Gluing Wahoo TICKR electrodes back to strap?

I know this isn’t strictly a Zwift subject, but since I’ve been using my original TICKR strap with Zwift for three years, I’m wondering if anyone else here has successfully glued back the peeling ends of the electrodes on the elastic strap. Mine have been peeling for about a year and I feel like I should stop it getting worse. (Sure, I could just buy a replacement strap, but I dislike throwing out things that could be easily repaired.)

What kind of glue is recommended? Rubber cement? Something specific for elasticated fabric? I did some googling but couldn’t find an obvious solution. Haven’t contacted Wahoo, yet.

This unit has been working flawlessly for me since 2019, with over 700 hours in Zwift and three batteries. After each ride, I put the strap in a small bowl of warm water for five minutes, squeeze it out and hang to dry. I’m guessing that the heat of the water has broken down the glue. Fortunately, the damage is only cosmetic, since the strap holds the electrodes to my skin when the unit is worn, but I don’t want it to get any worse. Thanks in advance for any advice.

I had this happen, twice. Replaced the first with the same model and replaced the second with a different one.

I know this isn’t a solution for you, I think it’s just a fault of the equipment.

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Rubber cement is too weak. I would try a thin layer of Gorilla Clear Grip. (And apply sustained pressure to the area, wait 24 hours.) Contact cement or silicone adhesive might work, too.

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This is what you want

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Thanks for the swift replies, @James_Zwift, @Paul_Southworth, and @Randy_Jensen.
Much appreciated.

Pending a possible reply to a support request I sent to Wahoo (after creating this thread), I’m planning to test two possible solutions (waterproof seam grip and polyurethane-based contact glue, one each side), and writing up the results here after a while.

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Roule, I’ve used that seam grip on my own Wahoo heart rate chest strap; the Velcro straps on my mountain bike shoes; and my hunting boots. I used it on my hunting boots to seal a splint. On my chest strap and shoe straps I used it as a bonding agent. For use on your strap I’d recommend not overdoing the amount of adhesive, and I’d recommend clamping the two surfaces with something flat and stiff like two small pieces of wood. Apply the adhesive between the two layers, then use some kind of clamp to put moderate pressure on your stiff strips on both sides of your two surfaces. I used a small c-clamp. Just moderate pressure. Let it cure overnight. This adhesive bonds well, and it remains pliable.

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Excellent. Thanks, Randy.
That exact GearAid product is available in a mountain sports store that’s walking distance from my home. I’ll pick some up this week.

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I just wanted to circle back so that anyone else in the same situation can have a full rundown and illustration of the solution.

By the way, Wahoo Support replied professionally and pleasantly enough, but sadly did not want to be drawn on recommending materials for user repairs. They were proposing a discount on a new HR unit instead, but since my goal is to avoid waste, especially e-waste, I decided to go with what was suggested in these Forums.

The seam grip that @Randy_Jensen very helpfully recommended is available in various configurations, and I found a 2x7g tube pack at my local stockist, which suits my needs and cost me even less than a replacement strap would. By the way, if anyone’s looking to do the same repair/maintenance, make sure you get the GEAR AID SEAM GRIP +WP (waterproof) version and not the +SIL (Silicone) one, as they look quite similar, otherwise.

Reading around the subject, it looks like any adhesive holding such fabric and plastic together and which is exposed to extreme humidity plus warm, sweaty skin for long periods is going to break down sooner or later. This regluing could be seen as maintenance for extending the useful life of an otherwise fully-functioning electronic device.

In preparing the strap for the gluing, I decided to clean off as much of the old glue from the fabric and electrodes using cotton buds and a lint-free rag soaked in isopropyl alcohol. In doing so, I ended up unpeeling all of the glued surfaces. This didn’t prove to be a problem, since the elements are mechanically sandwiched together at the ends of the strap. It also guaranteed that all the glue joints would be renewed. It took a while to clean off all the old glue that I could, but it was very satisfying. I then left the strap to dry thoroughly overnight.

Gluing everything together was relatively straightforward with a bit of prep. The glue can easily get everywhere if you’re not careful, and isn’t easy to clean up when wet, even with isopropyl alcohol, so it’s worth wearing gloves and doing a dry run. I used some scraps of wood from my workshop to provide flat surfaces, some greaseproof paper to stop the glue from spreading beyond the strap, and some small spring clamps.

Again, I left this all to dry for 24 hours, then cleaned up any excess dried glue with more isopropyl alcohol. Then I hand-washed the strap in warm soapy water, hung it up to dry and tested* it. It feels and works like new.

*I haven’t actually zwifted with it since then, as I finally managed to get a case of the 'rona after avoiding it for all these years. However, it has been amusing sitting around doing nothing with a HR strap on and seeing my heart rate in the Wahoo app make it look like I’m doing a recovery ride. :laughing: I hope to be back on the bike at the end of this week.

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Roule that’s pretty much how I applied the same product. I’ve been very impressed with this application, especially on the Velcro straps on my mountain biking shoes. They had completely delaminated. I couldn’t begin to describe the stress and moisture I’ve exposed those shoes to since repairing them with this product, and the straps are still holding strong and remain remarkably pliable. Thanks for providing everyone with this great illustrated tutorial!

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