Fatblogging: Flat tires blow. Slimed tires do not.

Blown Bike Tire

Update:The tube finally gave up the ghost after another 20 miles of riding. In the future, I’ll fix it shortly after the tube gets holed at the first convenient opportunity.

And, yes, I will be using this stuff all the time from now on.


I’m overweight; 240 lbs on a 6’1″ frame just isn’t healthy. But 240 isn’t my peak weight. That was the year before last before I started biking to work. Didn’t really do it consistently in ’05, but did in ’06 and managed to lose about 17 lbs in the process (and in combination with a voluntary diet change to address a bit of an elevated cholesterol #).

This year, I’m riding every day that I can, starting to do so seriously with the earlier time change. Now, I had my adventures with flat tires. Six flats in 2 weeks when I first started riding. And a handful of flats in the year in between.

Today, I tangled with a flat tire, but it fixed itself. Read on for how…

Turns out we live in goathead country. They are evil (seriously, read this — evilevilevil). Evil, evil, evil. Pop bike tires with ease and god forbid you step on a nest of the little bastards. Did that once. Had 8 of them in my foot on the first step, all of which punctured deeply enough to bleed (and had everyone at the bbq I was at wondering why I had just collapsed to the ground while seemingly walking normally).

I talked with the Bike Doctor — awesome service: they show up at Apple once a month in a panel truck and will totally tune up a bike, and fix it, for about $40 + parts — about goat heads. He recommended Slime filled tubes.

Sure — what the hell. It’ll make the wheel a little heavier, but since I’m trying to take the fat out of my fat ass (which, frankly, isn’t that fat — all belly, thanks. Kinda like Greg Stein) a bit of extra weight in the wheels will just burn more beer anyway.

Anyway — the Bike Dr dropped a slime tube in my front tire at that time and gave me a spare tube for whenever the back tube finally gave up the ghost.

On the ride home this evening, I looked down and wondered “What the hell? It doesn’t feel like it, but we (Ben rides with me, typically) seem to be riding on gravel, some of which is sticking to my front tire and flying up in the air!”

Nope. The first stop revealed that my front tire was leaking — no, hemorrhaging — bright green slime! I had a major gash in the side of my tire. No idea how.

OK…

Tire still had pressure. So, I rolled forward to make sure that the gash was at the bottom of the tire and, thus, was covered by maximal slime on the inside. Even after another half mile or so, there was still bright green goo leaking out, but not nearly as fast and the tire was still of a serviceable pressure.

By the time I arrived home, there was no sign that the tire had leaked. It lost a slight amount of pressure, but all the green goo had been thrown off and no new goo was spewing out.

All I can say is: WOW! Amazing. The hole was HUGE. Fracking jets of goo were shooting out when I first noticed it. Without the slime, I wouldn’t have made it another 1/4th of a mile, much less the rest of the way home!

At this point, I’m not even going to repair the tube unless it is flat in the AM (I parked it hole down so that the slime can continue doing its job). And I will never put a tube on my bike that isn’t full of Slime.




6 Responses to “Fatblogging: Flat tires blow. Slimed tires do not.”

  1. Joel says:

    Thanks for the tip; those goat-heads go right through kevlar even.

  2. Chuck Toporek says:

    Howdy Bill,

    As a fellow “Clydesdale” (I’m 6’2″ and about 240, too), I’ve experienced quite a few flats using regular tubes as well. The one thing I’ve found that works best is to use thorn-resistant tubes. They cost more, and are heavier, but I think I’ve only had one flat with them, and that was when I had an accident and a spoke snapped and punctured the tube with force.

    HTH,
    Chuck

  3. Pedro says:

    Hi, I know this is a little late but I was referred here after seeing your post about filleting salmon.

    I would recommend you pick up a pair of tire liners (I swear by ). I cycle (not much off road) most weekends and haven’t had a flat in about 3 years. Seriously.

  4. Pedro says:

    Sorry, that post got kind of messed up. I was trying to link to http://www.mrtuffy.com/

  5. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Fatblogging: Wii Fit @ 238 pounds says:

    […] a while ago, I wrote about fatblogging and, as of about a year ago, that my attempts to get myself below my then 240+ (247 peak in years past) lbs. Not a healthy weight for a 38 year old, even at a relatively tall 6 foot+ in […]

  6. bob marvin says:

    I have been using slime in my mountain bike for years. Stuff works great…. I to am in “goathead” country.

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