Freesole Saves Me Money

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Jun 29, 2016

This is a topic of some passion for me. I like really nice gear and I’m willing to spend for it. I absolutely despise throwing stuff away. Freesole saves me money and it can save you money too.

I’m not saying that people of Scottish heritage* are miserly penny-pinching skinflints. Really. But if there are two of us in a room talking about ‘value’ you’ll probably want to duck out for a quick ride, a nice sushi lunch, or down a couple beers and grab a nap. We’ll still be there when you’re done.

Freesole Saves

Today’s article is brought to you by Medical/EMT Scissors (~$5), generic Philips screwdriver (~$1.50), Gear Aid Freesole (~$8), and Gear Aid Repair Tape (~$7).

In this case, the subject of discussion is one of my favourite products – Gear Aid Freesole. It’s one of many urethane rubber adhesive products on the market and it’s the one that I’ve used for years to repair and reinforce cycling shoes – and other things. The uses are almost endless.

For the record: Cam, being twice as Scotch, won the day. I’d previously never considered using the wonder glue to patch punched tire casings – but you best believe I’ll never throw away another tire with 30% + life left on account of a little gouging! I hate make-believe repair stories, so I’ll follow up this article with a one about Freesole saving my tires in the future if (when) I have a sharp rock punch through a tire.

Freesole Saves

This could be your backpack after a crash. In my case it’s the cover of a Thule Chariot child carrier that had a roll over.

When I throw down for really nice gear I have very high demands. I want to eke every little factor of life out of it.

Case in point, I could buy a new cover for my toddler’s Thule Chariot Cougar 1 trailer. Could. But we like a little adventure and chances are the same two tears, which happen to be on either side where the frame/cover contacts the ground when the kid carrier is upside down (go figure?), would appear on the replacement. How many additional covers am I going to buy over the life of the trailer? None!

This same technique is fantastic on packs as well. I’ve had mixed results for quick/cheap fixes on wearables.

Freesole Saves

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape. Doesn’t get sticky-nasty over time like Gorilla Tape or Duct Tape.

Freesole Saves

Tenacious Tape patch on the inside to hold the fabric together.

Step one is to cover the inside of the area you plan to repair with tape. I like Tenacious Tape from Gear Aid. It comes in a variety of colours if you care about that stuff. More importantly, it doesn’t get disgustingly sticky over time like Gorilla Tape or Duct Tape.

It is more expensive than either of those options but you’ll only have to do the repair once and I’ve never had a problem throwing Tenacious Taped products in the wash. Try that with either of the above and you’d best be sure your partner’s unmentionables aren’t in the same load!

Freesole Saves

I like to roll the urethane glue on for a smooth-ish finish. Most importantly the tear isn’t spreading and the repair should last.

I roll the Freesole on to the repair area for a smooth-ish finish. I don’t have an artistic bone in my entire body so my repairs are totally functional but they sure as heck aren’t pretty. If you draw better now than you did in the 2nd grade I can almost guarantee your finished product will be more attractive.

Freesole Saves

Better than new and ready to dry. Definitely ready to ride tomorrow.

Much more commonly – since my toddler’s trailer isn’t on the roof that often – Freesole saves my shoes. I’m not really certain how many hundreds of hours of walking and riding I’ve done in these Giro Empires but this is the fourth set of cleats and the last set was definitely mounted way past their expiry date.

I’ve used Freesole to rebond the toe bumps, rebuild the heel bumpers, reattach parts of the tread to the sole, and to reinforce the upper sole interface.

Freesole Saves

I Love New Cleat Day! This is the fourth, or maybe fifth, set of cleats on these shoes and the last ones were run WAY too long. What’s your life expectancy for a high-end shoe?

These shoes spend more than 50% of their life attached to my singlespeed, or walking alongside it, and the grunty, cranking, stomping, swearing, and sawing I do on the pedals has me preferring a stiff carbon sole. I also love laces and the fit is awesome.

That said, they are pricey. I’m planning to ride them until the lugs wear down to nothing – and then I can turn them into road shoes.

Freesole saves

Dare to repair. Outside of lug base reattached and reinforced.

Over time the areas that have most required repair – like the thin section of tread around the cleat box – will come up again as the Freesole wears down. On another pair, I’ve also used urethane glue and Freesole tape to repair the side of the upper itself after it tore on a rock.

Freesole Saves

Multiple layers of glue applied when it dries. Over a long period of time I end up with numerous layers of Freesole.

There you have it. My many-times-repaired shoes – and first time repaired trailer – are ready for a lot more miles. Cosmetically they are not perfect and the shoes’ lugs are starting to wear out, but they are as stiff as the day I bought them and still super comfy to boot.

Freesole saves me money.

*Scottish heritage is defined here as any % of ancestry, any % self-identification, and any percentage ginger (personally, my beard is ~25% soulless which is a nice match for my ~25% Scottish blood).


Do you know other hacks to extend the life of your gear?

 

Comments

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - June 29, 2016, 11:34 a.m.

In what condition was the child post-roll over? Could repairs be made with Freesole?

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - June 29, 2016, 11:41 a.m.

The roll cage and harness on the Thule/Chariot trailers are best in class. Toddler is all fist-bumps after a roll over!

Reply

nat-brown
0
Nat Brown  - June 29, 2016, 12:04 p.m.

Haha. Toddlers are awesome. Most of the time.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - June 29, 2016, 10:16 a.m.

Andrew, have never heard of Tenacious Tape or Freesole. Mail order or can I pick them up on the Shore?

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - June 29, 2016, 11:42 a.m.

Hi Merwinn,

I buy mine at MEC. In person or online.

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - June 29, 2016, 12:32 p.m.

You can get the tape at Outdoor Innovations too. It's worth a visit just to see all the cool stuff they have.

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - June 29, 2016, 8:39 a.m.

Five Tens should come with a bottle of Freesole when you buy them.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - June 29, 2016, 10:18 a.m.

And lower end Shimano MTB shoes too. Have a 6 month old pair with a hideous de-lam'ing sole

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - June 29, 2016, 8:34 a.m.

Tenacious tape is perfect for sealing cuts and tears in really thin membrane fabrics that are too thin to sew (i.e. lightweight breathable jackets, tents, etc). Plus it's available in a clear so it's invisible if you do a good job.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - June 29, 2016, 3:07 p.m.

Good tip. I have a lightweight jacket with a tear in the arm, I'll try it out.

Reply

morgan-taylor
0
Morgan Taylor  - June 29, 2016, 9:36 p.m.

Yeah, it's great, just cut out an appropriately-sized piece and you still have a bunch left. My old Atom LT has a few Tenacious patches on it now.

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - June 29, 2016, 7:16 a.m.

Goo is great for repairing small cuts in GORETEX. Duct tape the outside, make sure the cut is lined up well and goo the inside. Once cured remove the duct tape and you're gold.

Reply

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - June 29, 2016, 6:53 a.m.

Freesole, Shoe Goo, etc… I use them all the time. Keep 'em in the freezer and the lids don't glue themselves to the tube and the product doesn't harden inside the tube over time. You'll get to use the whole tube.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - June 29, 2016, 7:14 a.m.

Vik!!! Amazing! I'll never throw out a 1/4 tube again.

Thank you!

Reply

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - June 29, 2016, 7:16 a.m.

No problem. No my idea. I read it online and tried it. Works great.

Only downside is you need to take tube out of freezer and let sit for 15 mins to warm up enough for goo to flow.

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - June 29, 2016, 6:53 a.m.

I've been using Shoe Goo for "everything bike gear" since about 2002. Make my own patches out of whatever random stretchy durable material is available at the time. By the time I stopped wearing it, my old Dainese DH suit was about 50% shoe goo. One of the best uses I've found over the years: permanently repairing those little rips that occasionally happen on the top surface of your saddle.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - June 29, 2016, 7:19 a.m.

Great idea re. saddle! Just have to catch it before it spreads. I have an old Chromag Moon (leather rather than DT) that I'll try that on.

Thanks!

Reply

mammal
0
Mammal  - June 29, 2016, 2:01 p.m.

Absolutely. No patch necessary for the saddle fix, as long as you're not missing material. Probably the biggest advice in doing these repairs is to clean the surface and seat foam with alcohol. If everything is clean, the repair is pretty bomb-proof.

Reply

jason
0
jason  - June 29, 2016, 8:07 a.m.

One of my saddles is about 50% freesole. I just keep repairing the tears. For big saddle repairs, put down some freesole, cover with a layer of hockey tape, then a smooth layer or freesole over the tape.

Reply

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