View Full Version : tube and tire questions

06-11-2004, 06:23 PM
I'm new to road cycling, but have been mountain biking for a few years. My mtb bike has slime tubes, which have saved me endless grief on the trails here in Phoenix. The question:
Does anyone use slime tubes for the road?
I got a flat from a stupid staple, of all things, that with slime, I could pump , spin the wheel, and ride on.
Next question: Does anyone know how road tires hold up on the unpaved portions of the canals? There's about 5 miles of unpaved portion of the Arizona Canal that I'd like to ride, but I'm not sure if the little gravelly rocks will slice the tires.
Thanks for any and all input.

06-11-2004, 08:20 PM
Some tires are tougher than others - Panaracer Pasela TG, Rivendell Ruffy Tuffies, Continenal Gatorskins. All these guys have some kind of belt that helps prevent flats (I call my Pasellas bomb proof, I've had 3 flats in 4 years). As opposed to what I call tissue paper tires - Michelin Race something or others. I have a friend who rides the Michelins - one day she had 7 flats! You might also check out cyclocross tires.

Can't help with the slime question, I've never used it.

06-13-2004, 08:42 AM
Yes, you can get road tubes with slime. Check your LBS or on line.

06-13-2004, 08:50 AM
Thanks for the information. My next tires will have the kevlar, and if that doesn't solve the flat problem, I'll add slime tubes.

06-13-2004, 08:57 AM
I'd go with the slime now. It's too hot to change flats!

06-13-2004, 06:30 PM
Had a flat yesterday, tho in controlled conditions (the garage.)

I managed to change it myself!! no help no one around. Actually it was easy.

Only thing is I'm bummed because it was new Gatorskin tires I thought they were supposed to be better!!! grrrrr

I just today thought about getting Slime tubes. Sounds like a good idea!

06-13-2004, 07:07 PM
I could be wrong about this but I believe that the Gatorskins have the kevlar belt around the sidewalls, to prevent sidewall cuts, not around the tread. Doesn't make much sense to me, but that's what I was told. Anyone know for sure???

I know flats are a pain, but I try to think of every flat as a chance to improve my flat-changing ability. First time I changed one, I bet it took me a good 25-30 minutes. Now it takes around 5 - 10 minutes (if I don't have to patch a tube.) But think of how many flats I've changed over the past 16 years!! I'm up to 6 for this season....... yikes!


06-14-2004, 01:11 PM
You are correct re: the kevlar on the gatorskins. Its all very frustrating if you ask me.

06-14-2004, 07:38 PM
I just got as flat from a stable this weekend too! Actually first, I managed to pull the valve out of the tire (before the start of a tour/ride). That was my first ever tire change. All went well, slow, but well. The next morning, the same tire is flat. I pull it apart and find a pin hole. So now I patch it and again the next morning, it is flat! I either missed another hole or did a bad job with the patch. I'm gonna try again in the morning, then I will keep that tube for a spare. At least now I am not afraid of having to change a flat on my own!

06-14-2004, 08:20 PM
My last tires are Continental Grand Prix 4 season. They were a little expensive, but well worth it. I run a tube with slime also. The bike paths around here can have cactus in them from people hauling debris & not covering it with a tarp. All kinds of stuff litters the sides of roads!

Anyway, you know that middle strip of rubber that new tires have? That little skinny strip that usually wears off right away? It took several hundred miles for my front tire to wear out that strip! That's how good these are. They are really nice in slick conditions too - like fine sand & rain.

So, I'm a Conti fan. I also like the way they handle - very responsive.

06-14-2004, 09:04 PM
How long (mileage) do good tires last?

06-20-2004, 08:36 PM
Mileage depends on how you ride,where you ride, how much you weigh, etc. My back tires last me ~2,000 -2,500 miles. Front tires last ~ 3,000 to 3,500. I replace them when (1) I start flatting a lot and/or (2) they become flat on the rubber to road side & the tread can no longer be seen easily.

06-21-2004, 07:00 AM
I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Having just changed another flat on the rear tire, I NEED to know what a slime tube is!

06-21-2004, 08:16 AM
Slime tubes have this green goo inside them. When you get a puncture the goo fills in the hole. I have gotten one flat while using slime tubes. I knew I had hit something, but didn't get a flat while riding. I got home parked the bike, looked at it a couple of hours later and had a totally deflated tube. The goo filled the hole, but once I stopped moving the tire did eventually go flat. That's okay with me. Changing a tube in the comfort of my home is a lot easier than doing it on the road.

They are heavier than regular tubes. But I certainly don't notice the difference. I replaced the slime tube with a regular one as that was all I had.


06-21-2004, 09:08 AM
Does the green goo get on the tire at all or make any kind of mess? Or does it stay inside the tube?

Someone recommended using the spray in sealer they sell for auto tires, but others have told me to ignore that advice because of the mess it makes.


06-21-2004, 09:45 AM
The slime should stay in the tube! One thing to note; when you air up the tire with the slime tube, make sure the valve is at the bottom of the tire. Keeps gravity from allowing the slime to leak out of the valve. I only use a slime tube on my mtb bike, and only on the rear tire. It must work - I've never gotten a flat on that tire.

I don't use slime tubes on my lightweight road bike....... I don't get flats that often and I honestly don't want to add the extra weight. Not just weight but rotating weight that you are pushing around with every pedal stroke. I got that bike to ride fast and adding unnecassary weight doesn't make sense to me. Different story on my touring bike. Considering what it weighs to begin with, adding extra weight wouldn't even be noticeable. If I got a lot of flats, I'd go with a slime tube, at least on the rear. Taking bags off to change the tire is a pain! So far, tho', it hasn't been an issue and normal tubes are fine.

It's definitely a matter of individual preference. If you hate changing tires and get lots of flats, go for the slime. If you are trying to keep the bike lightweight, don't get many flats, and are comfortable changing them, then skip the slime.


06-21-2004, 09:55 AM
A little of the goo was inside my tire when I changed the tube. I usually try to keep the valve on the upside, because the goo will naturally flow to the bottom of the tube.

I haven't made a mess yet - either changing my flat or when I initially put the tubes in. We also run slimes on our mountain bikes and the tandem. We're definitely flat averse.


06-21-2004, 10:04 AM
Slime has saved the day many times out on the trail. I ride in the deserts around Phoenix; some places we go are fairly remote, and it's a big bummer to get a flat 10 miles from the cars when it's getting up to 100 degrees in the shade. The beauty of slime is that usually you don't need to change the tube. All you do is remove the thorn or whatever is causing the hole, spin the wheel so the slime can fill it, get out your CO2 and give it some air, spin again, and you're on your way. I had a flat once that hissed loudly, and I thought, oh boy, the slime isn't going to handle it. But, it did!

However, you asked if the slime stays in the tubes, and does it make a mess. Well, yes, it sometimes is messy. I try to remember to always leave my wheels set so the stem of the tube is at the bottom, with the slime draining out. If I forget, sometimes the slime gets on the pump. Also, a couple times when I had major tire damage, such as when I picked up a 3 inch nail (On the trail! How'd that get there?). When the tires blow big, the slime erupts. But, no big deal, you just wipe it off.

The slime tubes really are worth the extra expense. When I've actually had to change the tubes, I usually find half a dozen little green spots where the slime took care of business for me.

06-21-2004, 05:56 PM
After getting a flat on three out of three rides on my mtb (lots of briars around here), I decided I needed some sort of protection. the lbs was out of slime tubes so I decided to try a Slime tire liner. It's a lightweight liner that protects the tube from puncture through the tread, won't help for sidewall or pinch flats. They guarantee it for flats from tread punctures and will replace the tube and the liner if you send it back to them. So far, so good!