Dr Sludge ‘Slime’ Tubes

27 04 2007

Two of the most common puncture culprits are black thorns and sharp flints unfortunately both are very common in the South Downs. Until 2.5 years ago I suffered badly from punctures but the discovery of ‘Slime’ Tubes has put an end to virtually all puncture worries. As their name implies ‘Slime’ tubes are heavy duty tubes filled with ‘slime’, a mixture of acrylic latex and a small polymeric fibres. Unlike the latex used in tubeless systems the slime in the tubes is only exposed to the air and moisture within the inflated tube therefore it does not oxidise and breakdown therefore it does not need regular replacement. I have used individual slime tubes for 12 months and they still function perfectly.

Use the tubes in exactly the same way as you would a regular tube eg put it on the wheel, put a tyre on it, pump it to the correct air pressure and off you go. When the tube is punctured the latex bubbles out of the hole and in so doing it carries some of the fibres to the hole where they become a tangled mess preventing further latex from escaping, the latex hardens and seals the hole. I only ever notice the thorn punctures when I change the tyres which tend to have about a dozen thorns sticking through them but crucially no punctures.

Flints are a different ball game altogether. In my experience flints tend to slash the tyre putting a cut of a couple of mm into the tube. In these cases the slime tubes struggle, let some air out of the tube spin the wheel a few times and push down with a finger on the bubbling latex. If this does not work remove the tube and either patch or replace it. Keep the tube and patch it at home and it will be fine for many future rides.

In my experience slime tubes are a great invention that has prevented 80% of punctures. I recommend the Dr Sludge brand from CRC, these are half the price of other makes and have performed brilliantly for 2.5 years.

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