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Last year I got a puncture in my tubeless tyre from a chunk of glass during a multi-day 500 mile ride (see photo below). The sealant did its job quickly and efficiently, and the seal has held without issue ever since (gotta love tubeless).

In subsequent discussions a few people have suggested that I should repair the hole as soon as possible. As I've not been doing big rides of that distance I've marked it down as something to consider doing when I change my sealant.

I'm going to be changing my sealant at some point in the next couple of weeks, so I'm trying to work out what the best way to perform a long-term repair is, to allow me to continue using my otherwise unblemished tyres significantly further into their life, if indeed I need to.

My options, as far as I can tell, are:

  • Using a tyre boot to reinforce that area of the tyre (I have a couple of ParkTool TB2 boots)
  • Using a plug-type repair kit to plug the hole
  • Using a glued tyre patch

So, my question is which of those (if any) is the "correct" way of doing it?

The tyre in question is a 700x35c Schwalbe Marathon Supreme TLE.

enter image description here

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    4th option is to glue the cut together from the outside with super glue (which prevents anything else getting in the hole) and trust the sealant to do its magic on the inside – Andy P Feb 7 at 13:44
  • 5th option: just go on! – Carel Feb 7 at 13:52
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    @Carel I could, certainly, but I'm worried (perhaps unnecessarily) that leaving it as is could significantly shorten the life of the tyre (i.e. by causing it to tear irrepairably or in a manner which the sealant can't handle at some point in the near future) – Diado Feb 7 at 14:24
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    I've glued and patched the inside of a tyre before, but it was tubed. – Criggie Feb 7 at 19:06
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    If you leave it as it is, consider taking plugs with you on all rides where you would bring a spare tube. – gschenk Feb 12 at 20:40
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Honestly, judging solely from the photo; I'd probably keep riding it as-is until it lost air again, or you encounter another hit like that.

Realistically, all liquid sealants should be refreshed/swapped out at least every 4-6 months and more frequently if you've lost some due to a puncture. If left to sit idle in a tire, all liquid sealants will eventually pool and solidify; more so in heat/summer climates.

Monitor the area to see if it grows in size, then consider more invasive options. In the meantime, ride it until the next time you change out the sealant and open the tire up.

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The "Correct" way of doing it would be to replace the tire. All of the methods you mentioned are just patches and not foolproof methods of permanently fixing a tire. If the tubeless sealant successfully stopped the initial flat and you aren't slowly losing air, it should be fine and replacing the sealant should be a sufficient measure. Anything more and I'd look into replacing the tire. I have never seen a puncture small enough to be sealed with latex develop into something bigger.

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