Boyd Cycling Tickled Pink Tubeless Sealant
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
Tubeless sealant has all but replaced the inner tube, and these milky concoctions are vital to keeping trail time free from flats. In just a few years we’ve gone from a 50% chance of sealant success to a veritable buffet of options that work. Boyd Johnson, former pro roadie turned wheel manufacturer, saw an opportunity to throw his own special sauce in the ring.
While the man behind Boyd Cycling’s Tickled Pink sealant was understandably tight-lipped as to their exact recipe. He did say that it took countless months of tinkering with the mixture and ratios to finally land on the formulation. Boyd produces the sealant in-house at their South Carolina headquarters and uses only all-natural ingredients. When it comes to tubeless sealant, balancing the exact ratio of sealers is not only vital, but has a profound impact on the usability and effectiveness of the end product. Add too much of the vital hole plugging ingredients and the sealant gums everything up, is hard to work with and quickly congeals into a big mess. On the other hand use too little, and you won’t effectively seal a puncture.
Before using Tickled Pink, my high mark for tubeless juice was Stan’s Race Sealant. After meeting Boyd at a bike event in Utah a few months back, he sent me home with a couple bottles to try out for myself. I was excited to see how it would do on my rocky hometown trails. I used one 8-ounce bottle on my first test set of tires as Boyd recommends 4 ounces per tire. After inflating my testers, I was pleased to see the set up held air for the first week before I was actually able to get out on my first test ride.
I’ve actually been tickled by the performance of Boyd’s sealant over the past few months. Tickled Pink is easy to work with, and you don’t have to stress about a stray drop clogging up the valve stem like you would with some other sealants on the market. The bubble gum scent is also a welcome departure from the typical smells associated with tire sealant, especially when it’s a few months old. Does it seal punctures? You bet. Despite riding over several thorny patches of trail, ones that left me pulling thorns out by hand, the tires still retain air to this day. The sealant is also easy to clean up in the tire, and doesn’t pack up or congeal like others we’ve tested. One of the biggest benefits I found is that the sealant doesn’t form a permanent bond between tire and rim. Some other options have a tendency to literally glue the tire to the rim, which is great for long-term sealing but makes changing tires a miserable experience. Since I’m frequently swapping out wheels and tires for testing purposes, that’s something that really matters. It doesn’t seal punctures as large as Stan’s Race Sealant or do the job quite as quickly, but I’d still be more than pleased running Tickled Pink on my own dime even though it comes in at roughly the same price per ounce as Stan’s Race. Boyd’s sealant seems to strike a solid balance between function and usability, being incredibly user friendly while still retaining top of the pack performance. Though it’s tough to quantitatively compare sealants, I’d place this one up high on my list.
Price: $9 (8oz bottle)