I know what you’re thinking, “why in the world would someone review a patch kit?” The fact of the matter is that, while there are more and more tubeless tires on the market every day, it seems that the idea of repairing a tubeless tire is still fairly foreign to most. I found myself happily riding tubeless tires until a catastrophic flat occurred (in my case landing directly on a jagged rock off of a jump), and with no way to properly restore the tires tubeless ability, it would be thrown away or gifted to someone riding tubes.
I got to the point that I was fed up with not having a solid way to repair my tubeless tires, so I set out to find a tubeless repair kit that actually worked. After using a few “plug” style kits without consistent success, I tried the Hutchinson Rep’air kit.
How did it work?
Find out after the break!
My first thought upon opening the Rep’air kit, was “super glue? This must be a joke.” Inside the box you will simply find 4 tubeless patches, and 1 tube of glue, no more, no less, although with it retailing at $15.99 the possibility of saving up to 4 tires you can’t expect much more. It looked like tube-type patches and a tube of Hutchinson branded super glue, not exactly what I was expecting. However, after doing some research it turns out that Hutchinson claims that it is a special type of super glue that remains flexible and won’t dry out the rubber. This makes sense, as I have tried to repair tires with super glue before and it basically made the rubber brittle and didn’t really work. So I forged ahead, and tried to fix two different tires, each with large gashes through the casing.
Hutchinson gives you two courses of action when determining how to go about fixing your tire, the trail-side emergency tire-on method, and the more permanent tireoff method. The cool thing about the tire-on method, is that it can be done obviously without taking off your tire meaning that you don’t have to unseat the bead. This of course means that once the tire is fixed a hand pump will bring it up to pressure, because the bead is already seated. Pretty neat huh?
To use the tire-on method, simply clean out the cut as best as you can and then squeeze the tire so that it opens up the cut. Once the cut is open and exposed, apply a good amount of glue to the inside and outside of the cut, let go, and allow to dry. Then inflate your tire and you’re off. While I used this method once and had success, although I would still only use this as an emergency way to get home and then I would remove the tire and install a patch.