Plugging a tire

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by El Borracho, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. El Borracho

    El Borracho sheperd

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Northern CA
    As a noob, this may be a silly question, So I humbly seek advice from those of you who may have the knowledge.
    I found a nail in my rear tire today.
    Rode home slowly and just am wondering, should I buy one of those plug kits to repair it?
    Seems like a failure of the repair job would be ugly!!!
    I am not independently wealthy, but I have a long ride coming up this weekend.
    Tire is a tourance with 1500 miles on it.
    #1
  2. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,181
    Location:
    Auburn, CA
    What kind of bike? Is the tire mounted tubeless? If not, then no, you can't plug it.

    Plugging a tubeless tire is perfectly acceptable.
    #2
  3. El Borracho

    El Borracho sheperd

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Northern CA
    The bike is a 1200 GSA and the tire is tubeless.
    Any plug kits that you recommend?
    Also any other tips are appreciated.
    Thanks and thanks
    #3
  4. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,408
    Location:
    In the TARDIS
    I've plugged many tires with the "sticky rope" type plugs and have never had one fail. YMMV. Just follow the instructions on the package.
    #4
  5. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,573
    Location:
    The only county in Illinois with no train tracks
    Go ahead, get a kit and make sure you read the instructions, and get an air pump (there are quite a few people who like to get the $10 slime pump from Wal mart and take all the plastic bits off so they get pretty tiny) and go ahead and ride.

    With any new tire repair, it is a good idea to check the tire pressure a few times for the first couple of days. It may lose a couple pounds while the string seats in but it should be stabilized after a day. If not, redo it IMHO.
    #5
  6. El Borracho

    El Borracho sheperd

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks to all for advice.
    I will repair it and ride.
    Camping at Big Sur this weekend with old high school buddies :freaky( about 450 miles round trip ) so I wanted to be sure about the repair.
    Anyhow, Thanks again:1drink
    #6
  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    61,920
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
  8. El Borracho

    El Borracho sheperd

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Northern CA
    #8
  9. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Vagabond Hippie
    +1 on every word GM said.

    I have NO issues with plugging my tires with the sticky strings and riding them to the end of their useful life.
    #9
  10. shu

    shu ...

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    Location:
    Colorado
    My opinion, and my experience with 3 plugged tires.

    ...............shu
    #10
  11. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    all my bikes have always used tubed tires, so no plugs in those.

    but i have plugged more cage tires than i can remember (all with the self-vulcanizing plugs...no glue). only ever had one fail...and that "failing" was a very slow leak--had to make sure to put air in it about once a week.

    if you are uncomfortable about the plugs, though, you can remove the tire from the rim and patch it from the inside "the right way". they sell those kits in auto parts stores, too. (it's kinda like an innertube patch, but you put it on the inside of the tire instead of the outside of a tube.)
    #11
  12. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,325
    Location:
    dsm, ia
    As a goodyear certified tire jocky and retreader, the super preferred method is to plug (seals the cords from water & corrosion) and a patch on the inside (seals the liner). This is for truck tires BTW... should be major overkill for autos and cycles.

    That said, I think I have plugs without patches in about 4 of the 8 cage tires between the wife and I.

    Plug away.

    Some companies make some fancy rubber plugs, but like many above, I have nothing bad to say about the sticky ropes. Plus you can find them anywhere.
    #12
  13. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    a guy i know who owns a tire shop told me not to do both. (or, if i want both, to buy those plugs that have a patch attached to them you insert from the inside).

    he said if you use both a plug and a patch, you can get air trapped between the plug and the patch...when the tire gets hot, the air expands, and causes either the patch or the plug (or both) to leak.

    is that really an issue? if so, is there anything special you do to prevent it?

    thanks.
    #13
  14. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,181
    Location:
    Auburn, CA
    There should be no issues with that at all. I've been doing it for a living for 22 years with zero problems. Personally, I do not bother with a plug unless the hole is 1/4" or larger.
    People have good luck with the plug patches, but I've not used them very often.
    #14
  15. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    good to know. thanks man! :freaky
    #15
  16. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,325
    Location:
    dsm, ia
    Not if the repair is done correctly.:D

    The sealing of the cords via the plug is more for the tires carcass, which in the case of truck tires the carcasses are worth pretty good money.
    #16
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    61,920
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Right. The plug is pushed down towards the inside of the carcass creating a nice air seal:

    [​IMG]

    And the plug is pushed up from the tread causing the plug to seal the interior of the carcass keeping water and debris from causing seperation of treads, and carcass layers.

    Jim :brow
    #17
  18. davevv

    davevv One more old rider

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,462
    Location:
    Just north of Dallas
    String plugs have always worked fine for me. I hope they continue to as I just had to patch another tire yesterday.

    Took the Tiger 800 to McD's at lunch. Three mile round trip from my house. Walked by it about six hours later and the rear was flat. It not only had a sheetrock screw in it, but also a paneling nail about three inches away from the screw. The Pirelli Scorpion Trail with only 800 miles on it now has two plugs. I've never had to run a tire with two plugs before, so I guess we'll see how it works out.

    So, what do you suppose the odds are of getting two punctures in only three miles? I'd think it has to be pretty extreme.
    #18
  19. sporthog93

    sporthog93 Sporthog93

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    825
    Location:
    Iowa
    They do make a combination plug patch that must be installed from the inside. I have used them with no problems.
    #19
  20. facetjoint

    facetjoint TONKA

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,607
    Location:
    Phx. AZ. The land of shake and bake
    This tire plugging thing can be beat to death as with other issues. Jim's method is in my book as fail safe as if can get. It was what I was taught in the early 70's when radials were just starting to become common place. And radial tire patches had not come the scene yet. So we were told and taught to plug them. Lubing up the plug with the rubber cement is just added insurance in that the job is dome right and sure helps with the ease of the operation. At the end of Jim's demo, he shows cutting off the excess with a new razor blade. This is hugely important. Do not use a pair of dikes to cut the excess plug matl. on the outside of the tire.
    #20