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  1. #1
    Senior Member AcornMan's Avatar
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    Self-sealing tubes? Thorn-proof tubes?

    OK, this is getting ridiculous. I've had six flats in the past week. One was because I didn't install the tube correctly, but the others have all been small punctures. I've turned the tires inside out and gone over every inch of them to find any thorns that might be sticking through on the inside, and I used an air compressor to clean the surfaces of the wheels and tires before installing tubes.

    So, is it worth spending the extra money to buy tubes that are supposed to be more rugged? The two I'm aware of are what my LBS described as thorn-proof or thorn-resistant, which looked and felt like they're just thicker rubber. Then at Wal-Mart I noticed they sell a couple different kinds of self-sealing tubes (I think one was called "Slime"). Any thoughts on these special tubes?

    My tires have less than 1000 miles on them, so surely I don't need new ones already.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    The slime technology works. But if you get an actual tear or big hole you have a mess.

    Anything you do to make things more thorn proof do cost, either in $ or effeciency.

    Best bang for the buck is getting CHEAPER tubes. Expensive tubes are made to be as light as possible, so they have a delicate tolerance. Cheap tubes are thick tubes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skol's Avatar
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    check to see if your rim tape has shifted and correct or retape. I have found the puncture resistant tubes to be too heavy and haven't tried the slime products. Experiment with air pressure maybe running more less - not sure type of riding your doing etc.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Colleague of mine had the Slime filled tubes and they work. Eventually he got a puncture that did not seal so it was out with the tube to repair- but it could not be done. He had 8 holes in the tube already and it had sealed itself but where the sealant had leaked- it had stuck to the tyre. Tried to get the goo off the tyre but after an hour- he just bought a conventional tube and tyre.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    The slime technology works. But if you get an actual tear or big hole you have a mess.

    Anything you do to make things more thorn proof do cost, either in $ or effeciency.

    Best bang for the buck is getting CHEAPER tubes. Expensive tubes are made to be as light as possible, so they have a delicate tolerance. Cheap tubes are thick tubes.
    Yes, but you are missing something here. Unless you are doing some very long rides, and are very quick at fixing flats, it is entirely possible to spend more time doing repairs than riding. If you are commuting, you could well be late for work or late fore dinner - not to say one is better than the other. By the way, Pyramid thorn resistant tubes are neither thin nor cheap.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    By the way, AcornMan, I see you are from Manhattat. The old family homestead was just down the road from you, not far outside of Onaga.

    My opinion on flats is to defend against them with the tire. I use a Schwalbe Marathon DD in front, and some other kevlar thing in the rear. After experiences similar to yours, I tried all other solutions mentioned, and this is what worked for me.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  7. #7
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    The first question to ask is "Where are the flats happening?" and "What's causing the flats"?

    If they're happening on the inside of the tube (the part that rests up against the tire) that's one entirely different problem that may be caused by bad rim tape, or a metal burr on the inside of the wheel, or to low of tire pressure. Sounds like you've already looked into that, but I wanted to mention it.

    If they're on the outside of the tube that faces the tire, and you're checked that there's nothing sticking through the tire, buying a more puncture resistant tire is a way better option than trying to buy a more puncture resistant tube.

    I don't know what kind of road stuff you run into in Kansas. If it's not excessive, a Panaracer Pasela with TourGuard tire, or a Continental Gatorskin are popular options for flat-resistant tires that ride pretty much the same as your normal tires, they just cost somewhat more, but are much more puncture resistant.

    If you really really having trouble with flats (perhaps there's lots of "goatheads" in your area, or a ton of broken glass and stuff) you could get a heavy duty flat resistant tire like the Schwalbe Marathon's. They'll be super flat resistant, but are heavy and roll slower than your regular tire.

    I haven't heard any good things about the effectiveness of thicker tubes or slime tubes (well, what I've heard is that they're a mixed bag - they fix some flats, but make other flats nearly impossible to fix).
    Last edited by PaulRivers; 09-14-09 at 02:55 PM.

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    The scooter,motorcycle,auto and truck forums swear by Ultraseal.Most of the members in the forums had used slime prior but with limited success.I hear Ultraseal will stop 99% of punctures and if a puncture does happen,it will seal immediately.I would think a bike tire would be child play for Ultraseal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    That's interesting, Tim. If both bikes didn't use Presta valves, I would make a note of it.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  10. #10
    GO BIG RED norwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    That's interesting, Tim. If both bikes didn't use Presta valves, I would make a note of it.
    I usually "make" my own Presta Slime tubes. I run the tube until it gets a puncture or I've even purposely punctured a few old tubes and then use that hole as the spot to inject the Slime liquid. Usually the punture has to be enlarged slightly. The after the sealant goes in, I put a patch over the hole. They work great.
    1996 Bianchi Veloce
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim2 View Post
    The scooter,motorcycle,auto and truck forums swear by Ultraseal.Most of the members in the forums had used slime prior but with limited success.I hear Ultraseal will stop 99% of punctures and if a puncture does happen,it will seal immediately.I would think a bike tire would be child play for Ultraseal.
    What happens when the object is still stuck in the tube or tire?

  12. #12
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    Here is the grades of Ultraseal.This stuff will seal off any size puncture a bike would happen across.


    Highway Performance
    For use in automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles. Seals punctures up to 3/16 (5mm).

    Commercial/Industrial
    For use in medium to large trucks, trailers and equipment or applications where additional protection is required. Seals punctures up to 1/4" (6mm). Not recommended for passenger cars or small diameter tires traveling at highway speeds.

    Xtreme Heavy Duty (XHD)
    For use in large trucks, trailers, equipment and OTR applications where maximum protection is required. Seals punctures up to 1/2" (12mm).

    Cool Seal/Porosity Sealer
    For use in all tires to lock in air pressure and promote cooler operation

  13. #13
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    I use the performance thorn resistant tubes in my commuter/errand bike and have only had one puncture in three years. They are heavy as hell and couldn't patch the tube to take a patch after several tries. Other than that they are great highly recommend.
    Do what makes you happy.

  14. #14
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I haven't read a single reply...

    I thought I lived in the "goat-head capital" apparently not...

    SUNLITE puncture resistant tubes...

    $9.99 at my LBS... since running them NO FLATS and NO SLIME...

    win win...

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Depends on where you live and what road/vegetation conditions you have to ride through. In some desert areas, I've seen people go all out with armadillo/marathon plus tires with Mr Tuffy's/liners and thorn resistant tubes with slime/sealer. That's a lot of extra weight.

    Wal*Mart sells 2 types of slime brand/filled tubes. One of them is the thicker HD/thorn resistant tube and may only come in MTN bike tire sizes...so you have to read the label to get the tube thickness you want and beware of people switching out tubes. They also carry the Bell brand tubes with sealant and some feel the sealant in those tubes is better/thicker.

    If you have a road bike and want to use/add your favorite sealant, buy tubes that have a removable presta core. Some feel slime is too thin to be effective in high pressure tubes.

    In the end, you have to decide whether or not the weight penalty is worth it or not and how far/much 'flat prevention' is needed.

  16. #16
    Senior Member limeylew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcornMan View Post
    OK, this is getting ridiculous. I've had six flats in the past week. One was because I didn't install the tube correctly, but the others have all been small punctures. I've turned the tires inside out and gone over every inch of them to find any thorns that might be sticking through on the inside, and I used an air compressor to clean the surfaces of the wheels and tires before installing tubes.

    So, is it worth spending the extra money to buy tubes that are supposed to be more rugged? The two I'm aware of are what my LBS described as thorn-proof or thorn-resistant, which looked and felt like they're just thicker rubber. Then at Wal-Mart I noticed they sell a couple different kinds of self-sealing tubes (I think one was called "Slime"). Any thoughts on these special tubes?

    My tires have less than 1000 miles on them, so surely I don't need new ones already.
    If you REALLY want to stop getting flats, check here:-

    http://www.bikemania.biz/Airless_No_...ires_s/173.htm

    I have used tires like this for about 10 years and they work VERY well for me.
    Lewis.
    A cyclist is a cyclist's worst enemy.
    ***************************

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