Wheels, Tires, Tubes, and Slime

You know what sucks?  Flat tires.  You know what you can almost entirely avoid with a bit of work?  Flat tires.  I’ve developed a solution that lets me ride home with something like this nail run through the wheel and tube (pennies for comparison).  I brought this at least two miles in my wheel, and still made it home on the bike with air in my tires.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.sevarg.net/2016/03/13/wheels-tires-tubes-and-slime/

(Comments from Blogger)

2016-03-25 by Aaron

You should talk about Presta vs Schrader. You can’t get the goo in easily in Presta stems, you have to literally take the tube off, and remove the core while carefully keeping track of it so it doesn’t get lost in the tube. See How to put slime in a presta valve tube (non-removable valve core) - YouTube

It’s a HUGE PITA that I haven’t gone through yet, cause I’ve been too busy with other bits of life. But one of these days when I’ve got a few hours on the weekend I’ll take care of it. I’ll end up having to basically fully disassemble my bike though… :frowning:

2016-03-25 by Russell Graves

I didn’t mention it because I’ve never owned a bike with Presta valves, so I literally didn’t even think about them. I’ve found those tend to be on bikes owned by people who care deeply about minimizing rotational mass and such, so I don’t think it’s likely to overlap with what I suggest.

Thanks for the video on how to do it, though! That may be quite useful for other people.

2016-04-20 by RonF

We rode across the US twice and the second time did the Southern Tier. We ran into goathead thorns in Arizona and had lots of flats. The woman I was with had a fancy Trek with presta valves on the tubes. She had a hard time finding replacement tubes. I offered to ream out her rim for schraeder. :sunglasses: I could buy my tubes at Walmart, but pre-slimed tubes don’t hold 100 psi after a fine puncture.

Now that I’m older I’m riding a tadpole trike with a BionX on the rear. We spent 4 months in the south, I rode practically every day for 2200 some miles and had no flats. I had Schwalbe Marathons on the front and a Schwalbe Marathon Plus on the rear, simply because with a BionX system on the rear, it is harder to change a tube.

I was a full-time bike commuter in Milwaukee for 25 years and here the puncture season is in the spring when snow and ice melt and you ride through debris on the side of the roads. Luckly I didn’t get flats in the winter. I pushed my bike 7 miles home in the dead of winter, staying warm that way, but that was because of heavy snow.

2017-02-05 by bikerjohn

As an experienced bike commuter, Sliming tubes is the only way to go. Same for group ride cycling, -nobody wants to be delayed by having to patch or replace a tube on a bike ride when there is a more reliable way to go.

While, Presta stem tubes can be purchased “pre-slimed”, and then installed in any wheel. A better way to go is Schrader valve tubes. A wheel drilled for Presta stems is easily converted to accept Schrader valve tubes. Schrader stems have proven to be more durable -in my experience.

Easily Slimed Schrader valve tubes can be used instead of the less durable Presta valve stem tubes, with a simple modification on most bike wheels. I have had complete success with drilling-out Presta stem diameter holes on several bike wheels, -converting them to Schrader valve stem compatability. Wheels with Presta-stem diameter holes can be drilled out to 5/16"(.3125), or to 11/32"(.344), -better yet.

2017-06-26 by Unknown

Has anyone suggested going tubeless? Tubeless works real well without any of the issues you talk about with the slime. I have been an avid mountain biker for 15 years and went tubeless about 7-8 years ago, I would never go back. I spend my winters in the Southwest; lots of cactus. I have found dozens of cactus thorns in my tires when I changed them out and never had a flat.