Repairing Tubs... OSR's How To (with pics!)

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  • So I recently started riding tubs for TT's this year, and the inevitable happened about 2 weeks ago - I noticed a slow puncture in my front tyre. Found the offending piece of metal, pulled it out, sat back and thought "bollocks, that's an expensive tyre to replace".

    Me being me, and having an inherent love of all things hands - on I decided to have a pop at repairing it myself - I'm sure the old chap up in Rotherham isn't the only person in the UK who can manage it, and if he can do it, why can't I?

    The tub in question is a Vittoria Evo CX 320TPI, rrp on these badboys is circa £65, but you can normally pick them up in a sale for around £40-45 (as I did when I bought my PX wheels).

    I did my research and read a couple of guides on the interwebz, they all follow the same procedure, however my tub has a latex inner tube and the advice was always to patch it with a bit of old latex inner tube cut to make a patch. Luckily I had a destroyed tyre the same as the one I'm repairing in the cupboard (long story short). I also used this tyre as a practice run to have a peek at what voodoo magic lied beneath the basetape.

    So here goes;

    1. Find the puncture and mark it. I used a biro on the sidewall.

    1. Peel back the basetape. I started to do this locally (as usually recommended) however the Vittoria Corsa CX seems to be latexed "into" the actual sidewall, meaning after a lot of picking and pulling I started to rip the tape. Not good. In later photos you will see that I found the overlap and pulled back the basetape from there - a LOT easier, but bear in mind I was lucky that the puncture was only a few inches from the overlap.

    1. Cut a stitch and pull the thread out until you have a gap approximately an inch long. This will be enough to get your finger in there and fish the inner tube out. Note on this tyre there is a complex stitching arrangement consisting of 2 separate threads which cross and lock together. I cut each thread at the same stitch and worked back from there.

    2. Pull the damaged section of inner tube out of the hole.

    1. I found the puncture by pumping a little air into the tyre and dipping the exposed bit of tube into a pint glass of water. I then cut a patch from my spare latex tube, approx 10mm round and glued this on where the hole was using normal patch kit vulcanising glue.

    1. I ordered a Velox tub repair kit a while back (from Ribble - £2.50) as I knew that when I did get a puncture I'd end up having a crack at it myself. The kit consists of a load of black thread and a triangular profile needle;

    I started by knotting the end of the thread and, going through the same holes as the original thread (or as close as I could get it), proceeded to sew up the tyre going at a right angle to the tyre then back at 45 degrees (see photo). Note that I also started by overlapping one of the original stictches to the side of my repair area.

    1. When I got to the other end of the repair section I again went one stitch into the original stitching and then headed back to the start, crossing my stitches as I went. Apparently this helps to not form a lump in the final repair by evening out the thread tension and direction. At the end I looped round and knotted the end.

    1. Finally I covered the basetape area of the tyre with latex glue (I used Copydex - £5 a tube off eBay), popped the basetape back down and then inflated the tyre to 4 bar on an old tubular rim I had kicking around in the cupboard. Leave overnight and let the glue dry.

    And that's about it. This morning I deflated the tub and installed back on my PX wheel pumping up to full pressure. Looks fine so far, no lumps or bumps and is holding air (touch wood!). I've yet to ride it but I'm sure I'll be out on it this week so will report back then...

    To conclude, if you're like me and inclined to never let anyone else touch you're bike to work on it and would rather do it yourself then go for it. It's not rocket science - the whole process, drying excluded, took about 30 mins and cost me less than a tenner. Not too bad to save myself splashing out for another tyre or sending it up to Rotherham for a week or two and £15 cost.

    Hope that helps!

  • Nice write up, have some rep.

  • Many years ago I used to ride on tubs pretty much all the time and too poor to afford a new one after every puncture so spent many an evening doing what you've described so well. Thanks for reminding me why I switched to clinchers :-)

  • Thanks for that, a good read, no doubt it will come in handy. I too don't like anyone else working on my bike, mostly because i'm tight but i do enjoy it!

  • Thanks OSR, no doubt be of use to me in the future.

    Nice work!

  • Glad it's of use to some people. Like a lot of things I think people jump on the bandwagon a bit saying "tubs are this, tubs are that" without ever trying for themselves. I accept they're not as convenient as clinchers when it comes to installation/repair/cost etc but I'm glad I repaired it myself and I've taken the "fear" out of it a bit!

  • Great article, will come in very useful when the inevitable happens. Definitely seems pretty easy to fix them!

  • I have a few I have been meaning to practice on, think I may just give it a pop, although Pete Burgin is a postie and I can drop off and collect in person.

  • Tx! That'll help me as I just ended up with a p_nctr in a tub. I love the feel of how they ride actually.

    Not so suitable for commuting due to glassbin Belfast, but great ride, really soaks up the bumps/lumps in the road.

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Repairing Tubs... OSR's How To (with pics!)

Posted by Avatar for OldSkoolRacer @OldSkoolRacer