Pinkbike Poll: How Often Do You Repair Your Mountain Bike Gear?

Jul 16, 2021
by Mike Kazimer  


Even though part of my job involves testing the latest and (supposedly) greatest mountain bike gear, I still have a stockpile of items that see regular use despite being multiple seasons old. Things like shoes that fit too perfectly to retire, knee pads that have saved my bacon on dozens of occasions, rain jackets that have kept me dry through multiple Pacific Northwest winters; the list goes on.

I started thinking about this topic the other day as I opened up a fresh tube of ShoeGoo in an attempt to eke a few more miles out of a shoe with a delaminating sole. As the toxic fumes wafted through my basement hideout, I started wondering what other riders do when their gear starts to get tattered and worn. A little time with a needle and thread can go a long way, and you don't need to be a professional seamstress to patch a rip or a blown-out seam. The fixes don't need to be pretty either, as long as they work – the goal is to revive an item's function, and fashion can take a backseat.

I'm far, far from the world's best sewer, but I can muddle my way through basic repairs thanks to all the practice I got fixing torn ski pants and jackets during my ski bum days. Back then, duct tape was the first step, and when that inevitably failed it was time for a better fix. Now, if a strap rips off a pack, or I tear a hole in the side of a favorite pair of shorts I'll at least try to repair it.

That brings us to this week's poll question - how often do you repair your mountain bike gear? In this case, gear is a blanket term for everything from shorts to shoes to backpacks. Basically, the non-bike components that you regularly use while riding.

Rapha's recently released mountain bike apparel even comes with a repair kit that has adhesive patches to help extend the lifespan of their clothing. Given the price of mountain bike clothing, that's a nice little touch.



How often do you repair your mountain bike gear?



Do you know how to sew?




145 Comments

  • 417 3
 I have some old 5 10 shoes that are indestructible and then I have owned an Adidas acquired pair of 5 10's that were not so indestructible. Moral of the story... The big brand acquisition did not take my product to the next level as anticipated and actually cost more that my original product.
  • 10 4
 @GarytheDestroyer, I had a pair of Freerider pro's, pre-Adidas era. And they lasted lover four years. I now ride in a pair of Sam Hill's, which are now over 4 years old. They are just finally coming apart at the toe cap a bit. Just like my Freeriders eventually did. So, personally I haven't seen any significant change in quality personally. But, I will agree that the price is getting a little steep.
  • 134 0
 Subtle Smile
  • 45 0
 Freeriders really are the perfect metaphor for the outside acquisition
  • 16 1
 I believe a lot of the quality issues that came up with 5.10s were because post-acquisition they started using "environmentally friendly" glue which was garbage. (This is what a 5.10 rep told me at their Crankworks booth.) Having shoes that fall apart and end up in a landfill doesn't seem like the most environmentally responsible approach, but that's what Adidas wanted to prioritize. The rep was apologetic, but that's what the corporate overlords decreed.

Making this a parable of the PB/Outside merger is honestly too obvious to bother with...
  • 29 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: probably too subtle… I think it flew over a lot of heads.
  • 2 0
 Hahahahahahaha
  • 25 0
 "the big brand acquisition did not take my product to the next level". f*cking lmao.
  • 15 0
 @GarytheDestroyer username checks out
  • 3 1
 @Drew-O: Could be the crap cardboard last, soft rubber that stitching easily rips through, and the lack of any_insole. From a shoe makers point of view, they're Payless shoes with tech rubber on the bottoms.
  • 5 0
 This wins on so many levels. Sadly it will never be in comment gold on the podcast...
  • 2 3
 Freeriders have had self-destructing soles since at least 2014. One of the reasons i switched to clips and never looked back.
  • 1 0
 I bought some sleuth DLX’s, and let me tell you, you are entirely correct. Addidas can’t make a flat pedal to save their life.
  • 12 0
 If I was a billionaire, one of the ways I'd give back to the mtb community would be to buy Five Ten from Adidas, shut down shoe production completely, and license the rubber compound to anyone who wants to attach it to a well-made pair of shoes.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: this is very interesting info. Thx for sharing.
  • 3 0
 @Drew-O: I think that has happened alot. I know bike radar did a test on waterproof shorts and the endura ones they tested won the previous year but we're crap in the test and endura's response was they had moved to a environmentally friendly waterproof coating. But this has been going on for decades in different industries the old lead based paint a in the automotive industry were a lot better than 2 PAC paints which again are better then modern water based paints
  • 2 0
 Beautiful.
  • 1 0
 @muscogeemasher: I wish you all the best with this. The Adidas Five Tens aren't even remotely shaped like my feet (why are the toes pointy!? Are these designed for elves?!) but I keep wearing the damn things because nothing else comes close to the grip.
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: adidas cleats fit the same way, the exact reason why I wear Nike. Buying 510 is something addidas never should’ve done.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: the soles should really be stitched on along with the glue. Glue by itself just isn't enough, although it does appear that a few of their shoes still have stitched on soles, so I would personally avoid the ones that are just glued on without stitching
  • 138 1
 Kaz, blink twice if outside is making you write this.
  • 1 0
 I'm dying!!
  • 1 0
 Tor-tu-re
  • 83 0
 I repair the soles of my shoes every 5-10 days.
  • 3 1
 This deserves all the upvotes
  • 3 2
 Lol repairs to my 5.10's every 5 to 10 days of riding is on par. So far, I've used fishing line, shoe goo and super glue.
  • 9 0
 @joemo5: you did a great job at explaining the joke.
  • 4 0
 And I thought the 5-10 was the approximate amount in litres water my old impacts held for days after a damp ride.
  • 2 0
 lolololol
  • 1 0
 @BobbyHillbomb: Did you get it, or should I offer more detail?
  • 75 2
 Outside: "Based on your comments section our board has become concerned that your users are a bunch of dirtbags who won't appreciate our upcoming story '5 must-have jackets over $300.' Please confirm/deny."
  • 72 4
 Surprised nobody has angrily requested a PB poll regarding their hurt feelings about the Outside acquisition...

#you'llstillcometopinkbikethough
  • 2 0
 The Pinkbike company is not happy with me--that's okay, I'll still keep reading that garbage.
  • 10 0
 Hard to break habits, hard to reprogram yourself to read vital instead of Pinkbike when taking your usual shit
  • 28 2
 This poll is just preparation for “the 5 best sewing kits” listicle that will appear on Outside+ next month.
  • 23 2
 They should do a poll on which site we all move to next after the paywall goes up.
  • 1 0
 Name checks out... Bow down before forced standard changes and overpriced shit.
  • 3 0
 I come to Pinkbike out of muscle memory.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: How to repair your RAB puffer onesie when it gets caught in your chain ring while your everesting k2.
  • 45 0
 Only participating if I receive compensation. Seems fair in light of the impending paywall.
  • 2 0
 Exactly. Done with this supplying free market information. Put a bike up for grabs or something, but I guess everyone will complain about Outside and still just participate in these surveys.
  • 33 0
 Needs a other option: I keep riding it after ripping
  • 5 0
 exactly. i have some super worn-out torn-up gear but what's the point in wasting time repairing if it will just get wrecked in again.
  • 3 0
 I was looking for the option: I spend hours repairing, then do one ride and it didn’t work...then I buy a new one.
  • 36 7
 By answering this poll you’re giving them data that will later be monetized
  • 91 19
 Right, I’m sure Singer Sewing Machines are eagerly awaiting the results.
  • 44 0
 @mikekazimer: It's about time people stood up to Big Cobbler
  • 14 0
 Already getting targeted ads for SuperBoost thimbles and bobbins
  • 8 10
 @mikekazimer: enlighten us then Mike as to the meaning of this apparently inane poll?

It's only purpose serves ad an indication of how bad content will get for future non-premium-subscribers
  • 34 2
 @valleytroll, I was fixing my shoes and this question popped into my head, so I turned it into a little poll. There's no secret motive, and it's not meant to be some in-depth, groundbreaking story - it's just a way to see what people are doing with their gear.
  • 11 1
 @mikekazimer: The fact that you actually doctor your gear instead of leveraging some new bro flow gives you cred in my book FWIW.
  • 3 0
 @TannerValhouli I've thought this for awhile, I totally agree.
  • 4 0
 ... which isn't too bad considering that answering polls may result in better products tailored more to your needs, which you don't have to buy if you don't want to. We get to vote with our dollars spent, answers to polls, and of course bitching in PB comments, lol.

(... and this monetization of poll data is small potatoes in comparison to the siphoning of your personal data from your cell phone, including location and any data you grant access to, and social media website usage.)

Zuckerberg has joined the chat>
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer:

Like I always say, Sewing is like Welding with Fabric.
  • 5 0
 @chrod: I haven’t purchased a coke product in 10 years, some how they still exist. I haven’t purchased anything from McDonalds in 15 years, and they still exist.

Every single time I find a textile product that I love, I buy multiples of it, because every single time it gets “improved”, it’s worse in some way.

My point is that voting with your dollar doesn’t work.
  • 3 0
 @Unrealityshow: Mountain bikes have a much smaller buyer base than Coke and McDonald's. (hundreds of millions to billions of customers, for those companies, vs. maybe hundreds of thousands to millions for MTB'ers?)

Still, Coke and McDonald's have both succumbed somewhat to popular pressure for less unhealthy options, but there are still droves of people who buy and eat fast food, so they continue to make it.

Dropper seatposts, the most impactful recent innovation in the MTB world. Once mountain bikers started buying them the selection and quality of dropper posts exploded. You can get a great post from a dozen companies for under $300 now, when 5 years ago it would have cost you 50% more.

Craft beer and coffee: people buy tasty, well-made stuff and local breweries continue to make it. We have an awesome selection at our fingertips in most cities.

MTB Tires: those have been continually improved in terms of tread pattern, compound, tubeless technology, and inserts. Are you still using up your stock of Kenda Nevegals because the "improvements" are bogus?
  • 2 0
 @chrod: When I mentioned textiles, I was referring to clothes and shoes. It’s painfully difficult for me to find shorts, pants, and shoes that fit and are comfortable. Even when I purchase those things, they still go through a redesign, and the next time that I need to replace one of those products, I have to start another arduous quest.

Im tired of having my favourite things eliminated because of the profit motive. I’m tired of people saying capitalism is the best, because if you don’t like it you can do something different. In my experience neither of this statements are true.
  • 3 0
 @Unrealityshow: That’s because it is voting, not dictating. Coke is still a goliath because people love their diabeeetus. But nobody has forced you to drink coke, right? A lot of good products eventually become crap because most people only want to (or can only) afford cheaply produced items with short life spans, so that’s where the money is. Things change and you’ve gotta be prepared to move on.
  • 1 1
 @mikekazimer: clearly someone is or you wouldn't have done the poll in the first place lol.
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: Glue works better than sewing for fixing ripped Goretex?
  • 1 0
 @emarquar: don't mess with my squat cobbler
  • 1 0
 The first step was making users pay for trailforks. The writing was on the wall. I bet that at some point pinkbike will take a portion of the sale of items sold using the buy and sell.
  • 1 1
 @Unrealityshow: That's because I buy 2 double cheese burgers for every one you don't.
  • 16 0
 There's a lovely woman in Squamish who is an absolute wizard of repairing gear. Blown-out crotches, ripped jackets, and torn kneepads live 2-3x as long due to her excellent efforts—and there's no chance I could do any of that repair work myself. That option is definitely missing from the poll—I'm not handy at all, but my gear gets repaired sooner than it gets replaced.
  • 2 0
 same in North Van: Danielle at DCH sewing. She can also do amazing goretex repairs/seam taping as well. Screw throwing away gear. Just repair it. It's even cooler than new stuff that way too. I am Picasso with the Shoe-Goo though. Every tool box should have a tube.
  • 2 0
 Which store is this!?
  • 9 1
 What exactly are you doing to your crotch to "blow it out"?!!!!
  • 1 0
 @ReubenSandwich: Thicc adductors.

I want Kevlar reinforced crotch panels for all pants.
  • 14 2
 "Rapha's recently released mountain bike apparel..."

This sounds very much like an Outside quote...
  • 10 0
 Pro tip: the old gore Tex jacket that isn't cutting it anymore for skitouring and hiking is plenty good enough to go goof around in the woods and crash into dirt piles ...
  • 11 0
 Every time I break my helmet, I glue it back together. That's ok, right??
  • 7 0
 I've brought my 5Ten Kestrels back to life a few times with contact cement.
  • 1 0
 E6000 glue, i use it almost as much as hot sauce.
  • 6 0
 Wheres the option for having gear thats falling apart but doing nothing about it and just looking like an absolute mess on the trails
  • 3 1
 My Shimano shoes delaminate roughly 1x every year. Bring them back for warranty and start the clock over again. 10 years running now. Cause Shimano's glue is only marginally better than shoe goo and they refuse to acknowledge and solve the problem.
  • 1 0
 I think Shoe Goo is better than Shimano's glue. That being said, the more expensive Shimano shoes seem to wear really well. I remember when Shimano's shoe warranty was along the lines of "if the upper fails before the sole, we'll replace the shoe"
  • 4 0
 Following thorough market research , Outside's new subscription-only feature service starts with the survivalist inspired ....'Sewing for Mountain Bikers'
  • 1 0
 No, they're just figuring out which companies to exclude from their lists they put out. So...Kitsbow is safe as nobody who spends $300+ for shorts would ever admit any faults.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer Great point/small article, I hadn't thought of using shoe goo when my shoes delaminated last year. I'd rather my stuff last longer than buy new crap that never fits quite as good as the 5 year old shoes did. But I wanted to point out another option: more often than fixing gear I take it to someone, since they tend to do a better job. A lot of towns have places that can do this, and I trust their sewing a lot more than my own (particularly with replacing buckles on backpacks which happens surprisingly frequently to me, I think I step on them).
  • 2 0
 Have had freerider & freerider pros for years, but it was the pro's that delaminated after only 5 months & oddly - 5-10 replaced them. I then got the $180 (shipped) highest end hi-top trail cross mid pro model but in just 3 months, the seams on the very top of the cuffs opened up and the D-30 padding fell out. This is with all of 8-10 rides on them. 5-10 then shat on me and said "that is just normal wear & tear". Normal wear & tear - for the stitching to come undone on two shoes and the insides to fall out in 8-10 relatively benign winter rides? f*cking please - what is a warranty for if not for this?

5-10 refused to support their single most expensive high-end product, so you can believe I now tell everyone how shit these things are. I dont' even wear them now even tho I manually stiched the cuffs back up. Why advertise for them when they won't support their very own BMW model - and blew me off immediately and refused to discuss again. Will never buy any 5-10 again and sure, it means nothing to them, but I highly encourage all of you not to buy the trail cross mid pro's...maybe you'll be fine & they won't blow up. But I can promise you this: if they do, you're shit out of luck because 5-10 does not support their product.
  • 1 0
 I love the Speci Body Geometry Grail gloves, the best...but worst quality. You almost immediately have to sew the gel padding in place and the cover on top of it. I'm on my 3rd set and all of them have the same issue as all the reviews on Speci's website so I start sewing.
  • 1 0
 I've got tubeless now, but I'd usually try to repair tubes, but sometimes it's just easier to pay and put a new tube in, like when the old one has a bad snake bite or there was slime in it, because then the patches struggle to adhere.
  • 1 0
 A part time stitch bitch, always repair if possible, a good Juki walking foot
machine will do most heavy duty stuff.

Make your own fabric patch using very sticky Lohmann double sided tape
and your choice fabric to match repair, it beats the cost of using GEARSKIN™
  • 1 0
 I can't sew. But that tube of shoe glue is far more environmentaly responsible than throwing away garments that get ripped or torn. BTW that glue works great on jackets, shorts, pants and shoes. Shame no one makes riding shorts and gloves out of hemp.
  • 1 0
 As much as riding gear is expensive I find it to be made to a good standard. Crash damage aside the stuff generally lasts a long time. I’m comparing this to snowboard gear which I find to wear very quickly regardless of price.
  • 1 0
 Every 6 days of hard riding, = 1 day of tune and tighten up with a shit short ride. Skip a tune day, and put up with crumby shifting, burnt tires, rubbing brakes and plenty of excuses to bitch about on the climb. As if bugs, sun, and ugly step ups/roots water crossings werent nough. Gotta wash the riding britches once n while too. Even if a sink soak drain the skungy filth.
  • 5 1
 Funny, my shoe glued ME7s died on my last night.
  • 2 0
 My ME7's recently took their last gasp too. The unholy conglomerate of a year's build up of Shoe Goo, contact cement and Super Glue finally gave out letting it's sole go free
  • 1 0
 How long have you guys had your ME7?

Just bought mine last month. Had the opportunity to use it just for a single muddy ride before another covid lockdowns.
  • 1 0
 @rifu: Got a year out of them. Fell apart quickly. Local rocky terrain
  • 2 0
 @mobiller: ouch, that is pretty quick. High mileage, 2/3 rides per week I presume?

My previous shimano shoes usually last for three year or more (with a trip to the cobbler after two year or so).
  • 1 0
 I was using shoe goo (love the stuff) to glue ME tread back onto the sole until a buddy told me to use gorilla glue. GG has held up for much longer. YMMV
  • 1 0
 Mine lasted about 3 years before the tread around the cleats started to come away.
  • 1 0
 @rifu: Mine lasted 2 years before the rubber ripped near the cleat and shoe goo lasted another 2 years.
  • 1 0
 for tech wear I'm fully willing and ready to bust out the needle and thread to mend up holes and tears. For some stuff (promo tshirts, I've got a million) I'll bust out the machine to tailor them down to fit
  • 5 1
 Shoo Goo is pure gold on my shoes - also E6000 - that stuff is NASA shit.
  • 4 0
 I used Shoe Goo thru many years of skateboarding. But here in recent years, for my mtb shoes, I've switched to Gorilla Glue Clear Grip. Sticks better, for longer. And it dries crystal clear. So you don't have to worry about excess as much. .
  • 2 0
 E6000 ftw
  • 6 2
 No more free consumer data for the Outside overlords from me....
  • 4 1
 Now that PB has been outsized, sorry, outsided, I won't do these polls again
  • 2 0
 It's kind of like a mountain bike bell curve. Have you seen my bike? And have you seen how I arrived at trailhead? The answer to both will answer the gear question..
  • 2 0
 Shoe Goo is fantastic for repairing tears and punctures in tires, even near the bead. You can use it in conjunction with patches.
  • 1 0
 I certainly would need a lot of practice and to do some reading to make clothes for others but I made some of my clothes on my own as a child. Thread and fabric isn’t rocket science.
  • 2 0
 August headline by Outside "How to sew your own outside adventure clothing to better please your partner and save the planet"
  • 1 0
 Just Shoo Gooed my VXi’s for the umpteenth time. Desperately trying to keep them going for as long as possible now that 5.10/Adidas have discontinued them. What are wide footed riders supposed to wear?
  • 1 0
 Not so secret secret. You can get your mountain bike shoes resolved by a climbing shoe cobbler. My flat pedal shoes can uselly withstand 4 resoles.
  • 2 0
 Totally, but when I asked my local cobbler about 5 10s, he laughed and said, "that's how I bought my boat!". Yeesh. Sounds about right considering the sole issues.
  • 1 0
 What are people using to fix holes that can't be sewn or aren't along a seam? Is there some kind of "melt-able" material that you can iron onto a garment to patch a hole?
  • 6 0
 Boogers and gum from the sidewalk
  • 1 0
 My local dry cleaner does clothing repairs. I tore my TLD pants (not on a seam) and they repaired them with a weld of some sort. They are just like new.
  • 1 0
 I've used craft fabric glue and a patch of scrap material on a long sleeve riding jersey. I'd torn the forearm on a tree, 12 months later I took a slide in the dirt and had to re-glue it but otherwise it worked a treat. Glue it on the inside so its not visible of course.
Your local craft/ sewing shop will hook you up.
  • 1 0
 Iron-on goretex patch. You can sew the edges on if you are worried about them coming up but I haven’t found it to be necessary usually.
  • 2 0
 I like the Gear Aid Tenacious Tape.
  • 3 0
 I have someone who can sew - certain things - for me... =]
  • 6 0
 There's some innuendo, but I'm not clever enough to decode.
  • 2 0
 @njcbps: I used to have my mother cut my long jeans for riding as well as making a backpack with the remaining legs(leg)... If I need to have something repaired with sewing - ATM, she'll be the one to do it... O.O
  • 1 0
 @PDXooo: Ah yes, my Mother also used to sew and fix clothing for me too. She replaced a chamois in a pair of lycra tights too ... don't think anyone does that now.
  • 1 0
 @njcbps: It may not be done by many anymore - but I still think you may be able to request it from, her...
  • 1 0
 My sewing skills are decent, but the stich I know best is used for closing up people, not ripped gear. Glad to only have had to use it a couple of times. Smile
  • 4 1
 No more free consumer data for the Outside overlords from me....
  • 2 1
 ANYBODY ELSE THROWING A MONKEY WRENCH INTO THE SYSTEM BY JAMMING THESE POLLS WITH STATIC? NOBODY I REPEAT NOBODYS GONNA REALLY REALLY KNOW ABOUT ME AND MY SHOE GOO
  • 1 0
 i know plenty about sewing and also know that my time is more valuable than the forced labor in CHINA that can make my new clothes
  • 2 0
 'Does your mother sew!? BOOM! Getter to sew THAT!"
  • 1 0
 I keep stuff for a long time. My current Lake MTB shoes were purchased 2008, and recently had to glue a de-laminated sole.
  • 1 0
 Is this Kaz’s way of telling us that we better tighten our boot straps for the upcoming paywalls?!
  • 1 0
 Ripped my pants open twice. Sister patched them up. Any mechanical breakage I do everything I can
  • 1 0
 I had to modify a brand new pair of poorly designed 100% shorts just so that they worked properly, does that count?
  • 1 0
 The soles came off my xc shoes - shoe goo to the rescue Smile * and zip ties during the ride.
  • 1 0
 Shut up you idiots stop saying shoe goo or outside will paywall skateboarding too.
  • 2 0
 every pair of 5.10s should come with a large tube of shoe goo
  • 1 0
 All my repairs are done with duct tape.
  • 1 0
 How often do i sew?
I'll sew you
  • 1 0
 You should have an option "know someone who can sew"
  • 1 0
 Shoe Goo is one of my favorite things!
  • 1 0
 I’ve fixed the gear cable once !
  • 1 0
 Everything is overpriced and falls apart real fast.
  • 2 2
 Shame on you, TS ! You should ban yourself !
  • 1 1
 never. i dont buy brands that rip, tear or blows out.
  • 1 1
 If I'd have to repair anything, it'd be on the Outside Wink
  • 1 1
 5:10's quality has gone DH..More shoe goo than shoe by the end of season.
  • 1 1
 Repairing shredded stuff is Outside my expertise….
  • 1 1
 the only thing that needs to be repaired is pinkbike
  • 2 4
 Results of the poll via a paywall coming to you in the near future.
  • 2 3
 After Every Paywall !

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