the use of CO2 cartridges
Biodegradable and totally plastic free
Being very low maintenance (in most cases, it will last a full season of riding) it's ideal also for e-bikes
Easy to clean
Bottle and tube make application easy and fairly mess free; scale on bottle is also good.
So far so good: Effetto Mariposa claims at least three months, and after almost two it's still liquidy! I think it's on a par with rivals.
You need around 10% more of this than other sealants, which equates to about 5g per typical road wheel or 20g per mountain bike wheel. Not horrendous.
You do need slightly more of it, but this still seems quite an economical way of buying 1L of sealant. However, if you use a lot it's worth noting that no larger sizes are available currently.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – it plugged lots of thorn holes and some larger ones as well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple application and easy to read scale.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Needing slightly more of it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It stands up very well, and is cheaper than most of its rivals.
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
A very good product. Effetto Mariposa seem to be on to something here, especially if their source of olive pits is large enough! It works well and the price is good, though you do need to use more than most 'regular' sealants, and it has smaller hole pluggage claims too. If it fixed those small issues and didn't use a plastic bottle, it could be a nine.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,