Tech Tuesday - Repairing A Torn Tire

May 24, 2011
by Mike Levy  

Not only will a torn sidewall quickly put an end to the day's riding, it will will also cost you money. This can be especially painful when the damaged tire still has quite a bit of life left in it, or even worse, is practically brand new. While some cuts will be fatal depending on their size and location, there still may be hope for that freshly gashed tire of yours.

What you'll need:

• High strength glue that works with rubber
• Fine grit sandpaper
• Cable cutters or scissors
• An old tire that you don't mind cutting up

Helpful pointers:

• Using the correct glue for the job is the single most important point. Be sure that your glue is designed to work with rubber - many are not. Follow the instructions carefully and allow the glue to dry for the specified time.
• Take a minute after sanding the inner wall of the tire and the patch to clean away any rubber dust that may have accumulated.
• Large cuts and tears in the sidewall will not be repairable due to too many of the casing's threads being cut. No matter how big you make the patch you'll likely find that a large bulge will appear in the damaged area once the tire has been pumped up to operating pressure. This is not safe - do not ride it!
• I say it in the video and I'll say it again here: Do not try to use a tube patch or any other stretchy material to repair the hole. It will simply stretch, come out of the hole, and you'll end up with yet another flat. You're using tire casing because it is far less elastic.

How to patch a torn sidewall:

Views: 46,036    Faves: 53    Comments: 4

Past Tech Tuesdays:

Technical Tuesday #1 - How to change a tube.
Technical Tuesday #2 - How to set up your SRAM rear derailleur
Technical Tuesday #3 - How to remove and install pedals
Technical Tuesday #4 - How To Bleed Your Avid Elixir Brakes
Technical Tuesday #5 - How To Check And Adjust Your Headset
Technical Tuesday #6 - How To Fix A Broken Chain
Technical Tuesday #7 - Tubeless Conversion
Technical Tuesday #8 - Chain Wear
Technical Tuesday #9 - SRAM Shift Cable Replacement
Technical Tuesday #10 - Removing And Installing a Headset
Technical Tuesday #11 - Chain Lube Explained
Technical Tuesday #12 - RockShox Totem and Lyric Mission Control Damper Mod
Technical Tuesday #13 - Shimano XT Crank and Bottom Bracket Installation
Technical Tuesday #14 - Straightening Your Derailleur Hanger
Technical Tuesday #15 - Setting Up Your Front Derailleur
Technical Tuesday #16 - Setting Up Your Cockpit
Technical Tuesday #17 - Suspension Basics
Technical Tuesday #18 - Adjusting The Fox DHX 5.0
Technical Tuesday #19 - Adjusting The RockShox BoXXer World Cup
Technical Tuesday #20 - Servicing Your Fox Float Shock
Technical Tuesday #21 - Wheel Truing Basics
Technical Tuesday #22 - Shimano Brake Pad Replacement
Technical Tuesday #23 - Shimano brake bleed
Technical Tuesday #24 - Fox Lower Leg Removal And Service
Technical Tuesday #25 - RockShox Motion Control Service
Technical Tuesday #26 - Avid BB7 Cable Disk Brake Setup
Technical Tuesday #27 - Manitou Dorado Fork Rebuild
Technical Tuesday #28 - Manitou Circus Fork Rebuild
Technical Tuesday #29 - MRP G2 SL Chain Guide Install
Technical Tuesday #30 - Cane Creek Angleset Installation
Technical Tuesday #31 - RockShox Maxle Lite DH
Technical Tuesday #32 - Find Your Tire Pressure Sweet Spot
Technical Tuesday #33 - Three Minute Bike Preflight Check
Technical Tuesday #34 - MRP XCG Install
Technical Tuesday #35 - Stem Choice and Cockpit Setup
Technical Tuesday #36 - Handlebars - How Wide Affects Your Ride

Visit to see their entire lineup of tools and lubes.

Heading out to the garage to patch some cut rubber? Do you have a tip of your own that you'd like to share? Put it down below!


  • 28 1
 I once ripped my sidewall out at a downhill race while riding down to the top of the start line for my race run. We repaired it with duct tape and 4 or 5 lift tickets, I rode it like that for the remainder of the tires life.
  • 26 3
 Good to have mike back for the tech tuesday
  • 10 0
 Rather than cutting up a tire to make a patch just go to a local automotive or truck tire shop a pickup a vulcanizing tire patch. This type of patch is designed to be used with vulcanizing glue and will outlast the tire.
  • 7 0
 I just use duct tape.. hasn't let me down yet Big Grin
  • 28 0
 then again we all know that duct tape is the strongest material known to mankind!
  • 7 50
flag nouser (May 24, 2011 at 13:44) (Below Threshold)
 i hope you guys are kidding, its actually "DUCK" tape not "duct" tape...
  • 5 1
 completly serious, I ripped the wall on my minion and i put a few layers of duct tape on it and its worked a bloody treat for at least a month now. oh, and google has informed me both are correct.. so stfu?
  • 13 0
Its 'Duct' tape... Duck tape is a brand of 'Duct' Tape.
  • 1 0
 Duck and Duct are both perfectly acceptable. Now get along or else I'm getting out the extension cords again.
  • 7 0
 May your tire live long and prosper with vulcanizing tire patches.
  • 5 0
 ^^^ I knew somebody would say that eventually Facepalm ^^^
  • 5 0
 I think this is a good time to start the "fork" or "forks" argument Smile
  • 12 0
 Fork *points to bike*
Forks * points to kitchen*
Problem solved.
  • 8 0
 Duct (a/k/a "Gaffer" tape) is like The Force: It has a Light Side, a Dark Side, and it holds the universe together.
  • 5 0
 Duct tape is generally grey, is shiny and will leave goo on your gear if left too long, gaffer tape is matte black and less likely to become a nasty mess in the long term. Oh and if you have to actually tape up a duct, use aluminum duct tape. Cloth duct tape fails after a couple of years.
  • 9 0
 This guy is an expert on tape!
  • 10 0
 Tech Tuesday rocks!
  • 7 1
 This has been the best tech tuesday since Richard Cunningham came allong,glad mike is back
  • 7 0
 Wooo Mike and his funny preview still shot funny faces are back!!!
  • 3 2
 These things are getting worse now its the home of opinion based garage fixes I could easily make the same video and say a tube patch on the outside and one on the inside as well will hold... EXAMPLE That tires at about 80psi too.

i've also repaired tires with butyl and duct tape

In my opinion these should go back to tuning derailleurs and setting up shifting instead of over pressurizing your shock with CO2 and fixing garbage.
  • 1 0
 They are trying to cover a wide range of issues. I send these videos to friends when they have issues and I can't be there to help..
  • 5 0
 I totally get what they are trying to do but as a mechanic who works at a bikeshop one of the worst things to hear is

"I saw a video about how to fill my shock with a CO2 can" "then it blew up"
"Why do my tubes keep puncturing i saw a video about how to fix cuts in the sidewalls." "now all the tubes you sell me aren't staying inflated its your fault give me free ones"

Now i have to explain to them that a patch is not a worth fix how many bike shops fix tubes (very few) its often more failsafe to replace the tube what makes you think you can patch a tire if Tube patches hardly stay...

I am going to go down as that guy who just hated on it all for no reason. But the fact of the matter is (especially on the internet) you HAVE to play to the lowest common denominator and they will not be able to do this safely and effectively.

I get the whole wide range of issues i do but the fact is that unless there is a way to make sure that only competent people will try this there is always going to be issues.
  • 1 0
 customers who blame you for their screw ups suck. As a former tech I can relate. It doesn't matter how many times you adjust the derailleur, if they don't take the load off the chain and cross chain it won't shift right. Nevertheless, when a customer breaks their own bike and brings it to you to fix it you get to work on it and make money. That's your job. You should be glad if Tech Tuesday gets you more business.
  • 4 0
 HA HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Loved the out takes. Nice job and thanks for the tips!
  • 1 0
 I find Tire Plug kits work great, and would trust them far more than the method explained here. It takes about 2 minutes and can be used in a tubeless setup. For $5.00 you can't go wrong.
  • 1 0
 while this is all good info for patching a tire, i have a much simpler, much faster way, AND it can be done with a 1" cut close to the bead : first, the ABSOLUTELY BEST GLUE IN THE WORLD - GOOP, about $12 a tube, dries fast and cures in hours AND this glue requires NO tube or other materials - you simply force some Goop into the cut and then for good measure put some on the inside and outside of the tire, smooth it over with your finger; this glue dries with an adhesion and strength that is amazing, yet is pliable, perfect for a rubber tire !
i had a cut all the way through a DH double sidewall and ran it for months with no problems and it is still good and i am keeping it as a spare.
GOOP repairs virtually anything [ eg. you can build up worn down shoesoles or heels on your fav flats that are worn off on an angle by simply using masking tape on the edge of the heel to create the shape ] I even have repaired a busted up bumper on my JW - about the only thing i would not recommend it for is a repair that requires a Epoxy type glue, hard with no give...
  • 7 3
 Much easier to just buy a new tyre
  • 4 1
 I found it really useful.... I bought a brand new tyre, within the first week got a cut in the sidewalland had to buy a new tyre but now i can save cash and repair that one
  • 6 1
 He said at the very start it was too save money. So if you have the time, this does exactly that.
  • 1 0
 having trouble there? haha
  • 1 0
 Im gunna have to do thi, I go a small split in my sidewall and I dont have 40 quid for a new tyre
  • 5 4
 Tyres from CRC are so cheap (DH tyres from £8.99-£10.99 26X2.5), This video is very helpful but for safety reason if tyres are worn out or torn throw it and buy a new one...Its only my opinion...
  • 6 4
 yepp. that's what i thought too. It is good to know, how to do it, but it is the same with the higher mathematics learned in school. You know it, but you will never use it ever in your life. Unless you study some space out things...Astrophysics or sg like that...
  • 9 0
 Cheap tyres are not necessarily good tires though... if you have a £40+ tyre and it rips, if its still got plenty of tread you're probably going to want to try and repair it rather than fork out for a replacement, or put on a bargain bin tyre...
  • 11 0
 I use duct tape..
But this is a little more professional looking. Im going to try it on one of my old michelins, then sell it to a friend Razz
  • 1 3 copy and paste the link...@ dingus will you keep your old wasted tyres to repair for this? I dont think so. its free delivery. be a wise buyer!
  • 2 1
 this may show my ignorance ...which i try hard to act like i dont have
but this is the first ive ever heard of (repairing) a tire
ive always been told to replace a tire thats even slightly damaged for safty reasons...
  • 1 0
 quite frankly, it only becomes a safety issue if you ride hard, if you don't abuse it too much it might hold.
  • 2 0
 @yelyayan1976 if you rip a high roller your not exactly going to replace it with a spike tyre. that WTB does look to be a good deal but it still comes down to rider preference, if the tyres you ride and trust are £40 each then your willing to spend that much to get them and will repair ripped ones. just my opinion based to trying out various different downhill tyres
  • 1 0
 @chrisbee, sorry dude, I wanted to give you positive props, accidently hit the wrong button hehe
  • 1 0
 west that would probably mean that this video isnt for me then because doing freeride my swamp things and muddy marrys arent going to like being patched still good to know though ... that i wasn't completely wrong
  • 1 0
 all well and good just throughing it out and getin another one bit if its a 35quid mac dirt then i wanna repair it!
and would it work on kevlar if u used a wiere tyre for the pacth?
  • 1 0
 around here we use this kind of repair more like a "temporary repair" when you are on the trail. Who wants to walk when you can ride. I usually carry a piece of rubber from an old tire or thick inner tubes, but also use whatever is on hand, like pieces of plastic from beverage bottles, wood bark, or whatever is on my backpack or the trail that can hold the inner tube pressure. Never used duct tape but I agree that is strong and versatile. I will try it some day.
  • 1 0
 I used a dollar bill folded up and smothered in a GU chomp. Stuck in in as the patch, repaired my tube and made it another 17 miles. May not be a permanent fix but it got me home.
  • 2 0
 haha i did the same thing with a double triple layer of bus tickets. it actually worked xD
  • 1 0
 I just buy a new tire. Id hate to have the tire rip out while flying down a trail at 20-30mph. Id also hate for it to rip out when Im 20 miles back in on my favorite trail.
  • 1 0
 Did this before (patched a ripped tire a few years ago). Glad to know PB is giving out tips which would actually save you money rather than the other way around Smile
  • 1 0
 this is such a bad i-d-a to show ppl how to do this... so many ppl going to do this and get soo hert when the peach gives way.
  • 5 0
 Well just go back to the market and buy more peaches then...
  • 1 0
 ive used multiple layers of duck tape and contact cement and its still working fine today just dont ride the tire anymore cuz i got better ones
  • 1 0
 Seems like quite the dick around for something so easily replaceable but pod tip if your in a bind!!
  • 3 5
 Awww... Mike has so confident voice in that tech tuesday, must be an amazing bait for girls... never go to the club with Mike boys, at least do not allow him to talk about fixing cut tyres, as you won't get any girl that night - all of them will end up with Mike, super-glue, patches and tyre levers in a workshop
  • 2 0
 fuck sitting there for 30 minutes holding the patch on with pressure!!!!!
  • 2 0
 could you not just use the glue from punture repair kits?
  • 1 0
 the glue isnt strong enough
  • 1 0
 how could sbd don't know about it?... It's simple as eatin soup with spoon...
  • 2 0
 Keep Mike on Tech Tuesday!
  • 1 0
 rofl at the guy that said its called "duck" tape... its DUCT tape because its main use is for connecting A/C air ducts...
  • 1 0
 mike, have you been working out?
  • 2 0
 Nonono... it is just the skinny bike in front of him. :-)
  • 1 0
 I'd probably just give up and spend a few quid on a sexy new tyre.
  • 2 0
 a few squids
  • 1 0
 This is what duct tape is for.
  • 1 0
 i needed this so badly! thanks tech tuesday
  • 1 0
 can the tyre be patched with tube?
  • 1 0
 if you listen he said no.
  • 1 0
 yeah, too stretchy. I do have some tyre patches though. They are thicker, but an old tyre is still better.
  • 1 0
 Or you could just use duct tape......
  • 1 0
 this is how i fix my tires before i saw this
  • 1 0
 I would like to hear what the tire manufacturers think.
  • 1 0
 i used duct tape lasted 5 years before i got new tires
  • 1 0
 Joe Yo is an idiot cruelty and the beast is the man
  • 1 0
 bet his bikes are the best maintained bikes in the world!
  • 1 0
 the outtakes were pretty funny lol
  • 1 0
 wow thats an interesting PRO CESS
  • 1 0
 bahahaha and my mech says i need a new tire!
  • 1 1
 Are those Park Tool Scissors?
  • 1 0
 What happened to RC?
  • 1 0
 You'll see the two of them sharing TT through out the year as well as guests.
  • 1 0
 "F***" hahahahaha
  • 1 0
 one word. duct tape
  • 1 1
 or you could put a piece of cardboard where the tear is works like a charm
  • 1 1
 bmx >?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2000 - 2020. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.020011
Mobile Version of Website