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  1. #1
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    Benefits/problems of sealant (slime) in tubes

    I've been using tubes with slime and for the past year, have been fortunate enough to not get a flat. I don't really know if it is the sealant or just luck.

    I have notices that when I spin the wheels, I get an unbalanced rotational effect...obviously from the centrifugal force pushing the sealant to one part of the tube.

    How does this affect performance? Is it significant? Has anyone noticed significant difference in performance between sealant tubes and normal tubes?

    Also, how does sealant affect performance with the newer tubless tires?

    Thanks.

    Ray

  2. #2
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    Reputation: PlatyPius's Avatar
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    Worst thing about Slime, and one of the reasons I will never have it in my shop, is that - especially on schrader valves - the slime seals everything....including the valve. I can't even count the number of bikes that came in with low tires and we couldn't air them up because the slime had plugged up the valve. Likewise, if we needed to remove the tire, we couldn't let the air out, either. If you remove the valve core to deflate the tire, the slime shoots everywhere.

    Many auto shops will refuse to work on wheels that have Fix-A-Flat in them...bike shops should do the same.

    And yes, the Slime creates a centrifugal effect that does all sorts of odd things to the wheel rotation. That's one of the reasons I've been hesitant to try Stan's No Tubes on my mountain bike.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

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  3. #3
    Rub it............
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    I've never had any level of success with Slime tubes. We carry them at the bike shop I work for, but I never recommend it. Stans sealant is much better, but I don't deal with it much.
    You can't fix stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio

    I kind of wish it were legal to staple people in the face.

  4. #4
    old school drop out
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    That's one of the reasons I've been hesitant to try Stan's No Tubes on my mountain bike.
    You'll never notice that it's even there.

  5. #5
    eRacer
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    If you are that worried about getting a flat, why not just use a a heavy/thorn-proof tube?
    John Lapoint / San Diego
    God is Great, Beer is Good, and People are Crazy!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmlapoint
    If you are that worried about getting a flat, why not just use a a heavy/thorn-proof tube?
    I was worried about getting a flat...hence the reason for using a tube with slime.

  7. #7
    Loves to Suffer
    Reputation: Zipp0's Avatar
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    All of the sealants pretty much suck, and Slime is the worst of them. They make a huge mess, add crazy weight to your wheels, and rarely work anyway. Just carry a tube and learn how to change it. Lots of people swear by Stan's, but in the last mountain bike race of the season, the Stan's in my MTB tire failed to seal a small puncture. Luckily, I had brought a tube, just in case.

  8. #8
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    The other side of this is it's designed for tubeless tires-- while I have no experience there, I do use stan's in my tubular road tires where it works quite well to seal punctures, but it takes a few minutes at lower pressure to seal before you can get back to the 100psi range. It still beats having to remove and replace a tubular and worrying about how well it's going to hold for the rest of the ride home.

  9. #9
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    I agree that the sealant does do crazy things to the rotation of the tire, and think its a waste of money. I have never found it to be very effective and frequently have found it to be very ineffective. Overall a shame to put in a nice bike especially if you spent money to get a nice light wheelset. Plus, changing a tube every once inawhile does a body good.

  10. #10
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    Does Stan's or any of the liquid latex type sealants actually stay liquid in the tube? My thinking is that it largely dries out, and stays relatively in places until it is blown out by a flat to seal it.

    At some point it completely hardens and is no longer effective.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Does Stan's or any of the liquid latex type sealants actually stay liquid in the tube?
    I had Stan's in my CX tubulars this season. I just drained them out until next season. It was all still liquid, and made quite a mess cleaning it up. I won't keep the sealant in the tires all year, though, just to avoid any potential drying.

    From the Stan's web page:

    How long will it last? Sealant longevity will depend on type of tire, size, storage conditions, and volume of sealant. Tires with thick casings will allow sealant to last much longer. Sealant in tire will need to be refreshed to maintain sealing properties. In cooler conditions the sealant will last longer. In hot, dry conditions more frequent monitoring is recommended.

  12. #12
    old school drop out
    Reputation: laffeaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Does Stan's or any of the liquid latex type sealants actually stay liquid in the tube? My thinking is that it largely dries out, and stays relatively in places until it is blown out by a flat to seal it.

    At some point it completely hardens and is no longer effective.
    Stan's claims that you need to add more sealant every 6 months - more often in drier climates. I live in a very dry area and have been using Stan's for over 4 years and find that there is plenty of sealant still in my MTB tires after 6 or more months. Once, I pulled off a tire and found a "rubber ball" of dried Stan's, but I'm not sure how long it had been since I'd removed the tire.

    If you rarely flat, there's no advantage to using Stan's. If you flat often (i.e. goat head thorn season), Stan's is great. After flatting numerous times this fall on my CX bike (all from thorns), I converted the wheels to Stan's and had no more flats.

  13. #13
    Cipo's long lost cousin
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    Slime - actual feedback

    I had never tried the stuff until a crash took me off my roadbike for the several months. Since I wasn't on the roadbike I started commuting by MTB to work through a small county park. The park has roughly 2 miles on trails littered with Goathead thorns.

    During my first week of riding I flatted three times due to Goathead punctures. Often I would get to work and simply leave the Goathead protruding in the tire with hopes of making it home on a slow leak. In desperation I picked up a couple of slime tubes at the LBS and installed them.

    The funny thing about Goatheads is that they usually leave a thicker section of the thorn sticking out of the black rubber. That means you can usually spot them pretty easily. After about 3 weeks of NO FLATS I finally found my front tire going soft. I pulled out the pliers and extracted 8 Goathead thorns from my front tire! A similar exercise revealed roughly the same amount of Goatheads in the rear tire. I remounted the tire and leaking Slime tube, added a little pressure and spun the wheel to make sure the Slime would adequately seal up the holes. Next morning - Still holding air!

    Now after two months I can say that I'm good for roughly 6 - 8 thorns before the Slime tube will die. I can usually pull out all the debris and get the tubes to reseal. The original tubes are still on the MTB and probably have seen 20+ punctures apiece. For me - the convenience has been worth it!

    Some observations:

    • Slime works at 50 PSIG on the MTB. Will it work at 110 PSIG on the road bike? Dunno...
    • The stuff does tend to gum up the valve stem as others have noted but a little playing with the valve nozzle and it frees itself. Does not seem to be a big issue.
    • The tubes are heavy. I did notice the rotational weight (but - heck, I'm commuting to work where reliability is more a priority then weight).
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