SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
The Thermoworx Whitemorph is a "Reusable thermal polymer with a low melting point". It's not cycling specific, or a glue, but great for little fixes and upgrades. That said, while a very capable repair product, getting the best from it, requires a little skill/practice.
Pros: Sleek, durable, remould able and reusable.
Cons: Cures to a hard, plastic, so not ideal for some jobs.
These are reusable, biodegradable, polymer beads. Whitemorph, as its name suggests, is white but can be painted and several pigments are available, so you can blend and brew your own colours/shades. Now, according to the instructions, you simply heat these to 62 degrees, at which point, they assume a clear, gooey, state. Ensure recipient areas are clean, then simply apply the Whitemorph, sculpting to suit.
Unlike silicone products, such as Sugru this can be melted and reset, so if you're not satisfied with the results, all's not lost.
Talking of which, store quite carefully. Ours assumed this solid state, left in a relatively cool kitchen cupboard, away from sources of heat. Oh, and, of course, out of reach of children and curious pets.
Method/Ease of Application. 3/5
Having cleaned and prepped the items you want to tweak/hack/repair, it’s time to brew up. A few trial runs concluded the best technique. Pour a measured amount of the Whitemorph beads into an old mug.
You know, that one with the chipped rim, which you wouldn't offer a guest, yet can't bear to part with. You're also going to need a stirring implement. Scrap spokes are perfect, but an old teaspoon/similar will do fine.
Now add water to your kettle and bring it right to the boil. Pour into your chosen receptacle and stir. Work the Whitemorph to the point it melts to a clear and very malleable state.
62 degrees was fine in theory but cured too fast in practice. This is particularly apparent, if tackling a more intricate, or larger surface area. I've discovered heating the host, while applying and shaping the Whitemorph makes jobs
considerably easier. During the August heatwave, smaller tweaks/running repairs were ride ready, in a matter of minutes. That said and testing aside; I've left curing overnight, wherever possible.
There have been a few niggly little jobs that wanted doing, this side of winter. The outer casing of my Univega's dynamo cabling had close to the connector. After ten years, and some pretty grotty winters, the mudguard stay caps had all gone and I wanted to seal some (brake) cable inner wires before they got chance to fray. Naturally, the more familiar I became, the more uses I found.
Preparation and nimble fingers are key to good and indeed, lasting results. First up (and foremost) the dynamo wiring. Having got the Thermoworx polymer to a supple, toffee-like consistency, I moulded it, creating an overlap.
Though arguably, Sugru is a better candidate, there's enough play in the system. No problems dis/connecting plug from hub and no danger of winter getting in, causing mischief.
Similar story, with the mudguard stays. However, some highly polished stainless and electroplated surfaces proved trickier customers.
My recently refurbished Yak homage trailer uses a wingnut to tether trailer body and swingarm. Though it doesn't need much attention, its fiddly to operate. Initially, the Whitemorph simply came away, in a solid clump. Wiping the wingnut with a rag dipped in white spirit sorted adhesion woes. Same goes for cable ends.
Moustache pattern handlebars have many advantages, but angle brake lever tips outwards, prone to scratching walls/brickwork. Another obvious candidate. Much as I suspected, the Whitemorph moulded into a smooth, and very effective "scuff bumper."
I've also modified zipper tags, Q/R light mounts, bottle cages and of course, tooling. When cured, the Whitemorph seems highly resistant to regular machine washing, solvents, oils, greases and similar petrochemical contaminant.
It’s not a glue, in the commonly accepted sense, though does set to a structural state, so a more realistic option than Sugru for repairing damaged, waterproof action camera housings etc. Being reusable, it’s also handy for little jobs, such as masking unused brake bosses (On bikes that have been upgraded to discs, for example).
There's not a great deal to compare it with. We've used Sugru to good effect in the past. However, it’s a single use silicone, so not directly comparable. The fact you can simply re-heat and reuse, means the Whitemorph and its counterparts should prove extremely sound investments in the long and short term.
Though Whitemorph has some limitations, it’s an extremely versatile product ideally suited to riders who like to fettle and tweak. Unlike some products, there's no use-by date, either. Being general, rather than bike specific could mean jack of all trades, master of none. However, I've also found it very competent for little jobs around the home, car and workshop.
Verdict: 3.75/5 Handy stuff for all manner of fixing and fettling.
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2019
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH