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Product Review -- Slime Tubes

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Product Review -- Slime Tubes

Old 07-19-10, 06:24 AM
  #1  
BiketoFeel
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Product Review -- Slime Tubes

Iíve been biking in Memphis for more than three years now. One thing is for certain when commuting in Memphis ó youíll get lots of flats. Street cleaning is minimal, broken bottles abundant and invisible shards of shredded steel-belted radials are everywhere. When I was using my road bike to commute I chose the expensive yet very tough Specialized Armadillo tires. The Armadillos were a pretty good tire and prevented most flats. They once even deflected an 1/8 inch drill bit which lodged in the rubber of the tire and spun around a few times scoring my frame ó but no flat. However, the Armadillo was no match for the shredded steel-belted radials.

I switched to my mountain bike after a year on the road bike so I could take to the sidewalk on the busiest road I traveled. Slicks were out of the question since I often road in wet weather and in grassy areas. Nobbies were the answer for me. It allowed for good traction in all conditions and kept the casing and tube further off the ground and away from the road cacti. Despite the choice of nobbies, flats were still a common occurrence. Thatís when I decided to switch to a Slime-filled tube on the rear tire.

I have not had a flat with the 26″ Slime tubes after about 2500 miles of commuting on them. I did have a puncture once that I heard and for which I stopped. It didnít appear that the tube was sealing so I passed my finger over the hole as the Slime was seeping out. Upon doing this, the leak stopped and I havenít done anything with it since.

It is noticeably different riding the Slime tubes. Mostly, they make you noticeably slower. These things do not roll well. However, since Iím so tired of flatting after 3 years, Iím willing to sacrifice the performance. And, I only use the Slime tube on the rear wheel as it flats far more frequently than the front.

Iíve also recently started riding a 700C Slime tube on my road bike. My first long distance ride in a while resulted in two flats on the Slime tube. One flat resulted from a small, sharp unidentifiable object. After several attempts at reinflating the tire, I was able to get about 80psi in the tire ó just enough for me to reach the half-way point stop. However, prior to arriving at the stop, the tube flatted again. This time it was an all-to-common steel-belted tire shard. Although only a pin prick hole, I could not get the tube to hold pressure and I was forced to install my spare tube. Pulling the Slime tube was fun to say the least. First thereís the green goop everywhere, which happens, burns like hell when you get it in any open sore. Then, trying to fold the Slime tube up into a reasonable size to stuff in my Camelback proved almost impossible since the Slime seals the valve rendering it impossible to fully deflate the tube.

Conclusion: Slime-filled tubes work well for lower pressure tires like MTB tires but they do not suffice for high pressure tires. Thus, donít buy the 700C Slime-filled tubes.

MTB Slime Tubes Rating: 4 Disabled UDVs
700C Slime Tubes Rating: 1 Disabled UDV (Undesirable Vehicle)

https://www.biketofeel.com/product-re...-filled-tubes/
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Old 07-19-10, 11:10 AM
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Hi. Thanks for taking the time to write up the review of your experience!

At the risk of being annoying, I did want to clarify something you wrote - "Slicks were out of the question since I often road in wet weather and in grassy areas."

It is true that if you're riding in the wet *and* in the dirt, especially loose or muddy dirt, that knobbies will give you better traction. However, counter-intuitively, knobbies give you *worse* traction -
1. On dry pavement
2. On wet pavement
3. In my experience it's about the same between a fat knobby and a fat slick on dry grass. I personally ride my 23c road tires over sections of dry grass on a semi-regular basis, and even though they're skinny road tires they've worked well.

The reason is that on looser material (loose dirt, mud, etc) the knobs can dig into the soil and provide traction. On pavement, they can't dig in - pavement isn't flexible. So the knobs just mean that less of the tire is in contact with the road. If you're looking for a source other than me, Sheldon Brown has said something similar.

I agree with this "Nobbies...kept the casing and tube further off the ground and away from the road cacti" though a flat-resistant slick is probably better than a "cheap" knobby...which probably isn't as good as a good flat resistant knobby.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That is some *crazy* road conditions if you're still constantly flatting with Armadillo's! lol Holy cow...sure makes me appreciate my well-swept routes.
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Old 07-19-10, 11:27 AM
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I don't know about the slime tubes but I did put 4oz of slime in each of my tubes and I haven't had a flat since. I was averaging about 1 every 2 weeks.
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Old 07-20-10, 09:56 AM
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The only trick to slime filled tubes is that the goo eventually dries out. Maybe 2 years or so of effective sealing.
I LOVE 'em! I see/hear goatheads stick in my Kenda Qwests, I put my shoe against the tire to pop the goatheads out, and just keep riding. Perfect for goatheads on lower PSI (<60) tires. Heavy? yes. About the same as a Mr. Tuffy I guess but easier to install/maintain.

I usually use TRUE GOO instead of slime mainly because it is a Colorado product and I'm a Colorado kind of American shopper.
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Old 07-20-10, 10:37 AM
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What about tire liners or some tougher tires?
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Old 07-20-10, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
What about tire liners or some tougher tires?
The OP said he used Armadillo tires - there's not much that's more flat-resistant than an Armadillo, unless...I know there's several different versions, unless he got a version that was less flat resistant than the Armadillo I'm thinking of.

From what I've read the only tire I know of that might be tougher is the Schwalbe Marathon Plus (they have a Marathon Plus MTB version to). But even that's a matter of some debate - both the Schwalbe's and the Armadillo's are in the "flat resistant as it gets" category.
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Old 07-20-10, 02:32 PM
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I did some looking, I can't seem to locate a good description of the Armadillo puncture protection. Schwalbe does a pretty good job of explaining the Smart Guard puncture protection:

https://www.schwalbetires.com/node/943

The only way to guarantee that you don't get a flat, is to use a solid tire. Not many people believe that this is a good option. The next best thing (IMO) is our Marathon Plus. This in no way means any disrespect to the other brands.
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Old 07-20-10, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kojak View Post
I did some looking, I can't seem to locate a good description of the Armadillo puncture protection. Schwalbe does a pretty good job of explaining the Smart Guard puncture protection:

https://www.schwalbetires.com/node/943

The only way to guarantee that you don't get a flat, is to use a solid tire. Not many people believe that this is a good option. The next best thing (IMO) is our Marathon Plus. This in no way means any disrespect to the other brands.
Explanations can be interesting, yet.

But I haven't found much of a correlation between a companies ability to produce an interesting sounding "explanation" of how their tire, bike frame, etc works and the quality of their product, so I don't think Specialized's lack of a description is any indication of their flat resistance. The Panaracer TServ tires that I have yet to have a puncture on (knock on wood) don't have hardly any explanation for them, but they've worked great. I prefer some sort of ranking or explanation, but in fact I've found that when a company has a really in-depth and compelling information written about their product, there's a certain correlation with that and their product being crap and sales based on emotional pull and overblown marketing.

That being said, from the opinions I've heard the Schwalbe Marathon Plus's have a very good reputation as either one of the most, or the most, flat resistant tire you can buy short of a solid tire (which have an enormous list of serious drawbacks). Like all extremely-flat-resistant tires, the Marathon Plus's also have a reputation for being slower rolling and harsher riding than less flat resistant tires (but also really, really long lasting). Specialized Armadillo's have a similar reputation - Schwalbe's may have a somewhat better ride, there seems to be a slight preference for the Schwalbe's over the Armadillo's, though that's the original Armadillo's and I know they've made changes.

If the OP has the money, it would probably be worth it to try out the Marathon Plus's (or to try them out when the current tires wear out). But the Armadillo's are generally a very flat resistant tire themselves as well (or at least per their reputation).
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Old 07-20-10, 04:17 PM
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Like I said, I mean no disrespect to the Armadillo or any other tire. For me it is nice to know how something works and the materials used that allow it to work that way.
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Old 07-20-10, 05:00 PM
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i put a slime tube in on my road bike.....and pulled it 2 weeks later.....I kept getting green goo in the pump...even when I positioned the stem as instructed.......(10 oclock if I remember right)

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Old 07-21-10, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kojak View Post
Like I said, I mean no disrespect to the Armadillo or any other tire. For me it is nice to know how something works and the materials used that allow it to work that way.
lol, well I'm not trying to attack you I'm really not, but I'll start putting weight into a description of how a tire works when it includes formula's for the compounds used and step-by-step instructional videos on how to assemble one myself in my garage.

And even assuming that the descriptions are honest, often they are not accurate for various reasons - they go out of date and no one updates them, or there's "trade secrets" that the company doesn't want published, etc etc.

I find descriptions interesting, I do. And often they influence my decisions on what to buy. But they're always secondary to real world experience, which if it can be quantified and compared is always far more valuable.
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