Spend $10 and 15 minutes in your garage and save hours repairing and patching flats.
Flat tires are a pain. Not only are they frustrating for kids and parents, they often sideline a bike for weeks. Fortunately, preventing flats is as simple as spending $8 at Walmart (or $10 on Amazon) and 15 minutes in the garage. Tire sealants is essentially a fiber-filled “slime” that coats the inside of a bike tube to quickly and efficiently repair and prevents flats. In most cases, Slime only needs to be added to a tire once and prevents flats for essentially the life of the tire or tube.
In the four years we have been using Slime in our kid’s bike tires, we have only experienced one flat after our son rode through a field of thorny weeds. Honestly, with all the bike riding that gets done around here, I can’t imagine life without tire sealant! The most widely available brand is Slime and is sold at Walmart, Target, most automotive parts store and Amazon. You only need about 2 oz. of slime per 12″ tire, so the 8 oz. bottle sold in the bicycle section is sufficient for two bikes. If you have several bikes to seal, consider heading over to the automotive department where the Slime tends to be cheaper by the ounce.
In order to add the Slime you will need to remove all the air out of the tire, so be sure to have a bike pump nearby before you start.
Step One: Remove the Valve Core
The inner valve of the tire stem valve must first be removed before you can add any slime. While it sounds daunting, it is actually quite easy to remove using the included tool.
Step Two: Apply Tire sealant
Once the valve is out, it’s time to add the Slime. You will need to add about 2 oz. to a 12″ tire (1/4 cup) and about 2.5 oz. for a 16″ tire. For larger tires a chart is given on the back of the slime container and a calculator is available on their website.
Step Three: Re-Inserting the Valve and Re-inflating the Tire
Once the Slime is in place, use the tool to re-insert the core. Next, inflate the tire to the correct PSI (listed on tire sidewall) and then spin the wheel to allow the Slime to evenly distribute throughout the tire.
Step Four: Repeat and Ride
Repeat steps with the second tire and then you are ready to ride. Slime does not require any waiting period, allowing the bike to be used right away.
By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: January 11, 2017
FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation was provided for this review. Two Wheeling Tots LLC bought the Slime used in this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in any way. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is an affiliate of Amazon.com.