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Old 08-26-08, 07:56 AM   #1
mconlonx 
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Sidewall puncture--repairable?

We picked up a used tandem and have been commuting on it. A bunch of flats later, I decided enough's enough and get some Schwalbe Marathons. Things are good, much better, until today--hit a nail just right enough to go through one side of the tire and out the other. The other side is actually part of the tread and just a pinhole, so I figure that will be OK to ride on. The sidewall has about a 1/4" tear where the nail must have ripped some of the casing. We limped the rest of the trip to work, about 3 mi, with the tire pumped to about 60psi and when we got to work, I could see a bit of the tube sort of poking through sidewall hole.

Is this something I can fix? Would a patch on the tire (not tube, patch would be on the inside of the tire) over the tear work at all? This tire has less than a couple hundred miles on it and it would be a real shame to have to toss it.

Last edited by mconlonx; 08-26-08 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 08-26-08, 08:35 AM   #2
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To get home from work deflate the tube, pull the tire, and stick a folded dollar bill inside the tire at the cut. Reassemble, inflate the tire, and you should be good to go. You can go to the bike shop and get a sleeve to replace the bill and that should do just fine but use your judgement. If the tire looks like it going to fail with the sleeve in place it's obviously time for a new tire. I hear you about throwing out new tires. Twice this year I've sliced tires with only 2-3 rides on them. GRRRRRRR!
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Old 08-26-08, 08:40 AM   #3
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yes u can do it, I would use a piece of an old tubular to patch it. Not the tube but the outter part thing, i believe in english its calle carcass, case or something. A bike patch will work too but the problem is that it will strech too much maybe. The other material wont strech that much so it will do a better job. U need to glue it really well anyways.

UM
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Old 08-26-08, 09:09 AM   #4
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Do you think the Park Tool Tire Boot patch would be good enough?
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Old 08-26-08, 09:16 AM   #5
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The LBS is only a short walk from work here, so I'll head down and check out a sleeve/boot for the repair. Thanks for the suggestions. Is such a sleeve/boot a permanent repair or just temporary? (I don't have a tubular tire handy that I can re-purpose... but I'll ask at the LBS and see if they do.)

Tried the dollar bill trick with a larger gash in the tread area of the old tires (which was one of the reasons I sprung for really bomb-proof Schwalbes), and while it worked for a good 8 mi, eventually the dollar shredded and we blew out again, still 4mi from home.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:47 AM   #6
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I'm going to disagree, at least to a point, with the other posters.

If, after booting and reinflating your tire, you can feel a bump in the sidewall, you have cut tire cords. If that's the case, your tire is toast. You can use something to keep the inner tube contained temporarily, but, where the cords are broken, is now a stress riser. It's like ripping a piece of cloth. Once a tear has been started, it's relatively easy to extend it.

I wouldn't ride farther on a booted tire than I'd be comfortable walking back.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:47 AM   #7
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a glued boot sleeve could last forever if you do it right
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Old 08-26-08, 10:58 AM   #8
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OK, so both the new on the block performance shop and the retro grouch paradise shop do not have boots. Are they that obscure a repair part that two shops would not have them? I plan on the following:

1) Glue on one of the wider patches that I have.
2) Grab a tyvek shipping envelope from here at work, cut and fold it down to proper size, and cover patched gash.

It's obvious that there are cut cords showing. I'm hoping the above repair will be able to get us 17.5 mi home tonight. New tire already ordered, and I'll be ordering a couple tire boots for the toolkit...
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Old 08-26-08, 12:05 PM   #9
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The Grouch is right, the fibres in the casing is cut and a boot is only a temporary fix to prevent the tube from squeezing out. The lumpity-bumps it causes is really annoying.

It IS possible to do a repair that allows forces to be transmitted across the cut fibres. You have to re-join them. I do that with Tyvek patches cut from old race numbers. These are super-strong, super-thin patches. Rough up the patch and tyre-casing with some sandpaper and use some 3M-Fastak Super Weatherstripping adhesive (follow instructions on package). I lay down two patches, and press in a vice and let dry overnight.

When installed, the cut has no bulge because the forces are sent across the fibres end-to-end. No diagonal bulges in the casing and no bumpy rides. I've successfully repaired sidewall cuts up to 10mm this way.
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Old 08-26-08, 01:44 PM   #10
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The fact you are on a tandem makes me a little more leery about a suspect tire. It's a lot more difficult for TWO people to stay in control if you get a sudden blowout.
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Old 08-26-08, 02:57 PM   #11
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The fact you are on a tandem makes me a little more leery about a suspect tire. It's a lot more difficult for TWO people to stay in control if you get a sudden blowout.
We have quite a bit of experience with staying in control after a sudden (rear tire) blowout. Thus the flat resistant tires in the first place. I'm gonna chance it on the commute home with the kludged patch/tyvek solution, but the new tire should be here tomorrow anyway.
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Old 08-26-08, 07:04 PM   #12
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Made it home with little drama. There's a bulge, carcass looks like it's tearing a bit more...

Tire is toast. Drat.
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Old 08-27-08, 03:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
1) Glue on one of the wider patches that I have.
2) Grab a tyvek shipping envelope from here at work, cut and fold it down to proper size, and cover patched gash....
Don't bother with the wider patch, it's stretchy and you don't want that. You've got cut fibers, so you want to patch that up with something that contains fibers. Tyvek is a step in the right direction, as is the old folded dollar bill trick. Downside is, their fibers are unidirectional and rather short as well as short lived.
Here's what I'd do:
0) remove tire from wheel, turn tire inside-out
1) Track down a rubbery glue/filler by the name of Liquisole or Shoegoo.
2) Get hold of a piece of nylon cloth. I've used an old jacket liner with good results.
3) Clean inside of tire around damaged area with rubbing alcohol or similar
4) cut a patch out of the nylon cloth, about an inch wider in every direction than the damaged area.
5) apply Liquisole to area to be covered by patch
6) put patch on a slick and hard surface, squeeze on some Liquisole and work it in until patch is saturated(will turn sort of transparent)
7) apply patch to pre-glued area. Work it in thoroughly (look for that transparent sheen) to get rid of any air bubbles. If needed, use more goo.

Allow to cure, reinstall, inflate and ride. I've used this method on several occasions and so far the repair has outlasted the treads. Don't know what tire pressure you're running though, which could change things. You might want to put a patch on the outside as well.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:43 AM   #14
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Don't bother with the wider patch, it's stretchy and you don't want that. You've got cut fibers, so you want to patch that up with something that contains fibers. Tyvek is a step in the right direction, as is the old folded dollar bill trick. Downside is, their fibers are unidirectional and rather short as well as short lived.
Here's what I'd do:
0) remove tire from wheel, turn tire inside-out
1) Track down a rubbery glue/filler by the name of Liquisole or Shoegoo.
2) Get hold of a piece of nylon cloth. I've used an old jacket liner with good results.
3) Clean inside of tire around damaged area with rubbing alcohol or similar
4) cut a patch out of the nylon cloth, about an inch wider in every direction than the damaged area.
5) apply Liquisole to area to be covered by patch
6) put patch on a slick and hard surface, squeeze on some Liquisole and work it in until patch is saturated(will turn sort of transparent)
7) apply patch to pre-glued area. Work it in thoroughly (look for that transparent sheen) to get rid of any air bubbles. If needed, use more goo.

Allow to cure, reinstall, inflate and ride. I've used this method on several occasions and so far the repair has outlasted the treads. Don't know what tire pressure you're running though, which could change things. You might want to put a patch on the outside as well.
Tire patch. Stretchy, yes, but worked well enough to get us home, 17.5 mi.

Folded (4x) dollar bill. Tried that another time and it got us about 8 mi before the dollar ripped, tube bulged out, and we flatted. That was with a tear in the tread portion, though.

Running pressure at 100psi on good tires, limped home with patched tire at about 70psi. Tire size is 27 x 1-1/4, if that's of any interest to anyone.

What pressure do you run that a nylon patch like you outline above has worked? I'll probably give a "flexible textile plus adhesive" permanent patch a try like you and DannoXYZ explained before tossing the tire.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:32 AM   #15
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What pressure do you run that a nylon patch like you outline above has worked?
I haven't had any reason to go above 70 PSI, which worked fine. Can't honestly say what bumping that up to 100 would do to the patch.
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Old 08-28-08, 03:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I'm going to disagree, at least to a point, with the other posters.

If, after booting and reinflating your tire, you can feel a bump in the sidewall, you have cut tire cords. If that's the case, your tire is toast. You can use something to keep the inner tube contained temporarily, but, where the cords are broken, is now a stress riser. It's like ripping a piece of cloth. Once a tear has been started, it's relatively easy to extend it.

I wouldn't ride farther on a booted tire than I'd be comfortable walking back.
+1

Safe tires aren't something to cheap out on, especially on a tandem.
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