Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Self sealing tubes?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Self sealing tubes?

Old 02-11-21, 04:19 PM
  #1  
MrWasabi 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MrWasabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 320

Bikes: 2014 Fuji Traverse 1.3, 1995 Giant CFM-4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
Self sealing tubes?

I'm fixing up a 95 Giant CFM-4 and it has 26" tires. The tires are good but I'm going to change the tubes since they haven't had air in them for 10+ years. I see some Bell self sealing tubes for around $7 on Amazon. Are these any good or should I stick with standard?

Thanks.
MrWasabi is offline  
Old 02-11-21, 04:43 PM
  #2  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 7,082

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2765 Post(s)
Liked 1,386 Times in 1,013 Posts
Depends.

Do you have a lot of flats? I don't. So I feel regular tubes are best for me.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 02-11-21, 04:45 PM
  #3  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 14,919

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2925 Post(s)
Liked 1,193 Times in 841 Posts
Self sealing tubes (the Slime brand being the big name) can work on the smaller bits that get past your tire casing's belts. But they do tend to let the rider believe their tires won't go flat and also tend to make the rider not do best maintenance and periodically examine the tires and remove those bits before they enter the tube. The other issue we have seen is when the flat causing object is not know of (as in the tire doesn't look or feel flat) but has still penetrated the tube. That object can continue to chew up the tube if you don't know to stop and remove it. Given enough pokes the sealant won't do it's job any longer. Whatever you do don't see self sealing tubes as a reason to leave the flat fixing kit home (and know that slime covered tubes make for a poor bonding with patch glue, so carry a spare tube). Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 02-11-21, 04:52 PM
  #4  
MrWasabi 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MrWasabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 320

Bikes: 2014 Fuji Traverse 1.3, 1995 Giant CFM-4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
Thanks everyone, I don't see me getting a lot of flats with the mostly paved trail riding I'll be doing with this bike but thought for an extra $6is total for two over standard tubes that the added protection wouldn't hurt? What's everyone's favorite tube brand? I have Schwalbes on my other three bikes but what do I know? Oh, I do want Presta valves.
MrWasabi is offline  
Old 02-11-21, 05:50 PM
  #5  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 8,051

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1331 Post(s)
Liked 819 Times in 572 Posts
Originally Posted by MrWasabi View Post
Thanks everyone, I don't see me getting a lot of flats with the mostly paved trail riding I'll be doing with this bike but thought for an extra $6is total for two over standard tubes that the added protection wouldn't hurt? What's everyone's favorite tube brand? I have Schwalbes on my other three bikes but what do I know? Oh, I do want Presta valves.
Continental hands down.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Likes For dsbrantjr:
Old 02-11-21, 06:17 PM
  #6  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Bigbus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,103

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 362 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 205 Posts
I tried those slime tubes on my MTB thinking wow! no more flats. Not true. And every time I tried to check tire pressures I got a S..T load of slime in my tire gauge. Then one day I was unable to check the pressures because the valve cores were solid as a rock and there wasn't going to be any air going in or out of them-NOT GOOD. I hit a patch of goat heads in a county park when I went off trail and no longer have or will ever have slime tubes again. My opinion and experience. Other people's may be different.
Bigbus is offline  
Likes For Bigbus:
Old 02-11-21, 07:06 PM
  #7  
Troul 
:D
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 3,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 835 Times in 611 Posts
most sealant in self sealing tubes are most often used in tubes that are not made using the most durable material when compared to a well known reliable & trusted brand. IMO, it'd be better to add sealant to a better quality & fitting tube. I also would not plan on most patch work to adhere to a sealant filled tube during a roadside repair.
I've worn enough T-Shirts to determine what is likely my experience when dealing with sealant, patches, tubes.


YMMV
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Likes For Troul:
Old 02-11-21, 07:09 PM
  #8  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,523

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 133 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2565 Post(s)
Liked 1,186 Times in 756 Posts
I've had variable luck with self-sealing tubes. They're heavier than standard tubes, which may or may not be a concern in your case. The sealant works best with small punctures, and becomes less effective at cold temperatures and with age as it hardens in the tube. It can be replenished, but again at the expense of increasing the weight even more. Large cuts can get downright messy, spewing sticky sealant all over the bike and anything nearby in the dispersal plume. These days I use it with bikes I ride in bad weather, where not having to stop to fix a small puncture can be an advantage. I've also used it with tubular tires, to avoid having to open the casing to fix a puncture.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 02-11-21, 07:28 PM
  #9  
MrWasabi 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MrWasabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 320

Bikes: 2014 Fuji Traverse 1.3, 1995 Giant CFM-4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
Thanks again everyone. I've decided to skip them and am now looking for some good 26" standard tubes.
MrWasabi is offline  
Old 02-11-21, 08:45 PM
  #10  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 4,404
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1139 Post(s)
Liked 539 Times in 356 Posts
Have you checked to see if the tubes in the tires hold air? If they do, you don't have to spend a cent
alcjphil is offline  
Likes For alcjphil:
Old 02-11-21, 10:32 PM
  #11  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 8,429

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2294 Post(s)
Liked 1,250 Times in 856 Posts
Any tube that isn't a standard tube is not worth the time. If the tube comes with goo inside you really don't want it. The only thing that should have goo inside of it is a lava lamp or a jelly doughnut. (ok a few other things but not tubes) The only time to go with a fancy tube is if you are running open tubular tires and want to maximize things by using a latex tube or a lightweight rubber to save a touch of weight but I don't. A normal butyl tube is just fine.

If the tubes do hold air you can stick with them but it is never a bad thing for a refresh after a period of time.
veganbikes is offline  
Likes For veganbikes:
Old 02-12-21, 03:19 PM
  #12  
gsa103
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,401

Bikes: Bianchi Infinito (Celeste, of course)

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 752 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
I tried those slime tubes on my MTB thinking wow! no more flats. Not true. And every time I tried to check tire pressures I got a S..T load of slime in my tire gauge. Then one day I was unable to check the pressures because the valve cores were solid as a rock and there wasn't going to be any air going in or out of them-NOT GOOD. I hit a patch of goat heads in a county park when I went off trail and no longer have or will ever have slime tubes again. My opinion and experience. Other people's may be different.
I tried them as well because I ride with goat heads. They will self-seal enough to get you home, but not more than that. The flex between the tire & tube means that the sealant can't properly seal, so you have a slow leak anytime you ride after the initial puncture. The goat head usually resulted in a slow leak anyway, so no real advantage. I switched to properly tubeless and it's a much different experience, because the sealant seals the tire.

But for the average rider on good roads, standard tubes. My commuter bike has standard tubes, road and mountain bikes are both tubeless.
gsa103 is offline  
Likes For gsa103:
Old 02-12-21, 07:09 PM
  #13  
RandomLetters98
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I have to use Slime where I live. The only alternative is kevlar tyres.

Its water soluble so adding water to the tube makes it more effective. Of course, you can't do that with Presta valves.
RandomLetters98 is offline  
Old 02-12-21, 07:12 PM
  #14  
RandomLetters98
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
And every time I tried to check tire pressures I got a S..T load of slime in my tire gauge.
You have to pump the tyre with the valve at the 12 o'çlock position otherwise it will block the valve.
RandomLetters98 is offline  
Old 02-12-21, 07:42 PM
  #15  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 8,429

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame, Ti 26 MTB

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2294 Post(s)
Liked 1,250 Times in 856 Posts
Originally Posted by RandomLetters98 View Post
I have to use Slime where I live. The only alternative is kevlar tyres.

Its water soluble so adding water to the tube makes it more effective. Of course, you can't do that with Presta valves.
Where do you live that you need to use goo in your tubes? Some place where pumping tires is banned on Tuesdays or are high quality tires not allowed or are your roads literally paved with broken glass and tacks? A thick heavy tire like a Schwalbe Marathon Plus would certainly do the trick if I was getting flats along with making sure I am properly inflating my tires and using the widest tires I can fit in my frame would work wonders even in some really nasty conditions. People tour the world on those tires and do pretty darn well. We have a lot of folks riding heavy e-bikes on them with few issues.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 02-14-21, 01:34 PM
  #16  
epnnf
Senior Member
 
epnnf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 220

Bikes: 2016 Masi strada vita due, 2019 Kona Dew Plus

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 156 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 20 Posts
Are the tires 25yo? I would replace them no matter what they look like.
epnnf is offline  
Old 02-14-21, 01:39 PM
  #17  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4,611

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1765 Post(s)
Liked 524 Times in 311 Posts
Someone forgot to add in the blacklight posters with the lava lamps.
trailangel is offline  
Old 02-14-21, 02:49 PM
  #18  
Litespud
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Chapel Hill NC
Posts: 1,307

Bikes: 2000 Litespeed Vortex Chorus 10, 1995 DeBernardi Cromor S/S, Nashbar 3sp commuter

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 490 Post(s)
Liked 514 Times in 288 Posts
Originally Posted by RandomLetters98 View Post
You have to pump the tyre with the valve at the 12 o'çlock position otherwise it will block the valve.
pump the tires at any position you like, as the incoming air will clear the valve barrel of any residual sealant, but if you’re checking the pressure sometime thereafter, I would have the valves at 6 o’clock to allow residual sealant to drain out - otherwise the brief air release will blow the sealant right into the gauge.
Litespud is offline  
Old 02-14-21, 02:50 PM
  #19  
Bimmer69
Senior Member
 
Bimmer69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 11 Posts
I will sheepishly admit I added slime to a set of my tires for long distance rides.

The combination of Ambrosio rims and Continental tires makes it extremely difficult to remove the tire in case of need for repair.
I need 3-4 high quality tire levers to get the tire off, and then at least 4 to remount it. At the end I’m sweaty and exhausted.
Can’t imagine doing that on a ride, so I’m willing to take the trade offs.
Bimmer69 is offline  
Old 02-14-21, 03:15 PM
  #20  
Bigbus
Very Senior Member
 
Bigbus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Always on the Run
Posts: 1,103

Bikes: Giant Quasar & Fuji Roubaix

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 362 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 205 Posts
It didn't seem to matter where I had the valve positioned, there was always some residual slime in the core and it eventually dried up and caked up and no more air passed into or out of the valve. We're talking about Presta valves, not Shrader's. I never had any problems with slime and Shrader valves.
Bigbus is offline  
Old 02-15-21, 07:41 PM
  #21  
Solo_rider
Senior Member
 
Solo_rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I once bought a so-called self-sealing tube -and same brand- at Walmart and no joke within 2 hours of riding I had a flat. Took it off the wheel, put it back in its box and took it back to Walmart and just bought a regular tube.
Solo_rider is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.