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Self-sealing tubes? Thorn-proof tubes?

Old 09-14-09, 01:02 PM
  #1  
AcornMan
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Self-sealing tubes? Thorn-proof tubes?

OK, this is getting ridiculous. I've had six flats in the past week. One was because I didn't install the tube correctly, but the others have all been small punctures. I've turned the tires inside out and gone over every inch of them to find any thorns that might be sticking through on the inside, and I used an air compressor to clean the surfaces of the wheels and tires before installing tubes.

So, is it worth spending the extra money to buy tubes that are supposed to be more rugged? The two I'm aware of are what my LBS described as thorn-proof or thorn-resistant, which looked and felt like they're just thicker rubber. Then at Wal-Mart I noticed they sell a couple different kinds of self-sealing tubes (I think one was called "Slime"). Any thoughts on these special tubes?

My tires have less than 1000 miles on them, so surely I don't need new ones already.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:25 PM
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The slime technology works. But if you get an actual tear or big hole you have a mess.

Anything you do to make things more thorn proof do cost, either in $ or effeciency.

Best bang for the buck is getting CHEAPER tubes. Expensive tubes are made to be as light as possible, so they have a delicate tolerance. Cheap tubes are thick tubes.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:33 PM
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check to see if your rim tape has shifted and correct or retape. I have found the puncture resistant tubes to be too heavy and haven't tried the slime products. Experiment with air pressure maybe running more less - not sure type of riding your doing etc.
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Old 09-14-09, 01:54 PM
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Colleague of mine had the Slime filled tubes and they work. Eventually he got a puncture that did not seal so it was out with the tube to repair- but it could not be done. He had 8 holes in the tube already and it had sealed itself but where the sealant had leaked- it had stuck to the tyre. Tried to get the goo off the tyre but after an hour- he just bought a conventional tube and tyre.
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Old 09-14-09, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
The slime technology works. But if you get an actual tear or big hole you have a mess.

Anything you do to make things more thorn proof do cost, either in $ or effeciency.

Best bang for the buck is getting CHEAPER tubes. Expensive tubes are made to be as light as possible, so they have a delicate tolerance. Cheap tubes are thick tubes.
Yes, but you are missing something here. Unless you are doing some very long rides, and are very quick at fixing flats, it is entirely possible to spend more time doing repairs than riding. If you are commuting, you could well be late for work or late fore dinner - not to say one is better than the other. By the way, Pyramid thorn resistant tubes are neither thin nor cheap.
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Old 09-14-09, 02:10 PM
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By the way, AcornMan, I see you are from Manhattat. The old family homestead was just down the road from you, not far outside of Onaga.

My opinion on flats is to defend against them with the tire. I use a Schwalbe Marathon DD in front, and some other kevlar thing in the rear. After experiences similar to yours, I tried all other solutions mentioned, and this is what worked for me.
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Old 09-14-09, 02:48 PM
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The first question to ask is "Where are the flats happening?" and "What's causing the flats"?

If they're happening on the inside of the tube (the part that rests up against the tire) that's one entirely different problem that may be caused by bad rim tape, or a metal burr on the inside of the wheel, or to low of tire pressure. Sounds like you've already looked into that, but I wanted to mention it.

If they're on the outside of the tube that faces the tire, and you're checked that there's nothing sticking through the tire, buying a more puncture resistant tire is a way better option than trying to buy a more puncture resistant tube.

I don't know what kind of road stuff you run into in Kansas. If it's not excessive, a Panaracer Pasela with TourGuard tire, or a Continental Gatorskin are popular options for flat-resistant tires that ride pretty much the same as your normal tires, they just cost somewhat more, but are much more puncture resistant.

If you really really having trouble with flats (perhaps there's lots of "goatheads" in your area, or a ton of broken glass and stuff) you could get a heavy duty flat resistant tire like the Schwalbe Marathon's. They'll be super flat resistant, but are heavy and roll slower than your regular tire.

I haven't heard any good things about the effectiveness of thicker tubes or slime tubes (well, what I've heard is that they're a mixed bag - they fix some flats, but make other flats nearly impossible to fix).

Last edited by PaulRivers; 09-14-09 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 09-15-09, 02:36 PM
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The scooter,motorcycle,auto and truck forums swear by Ultraseal.Most of the members in the forums had used slime prior but with limited success.I hear Ultraseal will stop 99% of punctures and if a puncture does happen,it will seal immediately.I would think a bike tire would be child play for Ultraseal.
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Old 09-15-09, 03:31 PM
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That's interesting, Tim. If both bikes didn't use Presta valves, I would make a note of it.
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Old 09-15-09, 09:59 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
That's interesting, Tim. If both bikes didn't use Presta valves, I would make a note of it.
I usually "make" my own Presta Slime tubes. I run the tube until it gets a puncture or I've even purposely punctured a few old tubes and then use that hole as the spot to inject the Slime liquid. Usually the punture has to be enlarged slightly. The after the sealant goes in, I put a patch over the hole. They work great.
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Old 09-15-09, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim2 View Post
The scooter,motorcycle,auto and truck forums swear by Ultraseal.Most of the members in the forums had used slime prior but with limited success.I hear Ultraseal will stop 99% of punctures and if a puncture does happen,it will seal immediately.I would think a bike tire would be child play for Ultraseal.
What happens when the object is still stuck in the tube or tire?
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Old 09-22-09, 11:43 AM
  #12  
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Here is the grades of Ultraseal.This stuff will seal off any size puncture a bike would happen across.


Highway Performance
For use in automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles. Seals punctures up to 3/16Ó (5mm).

Commercial/Industrial
For use in medium to large trucks, trailers and equipment or applications where additional protection is required. Seals punctures up to 1/4" (6mm). Not recommended for passenger cars or small diameter tires traveling at highway speeds.

Xtreme Heavy Duty (XHD)
For use in large trucks, trailers, equipment and OTR applications where maximum protection is required. Seals punctures up to 1/2" (12mm).

Cool Seal/Porosity Sealer
For use in all tires to lock in air pressure and promote cooler operation
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Old 09-22-09, 01:11 PM
  #13  
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I use the performance thorn resistant tubes in my commuter/errand bike and have only had one puncture in three years. They are heavy as hell and couldn't patch the tube to take a patch after several tries. Other than that they are great highly recommend.
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Old 09-22-09, 01:19 PM
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I haven't read a single reply...

I thought I lived in the "goat-head capital" apparently not...

SUNLITE puncture resistant tubes...

$9.99 at my LBS... since running them NO FLATS and NO SLIME...

win win...
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Old 09-22-09, 06:10 PM
  #15  
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Depends on where you live and what road/vegetation conditions you have to ride through. In some desert areas, I've seen people go all out with armadillo/marathon plus tires with Mr Tuffy's/liners and thorn resistant tubes with slime/sealer. That's a lot of extra weight.

Wal*Mart sells 2 types of slime brand/filled tubes. One of them is the thicker HD/thorn resistant tube and may only come in MTN bike tire sizes...so you have to read the label to get the tube thickness you want and beware of people switching out tubes. They also carry the Bell brand tubes with sealant and some feel the sealant in those tubes is better/thicker.

If you have a road bike and want to use/add your favorite sealant, buy tubes that have a removable presta core. Some feel slime is too thin to be effective in high pressure tubes.

In the end, you have to decide whether or not the weight penalty is worth it or not and how far/much 'flat prevention' is needed.
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Old 09-22-09, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AcornMan View Post
OK, this is getting ridiculous. I've had six flats in the past week. One was because I didn't install the tube correctly, but the others have all been small punctures. I've turned the tires inside out and gone over every inch of them to find any thorns that might be sticking through on the inside, and I used an air compressor to clean the surfaces of the wheels and tires before installing tubes.

So, is it worth spending the extra money to buy tubes that are supposed to be more rugged? The two I'm aware of are what my LBS described as thorn-proof or thorn-resistant, which looked and felt like they're just thicker rubber. Then at Wal-Mart I noticed they sell a couple different kinds of self-sealing tubes (I think one was called "Slime"). Any thoughts on these special tubes?

My tires have less than 1000 miles on them, so surely I don't need new ones already.
If you REALLY want to stop getting flats, check here:-

https://www.bikemania.biz/Airless_No_...ires_s/173.htm

I have used tires like this for about 10 years and they work VERY well for me.
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Old 07-29-15, 01:29 AM
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DIY extra thick bicycle inner tubes

Originally Posted by AcornMan View Post
OK, this is getting ridiculous. I've had six flats in the past week. One was because I didn't install the tube correctly, but the others have all been small punctures. I've turned the tires inside out and gone over every inch of them to find any thorns that might be sticking through on the inside, and I used an air compressor to clean the surfaces of the wheels and tires before installing tubes.

So, is it worth spending the extra money to buy tubes that are supposed to be more rugged? The two I'm aware of are what my LBS described as thorn-proof or thorn-resistant, which looked and felt like they're just thicker rubber. Then at Wal-Mart I noticed they sell a couple different kinds of self-sealing tubes (I think one was called "Slime"). Any thoughts on these special tubes?

My tires have less than 1000 miles on them, so surely I don't need new ones already.

What I suggest is, when you catch your next flat, (god forbid it,) and are changing your tire, take the now punctured inner tube, cut only the stem valve off, and carefully place it flatly back inside the tire, carefully lining the tire bottom with it. Then insert your new fresh working inner tube on top of it. This will give the new inner tube 4x greater the extended protection against goat heads, staples, and nails. Since using this idea on all my bikes, me personally, Iím still waiting for another flat.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-29-15, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AcornMan View Post
OK, this is getting ridiculous. I've had six flats in the past week. One was because I didn't install the tube correctly, but the others have all been small punctures. I've turned the tires inside out and gone over every inch of them to find any thorns that might be sticking through on the inside, and I used an air compressor to clean the surfaces of the wheels and tires before installing tubes.

So, is it worth spending the extra money to buy tubes that are supposed to be more rugged? The two I'm aware of are what my LBS described as thorn-proof or thorn-resistant, which looked and felt like they're just thicker rubber. Then at Wal-Mart I noticed they sell a couple different kinds of self-sealing tubes (I think one was called "Slime"). Any thoughts on these special tubes?

My tires have less than 1000 miles on them, so surely I don't need new ones already.
What kind of tires are you using now, and at what inflation pressure?
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Old 07-29-15, 10:23 AM
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Try some flat resistance tires, schwalbe makes some.
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Old 07-29-15, 11:44 AM
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I used thorn resistant tubes in the wheels of my touring bike on my long tour of Ireland and Scotland .. Zero punctures happened.
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Old 07-29-15, 12:05 PM
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6 year zombie thread. Nicely done...
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Old 07-29-15, 12:24 PM
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Figure out what is causing your flats. Although, I've removed old tires just because they were giving me too many flats. I do periodically take my tires and pick out all of the glass, thorns, and etc in the tread. I'm not sure I have ever quite gotten down to the threads in the tires, but I'm now through the primary tread rubber on my current tires.

Make sure your next tire purchase is "flat resistant" of some sort.

As far as sealants, I found this to be a most interesting article.

Sealant Test - Part 2 - Slowtwitch.com

I haven't used them myself much, but I'm thinking of introducing an 88 yr old lady to skinny tires
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