It always saves money and time when you can fix a bike puncture on your own. While there are different approaches to take, some people opt for super glue. But can you use super glue to repair a puncture?
Super glue is only best for tiny cuts on the tire. Its inflexibility and brittleness make it unsuitable for inner tubes as it’s likely to open up sooner, causing air loss.
Overall, if you have to use superglue on an inner tube, make it your last resort. Its results are not just subpar but also short-lived.
You have to think of a more long-term fix as super glue doesn’t hold up longer. Lucky for you, I’ll provide you with the best alternative to super glue.
But before that, let me explain my argument a little more.
Can You Use Super Glue To Repair A Puncture?
While it’s possible to patch up a bike puncture with superglue, it’s not the ideal take, and this is why:
1. Super Glue Dries Up in its Brittle State
Though superglue may fix your inner tube for a few days, it dries up in its brittle state, and therefore more likely to crack.
As a result, your rubber patch will lose its airtightness in a short time, and air will continually escape.
2. Super Glue is Inflexible
Remember, you must preserve the inner tube to inflate and deflate it quickly. Sadly, that doesn’t happen when you use super glue.
The glue forms a hard, inflexible layer over the tube that causes the inner tube to lose its elasticity (flexibility).
So, it’s likely to open up sooner, which means it’s not the best long-term fix for a tire puncture.
Furthermore, the fact that it dries much faster means it’s likely to puncture the tube more.
Even worse, you may be forced to replace the inner tube as it may be hard for a proper patch to stick above the dried glue.
3. Super Glue is Affected by Extreme Temperature
Superglue’s bonding strength is affected by both high and low temperatures. If you expose superglue to freezing conditions, it becomes more brittle, and its bond breaks.
So, it shatters, opening up the tire wound that you’d sealed up earlier.
Likewise, superglue is not the best when the temperature is exceptionally high. High temperature breaks down the superglue, reducing its bonding strength.
4. Super Glue is Not a Good Tube Filler
Are you asking, ‘will super glue fix a puncture if I use it as filler?’
Superglue is not a good filler material for the inner tube. That’s because the puncture is likely to get bigger when you inflate the tube.
The other reason is what I discussed earlier – superglue is inflexible.
Due to its inflexibility, superglue doesn’t expand with the inner tube when you inflate your tire. So, it’s likely to open up after repetitive inflation.
But When Can You Use Super Glue to Repair a Puncture?
Generally, superglue is recommendable when dealing with more minor cuts on the bike tire. In such a case, you can use superglue as a filler material.
Note, however, that the hardened glue may widen the cut following superglue’s inflexibility. So, it’s generally a short-term fix, even when it comes to outer tires.
Also, note that superglue is not recommendable for deep cuts. If the cuts are deep, consider sewing the tire or replace it.
Best Alternatives to Super Glue When You Want to Repair a Puncture
Here are the best superglue alternatives when it comes to fixing bike punctures:
1. Rubber Cement
Rubber cement is generally the most recommendable fix for a bike tire punch. So, prioritize it over superglue.
One thing about rubber cement is that it has two powerful ingredients. First, we have the volatile solvent, whose job is to maintain the elastic polymer(which is the second ingredient) in a fluid state.
Generally, the elastic polymer bonds the inner tube to the patch.
If interested in the best rubber cement, get yourself the Slime 1050 Rubber Cement. This rubber cement comes with an inbuilt brush applicator for easy application and works with any patch kit.
2. Slime Sealant
A slime sealant is a great fix when you want a more long-term solution.
An option like the Slime 10004 allows you to fix both the tube and tire in seconds.
This slime sealant is non-toxic, thus safe.
Overall, here are the steps for fixing a puncture with slime sealant:
- Identify the punctured tube and fill it with slime sealant
- Turn the wheel slightly to allow the slime to spread to the puncture
- Once you are sure that the slime sealant has reached the hole, inflate your tire
3. Tire Patch Repair Kit
A tire patch repair kit comes with everything you need to seal up a puncture.
An option like the Maifede Bike Inner Tire Patch Repair comes with 11 vulcanizing patches, six pre-glued patches, and rubber adhesive.
So, you get enough patches and adhesive to last you a few months.
This tire patch repair kit is portable for easy carrying on your bike trips. Plus, it also works on vehicle tire tubes, motorcycle tire tubes, and many other inflatable rubbers.
4. Bush Fix
Suppose you are in the middle of nowhere cycling, and you suffer a flat tire.
If you are familiar with the bush fix, you won’t panic in such a case.
Here’s what to do:
- Take out the tube from the tire and locate the puncture
- Tie a shoelace around the hole to create a seal
- Then fill the tire with soft leaves before putting the tube back into the tire
- Lastly, inflate your tire
5. Zip Ties
Zip ties offer you a quick, though temporary, fix to a tire puncture.
Other than zip ties, you need access to a bike pump.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Take out the punctured tube from the tire and locate the puncture
- Tie both sides of the hole using the zip ties
- Fill damp grass, wet tissue, or dry into the tire
- Put the tube back into the tire and inflate
6. Heavy-Duty Duct Tape
A duct tape is only a temporary fix to a tube puncture like superglue.
Like superglue, duct tape is inflexible. It doesn’t allow the tape to stretch as needed when inflating the tire.
Another problem is that any small opening could lead to massive air loss. So, just like superglue, consider duct tapes as your last resort.
And while at it, ensure the duct tape is heavy-duty to have a stronghold. Moreover, try to keep it away from high temperatures not to weaken its bonding power.
7. Knot Fix
Lastly, if you don’t have any patch or glue with you, consider the knot fix. All you need is a bike and probably a sharp knife.
Here are the steps:
- Take out the tube from the tire to locate the puncture
- Slice the inner tube horizontally along the puncture spot
- Tie the two ends to form a tight knot
- After that, put the tube back into the tire and inflate it
Remember, if you don’t have a knife, you can cut the inner tube with your bike’s chainring.
1. Can I Use Superglue To Fix A Puncture?
Essentially, you should only use super glue to fix tiny cuts on the tire.
If you use it on the bike’s inner tube, the dried glue will open up when you inflate as it’s inflexible.
As a result, you may end up with a broader puncture than what you had initially.
2. Can You Use Gorilla Glue To Repair A Puncture?
Gorilla glue is multipurpose glue that you can use on any inflatable rubber. So, you can use it to repair punctures on bike tubes, car tire tubes, and other inner tubes.
3. What Glue To Use For Puncture Repair?
Consider using rubber cement instead of superglue as it holds much better and doesn’t damage the tube.
Alternatively, use any vulcanizing adhesive or slime sealant. Both hold up well and are safe on your bike tube.
4. Will Super Glue Damage A Tire?
Since super glue is inflexible, it doesn’t stretch with the tire. For that reason, the puncture is likely to open up when the dried superglue shatters.
Superglue also makes it hard for you to attach patches later as it sticks on the tube and often cracks.
5. Can You Use Super Glue On Inner Tubes?
Though you can use superglue on inner tubes, it dries in its brittle safe, and as a result, it’s likely to open up.
Superglue is also inflexible. It doesn’t stretch with the expansion of the tube when you inflate it, which means it’s less likely to hold up.
In summary, can you use super glue to repair a puncture?
Though some people use superglue to fix punctures, its results are subpar and short-lived. In consequence, it should only come as your last resort when dealing with inner tube puncture.
In the case of cuts on tires, you can use superglue if the cuts are tiny.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the composition of puncture repair glue?
The glue used for puncture repair, specifically for tires, is known as vulcanizing cement. This adhesive product comprises about 10ml of solution, designed specifically to work with tyre repair items such as patches, plugs, and strings. This isn’t your average household glue, but a specialized substance that reacts with the rubber to form a strong bond, ensuring the repair item stays put and the puncture is effectively sealed. In my experience as a mechanic, getting your hands on the right kind of glue can make the difference between a robust repair job and a deflating failure.
Can super glue be used to repair tires?
Although super glue is known for its great versatility and strong adhesive nature, it is not suitable for fixing tires. The problem is that super glue hardens to a brittle state after curing. This means that once you hit the road, the bumping and vibrations will reduce the glue to powder in no time. Also, super glue doesn’t bond well with rubber, which further limits its effectiveness in this regard. I once tried using it when I was new to the field and needless to say, the results were disappointing. My advice is to go for the recommended vulcanizing cement for tire repair, and if the tire condition is too bad, it’s wiser to replace it with a spare and let the professionals handle it in a tire shop. You’ll be saving both time and money.
What is the recommended waiting time for puncture repair glue?
When using puncture repair glue, one critical step is the waiting period before installing the patch. Once an ample amount of glue has been spread over an area larger than the patch, you need to let it dry naturally for at least five minutes. Applying the patch before the glue is completely dry will likely result in an ineffective repair. As someone who has been in the industry for years, I cannot stress enough the importance of patience in ensuring a successful puncture fix. Overlooking this step and rushing might leave you with a leaking tire again.
How should puncture repair glue be applied?
Applying puncture repair glue is a straightforward process. But it demands diligence to get right results. Spread a sufficient amount of the glue over the punctured area ensuring it covers a bit wider than the patch size itself. After that, maintain patience and let it dry naturally for some minutes and resist the urge to speed up the process in any way. When the glue is completely dry, apply the patch and press firmly, ensuring all edges are securely bonded. I’ve seen people trying to hurry the process, leading to wasted time and resources, so take it from me: let that glue dry properly!