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Tire sealant

Old 09-11-14, 09:32 AM
  #1  
jargo432
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Tire sealant

The guys at my bike shop rave about using tire sealant and act like it fixes all problems. Twice I've said I was going to buy some hard case tires and the answer is always "no no no all you have to do is put some of this stuff I have for sale and you'll never have a flat"

Funny how in just a few months of riding I've become very good at fixing flats.

Actually the first time I fixed a flat I was shocked and a bit horrified to see how thin tires are these days. I hadn't rode since I was a kid when bike tires were built like car tires. (I can remember riding through stickers all day and never giving it a second thought)

So now the question.....

How many of you out there use tire sealant in your hard case tires?
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Old 09-11-14, 09:56 AM
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I put thorn resistant 20" tubes in the 406-47 Schwalbe marathon plus tires on my Bike Friday.. sealant goo in the tube, No.



thorn resistant 622-40 tubes went puncture free on long tour in Ireland & Scotland , using Nokian Utility tires , on that trip.

[ I Brought with & used used, a 3rd tire, to replace rear, a casing tear-out )

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-11-14 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 09-11-14, 10:16 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
Funny how in just a few months of riding I've become very good at fixing flats.
I haven't tried using sealant. But I hear it's a mess when it doesn't work and you need to fix the tire anyway. What tires are you using? I use Continental Travel (or City) Contact. They work great for me. I used to have lots and lots of flats - like every few weeks. But that was on my old road bike with skinny tires. I fixed that problem by using Mr. Tuffy liners. Then I got my present bike, no liners but the above tires. I had two flats the last year. My routes are frequently through constructions areas and other places in the city where there's lots of stuff in the road. About 10K+ miles/year.
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Old 09-11-14, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I haven't tried using sealant. But I hear it's a mess when it doesn't work and you need to fix the tire anyway....
It is. I tried it once and almost immediately hit something too large for the sealant to work and it sprayed goo all over the bike, me, and my clothing.

The flat protection you choose depends on where you ride, how hard it is for you to fix flats, and what weight penalty you're willing to incur.

I can fix a flat in less than ten minutes, I'm usually not in a hurry, and I generally ride in pretty decent weather, so I don't use any protection. Some days I'll get up to three flats, sometimes I go months without one. During my commuting days, I used and liked Tuffy liners. The problem I had with them was they could eventually wear a hole in a tube, but only after a thousand or more miles, when it's usually time to change the tire anyway.

Liners and heavier tires put mass at a bad place on the bike, where it may affect handling noticeably at higher speeds.
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Old 09-11-14, 11:29 AM
  #5  
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More details please. What is a hard case tire? Are you talking about sealant inside your tube or full on tubeless tires? Continental and Schwalbe make a variety of tires that have a range of puncture resistance. What size tires are you using? I love my conti contact touring tires in 26 x 1.75. 2,000 miles and not 1 flat.
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Old 09-11-14, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo;
I love my conti contact touring tires in 26 x 1.75. 2,000 miles and not 1 flat.
Same here. I have a travel contact in the rear. Zero flats in 8k miles (two flats on my city contact which is in the front till I wear it out).
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Old 09-11-14, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jargo432 View Post
The guys at my bike shop rave about using tire sealant and act like it fixes all problems. Twice I've said I was going to buy some hard case tires and the answer is always "no no no all you have to do is put some of this stuff I have for sale and you'll never have a flat"
I hate stiff tires. I'd rather do virtually anything else before putting them on. I'm running tubeless tires in my touring bike and my cross/road bike. The sealant will prevent all the small annoying flats. With a $5 tire plug kit you can fix the larger holes quickly and easily.

There is a point where even sealant and plugs can't fix huge holes in the tire, but they are so rare for me I don't spend too much time worrying about it.
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Old 09-11-14, 12:30 PM
  #8  
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The hard case tires I'm refering to are made by Bontrager. They are thicker and tougher than what I have. Unless I'm mistaken they come standard on the Trek 520. As for now I'm using a mountain bike for all of my riding. (I wanted to get back into riding and had no idea what I really wanted so I bought a Trek 3500 Mtn bike. Now that I've been riding for a while I realize what I really want to do is tour)
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Old 09-11-14, 02:52 PM
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IDK your shop, the Trek Dealer here would take your bike in and trade towards the 520.

NB 2_520s next year .. either rim or disc brake fittings on their frames ..

BTW when setting up a new bike ask the shop to change tires the bump up in price won't be much.

& swapping out the granny gears to a smaller one than factory fitted is also do able.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-11-14 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 09-11-14, 03:31 PM
  #10  
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I love slime. Need I say more?
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Old 09-11-14, 04:43 PM
  #11  
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Funny this question should come up. I've used slime tubes on and off for over a year and had not noticed any difference in the frequency of flats (quite a lot, with all sorts of tires in my hostile urban milieu).

Then just the day before yesterday I was on the final leg of an eighteen mile errand around the West Side on my mountain bike, 26 x 2.0 Serfa Drifter up front, 26 x 2.0 Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour on back (I have had flats on both these tires). Forget what kind of tube is in back, an ordinary one, but in front I put in an old Bontrager (??) slime tube I found in the garage.

Riding home I look down and see a little geyser of some kind of fluid jetting out of the front wheel, just two rotations of the wheel then none. Yep, a puncture flat stopped in its tracks, only lost a minimal amount of pressure if any too.

So is slime worth it? I dunno. Slime tubes are more expensive and less portable and for me only worked that I knew about on that one puncture. Prob'ly wont go out of my way to look for them.

Mike
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Old 09-11-14, 05:35 PM
  #12  
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slime can definitely be effective

Last edited by BigAura; 09-14-14 at 06:45 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-11-14, 05:49 PM
  #13  
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I used to run slime in my MTB tires but prefer Mr. Tuffy.

I wouldn't run slime in any tire under 40mm wide, that's FOR SURE!
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Old 09-11-14, 09:41 PM
  #14  
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Never, never never again. I tried sealants early on. When they work it is fine. But when it fails you have an enormous mess. Hard to believe a bike shop would recommend this garbage.

Just get a good set of tires and learn to fix flats.
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Old 09-12-14, 04:06 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
I love my conti contact touring tires in 26 x 1.75. 2,000 miles and not 1 flat.
Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
I have a travel contact in the rear. Zero flats in 8k miles
After statements like this, I wouldn't definitely recommend you two carry an extra tube and air when riding this next week

Last edited by robow; 09-12-14 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 09-12-14, 04:39 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
After statements like this, I wouldn't definitely recommend you two carry an extra tube and air when riding this next week
Definitely! I have similar thoughts and hesitate to say stuff like that. Right after that post I wondered if I'd have a flat on the way home that night. So far so good

(in spite of good luck I carry two spare tubes plus a tube repair kit)
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Old 09-12-14, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Hard to believe a bike shop would recommend this garbage.
Personally I don't trust hardly anything I hear from people that are selling products - built-in conflict of interest. When you feel like they're on your side, consider that a red flag too. A good salesman will always make you feel like a friend. Listen but remain skeptical and get your advice from experienced cyclists rather than the bike shop.

The "best" auto-mechanics will make you feel like they're on your side and saving you tons of money with their honesty while robbing you blind. I'm glad I don't drive anymore. There's a lot less mystery and potential for that with a bicycle.
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Old 09-14-14, 05:45 AM
  #18  
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I tried slime tubes and found that it was a mess and they were not all that effective. I didn't think it was worth the extra weight or the mess. I also don't like heavy thorn proof tubes. I prefer a fairly light moderately flat resistant tire like the Gatorskin and lightweight tubes. I want a lively ride and not too many flats, but I'll put up with the occasional flat rather that use tubes that can weigh as much as a pound each and will take the nice lively ride feel of a flexible sidewall away.

It is important to use some care in goat head thorn country. Know what the plants look like and any time you pull off the road, check for and remove any thorns. That makes a huge difference. On my first tour out west we had no idea about goat heads and probably had three times as many flats as necessary.

BTW, I used a Bontrager Hardcase for a short while on the TA and it was a big fail. The rubber was soft, sticky, and almost gooey in the 100+F heat. It picked up every sharp stone or piece of glass. I gave up and took it off long before it wore out. It might have just been a bad batch though.

I will say that I have always wondered if tubeless would be a good solution. Going tubeless, I would obviously run some kind of sealant. Never tried it though.
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Old 09-14-14, 07:22 AM
  #19  
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Early Tire slime was horrible. I remember a case where a friend got a flat, got sprayed, joked about how he shaved his legs because he let the slime dry on his calf and took the hair off when cleaning it off. But when he got around to taking the tire off to repair. The slime seemed like it vulcanized with the tube and tire. Really messed things up. Up until this summer, I had not encountered a flat for the past 5 years and that was many, many miles! Now I have scored two in as many weeks. One was user error, the other was a mystery. small pin hole on the onside side, tire was a 700 x 40c and had nothing in it. Must have been an in/out thing. From what I understand with the new slimes, it would have benefitted from this type of flat, but I would rather slap a patch on this one and ride onwards. So, no slime here.
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Old 09-14-14, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Personally I don't trust hardly anything I hear from people that are selling products - built-in conflict of interest. When you feel like they're on your side, consider that a red flag too. A good salesman will always make you feel like a friend. Listen but remain skeptical and get your advice from experienced cyclists rather than the bike shop.

The "best" auto-mechanics will make you feel like they're on your side and saving you tons of money with their honesty while robbing you blind. I'm glad I don't drive anymore. There's a lot less mystery and potential for that with a bicycle.
Walter S, I agree 100%. I make the worst salesman by recommending a $1 patch kit or tubes compared with slime, etc. But I also only endorse items that have worked very effectively for me or have a proven track record. There have been numerous times I have talked to people who were ready to drop $100 of 2 tires, only to inform them that for what they are using the bike for, they would benefit from something different and far less. The advice pays off. They come in more often and appreciate the honesty by contributing to my wood and nails (I'm not a brick and mortar building, I'm amish built)
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Old 09-17-14, 10:20 PM
  #21  
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The owner of the LBS here is a very high milage MTB er and world tourist, he swears by Stan's and has been using it since it first came out. This is goat head country, I have had 90% success rate with Slime tubes, but the weight is noticeable. Stan's without inner tubes is pretty much accepted as superior set-up by the MTB crowd here.
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Old 09-17-14, 10:31 PM
  #22  
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One more thing... I used Bontrager Hard Case tires in 700 x 28 and 700 x 32 all over northern California (2000 plus miles). They seem to last FOREVER and I only got one flat, but even with weight on the bike they are the definition of a dead and heavy tire. I got tired of looking at the damn things and gave them away.
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Old 09-18-14, 04:25 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
I used Bontrager Hard Case tires in 700 x 28 and 700 x 32 all over northern California (2000 plus miles). They seem to last FOREVER and I only got one flat, but even with weight on the bike they are the definition of a dead and heavy tire.
That makes me wonder even more if I just got one from a bad batch. It practically melted in the heat and went soft and gooey. That made it pick up road debris and flat often. And yes they were pretty dead in ride feel, but not close to as bad as a marathon plus in that regard. Not sure how long it would have lasted as I got sick of all the flats and pitched it in the middle of a Trans America tour.
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Old 09-18-14, 12:19 PM
  #24  
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I'm thinking the best sealant hasn't been invented yet but Orange Seal seems to be on the best track so far because (if I understand correctly) it's a water-based antifreeze combined with latex and lightweight (as opposed to silica) fiber. The latex sealants like Stan's really work well when you first put them in and work better for high pressure tires but they dry out quickly. I've heard that the Orange Seal doesn't dry out so quickly because of the orange antifreeze. My experiments suggest you can put about half the recommended amount of Stan's inside an inner tube and effectively prevent 95% of flats until it dries out. Theoretically you can use lightweight tubes and tires to compensate for the extra weight of the sealant and still have excellent flat protection and this system is less of a hassle than going tubeless. Orange Seal is difficult to find except online but I've made my own similar material by combining Slime with Stan's. I'm tempted to mix my own brew using acrylic-latex caulk from the hardware store, glitter (to clot holes), and RV antifreeze.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 09-19-14 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 02-22-15, 08:32 AM
  #25  
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I've been told that the sealant deteriorates the inner lining of a tire, auto and bike; making it more prone to puncture. Don't know if that is true, but I don't use it.
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