So you punctured your bicycle’s tire—whether a clincher tire with an inner tube or tubeless tire without a tube—and you’re wondering if Slime sealant is a good fix or not.
It’s a good question. After all, good tires don’t come cheap, and you want to weigh the pros and cons of sealing the tire versus replacing it. So let’s not waste any more time in formalities and help you decide.
Slime sealant does work on bike tires, clinchers and tubeless, and it can help you fix small to medium punctures with ease. It doesn’t work on big holes, but it can seal flint and thorn punctures for up to 2 years.
Let’s find out a bit more about how Slime’s sealants work, and how they prevents and repair punctures on bike tires.
How Does Slime Sealant Work?
Slime sealant works in a clever way to both repair small punctures when you get them and reduce the risk of punctures as a whole.
How does it work?
Well, the sealant comes as a liquid, without any air in it. When you connect the sealant’s bottle to the tire’s valve and pump some sealant in, the liquid gets carried to the punctures thanks to the force of the escaping air.
As the liquid sets, it coats the inside of the tube or tire as it’s rotated, creating a mechanical seal that plugs up holes up to 1/8″ (3mm) big. There isn’t any chemical reaction and there’s no need to try to glue it or fasten it in place; the sealant does all the work for you.
What I like the most about Slime’s sealants is that they work at extreme temperatures. The sealant’s freezing point is said to be -35°F (-37°C) and it’s separation point is 182°F (82°C).
So there’s virtually no chance it will freeze or melt on you. (If you can ride a bike in these extremes, more power to you!) I’ve used it time and time again when I need to and, as long as the hole wasn’t too big, it has always worked.
This all works because the sealant consists of fibers, rubber, and a few other ingredients that, when the air tries to rush out of the tire through the puncture, get pushed into the hole. This creates a seal that fits the hole perfectly and makes it airtight for up to 2 years, without the need for tape, glue, or patches.
It can also make your tube more durable, because there will be a second inner coating, which makes it harder for sharp objects to puncture the tire. They will have to go through the outer tire, the inner tube, and the layer of Slime before they will start to cause air leakage.
So, if you want your tires to last longer, Slime’s stuff is a great option.
Does Slime Sealant Work on All Tires?
Slime makes sealants design to work with all kinds of cars, motorbike, and bicycle tires. For the same reasons, before you buy and use Slime to seal holes in your bike’s tires, you need to make sure to use the right kind.
They’re not necessarily interchangeable, so be sure to choose the right type for your bike’s tires.
Choosing is as easy as pie: If you have clincher or tubular tires, get the special Slime for repairing tubes. If you have tubeless tires (or one tubeless and one with an inner tube), get the universal Slime.
How Do You Use Slime Sealant?
For starters, position your bike on a flat, stable surface and hold it upright so it won’t fall over or fall on you while you’re working.
Second, lift the wheel that needs repairing, and turn it so that the valve is in the upper half of the tire. When you’re filling the tire with sealant, you want the bottle to be upright. This isn’t critical, but Slime’s instructions say it will make the sealant work better.
When the wheel is in position, take off the valve’s cap, then remove the valve core.
For the valve core, the bottle has a tool for this incorporated into the black cap for whenever you’re on the road or out in the wild. Simply use this to engage the valve core so that air can escape from the tire. You may or may not need to put in some elbow grease here.
Gradually deflate the tire. The flatter it is, the better the Slime will work, so be patient and take the time to do this well. Once the air is all out, set the valve core down somewhere safe. If your tire has been punctured by something, make sure to remove the sharp item before proceeding.
Remove the Slime’s seal and reattach the white cap to the Slime bottle. Then, attach the clear tube to the cap. You need to slot the other end of the tube into the valve stem so that you can start squeezing the tube and filling the tire with slime.
Most bikes need about 4 oz of Slime per tire, but, if you’re someone who likes precision, you can use an online calculator or the Slime chart (on the bottle) to calculate this. When you have finished, restore the valve cap, pump the tire up to the recommended pressure, and spin the tire several times to distribute the Slime inside.
This should seal the puncture and help to prevent further punctures, and it is pretty straightforward to do!
Is Slime Sealant a Long-Term Fix for Punctured Tires?
Slime can work pretty well for up to 2 years. But, in the long term, it isn’t a replacement for a new tube or tubeless tire. It doesn’t repair the hole per se; it just fills it up with fibrous material. Over time, it will wear out and the tire will start to deflate again.
You can certainly use Slime as a long term fix if you choose to, but be aware that it simply won’t last forever, and you will need to take action to repair the tire properly. Other sealants on the market may not be as easy to apply, but may also work.
That said, Slime may be particularly good when you are dealing with punctures that have irregular edges and an odd shape, because of the way the long and short fibers bind together to plug up gaps.
So, Slime sealer does work on bike tires and it will provide a good fix for punctures most of the time. It is not perfect and it probably won’t last in the long term, so be aware that you may need to replace or repair the tire eventually.
However, it’s great for a quick and easy fix, especially when you’re not near your home or a bike shop, and it can also help to make your tires more durable. I do carry a bottle with me on long rides.