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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    My take on sidewall repair...

    So everyone knows that Stan's works a treat and Gorilla tape does a bang up job of sealing the spoke track. My ghetto tubeless conversion is holding air beautifully, but I started with a less than perfect tire.

    A few weeks ago I picked up a nail on my commute. When I say nail, I mean railroad spike.(not really but it's huge!) It when in through the tread and out through the sidewall. "Pop, tink, tink, tink, tink, tink, tink, tink, tink, tink,!" Big nail.

    So I was still running tubes at the time. I pulled out the spear, swapped tubes and rolled the last mile to work grumbling.(not a year ago I had a pinch flat 100ft from this spot on my road bike)

    When I got to my office, I repaired the busted tube, swapped it back in and slapped tube patches over the damaged spots in the inside of the tire.(Racing Ralph EVO2) With a tube in, everything was groovy.

    This weekend, I decided to take the leap and go ghetto tubeless. I cut some valves out of old road tubes I had lying around, got out the gorilla tape and picked up a bottle of Stan's Sealant.

    Did the tape and swap Saturday night and everything sealed up tight, no leaks, and I was able to seat the bead with my floor pump even tough I had the compressor ready as a back up.

    Then the fight started. Everyone knows that self vulcanizing tube patched are not reinforced in anyway. They're just sticky rubber. By morning, that tube patch was starting to bulge out of the sidewall. WTF? Doh!

    So today when I got home, I decided this would not do. Tire boot? Nah. Tyvek? Nah. One hundred dollar bill? Nah. Fiberglass! Hell yeah! My roomate is a surfboard shaper and always has a ton of material lying around in the garage...

    So I pulled the tire off very carefully and I managed to save most of the day old Stan's in a jar. I cleaned the tire thoroughly, inverted it and put it out in the sun to dry. When it was nice and warm, I cleaned the hole very well with rubbing alcohol and let it dry. Then I put a good coating of rubber cement in the area and pressed a patch of 4lb fiberglass cloth into the glue ensuring that if was fully saturated. When it set up and put another patch of cloth over it rotating the bias 90* so it crisscrossed. I saturated that piece and put it back in the sun to set up.

    Next I put a standard tube patch over the whole thing using a tire lever to burnish it into place making sure there were no air bubbles.

    Put it back on the rim, loaded it back up with Stan's and aired it up. 40psi and no bulge!

    We'll see what it looks like in the morning. Hope it's good for my commute tomorrow!

    ...My apologies for the crappy phone pics...

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Nice repair, but it is, in my opinion, temporary at best.

    Once the cords in the tire have been broken, you have a permanent weak spot. The problem is exacerbated by high pressures (which you will be avoiding) but it is still a problem. Carry a tube and a boot, if you are going to venture out on it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Oh I agree, and I do always carry both a tube and a boot. I do that even with brand new tires...


  4. #4
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
    Reputation: thomllama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    you're fine.. I have bigger (3/4"-1" tears) that I just use the patch over it.. I do glue the tire edges to each other then clamp the patch over night. the one largest one is very lightly bulging but not an issue.. I have patches less than that on for 3 yrs now on my front tire without a problem.. great idea with the glass .. might have to try that next time
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look...

  5. #5
    Reputation: Buzzaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    My take on sidewall repair...

    I try all kinds of repairs on tires as well. I've tried something similar with epoxy and cloth strapping. I found that because it didn't flex it ended up peeling away from the tire. It worked for a while and didn't fail, but I noticed it while putting in some sealant after a month or so.
    All out of S**** and down to my last F***

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Rode with BigRingGrinder at Sycamore Canyon today. No burps, no flats. Just about ate all of the tread off of my rear tire though! Going to be looking at a new tire real soon. Kind of stoked that my repair held up so well even tubeless...

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