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  1. #1
    Taco Member redbuda's Avatar
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    Anybody use slime or "self fix" tubes?

    Well the goat heads are out and a pain in the burro when you hit an unknown patch. Does any body have luck with slime or other products like that? Those tubes are also twice as much a regular ones. I know it's easy to patch or replace but just frustrated it's happen twice this month. Should I just get tire liners? Thoughts?
    -Haters gonna hate

  2. #2
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    Tried one for a bit... went back to regular tubes. My experience with them is that the wheel never felt balanced, and when I did run over a nail, the tube didn't seal. The goop made it more annoying to change the tire, and maybe a bit slower because... well, its slime, and I'm not accustomed to leaving slime on my hands. So I'm back to a plain ole 700x32 which I can change in just a few minutes on the road with a tube that costs 1/3rd as much, is easy to patch, and doesn't have a weird wobble to it.

    Now... maybe all my problems with them could be chalked up to "operator error", not sure, but none the less, the experience was less than desirable, and I won't be buying another.

    nb.. I to have puncture "prevention" liners in my tires; not really convinced they do as described, but they don't seem to harm anything and maybe they work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    When I lived in Albuquerque, I started by adding slime to my tubes (you can buy a bottle, if you wish, and remove the Schraeder valve cores to put it inside), then added some Mr. Tuffy liners. I was never satisfied with the ride quality after I added the liners, and I found the slime to be messy when punctures occurred.

    Eventually, I just gave up and moved to Northern California!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    For those not familiar with the Goathead thorn, it's a seed on a vine common in the southwestern US that looks and feels like a sharpened eye-tooth and it has a base it sits on to point the damned thing straight up. It's a rather clever design for a tire flattening device.

  5. #5
    Taco Member redbuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
    For those not familiar with the Goathead thorn, it's a seed on a vine common in the southwestern US that looks and feels like a sharpened eye-tooth and it has a base it sits on to point the damned thing straight up. It's a rather clever design for a tire flattening device.

    Just looking at them makes me mad!

    800px-Starr_030612-0067_Tribulus_terrestris.jpg
    -Haters gonna hate

  6. #6
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I've ridden with Slime tubes for a period of time. I have never seen them actually stop a leak. As far as I can tell, all they do is make a mess that has to be cleaned up before you can patch properly. Even the tiniest holes made by thin bits of wire still leaked down.

    I can't believe that my experience is typical or they wouldn't still be in business, but even when I bought my bike and it came with factory Slime filled tires (it was a cheap hybrid) the stuff didn't work at all.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  7. #7
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    I had 11 flats in two weeks....goat head thorns...went to Michelin pro 4 endurance and rhino liners...no more flats
    Poker and riding two divergent past times that both make my day

  8. #8
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Puncture resistant tires and tire liners both do work to help prevent punctures in the first place. Buying a good set of tires that have one layer of protection that completely wraps around and protects the side-walls as well and a second layer that protects just the bottom of the tread is the best option in my opinion provided you are willing to pay the extra expense compared to liners (good puncture resistant tires are more expensive then liners and wear out where as liners last nearly forever).

    As to the slime - it isn't intended to permanently seal a puncture. The idea behind the slime is that on your commute to work you can get a puncture and the slime slows down the leak and you can still make it to work without having to stop and fix the puncture right then and there and maybe only have to add some air if that. If you are a commuter and your boss isn't going to consider stopping to fix a flat a legitimate reason for being 5-minutes late then the slime does make sense for that kind of application/purpose behind it. Either that or get really good at doing quick repair jobs and always leave a little bit early.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I use to ride in Goathead country, out in the Mojave Desert area of California. I tried the Slime tubes and they don't work, they will not seal a leak once the pressure goes above 70 to 75 psi and will flatten right away. I tried combination of Conti Gatorskin with Mr Tuffy liners and slime tubes and I still got 2 to 3 flats a week, which was better than 6 to 9 a week I was getting with other tires. The only tire I found at the time, this was 15 years ago, was the Specialized Armadillo All Condition tire, never got another flat from a Goathead in over 15,000 miles of riding with those tires, and I was using a 65 gram Specialized Turbo racing tube and no liner.

    There are some tires out now that are on the same level as the Specialized Armadillo All Condition tire like the Continental Gatorhardshell. If you don't like the idea of a heavy tire you can get a lighter racing tire and simply install a pair of Panaracer Flat Away liners, these are far tougher than Mr Tuffy's and a lot lighter. Or if you're really worried about flats get a decent tire for flat protection and add the Flat Away liners.

  10. #10
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    The trails I ride are full of goat heads and slime has been great at keeping my tires full of air for a good ~20 years. I'm not sure why it doesn't work for others.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi77 View Post
    The trails I ride are full of goat heads and slime has been great at keeping my tires full of air for a good ~20 years. I'm not sure why it doesn't work for others.
    You already answered your own question, you're riding trails with a CX or MTB not with a road bike, and road bikes run 100 plus psi, Slime won't hold under that kind of pressure. WTF back at you!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    You already answered your own question, you're riding trails with a CX or MTB not with a road bike, and road bikes run 100 plus psi, Slime won't hold under that kind of pressure. WTF back at you!
    I mispoke there: by "trail," I mean the Cherry Creek trail, which is actually a (paved) MUP. That said Slime worked fine with my Specialized Allez; I'm pretty sure I kept those tires at ~100psi. My riding buddy got a goat head flat on his road bike and never happened again after he slimed his tires. Maybe we just got lucky and didn't hit any goat heads for a couple summers but that just seems impossible given I've come home from that MUP with multiple goat heads imbedded in the tires.

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    I have been using slime in my mountain bike tires for about 15 years. These days my mountain bikes are tubeless with stans, but I still use slime in tubes on my mountain-bike commuter with up to 40psi.

    - Slime doesn't really seal the holes so much as block them and make them leak slower. You still need to air up your tires regularly.
    - Slime doesn't seal well on the sidewall or if something is moving around in the hole.
    - Slime creates a mess in the tire.


    + Slime will slow most leaks down enough that I have ridden tubes with dozens of punctures.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Here is some interesting info comparing the different typse: http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/T...ants_2765.html I personally don't believe in sealants. The first line of defense against a flat is the tire and thus the most important; the last line is the tube and thus the least important; in the middle is tire liners, a good tire liner like the Panaracer Flat Away is the best liner on the market and light in weight at 32 grams, I actually tried to get a tack to penetrate the liner and it broke the tack, then I tried a finishing nail I banged through a piece of wood to support it and bent the nail trying to penetrate the liner, neither penetrated that liner.

  15. #15
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    As to the slime - it isn't intended to permanently seal a puncture. The idea behind the slime is that on your commute to work you can get a puncture and the slime slows down the leak and you can still make it to work without having to stop and fix the puncture right then and there and maybe only have to add some air if that.
    I haven't seen it do a damned thing for me. Even a small puncture from a staple (the kind you shoot from a hand powered staple ***) just went flat within about 2 minutes, probably no slower than if there were no slime. The only thing it did was to spray green $hi7 all over the place as the tire spun, so I had to take the tube into the bathroom and wash the gunk off before I could patch it, and I had to pressure wash the fenders when I got home.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    I've had mixed success with Slime. For the right kind of leak, it works. The right kind of leak occurs on the outermost part of the tire (because the Slime gets spun there and doesn't help with sidewall punctures), it's small, and whatever caused the puncture is removed. But most of the time I found it to be not worth the effort. If the Slime didn't close the leak, then you were trying to repair a puncture where there was Slime all over the tube. Every time I would reinflate a Slime-filled tube, Slime would get in the valve and in the connector on the pump. I ended up ditching the Slime and going with hardier tires.

  17. #17
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbuda View Post
    Well the goat heads are out and a pain in the burro when you hit an unknown patch. Does any body have luck with slime or other products like that? Those tubes are also twice as much a regular ones. I know it's easy to patch or replace but just frustrated it's happen twice this month. Should I just get tire liners? Thoughts?
    I run the Bontrager sealant-filled tubes on my MTB. Plenty of goat heads around here, and the tubes do seal effectively, even after the goat head is pulled out. I am running these at roughly 32-35 psi, and usually what happens is I pull the goat head out, a small puff of air escapes, and the tube seals. I've not hit a nail or anything big like that yet.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I haven't seen it do a damned thing for me. Even a small puncture from a staple (the kind you shoot from a hand powered staple ***) just went flat within about 2 minutes, probably no slower than if there were no slime. The only thing it did was to spray green $hi7 all over the place as the tire spun, so I had to take the tube into the bathroom and wash the gunk off before I could patch it, and I had to pressure wash the fenders when I got home.
    yup, that was my experience too. And the green schit stained my rim tape an gooed up the inside of the rim, so I had to remove the tape, clean the rim and install new tape, then add on top of that a tube you can't ever patch because it bleeds green liquid out of a hole and the patch won't stick, so you throw away a perfectly good tube. Not worth it to me to try to be lazy about a freaking puncture, just patch it and move on down the road.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    ... Not worth it to me to try to be lazy about a freaking puncture, just patch it and move on down the road.
    That might be true of A puncture. It might not be true of conditions that bless you with a dozen punctures in a short distance (Goat Heads).

  20. #20
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bug Shield View Post
    That might be true of A puncture. It might not be true of conditions that bless you with a dozen punctures in a short distance (Goat Heads).
    If you use the right tires you're not going to have that happen. I guess you didn't read my earlier post. I use to live in Goathead country...Mojave desert area of Calif. With Conti Gatorskin tires, Mr Tuffy liners, thick thorn resistant tubes with Slime I averaged 2 to 3 flats a week, (which was down from over a dozen a week with other tires and a liner). Then I switched to Specialized Armadillo All Condition tires and a 65 gram racing tube with no slime or liner and I went flat free for about 15,000 miles.

    So no, Slime does nothing in the way of blessing you if you're on high pressure road tires, unless you think gooey green mess inside your rims is a blessing.

    I will say this about getting lots of flats out there in the Mojave Desert...it made me real proficient at fixing flats on the side of the road, what worked the best and what didn't. It's one of the reasons I use glueless patches from Specialized or Park because they hold up forever, and their fast to apply. I know, I've read many complaints about glueless patches, some of those complaints are due to using cheap ones that don't work well, and others are simply because the tube wasn't prepared correctly and or the patch wasn't installed correctly. I've found fixing a flat with glueless patches was just as quick, if not faster, as replacing the tube but it took less time once I got home because I didn't have unpack the tube, find a leak then patch it and repack the tube. I have a friend who hated glueless patches and thought I was nuts for using them, then he had a flat one day while we were out riding, I offered to fix his flat with a glueless patch, showed him how it was done, now he will use nothing but glueless patches. I've had as many as 13 glueless patches on tube and that tube was my permanent tube that I used for 5 years, all of those glueless patches stayed adhered to the tube and never leaked for all those years.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    ...It's one of the reasons I use glueless patches from Specialized or Park because they hold up forever, and their fast to apply. I know, I've read many complaints about glueless patches, some of those complaints are due to using cheap ones that don't work well, and others are simply because the tube wasn't prepared correctly and or the patch wasn't installed correctly. I've found fixing a flat with glueless patches was just as quick, if not faster, as replacing the tube but it took less time once I got home because I didn't have unpack the tube, find a leak then patch it and repack the tube. I have a friend who hated glueless patches and thought I was nuts for using them, then he had a flat one day while we were out riding, I offered to fix his flat with a glueless patch, showed him how it was done, now he will use nothing but glueless patches. I've had as many as 13 glueless patches on tube and that tube was my permanent tube that I used for 5 years, all of those glueless patches stayed adhered to the tube and never leaked for all those years.
    That is good to hear. The one, positive thing I almost said about Slime was about their glueless patches. I held back on that only because I have a mediocre success rate with them. But I still like them because I get flats so rarely anymore, that I have a near 100% failure rate with normal, glue patches unless I remember to check the patch kit before heading out. So on a tour, I will probably be in good shape, but on my commute, I will almost always find the glue has dried up when I go to apply a patch. So if there are other, good, reliable patches out there that are more successful than Slime patches, I will have to add them to my repair kit. I hate doing a roadside repair and realizing that all that stands between me and getting back on the road is one, tiny, dried up tube of rubber cement.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    That is good to hear. The one, positive thing I almost said about Slime was about their glueless patches. I held back on that only because I have a mediocre success rate with them. But I still like them because I get flats so rarely anymore, that I have a near 100% failure rate with normal, glue patches unless I remember to check the patch kit before heading out. So on a tour, I will probably be in good shape, but on my commute, I will almost always find the glue has dried up when I go to apply a patch. So if there are other, good, reliable patches out there that are more successful than Slime patches, I will have to add them to my repair kit. I hate doing a roadside repair and realizing that all that stands between me and getting back on the road is one, tiny, dried up tube of rubber cement.
    I never had success with Slime glueless patches, I think they're made by Skab or some such brand that is another crappy glueless patch along the lines of the Bell glueless patches. I use mostly Specialized and sometimes Park, they both work the same but I usually find the Specialized patches where I live.

  23. #23
    Taco Member redbuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I never had success with Slime glueless patches, I think they're made by Skab or some such brand that is another crappy glueless patch along the lines of the Bell glueless patches. I use mostly Specialized and sometimes Park, they both work the same but I usually find the Specialized patches where I live.

    Thanks for the info I've read so far. I'm in Bakersfield near the Mojave and they seam to grow out of no where out here. It's just kinda weird cuz last year I didn't have any issues. I go months with out a puncture. Also those scabs are great to have on the road. Once I hit glass and had a 1/4 "stab" in the tube. Put two scabs and it lasted a week. Not bad for a $2.00 kit.
    -Haters gonna hate

  24. #24
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbuda View Post
    Thanks for the info I've read so far. I'm in Bakersfield near the Mojave and they seam to grow out of no where out here. It's just kinda weird cuz last year I didn't have any issues. I go months with out a puncture. Also those scabs are great to have on the road. Once I hit glass and had a 1/4 "stab" in the tube. Put two scabs and it lasted a week. Not bad for a $2.00 kit.
    Maybe Scab improved their adhesive, because when I tried them about 15 years ago or so they didn't work worth a darn.

  25. #25
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    I did the opposite of DiegoFrogs: I moved from northern California to Albuquerque. Now my tires pick up lots of goatheads. My experience with sealants (including Slime) is that they foul the adhesive when they don't stop the leak (one really can't know how many punctures they seal) making the tube irreparable. Liners helped some. Tire-savers, devices that rub against the tire scraping off stuff that sticks, have reduced punctures by a factor of about 5, from every 400 miles to every 2,000 miles (I ride about 5,000 annually).

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