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Old 09-05-11, 08:40 AM   #1
Zermatt7
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Tire liners and slime tubes...do alot of tourers use them ?

Are tire liners and slime tubes popular with touring / long distance riders ?

I'm setting up a bike and my #1 goal is no flats followed very closely by comfort.

I'd gladly give up a little speed / weight to prevent flats !

Thanks,
Eric / zermatt7
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Old 09-05-11, 09:05 AM   #2
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Short answer, NO. Tire liners are more popular than Slime, but few use either.

I tried both early in my short touring career. Neither seemed terribly effective. More trouble than they were worth. Still got flats. The Slime made changing tubes really messy and the liners added 'fiddle factor' and weight.

Just mount some good, puncture resistant tires. Schwable Marathon Supreme is an industry standard. The Marathon Plus is their most puncture resistant touring tire, but on the the heavy side. There are many others.
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Old 09-05-11, 09:06 AM   #3
imi
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If I may be a bit presumptuous (ye gads! "on an internet forum" I hear you all cry!), it sounds like Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires may be exactly the tire for you - no liners or slime needed...

edit: gah! cyclebum posted while I was composing!
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Old 09-05-11, 09:31 AM   #4
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I always use tire liners and rarely get flats. This allows me to use lighter tires with better rolling characteristics and still get the punchure resistance of Schwalbe tires. My tires are cheaper than Marathon Pluses and ride much better. I tried Marathon Pluses, but didn't like the way my bike handled with them.

People will tell you the tire liners cause flats, but this hasn't been my experience. While I carry extra tubes and a patch kit, I rarely have to use either.
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Old 09-05-11, 09:53 AM   #5
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I'll be one of those who will tell you that tire liners have caused flats on tours, however, I'm sure that they saved me many more flats, so.... I have been using a combination of Armadillo tires and slime tubes with VERY good results, very rarely do I flat on the road. Yes, if you get a major flat with a slime tube you have a real mess, so far it's been rare (one major mess in six years of use). The thing with slime tubes is that they will work on the road and seal with minimal pressure loss, but you need to inspect the tires regularly for signs of a puncture (usually a green spot on the tire), then change that tube. I'm currently experimenting with a Bontragger Hard Case tire and regular tube, so far so good, no punctures in 11 months and 6000 miles. (Hard Case tire is $50)
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Old 09-05-11, 09:56 AM   #6
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flats happen. If you think of all the time you pump up your tires to the correct amount tossing in a flat or two every few months is no big deal
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Old 09-05-11, 10:43 AM   #7
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Slime is HORRIBLE. I would never use it again. They are fine if they do their job but when you do get a flat they create a huge mess.
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Old 09-05-11, 10:53 AM   #8
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I don't, I use thorn resistant tubes , instead of add-on's.
long tour up west coasts of Eire and Scotland, no punctures, 6 months +

but I pumped my tires up daily, so as to keep the rolling resistance
from noticeably making the effort a bit more.
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Old 09-05-11, 11:12 AM   #9
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Nope and will never, ever, never use slime again. Makes a god awful mess if you blow a tube and makes patching nearly impossible.

I run a quality tire with puncture resistant belts in them, Schwalbe is one. I also check my tires daily, sometimes more often for imbedded debris. I also try to watch where and what I am riding through. Even with all that flats are sometimes the luck of the draw. I have ridden over 2,000 miles flat free before, then at another time had 3 flats on a 50 mile ride!

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Old 09-05-11, 11:24 AM   #10
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I will never use slime tubes again because I've been stranded by them: Got a flat in a slime tube and patched it, no problem. But when I went to pump up the tire, the valve would not close properly and hold air. Apparently the slime clogged up the valve.

From what I've read on this forum, you need to keep the valve stem at top dead center while patching the tube. That keeps the slime from flooding the stem when there isn't air pressure. Haven't tried that though.

The choice with tire liners and slime tubes is a tradeoff between performance and puncture proofness. Everyone has a personal level of acceptableness. For me, I use Continental Gatorskins because they are light, have good puncture resistance, and a great feel on the road. But then I accept an occasional flat or two or three...
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Old 09-05-11, 11:26 AM   #11
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I've been using Conti GP 4000's and variants for a few thousand miles, and no flats yet. They're not even the toughest tire you can get.

IMO you're better off getting robust tires, and keeping your tires properly inflated. Keep it simple.
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Old 09-05-11, 11:36 AM   #12
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I used tyre liners, and they actually caused me punctures. I found when I went downhill for long periods at speed I'd get a flat. I put it down to the inner swelling with the heat and pushing up against the edge of the liner (which was not perfectly flush). I had three punctures in one day, then ditched the liner and had no more.
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Old 09-05-11, 01:13 PM   #13
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I hate Slime. On one tour my partner used slime while I just used liners. He got 5 flats, I got none. In only one case did it work as advertised, probably because when the tube was punctured he just happened to stop the bike with the puncture at the bottom. Every other time it just spewed that green goop all over and made patching the tire almost impossible, since we had nothing to clean the goop off with. And when Slime gets in the valve, inflating the tube becomes quite difficult. What a mess.

I've used liners a lot, and they have prevented some punctures, but they're not fool proof. I've had no flats due to the liners themselves, as others have reported, but have had punctures through them (short roofing nail) or around them. Recently I switched to a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, and although I've only got about 500 miles on them, so far they've been bomb proof. They are heavier than many other tires, but honestly I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't read it. On the bike I've noticed no difference between them and my former standard Marathons, probably because I used a liner with the Marathons and they were wider than the Pluses, so in my case the weight difference is probably negligible.
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Old 09-05-11, 02:53 PM   #14
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I run Schwalbe Marathons but only added a liner to the rear due to all the extra wight. I don't fell any difference in the ride and have not gotten a flat yet. ( I have gotten flats in the Marathons without the liner though)
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Old 09-05-11, 04:33 PM   #15
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I use liners in some tires but not in others.

Some of my tires had weird handling with liners, sounds odd but the liner apparently prevented the tire from deforming uniformly as the bike rolled causing it to handle oddly. I do not use liners in those tires but I sometimes use liners in tires that roll ok with a liner in them.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:34 PM   #16
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Since changing to Armadillo tyres, I have only had two punctures over a total of over 20,000km. I wouldn't bother about liners and slime when punctures are this infrequent.
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Old 09-05-11, 11:49 PM   #17
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Slime works great, but you need to make sure you have a way to reinflate your tire after the pressure loss. It has saved me many times from thorns, and glass and such. It is messy if the puncture is too big, it makes for a good show with all the slime bleeding out.

Slime should never be your plan to deal with flats, though, always bring a spare tube or two.

As for the valve getting clogged by slime, it generally happens when you're inflating your tire contrary to the directions on the bottle. It says you should have it in the 5 o'clock position so the slime doesn't run into the valve when inflating. If it does get clogged you can remove the value with the tool the slime bottle gives you and just clean it off.
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Old 09-06-11, 12:07 AM   #18
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I used slime when I lived in the desert. There is some extra work associated with slime but probably on par or less than the work of patching even most tires with built in protection. A slimed tube actually can be patched. You will have to add about 3 minutes of "squeezing the toothpaste" to your pre-patch routine. All slime must be squished well away from the affected area. Then sand tube afterwards to get a good surface to put your cement on. You'll generally want to park your bike at night with valves up. Then air up every morning to keep valve operational.

I use Mr. Tuffies nowadays. They last longer than slime and you don't have that wonky wheel feel for the first 100 yards or so of every ride. Never had a liner cause a flat in 20 years use.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idlelaziness View Post
If it does get clogged you can remove the value with the tool the slime bottle gives you and just clean it off.
I'm wondering how many people knew there was such a thing as a "valve tool"

And, in a pinch, a screwdriver (Flat tip) can be used (Very, very carefully) as a valve tool.
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Old 09-06-11, 10:55 AM   #20
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I tried Slime in high pressure tires,no thanks.I buy tires with liners built in.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:22 PM   #21
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I had mixed results with "flat proof" belted tires, so I started using tire liners when I lived along the Gulf Coast. They proved resistant to the frequent sand burrs, glass shards and other crap that I frequently came upon. Now I put them in every bike I'm going to keep. I consider the extra weight a favorable exchange for my rides being interrupted by flat repairs. As for Slime or any injected puncture sealer...not on anything I own, whether it be car, bike or lawn tractor.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:04 PM   #22
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Not a fan of slime. A big puncture won't seal and instead just makes a big mess. Valve spews a little slime every time I had to top it off. I switched back to regular tubes and marathon plussus. Fewer flats then with slime ( as in no flats) but there are compromises. Now I'm experimenting with a somewhat lighter, more flexible tire to see if ride quality improves without sacrificing too much in terms of flats. If not, I'll go back to my plusses, but I won't go back to slime.
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Old 09-06-11, 09:43 PM   #23
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I only use slime on my wheelbarrow tire.
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Old 09-07-11, 10:33 AM   #24
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Tire liners gave me a flat.

I’m assuming it was because I was using high volume tires (2.0”) at moderate pressure (50psi). I couldn’t figure out what was going wrong, or why I would be getting a flat – but looking at the tube it was clear where then end of the tire liner had worn into the tube, eventually causing a slow leak, then a flat.

Maybe at 120psi that isn’t a problem, but I have lost my faith in them…
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Old 09-07-11, 11:49 AM   #25
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I'll add a vote for Schwalbe tires. I have Supremes on my tourer and Pluses on my fixed gear town bike. The plus tires are heavy, but I never worry about flats. I purchased some Slime tubes, and they all failed quickly. Pumping up the tires (presta valves), the stem would pull out when I removed my pump. I've never had that happen -- ever -- on any other tube. And the mess they made spewing green goo all over everything was not pretty. Avoid at all costs.
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