Got back from a bike ride and noticed a small tear on the sidewall of my tire. I'm wondering if I can just seal it with some Goo Gone or do I need to replace the tire. I do have spares lying around so not a big deal. But I don't want to replace it if I have to. Thanks!enter image description here

  • I would bin it. Dangerous IMHO. Is that a nail sticking out from the top? – Carel Jul 30 '14 at 18:31
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    You obviously have to factor how damaged the tyre is, but whenever I'm faced with this dilemma, I ask myself the question, do I want to fix it in the comfort of my garage, or do I want to fix it on the roadside 25 miles from home? – PeteH Jul 30 '14 at 21:47
  • I've had a tire with similar nick for years. I figured that since it's the rear tire on a fixie, I'll just wear out the tire before the carcass breaks. The problem is that Michelin Carbons last next to forever... – ojs Jul 24 '15 at 23:02

I folded a dollar-bill and placed it between the tube and tire on my last set of tires. That lasted about four months before the tube finally pushed it's way out the tear and popped. Safest bet is to replace the tire. But in a pinch, the dollar-bill trick will at least get you home/to the bike shop.

  • This is a known ploy for getting yourself home at a pinch. But that doesn't seem to be what the op is asking. – PeteH Jul 30 '14 at 21:49
  • I guess my answer ("Safest bet is to replace the tire") was buried in all that other information - information I thought could be helpful to readers who run into this situation. – digijim Jul 30 '14 at 22:01
  • Candy bar/clif bar wrappers work well too. – stranger Jul 31 '14 at 22:18

Unlike on a car tire, the sidewall isn't more important than the rest of the tire, really [ on a car tire, if the sidewall goes, you're going to blow out].

This link from Sheldon is good reading: "If you are mainly concerned with safety/function, there are only two reasons for replacing old tires:

1) When the tread is worn so thin that you start getting a lot of flats from small pieces of glass and the like, or the fabric shows through the rubber. 2) When the tire's fabric has been damaged, so that the tire has a lumpy, irregular appearance somewhere, or the tube bulges through the tire."

I'd probably use some adhesive on it to seal it up unless going on long rides often.


People patch tubless mountain bike tires all the time. You could use a slime tire patch kit, used frequently for Motorcycle, ATV, and Dirt Bike tires as those patches are a bit more durable than standard bike tube patches. It seems like all the amazon review are from mountain bikers. I've used a regular bike tube patch on the inside of the tire as well. It's best to use the larger patches to cover as much area as possible.

With a tear that small, I wouldn't be too concerned running it as long as it doesn't get any bigger. I've been running a couple sets of tires patched like this with no ill effects.

Alternatively, I've also run a tire with a park tool tire boot for months without any issue.

  • I don't want to add an answer encouraging anything unsafe, but you wouldn't believe the tyres I've run. On one of my fixies (a brakeless beater), I had a rear tyre that had seen so much skidding, there was no rubber left. I mean, an 18mm wide strip of bare threads the entire circumference of the tyre. That baby kept going for 5 months of glass-ridden street riding before finally giving way. And it wasn't a blowout either! I rode through a pile of broken bottle. – linguamachina Jul 31 '14 at 21:02

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