Workshop full of punctured bikes? Time to get some Slime in stock! Raleigh’s brand manager for Slime Stephen Robinson talks to BikeBiz about keeping bikes rolling through thick and thin…

Slime: ‘the tubeless market presents us an opportunity to grow’

There’s still plenty of thorns, tacks and glass out there – business must be good?
Yeah, it’s not bad at the moment. I think what has helped Slime grow its sales revenue is the increase of the general public turning back to cycling, not just as a hobby or past-time, but as an everyday mode of transportation to complete the daily commute to work.

This has naturally meant that consumers seek ways of reducing the risk of getting punctures while commuting to work, and therefore turn to the market leader in puncture prevention.

How has the firm reacted to the expansion of the tubeless tyre market?
Slime has and is looking at the tubeless market as an opportunity to develop and grow the brand into new markets. This has lead to the introduction on Slime Pro Tubeless Sealant, which is a latex based product designed to prevent and repair punctures, but also seal the tyre bead when using with UST and conversion set-ups. Eurobike will see new products launched too.

Are there any stock-in incentives for Slime from Raleigh this year?
As Raleigh is now the exclusive distributor of Slime bicycle products, and has been since January 2013, we’ve been able to work very closely with Slime and come up with some cracking incentives that offer the IBD everything they could want from a brand like Slime.

With just over half the year gone already, we’ve seen three different types of promotions that offered the IBD excellent rates of profit margin. We are now promoting a free interactive POS worth £100.00, when you spend £250.00, which provides education of Slime products via a media screen, as well as allowing the IBD to promote the Slime brand with minimal fuss. We’ve also got another massive incentive for the IBD, which is when they buy into the Slime promotions; they gain stamps in their Slime Passport, which provides each IBD an opportunity to entry a prise draw competition to win a trip to either New York or Las Vegas worth £1,600.00

It’s not just the green stuff made by Slime – you also make hard goods too?
Yes, Slime now also offers a comprehensive range of tyre liners, which as the name suggests, can be positioned between the inner tube and tyre to greatly reduce the risk to punctures when used with standard inner tubes.

There is also the Scab self adhesive puncture patches, which are available in both a singular carded display packets, or as a fishbowl counter top display, adding to the opportunity to increase add-on sales when the consumer is checking out.

And finally, for consumers who like to stick with tradition, Slime offers two choices of puncture repair kits consisting of patches and rubber cement, with or without tyre levers.

What about point of sale units and marketing plans for the year ahead?
Raleigh currently has a POS promotion running now. And we have planned to offer the IBD a promotion that looks at returning over 80 per cent profit margin, which isn’t something that any IBD would want to turn down. This will be announced in the fourth quarter of the year. As for the start of 2014, we’ll naturally take onboard what has worked and hasn’t worked for us when doing promotions, and ensure whatever is offer, is designed to support the IBD.

How has the formula changed over the years?
Slime develops and tests its sealants in its own onsite laboratory and testing facility, because it is dedicated to remaining the world leader in tyre repair. The manufacturing base brought in a lead chemist early on, who is still with the company today, and he recognised that making the blend glycerine-based would allow it to stay liquid in the tyre or tube much longer. It also made it environmentally friendly, non-toxic and easy to clean with just water.

Some of the major innovations came when the sealant was modified and improved to meet the extra stringent testing and standards of the automotive industry in order to be used as an OEM product by auto makers. Some other pioneering innovations that Slime has made include adding chunks of recycled rubber—bigger chunks for tyre sealant, smaller chunks for tube sealant

Slime has also created and patented ‘Fibro-Seal’ particles that build up in the puncture and intertwine to form a long-lasting, flexible plug.

And there’s a special new formula for tubeless ready bike systems that allows for a much more positive bead lock than any other sealant and is CO2 compatible.

What sizes of pre-filled tube are available?
There’s quite a list. Slime pre-filled tubes are available in two formats for the IBD, and a wide scale of sizes. Firstly, there is the Smart tube, which comes as a Schrader valve in sizes 16, 20, 24 and 26-inch with a width suitable from 1.75 to 2.125 tyres and a Presta valve option for 26 and 29-inch diameter inner tubes, which all retail for £9.99. There are also two 700c inner tube options that cover 19-25 and 28-35mm widths.

Also available are the Slime Lite Tubes, which is a lightweight butyl inner tube, pre-filled with Slime Lite Sealant. These come in a 26-inch diameter inner tube with both Presta and Schrader valve options and they both come in at 26 x 1.75-2.125. There’s also two 700c options, which cover a size range of 19-25 and 28-35 with a Presta valve. All of the Slime Lite Tubes retail for £16.99.

Raleigh: 01773 532600

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