Sewing up tires

I recently bought a Kenda Karma rear tire for my 29er a couple of weeks ago and I really like it, its light on the tread department but I can tell a difference in rolling resistance and it seems to pull good enough, not to mention its way lighter then the 2.2 Nevegal  its replacing. Unfortunately on Saturday’s mountain bike adventure the sidewall got cut and it caused a blowout.  This was extremely annoying because I had a cut sidewall about a month ago on the WTB Nano I was running on the back. 

The standard line is that a tire with a cut sidewall is ruined and must be replaced, but I did a little internet research and found where people have repaired them so I gave it a shot.

First I glued a patch over the hole and then I stole a needle from my wife’s sewing kit and sewed the cut up with fishing line.  I put two pieces of duct tape over the inside.  Afterwards I attached a patch to the outside of the tire to cover over the stitches.  Upon reviewing my work on Sunday’s ride one rider told me he thought it would hold but the outside patch was just there to make me feel better. 

The tire held fine and the bump only swelled out a little after airing it up.  The outside patch was barely hanging on at the end of the ride though.  I wouldn’t do this with a front tire where a blow out could mean a face plant and I’m not sure if it would hold up for long on a high pressure road bike tire, but I’ll try it if ever get a chance.  Better than throwing an otherwise good tire away.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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