Tubeless tire sealant is the greatest innovation cycling has seen in regards to flat protection. Unfortunately, not all wheels and tires are tubeless ready. The biggest name in tube sealant is Slime, although many tubeless sealants will also work in tubes. This Slime Tube Sealant review puts tubed tires up against their tubeless counterparts.
To make sure testing was fair I used the same tire, a Donnelly WSO MC 700x40c, for both the tubeless and tube setup. Slime does make a tubeless sealant too, but due to global supply chain issues we had to use Orange Seal in the tubeless setup. It is also important to know Slime Tube Sealant will not work in tubeless tires, at least per the manufacturer.
Tubeless setups allow cyclists to run lower PSI while riding, providing a more comfortable ride and flat protection against punctures and pinch flats For the purposes of this Slime Tube Sealant review we tested puncture protection. No sealant will prevent every flat, especially pinch flats, but
Does Tubeless Reduce Weight Of Bikes?
The first noticeable difference between the Slime Tube Sealant and Orange Seal was the texture of the sealant itself. Surprisingly, the Slime had a thicker texture, but less residual filler mixed in with the liquid. I weighed the two sealants to make sure exactly 2.5 ounces went in. You can see in the photo below the Orange Seal does a better job sticking to the edge of the glass container I weighed it in. It was easy to see from the start
The Slime with tube is a heavier setup overall. The difference was much greater after installation because the tube itself adds almost 90 grams. It is worth noting, there are latex tubes that are much lighter than the traditional Butyl rubber.
To test puncture protection I used a nail, and a 4mm screwdriver. The results were not that surprising. Slime Tube Sealant worked fine to fill the nail puncture, but not the 4mm screwdriver. I completed the test multiple times turning my Donnelly gravel tires into swiss cheese, and the results were consistent every time.
I also completed this test on a pair of Bontrager XR4 tires sized 27.5 x 2.4 inches. The results were consistent again with the Orange Seal filling both puncture sizes, while the Slime Tube Sealant could only fill the smaller holes. On the Slime Tube Sealant bottle it states good for punctures up to 3mm, and they were right because it struggled to fill a 4mm hole.
Does Tube Sealant Work?
In conclusion, this Slime Tube Sealant review determined tubeless setups offer better flat protection. That being said, the Slime did work to fill smaller punctures. If your wheels and tires are not tubeless ready, it is worth the $10 to add Slime Tube Sealant. (Check Current Price on Amazon). That is a much cheaper alternative to buying a new set of wheels and tires.
Also, a 4mm puncture is pretty large. It almost the size of a pencil. Most bike tire punctures come from thorns, nails and small objects. The structural integrity of your tire may become compromised if your punctures get too much larger what the Slime Tube Sealant is capable of filling.
The final note for this Slime Tube Sealant review is the bottle features. The Slime bottle has a nice recessed pocket for your funnel tube. It also has a lid that fits inside and outside the valve hole so you never have to worry about sealant drying in the valve plugging your bottle.
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