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Roadside Tire Repair

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Roadside Tire Repair

Old 04-18-24, 10:21 AM
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Roadside Tire Repair

After getting stuck with a damaged tire last year on Mt. Hamilton, 12 miles from my car (thank you, Good Samaritan, for picking me up), I determined to not get stuck in the same situation. Fool me once -- you know the rest.

I added the following items to my saddle roll:Well, on yesterday's descent, my rear tire blew from striking a rock, at almost exactly the same place on the road. The cut in the sidewall was substantial -- I could push my pinkie finger through it. I got my tire repair materials from the saddle roll, cut off a piece of ripstop nylon about 1" larger than the hole (rounding off the corners), dabbed some super glue on the inside of the tire, and pressed the patch in place. Time to repair, including hand-pumping with silly small mini pump: 20 minutes.

The fix worked like a charm. I was expecting to see a bulge in the sidewall when inflated, but the combination of nylon and super glue was enough to keep the hole from opening up at all. I can hardly tell where the tire was damaged. I was able to complete the descent at normal (fast) speed.

Any way, if your travels take you to places where a tire failure means a multi-hour walk in bike shoes, I recommend adding something similar to your repair kit.
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Old 04-18-24, 10:23 AM
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I just carry these.
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Old 04-18-24, 10:25 AM
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I use a strip of old tire, bout 1" x 3", with the bead cut out
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Old 04-18-24, 12:17 PM
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Duct tape
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Old 04-18-24, 01:25 PM
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is this a special thing for tubeless? for tubed tires i use paper money. when i don't have that (very rare) i'll plan on looking around for some paper blowing in teh wind because we humans are dirty pigs paper is bound to be easy to find.

normally i'd agree with the duct tape. i'm using that on a tire that i crashed in for my trainer. it bulges a lot. would not be save to ride on.
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Old 04-18-24, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
is this a special thing for tubeless?
No. If you need to boot a tubeless tire on the roadside, you're throwing in a tube, just like everybody else, but it'd be a hell of a party trick to re-seat a tubeless tire with a mini-pump.
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Old 04-18-24, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
is this a special thing for tubeless? for tubed tires i use paper money.
Yep, currency is very strong. I once used half a dollar bill (so it only cost me $.50 -- ) to temporarily boot a gashed tire while out on the road. Finished my ride and forgot all about it. A couple thousand miles later, when the tire was completely worn out, I replaced it and found the half dollar bill. It did the job beautifully.
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Old 04-18-24, 03:27 PM
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A third on paper money. I try to carry at least 5 bills. I've used several for large gashes. But I cannot see using half as bill. Fold it over and spend it when you are done! I've laundered them after. Yes, I know that's a federal crime but no one's complained so far about getting clean dough.
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Old 04-18-24, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Duct tape
My brother was running tubeless on his Emonda when he encountered a sidewall slice that did not seal with sealant.
I had a strip of Gorilla Tape holding a spare tube together and he was able to patch his tire well enough to seal and hold air.
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Old 04-19-24, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
I just carry these.
+1. Park TB-2. First day of my Erie Canal tour, last summer, near the end of the day, I hit something which slashed the rear tire and tube, about a 1” cut. I found a nice shady spot to remove all the baggage and the rear wheel. Booted, tubed, reinflated and reinstalled. Over the next 24 hours of finding another tire and riding east on the unpaved tow path to my campground for the night, that tire/boot held up fine for 60 miles, fully loaded. After making camp I swapped out the tire. The boot was very durable and saved the trip.
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Old 04-19-24, 07:24 AM
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Kinda weird but I and now all in the family carry a dollar bill size or larger piece for larger tires cut from a hazmat suit. A little rougher surface than a dollar bill and lots stronger, seals and holds up very well.
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Old 04-19-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
I just carry these.
I've used those stick-on Park boots before, but I've also had them fail pretty quickly.

They don't hold the tire gash closed very tightly, so if the hole is on a part of the tire that touches the road, the boot wears through in several miles.

I like my ballistic nylon/super glue patch better, as it holds the gash securely closed. I've ridden a few hundred miles on a tire patched in this manner.

Gorilla tape might work just as well. It's strong, not stretchy, and very sticky. But how to carry it in your saddle bag?
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Old 04-19-24, 04:53 PM
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I simply carry a light spare tire, been doing that for many years. A spare tire solves all tire problems more quickly than anything else. Have a flat? Don't bother looking for the cause, just put on the spare and a good tube and off you go, very quickly. Do the repair at home. Of course that only works for folks who still use tubes or TLR rims and who still use light tires.
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Old 04-19-24, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I've used those stick-on Park boots before, but I've also had them fail pretty quickly.

They don't hold the tire gash closed very tightly, so if the hole is on a part of the tire that touches the road, the boot wears through in several miles.

I like my ballistic nylon/super glue patch better, as it holds the gash securely closed. I've ridden a few hundred miles on a tire patched in this manner.

Gorilla tape might work just as well. It's strong, not stretchy, and very sticky. But how to carry it in your saddle bag?
I may have missed it but were you running a tube or tubeless? I just switched to tubeless and still carry my obligatory two spare tubes, boot and patch kit. Wondering how much of a pain the sealant is.
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Old 04-19-24, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal
I may have missed it but were you running a tube or tubeless? I just switched to tubeless and still carry my obligatory two spare tubes, boot and patch kit. Wondering how much of a pain the sealant is.
I running with tubes.
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Old 04-19-24, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I've used those stick-on Park boots before, but I've also had them fail pretty quickly.

They don't hold the tire gash closed very tightly, so if the hole is on a part of the tire that touches the road, the boot wears through in several miles.

I like my ballistic nylon/super glue patch better, as it holds the gash securely closed. I've ridden a few hundred miles on a tire patched in this manner.

Gorilla tape might work just as well. It's strong, not stretchy, and very sticky. But how to carry it in your saddle bag?

I don’t believe Gorilla Tape is avail in sheets - but this stuff is :

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Old 04-19-24, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
I just carry these.
^This.
These work a hell of a lot better than just using a piece of an old inner tube, because the adhesive solidly holds them in place, AND they don't bulge out of the hole under pressure.
I used them twice to patch holes big enough to push my thumb through.
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Old 04-19-24, 08:04 PM
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I always have a couple of dollars on me that I can just put inside the tire and it keeps the tube from going through the hole. I also have a little duct tape wrapped around my tire tool so I took a little piece of the tape to tack the dollar in place and put the tube in, and I was on my way. Same concept .
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Old 04-20-24, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal
I may have missed it but were you running a tube or tubeless? I just switched to tubeless and still carry my obligatory two spare tubes, boot and patch kit. Wondering how much of a pain the sealant is.
I've long since cut back to one spare tube and a patch kit. Never had to resort to the patch kit *knock on wood.*

Sealant can be a mess but - at worst - just carefully break the bead and spill it out. With an effective sealant and some darts/plugs, that shouldn't be a problem that you encounter very often, though (unless you're riding supple tires through war-torn streets).
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Old 04-20-24, 08:49 AM
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Long ago, I moved on from currency to precut pieces of Tyvek. You know, from fedex or usps envelopes. Free!
A larger sheet folds up incredibly small in my bag, in case I need chest protection for a chilly descent.
By the way, those free Tyvek strips work for a friend's cut tire, as well, rather than me coughing up a bill. lol
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Old 04-21-24, 08:12 AM
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Totally, Terrymorse, gotta carry tire repair stuff - at least for workable booting.
I would guess the Park Tools patch would be good.
But I've been using Duct tape for decades, and never let down on emergency tire repairs - as long as the 'bead' hasn't been cut. Gorilla tape would be the same, except Duct tape can be 'cut' by tearing...
I wrap the duct tape around one tire lever, enough to have about 3-4 in of full width. If seems a serious cut, I'll do 2 layers of duct tape, perpendicular to each other. Never been let down by it.
TYVEK - Great idea ! I use Tyvek for many things, including as a ground sheet for my tent, when backpacking... super light, tough, tough, tough! Also thin and nicely slick - I use a sheet (USPS envelope) to help me get my foot into my Nordica Doberman Ski Boots, which are an absolute horror to get in and out of (but, oh what a fit and performance!)
section of TYVEK under duct tape - Brilliant ! TYVEK going into the seat bag, now...
Ride On
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EDIT - for emergency work, I always carry, in the saddle bag, 3-4 of those small paper napkins you get at coffee shops, to clean the hands after doing any on-road repairs - always enough space to squish a few in. Even changing tubes can sometimes be messy... it's the 'German' in me... LOL !

Last edited by cyclezen; 04-21-24 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 04-21-24, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
EDIT - for emergency work, I always carry, in the saddle bag, 3-4 of those small paper napkins you get at coffee shops, to clean the hands after doing any on-road repairs - always enough space to squish a few in. Even changing tubes can sometimes be messy... it's the 'German' in me... LOL !
A even better solution is not to get the hands dirty at all.
That is why I always carry a few disposable vinyl gloves in my tool bag.
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Old 04-21-24, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p
I don’t believe Gorilla Tape is avail in sheets - but this stuff is :

I leave a strip of gorilla tape stuck to the bottom of my pack for this purpose.
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Old 04-21-24, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I simply carry a light spare tire, been doing that for many years.
I just started carrying a spare tire again: Totally Tubular - Page 130 - Bike Forums

FIFM:
A spare tire solves all tire problems more quickly than anything else. Have a flat? Don't bother looking for the cause, just put on the spare and a good tube and off you go, very quickly. Do the repair at home. Of course that only works for folks who still use sew-ups tubes or TLR rims and who still use light tires.
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Old 04-23-24, 09:34 AM
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I live in San Diego, and there is an unfortunate amount of glass, sharp rocks and other debris roadside. Would putting tubeless sealant in a tube help with punctures?
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