When it comes to bike fixes, flat tires are probably the most common ones, no matter how safely you ride the two-wheeler. Luckily, it’s easy to deal with small punctures, thanks to the patch kit. But what happens if you got nothing but a bunch of super glue sticks to fix the wheel?
Can you use super glue to patch a bike tire? No, using super glue for fixing or filling a bike tire is not a good idea. The glue dries in a rigid, brittle, and inflexible state. So, it won’t flex when the tire and inner tube ride on the bumpy road. As a result, the patch will flake off or crack after a short period.
Let’s learn more about using super glue and discuss why it’s not a good idea to patch tires. We will also suggest better alternatives to super glue that offer maximum convenience.
Why Isn’t Super Glue Suitable for Patching Bike Tires?
There are many reasons why super glue doesn’t work as a good sealant for bike tires. The main reason is that it’s not flexible at all. Also, super glue loses its strength in high temperatures. Lastly, it can’t maintain the air tightness inside the tire tube.
Here’s why you shouldn’t use super glue to patch bike tires-
1. Lack of Flexibility
Cyanoacrylate glue is commonly known as super glue and takes a rigid shape when completely dried out. Unlike elastic materials, the rigid structure won’t flex while the bike tire inflates and pumps air in the tube.
As a result, there will be an uneven expansion of the tire, and it might lose its form after some time. Instead of fixing it, the glue will worsen the condition of a punctured tire.
2. Fails to Maintain Air Tightness
Whether you have any knowledge about bike tires or not, you know it needs to be completely sealed to function properly. Even the tiniest leak can cause total deflation.
Since the glue doesn’t expand with the rubber material of the tire, it fails to keep up with the inner tube. The result is leaks, cracks, and a lack of air tightness inside. Therefore, a bike tire patched with super glue will likely fail in the long run.
3. Loss of Strength in Extreme Temperatures
It’s a known fact that super glue loses its bonding strength in extreme low and high temperatures. It becomes very rigid and fragile, particularly in extreme cold.
So, if you go for thermal cycling, the glued patch will come off while you’re riding the bike. The same will happen for extremely hot and cold areas.
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Alternatives of Super Glue to Patch Bike Tires
Rubber cement, self-adhesive patches, and cold vulcanizing solutions are the best substitutes for super glue. We recommend non-glue or self-adhesive patches to fix your bike tire as they are very easy to use.
All you have to do is remove the patch from its wrapper and stick it to the tire. However, it’s not as strong as the other two options. Rubber cement can be a better long-term solution. It will merge the two separated rubber pieces and turn them into a single unit. This way, the elastic nature of the tire remains unharmed.
Another useful product is the cold vulcanizing solution. It completely vanishes when it’s dried out. Hence, there’s no rigid structure between the patch and the rubber. This effectively adds the patch while improving the flexibility of the tire.
So, can you use super glue to patch a bike tire? Now you know the answer. Due to its strong and rigid nature, super glue isn’t suitable for patching the rubber tire.
Using super glue can be a temporary solution, but it will flake off in no time. Try to use other flexible glues, rubber cement, or self-adhesive patches for the best results.