Wetsuit and Tire Repair

Thus far, my triathlon training has progressed pretty seamlessly.  After several trips to Fleet Feet and Syracuse Bicycle, I’m equipped for triathlon success, and my multisport workouts seem to be paying off; I’m becoming more confident in the water and on the saddle, and I’m also learning a ton along the way.  Plus, triathlon people rock!  However, as a former Girl Scout, I know to always expect the unexpected—yesterday, I experienced a triathlon training double-whammy:  I repaired tears in my wetsuit and learned how to change a flat tire on my bicycle.

How To Repair a Wetsuit

Buying a wetsuit was such an involved process, and I’m discovering that upkeep is more of the same.  As I slipped into my suit during Sunday’s CNY Triathlon beginner OWS clinic, I noticed several small tears.

Situated along the quads and hamstrings, these nicks need to be fixed, or else they could pose major problems down the road.  I went to Fleet Feet a couple days ago and picked up a wetsuit repair kit.

The process appeared fairly straightforward—use Cotol-240 to clean the surface, open the tear, apply Aquaseal, and then pinch the sides together—but I struggled big time.

My lack of general “handiness,” coupled with the stifling humidity and my repairing inexperience, made the process touch-and-go at best.  Out of the six tears, I truly fixed two, one of which looks pretty bad.

Have you ever repaired a wetsuit?  In terms of preventative measures, I’ll most likely use plastic bags as gloves when I put on my wetsuit.  And even though I keep my fingernails relatively short, I filed them down a ton.

How To Change a Tire

Last night’s Women on Wheels meet-up site was a bit of a hike, so I opted to go to Syracuse Bicycle’s Tuesdays on the Towpath instead.

Meeting at the Chittenango Landing Boat Museum, our group of 10 cycled the historic Erie Canal on the same towpath that stretches from the Hudson River to Lake Erie.

There were two out-and-back routes—one covering five miles, and a longer one spanning nine—and our group decided the shorter one was more than enough given the humidity. (It was slightly more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit at 6 p.m.!)

During the ride back, my bike started to feel weird; I couldn’t put my finger on it right away, but something didn’t seem right.  As I continued to pedal, it felt as though the back of my bike had separated from the front because the back wheel swerved from side to side.  I made a mental note to ask Trish, our ride leader, about this when we returned, but it turned out I couldn’t wait that long—my tire started dragging, so I stopped (after successfully clipping out!) and pulled over.  Luckily, two other riders were behind me, so they took a look at the tire; it was definitely flat and beyond what we felt comfortable repairing.  After a few phone calls and a minivan ride back to the museum, Trish showed me how to fix a flat.  Although I’m far from being an expert, now I know how to use all the tools in my repair kit and have a basic understanding of how to go about fixing a tire.

Have you had to fix a flat?  Were you with other people or by yourself?  Getting a flat was inevitable, and I’m glad it happened when I was riding with others.

6 Responses to Wetsuit and Tire Repair

  1. Got a flat only once. I was near a town so I walked there, gave it to a bike shop, came back half an hour later and it was done. Lazy, I know. Hence my username.

  2. McNett has an easy to use wetsuit cement in a four oz can. The Aqua Seal is a good product it just requires more steps. Equipment failure can mess up a dive trip. Enjoyed reading this blog. I’m a doit yourself kinda person too.

  3. I’ll look into McNett for future repairs. Thanks for the tip!

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