Honestly, how often do you get flats? Does it justify the cost or the negative handling effects? I've only ever gotten one pinch flat. I did get a flat in the rear but that's more my fault for rolling over a bunch of nails.
Tire balls are a neat item but they are pricey. Slime is good only if you are using a tubeless tire. Tire sealants only work with a rigid carcass. Tubes flex too much for the stuff to work the way you wish it would. When I replace a tube I just opt for the tuff tubes, there are heavy duty and there are TUFF TUBES. You can itentify the quality of the tube by the weight. The TUFF tube is about twice as heavy as the heavy duty. They are a bit harder to mount but well worth it. If you are using them in the high desert or a rocky region I would recommend they HIGHLY.
I have no Idea what 76GMC1500 is talking about with NEGATIVE HANDLING EFFECTS?????????
Pumping half a pound of slime in your front wheel? It's unsprung weight. Foams don't give you any air pressure adjustablility. You can't opt to run your tire soft for the conditions. Some of these products also make it very difficult to change your tire should something happen to it.
I use the standerd tube and have had a hanfull of flats. I ride on very rocky trails and have been recomended to buy heavy duty tubes. I have used slime for years in my Mt. Bikes tubes and it works great, why wouldnt it work on a Dirt bike Tube. I understand it cant patch slashes, but for minor holes wouldn't it work the same?
When I was breaking in my '06 YZ125 that I ride in the tight woods, exclusively, I was very careful to make only one change at a time, (and still am!) I had backed my suspension clickers to near full soft, across the board, until things softened up a bit.
I had ridden on the stock tires several times, but now it was time to remove the factory rim protectors and replace them with something better. I decided to try some Michelins, and since I was attempting to do everything 'right' on this bike, I made sure to install "heavy duty" tubes, as well (*see note below.)
I rode the bike the same day, at the same trails that I had ridden my last ride. Of course I was focusing on the tires traction characteristics as I started out my ride, trying to compare. It seemed that the tires were working a bit better than my stockers, but not by as much of a margin as I had hoped.
Oh well, let's focus on my riding now; time to pick up the pace; lets ride!
I think is was on our 2nd loop, that I started noticing that on the higher speed bumps, the back end was 'kicking' up considerably. I was getting the the same sensation that my 1981 YZ250 used to exhibit, that the magazines at the time referred to as "Yama-kick"
It took me a while to realize that it was the extra weight (? 1-2 lbs.?) of the 'heavy' tubes I had installed.
I suppose that the heavier the bike one rides, the less noticeable this might be. I also noticed and understand that the Michelin tires seemed to have a stiffer sidewall (less flex, or give.) I also suspect that the heavy duty tubes increase the tire 'stiffness,' or lack of flex.
Bottom line, I figured out for myself, that tires and innertubes, can & do affect the way a bike rides, or "handles."
From my roadracing experience, I would bet that a back to back comparison of light & heavy tubes, at high speeds, would reveal a heavier steering feel, or resistance to turning, not to mention the need for different suspension settings.
The gyroscopic effect (precession?) is a quite noticable affect on a bike, but what I have been talking about is also discussed as comparing 'sprung weight' to 'unsprung weight."
*note: I learned this year that there are actually 3 grades of innertubes; regular (standard,) 'heavy duty,' and 'extra heavy duty.'
Here in rocky Missouri, I (and friends) have found a rather inexpensive solution.......(but a tough mounting job). Ultra HD tubes ("Fly" makes a good one) with an old tube slit down the inside and wrapped around the HD tube.... at least 15 lbs of air. One front flat in the last ten years, and that was from a broken rim lock. Slime just makes a mess.
Tire Balls are worth it, in my not-so-humble opinion. I switched to them because I'm going to the ISDE and needed something flat proof and easy to change. Tire balls fit the bill perfectly. Easy to change and pretty much impossible to get a flat.
One benefit that is not advertised is better traction. I can run a lower overall tire pressure with Tire Balls so I get UNBELIEVABLE traction now. Also, Tire balls last a lot longer than Bib Mousses which break down after a bit of riding.
There are no negative handling effects for Tire Balls. Feels exactly like a tube, but I run it with a lower pressure so I get better traction.
That sounds good, but how easy is it to adjust the pressure if needed? I used to cut a tube down the center and place a good tube in it as I mounted the tire, but I found when I lowered the pressure it had a tendincy to twist around and end up lop siding the tire.