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jharte 10-18-04 08:33 AM

OK, I've noticed quite a few threads, replies, and comments about getting flats. Maybe I'm naive but I've been using Slime (even some generic stuff) and haven't had a flat in many years and many hundreds of miles. Anyone had a bad experience with it? I commute and tour and usually log several thousand miles each year. Even in the winter using my home-made studded snows I use Slime. So far no flats. (I'm sure I just jinxed this year!) Just curious.

westman2003 10-18-04 08:35 AM

What is slime?

jharte 10-18-04 08:39 AM

I don't know what the chemical make-up is but it's sort of like fix-a-flat for bicycle inner tubes. It is a gel material that is supposed to seep throught a hole in the tube and seal it. Someone here probably knows what it's made of. I just know I've had pretty good luck with it.

PaulH 10-18-04 08:51 AM

Slime has not worked well for me. Furthermore, the resulting mess is almost more of a hassle than the flat itself. I suppose that it works in certain circumstances, but not in mine. On the other hand, some things do work well. I got at least an order of magnitude improvement in flats per thousand miles when I switched to Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Tuffies also seem to help, but to a much lesser extent.

What do you find are your typical flat sources? I suspect the efficacity of Slime depends a lot on this.


ngateguy 10-18-04 08:52 AM

My problem has been presta valves. All my bikes are presta and I have yet to find any thet work. even after being told by LBS that they would work. ANyone have a tip or two?

520commuter 10-18-04 09:19 AM

You could always buy the pre-slimed presta tubes...

madhouse 10-18-04 10:45 AM

Speaking from a LBS mechanic stand point... Slime Sucks! We reluctantly sold the stuff. It does stop/slow many small leaks. It certainly isn't a cure-all and it is a mess if it doesn't seal. I know of bike shops that won't change a tire/tube if they contain the stuff.

Personal rant. Many people like the stuff. I DO NOT!

John Ridley 10-18-04 12:00 PM

I bought a new bike, a Giant Cypress, this spring. I have 1800 miles on it. It came from the factory with Kendas with Slime in them. I've taken one puncture so far this year, a standard construction staple (from an Arrow staple gun). I pulled the staple out within 30 seconds of getting it. The green stuff started coming out at once; I rotated the tire so the puncture was on the bottom. 5 minutes later, the tire was flat. I pumped it up again, it went flat again.

Supposedly, Slime can seal up to a 1/8" puncture. In this case, it couldn't seal two 1/32" x 1/64" punctures 1/2" apart. About all it did was slime up the tube, so I had to clean the crud off before putting on a proper patch.

When I replace the tubes, it will NOT be with slime-filled ones.

Portis 10-18-04 12:37 PM

2 Attachment(s)
What is Slime?

My experience:

6,000 miles in last 11 months on mainly unpaved roads. (MTB) A lot of stickers (goat heads), thorns etc. around here. I have had only two flats that I had to stop and change. I have had probably 6 other punctures that i was aware of that slime sealed on it's own and allowed me to ride on home.

I have probably had 30 other punctures judging by the looks of tubes i have removed from my bikes. Slime usually seals them without me even knowing it!!

Messy? NO! I can remove the valve core and the tube and get virtually not a drop of it on me. If i don get a drop of it on me, i simply wipe it away with a towel.

Verdict: If you would rather spend time riding your bike rather than sitting on the side of the road, fixing a flat, than run slime or goo. If you would rather have to stop every once in awhile and patch a tube or replace it, then don't.

I ride in some very adverse conditions. Often it is below freezing and pitch black out. These are not conditions for trying to do tire repair!

rykoala 10-18-04 12:59 PM

Here's a vote FOR slime. And for puncture resistant tubes. I commute on rather crappy roads and so I was getting flats all too frequently. I bought puncture resistant tubes and put slime in them (had the LBS do it, from their bulk container) and haven't had one flat since. For me it was worth it.

Michel Gagnon 10-18-04 01:23 PM

[QUOTE=madhouse]Speaking from a LBS mechanic stand point... Slime Sucks! We reluctantly sold the stuff. .... I know of bike shops that won't change a tire/tube if they contain the stuff.[QUOTE]

Why? I understand that slime is a bit messy and makes it very hard to repair the tube. But is this a problem if you simply toss out the old tube and install a new one?

BTW, I have never used slime and get on average 0,5-2 flats per year, but I don't live in a got-head region. As a tourer, I prefer to be able to easily repair my flats, but if I lived in gothead country, I might think otherwise.

jharte 10-18-04 02:22 PM

I know it is tought to get any kind of sealant into a presta valve. During a tour from Denver to Manitou Springs to Kansas City, I rode a 1982 Specialized Expedition. The Expedition had presta tubes and I did got the 'goathead' flats accross Kansas. I went through two patch kits (8 patches) and two new tubes. I walked my bike to a small town where, over a couple of beers, we managed to get some fix-a-flat into my presta valves. Yup, it was pretty messy. I ride all of my commuters/tourers with schrader valves and deal with the things that come with schraders. I've had good luck with the Slime so far. I also don't run high pressure. This might be part of my success.

super-douper 10-18-04 02:57 PM

like 520commuter i've seen those presta tubes that are pre-slimed, but on the slime website it says you should puncture your presta tube and shove the slime bottle in there, then patch it. Kind of odd that to save yourself from patching you have to...well...patch...

Here's the link:

ngateguy 10-18-04 03:52 PM

A goat head tip I learned doing a cross country trip in Eastern Washington. Take a 2 pieces of leather thong and tie it off your frame so it hangs just above your rear and front tire it knocks the things off before they can do any damage. It really works :D

jharte 10-19-04 06:31 AM

That's pretty interesting about the leather thong. Years ago someone made a thing called a tire saver that did the same thing. This 'tire saver' was a small spring steel wire that was attached to the fork fender bolt and was contoured around the tire. Same purpose. I like the leather thong idea. Thanks! :D

shetbag 10-19-04 07:56 PM

yeah, toss out the old tube, try to stop yourself from barfing because your hands are covered in a white goup, try to stop yourself from swearing, waste a rag or two wiping the diarrhea-like ooze out of the old tire, THEN find the puncture, then throw in a new one. slime is the bane of my existence. and i've only had to deal with it twice.

AndrewP 10-19-04 09:26 PM

Slime doesnt work above 60 psi. So use it if you are MTB, but for road or thinner touring tires use tougher constructed tires, tire liners and heavier tubes to reduce flats.

froze 10-19-04 10:11 PM

Slime in road tires will not work. Once the tire pressure exceeds about 60psi the slime sealant will blow out of even the smallest of holes. On MTB it works great, but don't bother on road bikes. Also while this green slime is blowing out of your hole, it's making a slimy mess of the inside of your rim; and if that was not enough, the presta valves that Slime tubes use are pure trash.

I use to live for about 15 years in Goathead country (the Mojave desert area of California) and I tried Slime tubes and liners. For some reason the goatheads could sometimes penetrate a liner. The only thing I found that would survive repeated goathead attacks was the Specialize Armadillo tires.

There is a tube made by Specialize called the AirLock which has sealant and is suppose to be better then Slime, but I've never used it so I can't attest to it's abilities. But why bother with a sealant tube when the Armadillo tire works? And all I use for tubes in those tires is the Specialize Turbo 65grm tube with no liner.

EastKY 10-20-04 07:16 AM

My experience was a new hybrid bike, a nice low-traffic shoulder that runs 5 miles to the next little burg, but is somewhat littered, so there were 3 flats (2 separate tubes) within the space of a week in early September.

So I went with Bike Nashbar brand slime filled tubes and NO flats since. None, nada, zip, zilch, zed, zero, N-O-N-E. Hey, beat this horse to double-death, but I'm sold on 'em. That stuff works in my hybrid.

John Ridley 10-20-04 08:05 AM

Good info that slime doesn't work at higher pressures. Interesting that Giant puts it in hybrid tires with an 80 PSI max pressure. I might as well get those tubes out and save a half a pound of weight.

scrantr 10-20-04 10:57 AM

Originally Posted by jharte
Years ago someone made a thing called a tire saver that did the same thing. This 'tire saver' was a small spring steel wire that was attached to the fork fender bolt and was contoured around the tire. Same purpose.

An old tourist trick was to take an old, tired spoke and bend it into a triangle with a curved side. The curved side drags lightly over the tread of the tire, and the opposite corner is wrapped around the brake bolt. I haven't seen anyone do it in years. It's a little fussy getting it to work along with fenders.

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