Most helpful critical review
215 of 226 people found the following review helpful
Barely sufficient, many drawbacks
on July 7, 2008
I'm a cyclist who predominantly bikes roads with a mountain bike. I do not drive, so cycling is my way of transportation -- that means ~25 years of biking!
I've used these tubes over the past 8 months. I purchased 4 tubes, and as of yesterday I'm completely out. There are a lot of negatives to these tubes, but they do provide one positive. The negatives first:
* Easily punctured, probably due to cheap rubber being used for the tubes themselves. My destinations are very close (within 1-2 miles at most), and mostly paved streets, as well as a community bike/jogging trail and a park. The latter two mean thorns!
* Sufficient for small punctures, e.g. thin pieces of glass or metal, and (if you're lucky) thorns. The smaller the hole, the better chance it is these tubes will work for you. These won't work for metal shards that dig into your tire/tube in a straight like (e.g. a razor), or pinch flats.
* Incredibly messy when punctured while riding. The first thing you'll hear is air leaking, followed by neon green slime flying all over the place.
* The slime is in no way permanent like a patch would be. Don't let these tubes make you think the slime somehow re-galvanises the rubber tube from the inside out: they don't.
* You cannot patch these tubes once punctured. The slime is impossible to clean off (despite the box claiming it's water-soluble), and the patch will never stay. You're absolutely forced to replace the entire tire.
* Added weight, combined with a very strange feel when riding (caused by the slime shifting/moving within the tire in somewhat of a coagulated blob). Kids probably won't care, but experienced cyclists will definitely notice the difference. It's enough weight (especially on a mountain bike) that it's worth noting here.
The one positive:
* These _will_ allow you to get home once the tube is punctured. I've had all 4 punctured, and the procedure works like this: you'll stop to find your frame covered in said slime (hope you have mudguards!) before attempting to find the puncture hole. Assuming you find it, the trick is turning the tire so that the hole is against the ground (allowing the goop to flow via gravity down into the hole). Give it 45-60 seconds to set, and you should be okay for the remaining ride (hope it's a short distance). If air starts to leak again, repeat the process. Tedious, but after a while, it works.
The manufacturer would do well to use a different kind of rubber, and advocate thicker/heavier tires. My mountain bike uses incredibly soft tires (I find even the smallest of rocks dug deep into the elevated gripped areas!), which contributes to the problem.
The bottom line for me is that these tubes let me make it to work/home in the case I get a flat, but are otherwise worthless. Then again, they're fairly cheap tubes...