Any thoughts on the "Slime" self-healing tubes?

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Anonymous's picture

"Hi Everyone,

I have recently seen the ""Slime"" self-healing tubes for sale at one of the tables at the NYC Bike Show. The manufacture claims that the sealant in the tube will ""prevent punctures up to 1/8 inch."" I'm wondering if any biker has any thoughts on the product, or have used it in the past. Is the product more trouble than its worth? Any thoughts and comments are welcome. Thank you very much.


Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)

i guess slime makes sense for car tires...i couldn't get used to the idea of the stuff settling and adding wobble to your ride. :)

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

Worth it if you live in a part of the country with goatheads. Otherwise, not worth the trouble.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
nigel (not verified)
How funny.....

"I was JUST on the site. In light of my recent flat woes, I figured I'd check into it. I got onto this board to check on my CO2 thread and here someone asked about Slime. Amazing timing.

I can't see why everyone thinks it's ""not worth the trouble."" While I'm not looking to use it in my road bike tires, it doesn't appear that many people really know anything about the product. I'm sold on the Slime inner tubes after visiting their site, but more for my beach/city cruiser; because actual wrenches are required to remove the wheels (rear wheel is a three-speed internal coaster brake and removal is something of a b*tch since it hasn't quick-release levers), I'm planning on running out and getting front and rear Slime tubes for it. I don't carry tools/pump/tubes when I ride it (generally along the bike bath or maybe in Central for casual riding), and I recently flatted on it and it was a PAIN; had to carry it to a nearby bike shop and pay to have a new tube installed.

Essentially, the Slime tubes are filled with this liquid that rolls around in the tube and, when air rushes from the tube as in the case of a puncture, the stuff quickly fills up the hole and seals it flexibly. After about two years, it's recommended to replace the tube with one with fresh sealant (so the liquid doesn't harden up and clump). For about $8 per tube, I can't see this as a negative thing AT ALL. I'm curious about how it would affect a road bike's road feel--and may even try it once I give it a test on the cruiser--but for off-road and city riding (city bikes/commuter bikes), it sounds like the way to go. Worth trying; keep your old butyl tubes and toss the Slime one out if you don't like it; they're not much more expensive than regular tubes.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

"> I can't see why everyone thinks it's ""not worth the
> trouble.""

I have something like 3 flats in the last 10,000 miles, and each one takes <5 minutes to change. That seems acceptable to me.

Besides, it won't help for glass cuts or most of what you encounter here. It's really for super small punctures like goatheads.

If I lived in New Mexico, I'd definitely use it. Here, it doesn't seem to justify the hassle or cost. If I was riding a Raleigh DL-1 or similar, I'd probably just put Schwalbe Marathon XRs on it and be done with it....

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Peter Storey (not verified)
Great Minds . . .

Changing a rear flat on my Raleigh Sports Superbe takes the better part of an hour, what with disassembling the chain case, unhooking the dynohub connections without tearing the terminals out, etc.,etc.

Mr. Tuffy tire liners helped some, but not enough. But Schwalbe Marathons (even non-XR) seem to have solved it. Fantastic tires for this kind of use. Easily and reliably available from Schwalbe via Mail Order, although they take about two weeks to arrive.

Peter Storey

Anonymous's picture
Heath (not verified)
Doesn't work!

"""For about $8 per tube, I can't see this as a negative thing AT ALL. "" nigel.

If it worked it would be great. I put them on my commuter bike because I did not want to have to change flats on the way to work. When I got my first flat with my slime tubes, it got very messy. When the puncture occured, the slime started spraying out the hole all over me and the bike. I figured you had to keep going to get it to plug the hole. After 30 seconds of getting sprayed on I stopped as it continued to shoot out the hole. And changing the tube with the slime all over the tire was not fun.

The other problem was in daily tire pressure checks. When I would check my tire pressure, the slime would shoot out the stem. Not fun in my apartment.

If you do not mind the mess, you can have the new one still sitting in my closet, because it will not go on one of my bicycles.

This review is for the road slime tube with a presta valve pumped up to 100 psi. I am guessing that for lower pressure tires, it might work. I think the slime does not have time to congeal under the higher pressure."

Anonymous's picture
nigel (not verified)
I stand corrected/educated.

Thanks, Heath. I'm now seriously reconsidering the tubes. Perhaps I'll only get the Slime Tube Protector (basically a very thick tire liner) for my cruiser tires and not worry about the mess. Maybe it'd be very different for low-pressure (60 psi) tires/tubes like the ones on my cruiser, but I certainly don't want a mess. I've just looked up reviews online; many complain of the leaky valves in the Slime tubes. The concept is genius, but if it doesn't work quite as promised or makes a hell of a mess, maybe it's not worth it after all. A really tough tire liner may be what I'm needing.


Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Tire Liners - The no mess option

You might want to consider instead using Slime's or Mr. Tuffy's tire liners. They've worked great for me. The one caveat is that there's a noticeable increase in rolling resistance. I would imagine the same is true for the slime tubes. For a cruiser bike, evaluating the pro/cons, on a utility basis, the extra stealth flat protection is definitely worth it.

Anonymous's picture
Steve Brain (not verified)

Slime works really well on my 3 year old daughter's running buggy. We had loads of punctures and since buying slime tubes we've been puncture free.

As for a bicycle, I've not gone the same way. One of the tips in the UK was to go for Latex tubes, with the idea being that since Latex is more flexible than Butyl it is less likely to puncture if something makes it through the tire. Given that latex tubes are hard to find here in the USA, I guess this view is not widely held. I'm riding on latex tubes right now, but without conducting a scientific test habe no idea whether they are helping or not.

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