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Self Sealing Inner Tubes

Old 03-13-13, 10:28 AM
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Self Sealing Inner Tubes

Hello, just wondering what you all think of self sealing inner tubes. In the past 2 weeks I've had 3 flats, so my decision of wanting to try the Self Sealing Inner Tubes was urging me to see how it goes. The brands I've seen so far is Bell and Slime, I've bought a Bell and so far is good...but I need your feedback on this cause I have heard good and bad things about this inner tubes.

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-13-13, 10:39 AM
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A lot depends on where you ride and what is causing flats. I use kevlar-belted tires on all bikes, stay out of the gutter and watch where I'm going. This helps keep flats to a minimum. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with things like goat heads around here. If I did to any extent, I might be looking at tire liners and/or self sealing tubes.

Also, make sure you are getting whatever caused the flat out of your tire when you make the repair. That, and running tires that are worn thin, can lead to recurring flats.
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Old 03-13-13, 11:14 AM
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I had Slime blow back into a pump and the pump was never the same.
IF you are in an area that's prone to flats, get flat resistant tires.
IF VERY flat prone, add the tire liners.
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Old 03-13-13, 01:13 PM
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My experience with self-sealing tubes and add on tire liners, have left me with some impressions and general rules of thumb.

The air pressure you run your tires at, will have a lot to do with how well the sealant and/or liners work for you.

With the trend being that as the recommended pressure rating of the tire increases beyond the 60/70-ish psi point the less satisfactory your experience will be.

There WILL be a point where if you put in enough mileage that there will be a puncture that the sealant will not be able to cope with (again with increasing air pressure the smaller the puncture this point is reached), then you will have a mess to clean up before you can install a new tube. The punctured tube is not repairable.

Be aware that there is also a shelf life for the sealant which is reduced if the bike is not used on a regular basis (example being a three season commuter which spends the *off season* sitting around) as the sealant settles in the lowest point.

Last edited by HvPnyrs; 03-13-13 at 02:37 PM. Reason: format
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Old 03-13-13, 07:07 PM
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I have my front tire with sealant in it. So far, no flats in it.

The rear tire has a "thorn resistant" tube, Sunlite brand. A bit small for my tire according to the box but it does work without any issues. Haven't had it a week, though, so no idea how it'll hold up. It's a tough sucker, though, compared to the stock tube I pulled out. Like a bloody garden hose.

I've been considering the kevlar lining myself, as there's quite a bit of broken glass in some places of "The Park", but I don't know anything about them.

M.
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Old 03-13-13, 08:21 PM
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Thorn resistant tubes, Here.. Running 406 wheels the weight penalty is not much..
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Old 03-14-13, 08:59 AM
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I prefer to keep spare tubes, a patch kit and a good pump with me all the time. I had a badluck streak of 10-12 flats in the same month last year so now I'm very good and very quick to replace/patch a tube. I didn't get any flats since then anyway.

Did you check on the tube where the punctures are? I discovered last year that I was pinching the tube between the tire and rim when I was mounting the tire back on the rim, weakening the tube or creating slowleaks, I was causing most of my flats.

Last edited by dramiscram; 03-14-13 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-14-13, 07:36 PM
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Different self sealing tubes and different sealants use different chemistries so it depends. Stans No Flats and Zefal use a latex liquid that has a life of about six months. Slime recommends their 'product' be replaced every 2 years. Flat Attack guarantees their 'product' for FIVE years.

Am currently running Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (anti-flat tires) with Michlin Protek Max tubes (self sealing) and Maxxis Hookworms and Geax Tattoos with Flat Attack in the inner tubes. Self sealing tubes do tend to hold their air longer between top-ups. Aside from that - nothing to report - as in no flats in three years. Can't say if I've been lucky or if the 'insurance' paid off, but I currently don't carry a repair kit, and just got back in from a 120km outing.
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Old 03-14-13, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton
I currently don't carry a repair kit, and just got back in from a 120km outing.






You're braver then me.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:12 PM
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I hate slime. But I use it during late summer. Goatheads you know.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:18 PM
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Wasn't aware that goatheads were a thing so I googled them.

WOAH. Screw that. Steel tires it is.

M.
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Old 03-15-13, 07:41 AM
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Keep your tires inflated fully. You won't continue to get flats at that high rate. You were either unlucky, which will straighten itself out, or your tires were under-inflated. Don't buy specialized equipment to prevent flats. It's more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 03-15-13, 07:57 AM
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I used self-sealing tubes for a few years. At first I thought they were pretty great, but I eventually gave up. The problems I encountered were:

--can't run very high pressure
--sealant dries in the valve so you can't inflate the tire
--sealant is messy stuff when it gets out (especially when it gets into the pump, as already noted)
--sealant prevents regular patches from sticking, even when there isn't enough of it to seal a puncture

I carry a patch kit and pump and an extra tube that I only deploy if I can't patch the puncture right away. I'll usually pull the tube out of the tire and patch it without bothering to remove the wheel. Patching tubes is a skill worth maintaining. Get out of practice, and you'll be in trouble!
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Old 03-15-13, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by dramiscram






You're braver then me.
Maybe not. I have noticed that changing a flat on an ebike in a long, complicated, expensive process that no ebike rider is going to undertake by the side of the road. So the ebike companies we work with already moved to Schwalbe Marathon tires and heavy duty self sealing tubes. The combination is expensive, heavier than regular tire/tube combinations - and is remarkably effective. Since it actually pays for itself the first time a flat is avoided - it makes sense. Flats on ebikes are becoming a rarity.

So I just upped the ante and spent more money on lighter tires and tubes with the same level of flat protection. Slightly heavier than the regular skinny tires and tubes most people run on, but not if you subtract the spares and tools I DON'T carry. Then I'm ahead. More expensive? Yup! Less than what many people spend on beer or cigarettes or grass every month though and none of that is in my budget.

How are things up north? Still cold in the city but the snow is receeding and I've dumped the studded tires myself.
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Old 03-15-13, 03:35 PM
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No need, if your riding on these...

https://mashable.com/2012/11/03/tires-airless/

What if they can figure out, how to harness the energy of the sidewall flex, into a usable energy source to power lights and such? Now, that would be really cool!

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Old 03-15-13, 04:04 PM
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I had trouble in the past with tire liners; they wore holes in the tube over time where the overlap step is.
Right now, I take the overkill approach and it works well, but is heavy and slower.
Thick thorn resistant tubes with Slime inside (schrader valves),
Kevlar belted Schwalbe tires
65PSI in a 1.9"x26" tire

I'm trying to avoid flats, I do not like fixing them in the dark, or in some neighborhoods.
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Old 03-17-13, 11:03 PM
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I have used slime tubes and like them well enough. There were times where I came out at the end of the day to head home and I had a flat or half flat, broke out the pump and pumped it up and it sealed it self up and never had a problem until the next flat. For the larger holes I was able to just wipe away the slime that was on the outside of the tube and tire and patch with the slime self stick patches. I also always carry an extra regular tube for a quick change if necessary. It sure was nice to be able to just pump the tire up at the end of a long day, or a cold early am instead of having to change out the tube.
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Old 03-18-13, 12:12 AM
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If God had intended for Man to ride bikes that don't get flats, He would have made us strong enough to pedal tires that are not puncture-vulnerable. He didn't, so we have to fix flats from time to time. We should get used to the idea and stop trying to prevent flats.
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Old 03-18-13, 12:19 AM
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There have been foam plastic tires for many years.. but like above , great, if you ride for a workout.
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Old 03-18-13, 09:18 AM
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Oh wow thanks guys, with all your experience and advice I've got a pretty good idea now what it could work for me in the future.

So far the self sealing tubes I've got for my bike has gone well, I did notice a bit of a difference when you are riding the bike, it seems a little heavier but nothing of major concern in my part. As long as I don't have a flat and stay in the middle of no where trying to fix a tube I'm ok. I just want to get home and then I can fix anything that is need it to keep my bike in good condition to ride the next day.

I did went to a bike shop and they recommend me the Mr. Tuffy Ultra Light Liner but I had no idea until I read this thread and then make my research about them, the guy at the store said it would help allot but I don't want my bike to be heavy to ride...and that is what buzzbee is saying...and I quote:

"I had trouble in the past with tire liners; they wore holes in the tube over time where the overlap step is.
Right now, I take the overkill approach and it works well, but is heavy and slower.
Thick thorn resistant tubes with Slime inside (schrader valves),
Kevlar belted Schwalbe tires
65PSI in a 1.9"x26" tire

I'm trying to avoid flats, I do not like fixing them in the dark, or in some neighborhoods."


So I don't know I might get them, the ultra Light the guy at the store said they will install them for free, so I'm planning to get a new front tire and then install those things...don't know yet but I'll keep you post it.

Thank you!!!!
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Old 03-18-13, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by EmeralDQueen
As long as I don't have a flat and stay in the middle of no where trying to fix a tube I'm ok.
I know it's not fun to be stuck at night fixing a flat in the dark, I did it a few times. I, like all of us, do all I can to avoid flats and since my badluck streak last spring I've been almost 10000 kms without a flat but I still keep my flat repair kit in a small saddle bag. My kit contains tools, 2 tubes, a small frontal light and a patch kit. It weight about 1 1/2 pound (guessing here) and I don't go without it
I firmly believe that fixing flats on the side of the road is something every cyclist should be able to do.
Last summer I repaired flats for desperates cyclists twice but if everyone could fix their own flat I wouldn't be able to make new friend as easily.
But that's just me
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