Friday, August 17, 2012

The Sliming of the Tubes

As we move into the latter part of summer, it's time to prepare for the annual war against goatheads. There are bad years and horrible years, and this year is merely bad due to the dry winter. Still, the damn things are everywhere.

Every year I have to choose a bike and a strategy. Last year I bought some fancy tires for my road bike that worked pretty well until I pretty much cut one in half.

In previous years I used sealant in my tubes, which works OK for thorns. However, anything larger than a pinhole usually won't seal up and might get messy. Once I hit a piece of glass that made a small cut in the tire and tube. The sealant spurted out all over the place as I rolled to a stop. I had green goo all over my bike, my clothes and my legs. It was awful.

This year I bought a bunch of 29er tubes made by QBP that have removable valve cores. This makes it much easier to inject the sealant.

I went with Slime this year because it's cheap and mostly effective. I'm sure a latex-based sealant like Stan's is better, but it is more expensive.

Pro tip: a 12-gauge spoke wrench fits the valve core flats perfectly.

I installed the tubes on the Fargo. It's not like the extra weight will really affect that tank of a bike.

Here's to a relatively flat-free thorn season.


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