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Someone deliberately pierced the rear tire of my fixed gear bike. It's a 700cX25 tire with 700cX18-23 tube inside. As you can see from the image the threads have come out. I am not sure about the severity of the damage. So what should I do of the following remedies: 1. Replace both tire and tube 2. Replace the tube and patch the tire 3. Replace the tube and leave the tire as it is 4. Patch both tire and tube

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    Zoom out the photo, the tire show sign of heavy wear. Just change the tire. Rough gravel can easily pinch through used tire unnoticed. – mootmoot Jul 14 '16 at 7:40
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    There is no hard-and-fast rule here. You might get answers based on your safest option (replace everything), or your cheapest option (repair everything), or most likely something in between. But regardless of the actual answer, I think this is almost a "survey" question, and you're going to struggle to get an objective answer. – PeteH Jul 14 '16 at 9:38
  • Looks quite damaged! Replace it, lest you have a blowout at speed and then have body parts to repair! :) – Ben Jul 14 '16 at 14:03
  • That tire is so worn it looks like a small rock could have caused the damage. – jcbrou Jul 14 '16 at 14:41
  • True that the tire is worn. It is running for last 2 years for about 3/4 days a week. I also think that it's time to spend some good money. – Nahid Jul 16 '16 at 9:21
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What can you afford? If you're not really struggling financially you should replace the tire.

If you cannot afford that (or if you need a temporary fix while you're obtaining a new tire) then you need a "boot" inside the tire. A "boot" is some piece of flat material (typically about 5 cm x 5 cm, though size can vary based on tire size) that is flexible but still stiff enough to resist the pressure of the tube trying to poke through the tire. You can buy purpose-made boots made from plastic or rubber, you can cut your own boots out the (thin) sidewall of an old road tire, or, popular in the US, you can fold a dollar bill up several times and use that.

The boot is used by inserting it into the tire after the tire is mounted and the tube is in place. Pry the tire off the rim near the hole and slide the boot in between the tube and the hole.

Using a boot is not as reliable as replacing the tire, of course. There is a danger that the boot may shift over time, especially if the tire pressure is not properly maintained. And a boot is an even less reliable fix for a hole in the sidewall of a tire.

The tube is actually less of a worry than the tire. If the hole is a puncture rather than a cut/slit, or it's a very short slit, then you can patch it with conventional tire patches. If the cut is so large that a standard bike patch will not comfortably cover it (with maybe a 10mm margin) then the tube needs to be replaced.

  • Some tire boots are reinforced and include adhesive on the back. These really stay in place well. I used one on a tire for a couple years without issue. – Rider_X Jul 14 '16 at 17:02
  • Thank you so much for your elaborated answer. I made a boot with a piece of old tire. I've glued it with rubber cement. And of course I patched the tube too. But all are temporary. I'll change the tire and tube as soon as I can. – Nahid Jul 16 '16 at 9:22
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No harm in trying to get some more life out of it.

You'll need to patch the tube normally, and test it overnight.

Then you need to provide something to stop the tube bulging out through the tyre when inflated. Personally I'd put the largest thickest patch you have on the inside of the tyre, but others would use a piece of plastic or something else durable.

This is a back tyre so a sudden blowout is generally not as bad as a front one.

I would not ride this patched tyre a long way from civilisation.

Otherwise, a new tyre is the best answer. Your tube will be okay patched.


Finally, you need to think about what happened. Someone deliberately did this to your bike. Either park your bike somewhere more secure, or identify them and have words. Have you annoyed someone lately? I can't see how this could have been an accident.

Also, get paranoid. Check your bike every time you return... look for flats, but also look for other damage. Disconnected brakes would be most likely.

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    A rare -1 from me. There definitely is the potential for harm. While I would very carefully and gently ride home, it's dangerous and should be replaced asap. It's a fixie; one skid in an emergency could end in disaster. – andy256 Jul 14 '16 at 4:50
  • Thank you. I'll try patching it and get a replacement ASAP. About the piercing, It was on my apartment's parking and luckily it's under CCTV coverage. I'll check the footage and I'll find the perverted person who did it. – Nahid Jul 14 '16 at 5:07

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