SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
The Sugru Mouldable Glue Original Formula has been around for a decade now. It’s a single use putty that can be employed to modify, or repair stuff. Does most things pretty well but getting the very best from it requires a bit of forward planning and unhurried application.
Pros: Versatile and durable.
Cons: Single use, slow curing time.
Available in a choice of single, or multiple colours, packs contain 3 vacuum sealed foiled sachets of silicone. These have a use-by date and, if this is ignored, will cure-inside the packaging, rendering them bin fodder. By contrast a polymer, such as Thermoworx Whitemorph can be re-used, seemingly indefinitely-simply by applying heat.
Talking of which, Sugru is claimed to remain stable/unaffected by temperatures ranging between –60 and +180 degrees.
Method/ Ease of Application 3/5
Practice Makes Perfect. Start by giving the host/patient a through clean to ensure lasting adhesion. A cloth dipped I alcohol/alcohol impregnated wipes is ideal. Because Sugru is a single use product, there’s the potential for expensive and unnecessary wastage. So, calculate how much you need for the repair, or select a few items to be modified, before you tear open the wrapper.
From here, pull out the putty and warm it to a supple state between your hands. 30-60 seconds should be enough but a minute or so is better still. Now you can apply to the host. Achieving sharp, seamless effect requires patience and a gentle smoothing action. Having achieved the desired effect, leave curing- ideally overnight and at room temperature.
I’m very fond of my Tom Tom Bandit Action Camera. Unfortunately (this seems a common fault with the otherwise excellent design) despite the platform’s rubberised base, the camera’s metal mount is susceptible to low level vibration, resulting in an infuriating chatter when navigating anything other than virgin tarmac. Intrusive enough to impair audio footage, too. I’d tried making shims from strips of defunct inner tube but without success.
Crescent shaped mounts found on bargain-basement high-power lights are another component, ripe for hacking. To be fair, those I’ve used have been pretty reliable. However, foiling annoying incremental creep often requires rifling through the bodge box for a suitable aftermarket shim, or more frequently making one from scrap inner tube. Assuming you’re not porting the light between bikes with differing bar diameters, Sugru should prove an elegant and lasting solution.
Then of course, we have electroplated q/r levers (which can prove slippery customers, especially wearing full-finger gloves) ditto wing nuts, such as this, securing the swing arm and body on my Yak homage trailer. Oh, and cheap but generally cheerful chain tools.
First up, the relatively long curing time is very much your friend when it comes to getting a really smooth effect/repair. Unlike the otherwise very capable (and reusable) Thermoworx Whitemorph, there’s no race against the clock. In fairness, though comparisons are perhaps inevitable, these ae two slightly different products with their own tangible pros and cons.
First up, the Bandit. Well, the Sugru hasn’t completely solved the problem but coupled with three cable ties, the infuriating tinkling is largely eradicated. It has solved the slipping light bracket handsomely, cured some minor chatter on this BBB Fueltank XL Bottle Cage (when fed 1 litre mixer-type bottles) and made that bargain basement chain tool much nicer to use.
Ditto the wing nut (which I had initially treated with Whitemorph) and it’s added a little extra refinement to the quick release, too.
The supple characteristics also lend it better to minor repair/bolstering of electrical housings, such as dynamo cabling, USB chargers. I’ve also employed it to neatly mask unused seat stay cantilever/V brake bosses on fixed gear framesets.
Plastics/composites can be tricky customers and while neither the Sugru, or Whitemorph are intended as glues, the Whitemoprph successfully reunited this Fibre Flare and its broken lug. The Sugru couldn’t save a broken silicone loop on a long forgotten Knog light either but these are observations, not deal-breakers. Similarly, the Sugru can become brittle and fall away. This has only been an issue when applied as “scuff bumpers” to brake/brifters levers.
On the face of things, there’s not much direct competition, which makes price point comparisons tricky. Getting the best from it, requires careful, calculated deployment. Thermoworx Whitemorph can do similar jobs and can be re-used.
However, it sets very hard, whereas the Sugru is more tactile, so better suited to handles, flexible joins, or where some damping is required. Used methodically, Sugru can save time and money. Improving some stuff and repairing others that might otherwise wind up in landfill.
Sugru is an extremely versatile product that permits modification and inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing repairs. On the one hand, it's very user friendly but isn’t compatible with all surfaces and once set, cannot be reworked.
Verdict 3.5/5 Versatile silicone putty for minor repair and modifications.
PUBLISHED MARCH 2020
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH