Flats! Grrr! Slime?

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Flats! Grrr! Slime?

Postby simonn » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:59 am

Last Friday (13th, cue Twilight Zone music) I had my first flat on the roadie going to work. Had my second flat on roadie on the way back from work. I noticed that the tires are getting a little worn, so I decided to replace them. Looking on the internet Conti Ultra Gatorskins seemed to be the go. LBS recommended them as well.

This morning, riding proud with my nice new tires, I got another flat 1/2 a km or so from work (despite the fact that I should have had good tire karma due to having noticed a smashed bottle on the Epping Road bike track near the Space Station and having actually got off my bike and kicked all the glass off the track rather than just riding around it).

Slime has been suggested to me...

How does this work? I have searched the forums, but cannot seem to find any details on what you do with it and how it actually works.
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by BNA » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:41 pm

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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:41 pm

I love Slime, so I'm a little biased.

Slime is a thick liquid which is placed inside the tube. It contains fibres of fibreglass which plug up any leak (within reason) as the liquid seeps into the puncture under pressure. For most common punctures, you'll never need to fix the hole in the tube.

The problem you'll face is getting the stuff into your tubes. If you run presta valves (ie not car valves) the easiest way to get it in is to actually slit the tube and inject the Slime with a syringe. You then place a patch over the slit. If you have car valves, it's easy - just remove the core of the valve and pump it in with the tube supplied on the bottle.

I've been using Mr Tuffy tyre liners in my 700x23c Ultra GatorSkins without Slime. So far, no punctures in 3000km with that setup.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby MJF » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:01 pm

You can also buy Slime 'Smart Tubes', which are just tubes with slime pre-installed. There are a number of off-the-shelf brands available, so you don't have to buy Slime.
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Postby jasimon » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:29 pm

Kalgrm wrote:For most common punctures, you'll never need to fix the hole in the tube.


Do you actually know you have a flat when it happens (and so know to look for and remove the shard of glass or whatever)? Do you just remove the object, count to ten, pump and go?

The equivalent systems on cars are really temporary - get you to the next servo - fixes. Is Slime a long-term fix?
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Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:46 pm

MJF wrote:You can also buy Slime 'Smart Tubes', which are just tubes with slime pre-installed. There are a number of off-the-shelf brands available, so you don't have to buy Slime.

My experience with same (Slime tubes) was less than positive and I have now dumped them. The ones I had, had a tendency to split along the tube seam.

Andrew
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Postby MJF » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:44 pm

I use the Weldtite version, no issues other than leakage through the valve when inflating.

Jasimon - I don't know if I've actually punctured, but I'm changing the tyre in the next few days (worn out, cuts and bulges) so will have a look. Comments on here suggest you just lose some air and have to top it up, and to get it to seal you just rotate the tyre so the hole is at the bottom. And you need to remove the offending item. And large holes can be very messy from what Aushiker has said (Slime goes everywhere).

The 'Slime' brand is supposed to work for some period of time (12 months?), weldtite didn't specify.
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Postby PathPusher » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:51 pm

Whatever happened to the 'doughnut' tubes that were around in the late 80s/early 90's?

They were almost solid rubber but with a tube of air in the middle.
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Postby Bnej » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:04 pm

Aushiker wrote:My experience with same (Slime tubes) was less than positive and I have now dumped them. The ones I had, had a tendency to split along the tube seam.


Good quality tubes are more reliable and also easier to patch with less ridged seams.

Unless I start getting multiple punctures on a trip then I'd rather just patch or replace when they occur, the extra weight and size to carry for thorn proof tubes or slime etc. isn't worth it if you're still going to carry spare tubes and patches anyway.
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Postby Bnej » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:11 pm

PathPusher wrote:Whatever happened to the 'doughnut' tubes that were around in the late 80s/early 90's?

They were almost solid rubber but with a tube of air in the middle.


Conti Contact Security tyres are similar to that.

If you don't mind really heavy tyres with a lousy ride then they are pretty much indestructible.

For most people a conventional puncture resistant road tyre is enough.
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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:14 pm

jasimon wrote:Do you actually know you have a flat when it happens (and so know to look for and remove the shard of glass or whatever)? Do you just remove the object, count to ten, pump and go?

The equivalent systems on cars are really temporary - get you to the next servo - fixes. Is Slime a long-term fix?

In my experience, you never even know you have a puncture. The slime simply fills the hole before you know anything untoward has happened. Every now and then, you'll see a nail or screw embedded in the tyre - that's when you'll have to be careful about pulling out the object. Larger items like that can make a hole bigger than the fibres can fill, so you just leave it there until you get home. It won't deflate while it's still in there.

Slime is a long term fix.

bnej wrote:.... the extra weight and size to carry for thorn proof tubes or slime etc. isn't worth it if you're still going to carry spare tubes and patches anyway

I disagree. The 100g of weight in the tubes (weight of the fluid) is not going to slow your daily commute or group ride as much as a puncture will. If you're riding every day and getting two or three punctures a week (as some people do), those 3 to 5 minute delays per puncture are going to eat into your riding time.

It's an equation you're going to have to work out for yourself though. In my opinion, there isn't many things you can put on your bike that will slow you as much as a puncture will.

Cheers,
Graeme
Last edited by Kalgrm on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jr1991 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:07 pm

The slime I currently use (sorry don't know the name) uses only 20 mls!
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Postby geoffs » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:50 pm

I have only recently started using mr tuffy's on the tandem and so far so good. At the end of the last tour we did I checked the tyres to find a bad slice in the rear that was bad enough to make me replace the tyre. No puncture though.

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Postby PathPusher » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:54 pm

I have MAXXIS Columbiere (700c x 32) on a Scott Sub 20. They have done 300kms and I got the Slime liners fitted.

Second day riding (~50km) the back tyre went flat. Even though it isn't strictly covered by the warranty, LBS changed for free. This morning I noticed a tear in the back tyre that should have rendered it flat. It has held the pressure all day.
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Postby il padrone » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:56 pm

PathPusher wrote:Whatever happened to the 'doughnut' tubes that were around in the late 80s/early 90's?

They were almost solid rubber but with a tube of air in the middle.


Omigod no!!

The old airless tyre trick again. One of the cycle component myths. Re-invented every ten years or so, since 1895 :roll:

There is a reason why they aren't used. Heavy, poor ride quality, godawful to fit!

Slime in your tubes can make patching a larger hole very difficult. Patches do not like to stick to it.

Better solution is a tyre with a good puncture-proof belt in it. I use Vittoria Randonneurs. They are not lightweights, smallest size is 28mm, but they do have a terrific puncture-prroof belt (like a Mr Tuffy layer built in) I have over 8000kms on one set of these, no punctures at all. They are the best general commuting and touring tyres I've used in over 30 years of riding.
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