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Thread: Tire Slime

  1. #1
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    Tire Slime

    I guess this is a product review of sorts.

    A few months back, I found a bottle of Slime at the bottom of a box of bike junk in my closet. I have no idea where or when I got it. Slime is that green stuff you put in your tubes to seal punctures. What the heck, I thought, it can't hurt, and I put it in the tubes of my commuter bike (cheap Kenda 700x35 tires and tubes, if that's relevant).

    The other day I returned from work and locked my bike up outside my apartment building. A couple of hours later I came out and saw that the tire was flat. It must have been punctured shortly before my arrival, and the air leaked out by the time I came back out of the building. OK, no problem. I brought the wheel inside (hey, it's much nicer to work in air conditioning in this weather), got out my patch kid, removed the tire and tube, and found the puncture. It was easy -- there was green Slime leaking out of the hole. I cleaned up the Slime, went through the usual patching drill, and put it all back together. Easy enough.

    But the Slime didn't seal the puncture. And it was a very small puncture. It's possible that it may have slowed down the escaping air, since I did make it home without noticing that I had a flat. I thought that I should give Slime the benefit of the doubt, and I examined the tube closely to see if there were any other punctures that had been sealed by the Slime, but there weren't.

    So there's my experience with Slime. I wouldn't bother to use it again. Also, it smells really bad after being in the tube for a few months. I mean really bad.

  2. #2
    Pedal Power!
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    I put it in my tyres once. Went over something fairly sharp one day (by mistake) and ending up wearing it! Seriously, it sprayed out through the tube and the tyre and showered me with each revolution of the wheel. The hole turned out to be no bigger than a drawing pin size. Never again.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    My bike has a Nexus 8 w/roller brake. Changing the rear tire is something I avoid at all cost. It developed a slow leak and my LBS recommended Earth Gard. He has used Slime in the past and claims that Earth Gard is much, much better.

    The stuff sealed the slow leak and after 100+ miles I'm having no problems.
    I miss bicycle commuting.

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    In goathead country I used slime, the secret is that before every ride you have to inflate the tire and give it a couple good spins. I would never try to patch a slimed tube, once there is a big enough hole to defeat the slime, replace the tube. You are exactly right that slimes goal is not to seal the puncture but rather to slow it down. I had tires that would bubble slime for the first few miles every single morning. But they still held air for 24 hours.

    Now that I'm not in goathead country I get fewer flats and have stopped using slime. Were I to go back I probably would look into a reinforced tire of some sort. As cleaning up the rims and tires after the slime was a big pain, and the two tubes I took out would have had more good life in them if I could have patched them.

  5. #5
    Mad scientist w/a wrench
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    Generally I don't think it works too well and had many of the above experiences.

    I did manage to patch a tire that had slime in it, but it took several tries.

    I think whoever first thought "what if we sell this to bikers" didn't take the time to see that bike tires operate a little differently than car tires.

    of course with cars I've heard that the stuff still only works for those tiny leaks you can't find and plug on your own.
    Proudly wearing kit that doesn't match my frame color (or itself) since 2006.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math
    In goathead country I used slime, the secret is that before every ride you have to inflate the tire and give it a couple good spins.
    I had to comment on this one. So you have to spin the wheel before you go on a ride? That's a good idea, because it certainly won't get any spinning during the ride will it?

    Slime is somewhat controversial on these forums. Some hate it some love it. I think that is because so many are doing so many different types of riding in different conditions. If you ride in areas that are mainly paved and pretty clean than you won't get many punctures. An example of this would be out on the highway. The surfaces are kept clean by all of the traffic. I ride my road bike in these conditions and don't use slime. With good tires i seldom flat.

    My mountain bikes i ride on dirt and gravel roads almost daily year round. We have tons of what we call "stickers." Others might call them goatheads, but they are stickers here. If I didn't run slime in my mountain bike tires I would be fixing flat tires many times per week instead of riding. I know this because i tried it without years ago. I even had two flats in one ride without Slime.

    With the slime i have ridden thousands and thousands of miles, on a daily basis on dirt and gravel primitive roads. I seldom have to stop and fix a tire. Sometimes my tube will puncture, but more often than not the slime will seal it back up. I will be riding along and get the now recognized bounce. You start to sort of pogo on the bike and it is obvious that a rear has punctured.

    Often i just get off and reinflate the tube and ride off into the sunset. Without the slime i would be 10 minutes or more fixing a tire. Not such a big deal unless it is 5 degrees F outside which it often is when i ride.

    So slime can be a godsend in certain conditions. In others, not so much.

  7. #7
    aspiring dirtbag commuter max-a-mill's Avatar
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    i find slime dosen't work in higher pressure road tires. it works okay for mtb's but even there i stopped using it after having to carry a tube oozing green stuff with me out of the woods one day. that stuff is a mess!
    - the revolution will not be motorized -

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