Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex tubeless conversion kit review
This kit from Effetto will be of interest to you if you’re running tubular tyres, including tubular clinchers, or if you want to rig up a DIY tubeless setup.
Caffélatex works by turning to foam when rotated in the tyre; the foam ﬁlls the whole tyre cavity where it should seal any punctures. It differs from other tyre sealants such as Stan’s NoTubes in that it doesn’t feature any potential corrosion-causing ammonia.
The kit includes a 250ml bottle of Caffélatex sealant, an injector, a roll of Caffé Tubeless Tape, two Caffé Tubeless Valves and a Presta valve key.
We tested it in the three ways we reckon most people will use this product: inside regular inner tubes (Effetto Mariposa say it can be used for tubes as well as tyres), inside tubular clinchers, and inside a thrown together, homemade tubeless setup.
In the inner tube it failed to seal a puncture and slowly ﬁlled the tyre with foam. In the tubular clincher it worked really well. But it worked best in our homemade tubeless setup.
We ran a Panaracer Extreme Evo II tyre (not a tubeless design) on an old Campagnolo Neutron wheel, sealed the rim with the Caffélatex tape, then used a split (cut in half lengthways) 20in inner tube stretched over the rim before installing the tyre.
We ﬁlled the tyre with 50ml of Caffélatex then pumped it up using a compressor. It stopped losing air after only one day, and has stayed that way ever since.
The trouble is, the sealant reverts to liquid form when the tyre isn’t rotating, and because it takes the liquid a while to foam, if you jump on your bike and start riding quickly then the wheels feel off-balance initially. Ride slowly to start with though, and it works quite well.
As a tubeless conversion kit it works reasonably well, though you have to take care when ﬁtting. If you’re hoping the leftover sealant can be put to good use in inner tubes, you’d be better off with a puncture repair kit.