Slime Pro Pre-filled Lite inner tube  £16.99

9/10

The upfront cost is higher than a regular inner tube, but you should see a reduction in punctures.

Weight 102g   Contact  www.raleigh.co.uk

by David Arthur   October 25, 2013  

Slime Pro Pre-filled Lite inner tube 1

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These Slime Lite Smart tubes are effectively the same as the regular Smart tubes reviewed previously on road.cc, but they address the weight criticism with a lighter inner tube. On our scales this 19/25c inner tube weighed 102g, a 68g saving.

Using a lightweight butyl tube has allowed Slime to reduce the weight. Inside is the same green fluid that is claimed to be able to seal a puncture up to 3mm. I've seen a demonstration with a nail and it's highly impressive, but that's nothing compared to real-world testing. I've had them fitted to my steel touring/training bike, a bike that gets some seriously heavy miles on rough rides, and in three months haven't had one flat.

To thoroughly test the tubes, I've been taking to gravelled byways and bridleways, deliberately trying to inflict harm on the inner tubes. Despite trying, I've not managed to run out of luck yet. Tyre choice and pressure is a factor, and for the record I was using Hutchinson Fusion 3 x-Light tyres with 90/95 psi front/rear.

With the weight penalty over a regular inner tube it's no surprise there is a slight difference in ride performance compared to the previous setup with normal butyl inner tubes. The difference with these new lighter Slime tubes is much smaller and you'll be hard-pressed to notice the difference, unless you really search for it on climbs and hard accelerations. There's little difference in ride feel too.

You might not want to fit them to your race bike, but for commuting and training purposes they're fit for purpose. The small weight increase is offset by the reduced possibility of puncturing, and as we head into autumn with the higher risk of flat tyres - due to more frequent rain washing glass and crap into the road and water acting as a particularly good lubricant for sharp flints to penetrate rubber - they could be worth fitting to your bike.

The reason for buying these inner tubes is obviously to avoid punctures, but unfortunately I haven't yet suffered a flat in my time testing them. So it was into the garage that I went to conduct a workshop test to find out how they handle being punctured. With the bike in a stand, I pushed a drawing pin through both front and rear tyres. Nothing happened. Pulling the drawing pins out and giving the wheels a spin, then stopping them, the green goo visibly bubbled out through the holes. Then stopped. A couple more revolutions. The Slime had sealed the holes. A pressure gauge revealed the tyres had dropped just 15 psi during this process, from 100 to 85 psi.

I then went for a one hour bike ride, without incident. With the pressure gauge out again once I was back home, the tyres were holding the same 85 psi. That's a small enough pressure drop that you could puncture during a ride and not even realise.

Verdict

The upfront cost is higher than a regular inner tube, but you should see a reduction in punctures.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Slime Pro Pre-filled Lite inner tube

Size tested: 700 x 19/25c

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The lightest self-healing tubes on the planet instantly seal punctures up to 1/8in (3mm). Slime Lite Tubes combine a lightweight butyl tube with revolutionary sealant technology to provide flat protection without adding significant weight. Go lite!

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Feather-weight tube

Instantly seals punctures

Prevents Flats

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The longer valve is ideal for deeper section rims.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

I've been nothing but impressed with these Slime inner tubes. The weight is good, and the resistance to punctures is impressive. I've had a lucky couple of months testing these, but considering the pounding I've given them I would have expected a flat or two by now.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Excellent (so far).

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
6/10

A regular inner tube is sub-100g so these are carrying extra weight, but the gap is much closer than Slime's previous version, making these even more appealing.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Impressively, there's little discernible difference in ride feel over regular inner tubes.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

How much for peace of mind that you'll hopefully never puncture? That's the promise offered by these Slime tubes, and it seems to be working for me so far.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good weight for a tube filled with green goo.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Small weight penalty, but that's being really picking. They're still prone to punctures with anything over 3mm cutting the tyre.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Another alternative is just adding a little Stan's sealant (or alternative tubeless sealant) to your tube. Hey presto, it becomes almost puncture proof*.

*mahoosive snakebites excepted.

posted by Roastie [25 posts]
25th October 2013 - 14:03

24 Likes

Seems like a pretty small weight penalty for some puncture resistance particularly on a bike were weight isn't a huge factor. I would be more concerned about price 17 pounds for a tube seems a BIT steep

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
25th October 2013 - 14:24

21 Likes

At seventeen nicker it needs to stop at least three punctures to make it worth while....

cheers m'dears

2011 Rose Pro-SL 3000 Road
2006 Lemond Alpe d'Huez Broken
1997 Marin Sausaulito Urban bimbling/shopper
1980 Orbea project

daviddb's picture

posted by daviddb [126 posts]
25th October 2013 - 18:51

22 Likes

daviddb wrote:
At seventeen nicker it needs to stop at least three punctures to make it worth while....

That depends if you are making a straight monetary comparison of course ... I'd be willing to pay a bit more to avoid having to break an all-too-rare training ride which I have to squash in between other commitments for the sake of a puncture. That 3 or 4 minutes not lost in a short ride has a value (to me, anyway) beyond the simple cash comparison.

There is also the factor to consider of the number of guys (and gals) one sees these days with expensive bikes and clothing and no idea how to fix a puncture ...

And last, OK, so there is maybe a 30 - 40g weight penalty, but maybe you could run lighter more responsive tyres, save the 40-odd grammes even further out from the hub and not have a wooden ride as many hardshell-type tyres produce as an added bonus ...

This week I have mostly been riding a Mondiale in Deda V107 with Campagnolo Super Record 11 ...

posted by velotech_cycling [76 posts]
25th October 2013 - 19:23

19 Likes

What's the shelf life on these like? I know that a tube with Stan's or Tufo or Cafelatex or whatever will dry up after a fashion and stick the innards to itself if left unpumped, does Slime avoid that?

posted by Nick T [853 posts]
25th October 2013 - 21:01

11 Likes

Have they sorted the long term problem of the slime clogging up presta valves? Have had to ditch 4 slime tubes because of this (replaced valve cores but ended up clogging up again).

I also had a puncture in one that failed to seal and spread green gunge all over the inside of the tyre. Made a real mess when chaging the tube and it was impossible to get a patch to stick.

Unfortunately, these issues put me off the idea of 'sealing' tubes completely. Didn't work very well with Hutchinson tubs back in the early '80's and still seems to have issues.

posted by IanD [22 posts]
25th October 2013 - 22:03

16 Likes

I have to say that I have used one on my front tyre around london and they never seem to work well for me. i.e. I get as many punctures with or without them. At least without them I don't get sprayed with green stuff...... and the tube is easier to fix. I find it is best to invest in better tyres than in these tubes......

posted by ergm3 [1 posts]
29th October 2013 - 17:55

13 Likes

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