Tubes, should I go w/ Slime or something different?
Local bike shop said slime tubes are old technology there are better options but the conversation shifted so i didn't get to ask questions. I am new to the sport but am losing air in one of my tubes. A friend said unless i add slime, i will constantly be fighting flats.
Thought i would ck w/ you. I don't really want to go tubless, so i'll either stick w/ std tubes, slime or if there is something else...
Also, are most of you buying the compressed air can vs. carrying a pump? I have a pump but wondered if i should ditch it and get the can.
There are several products out there for preventing flats with tubes. All add weight of course in the worst possible spot (rotating weight). Also, tubes lose a few PSI a day so that is normal.
The Slime tubes have been around a long time and work pretty well in most cases. Some people prefer to use a latex sealant like Stans No Flats injected into tubes (Schrader or Presta with removable cores) which works very well but will eventually dry out. You can also try tire liners like the lightweight Speed Skins.
Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.
Michelin has launched Protex max tubes, which are marketed as a revolution in self sealing tubes. Unfortunately I haven't found any reviews on the subject yet. Perhaps you could check those out.
Depending on where you live slimed tubes might be a mandatory thing. If you live in the deserts, where there is a high amount of goathead thorny plants, if you live where people scatter broken glass or just areas with a lot of prickly plant matter. If you don't have these and are only losing air because the tires are leaking down slowly this is normal as mentioned above. If you have a tube that flats all the time you should check your rim tape between the tube and the inside of the rim and check your tire to make sure something isn't lodged in it and poking into the interior space and the subsequently the tire.
If you do live in places with thorns, cactus etc. then slime tubes, whether from that brand or any of the other versions is a good option. They come prepackaged and work really well and are designed to work in a tube situation. You can make your own by buying tube type slime and getting tubes that have removable valve cores, you can also add stans directly to tubes as a sealant and it works reasonably well.
If you live somewhere where your major flat situation is pinch flat, that is when a sharp edge pushes your tire up to the rim and pinches the tube between the sharp edge and rim giving 1-4 holes around the tube, then slime won't help much here. You will have to adjust your pressure to prevent this or really think about switching to tubeless for its pinch flat resistance. Alternately get a tire with thicker sidewalls (AM/DH style tire). Slime or pretty much any sealant doesn't do a good job of sealing any holes that occur on the inner half of the tire, centrifugal forces keep it away from the hole and prevent it from plugging the hole.
So depending on your conditions and riding style slime might be a good solution or just add air before rides to account for seepage.
As far as CO inflators, if your time is valuable and you don't want to spend the time pumping by hand then CO is a great solution. If you don't care about standing on the trail then a pump works well. Races CO is beneficial, recreational riding with no curfew, pump is fine. I carry both, just in case I either need to beat the setting sun and time is critical or I don't want to stand out in the rain or thunderstorm or whatever fixing a flat but haven't used one in ages as my time just isn't that valuable.
I'm not a fan of inner tube sealants. I've had 3 flats with sealant inside the tubes and it didn't do any good.
What the sealant did do is muck up the valve cores so I had difficulty pumping air inside. I had to replace two valve cores in the valve stems. (Schrader Valves)
Also, the sealant leaked between the tire and the tube and glued the tube to the tire.
It makes more sense to me to use a tire that is more puncture resistant.
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