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Customer Reviews (4)
- You can do it* (with determination, steady hands and good eyesight)Review by Sean Smith
After receiving my replacement zippers free of charge, I read the instructions hoping to find all sorts of tricks and diagrams, and when I found no such thing, I took my beloved Roadcrafter to a local motorcycle leather repair shop.
The nice woman there told me that it is very, very hard to remove the zipper stops, get the slider on, and then crimp on new stops. She said that what she would do instead was open up the seam behind the zipper, put the new zipper on, and stich it up. All for $12 a zipper. This seemed way too good to be true, and I doubted her ability to close the seam properly, apply seam tape, reinstall the liner, and make everything 100% watertight.
Next I called around Portland's shoe repair shops, and none would touch a motorcycle suit.
I ended up back at home watching youtube videos of other people working on zippers, and reading what I could.
Here's how I did it:
-The instructions say to pinch the stops with needle nose pliers, but I used larger wire cutters instead. Sloppiness on my first try frayed the zipper tape slightly, but by the third one I had it figured out. I placed the teeth on the flat part of the stop that faces the inside of the zipper (the stop is U-shaped, so this would be the bottom of the 'U') and the side toward the edge of the zipper and with three to five squeezes managed to open up the 'U' to the point that it would fall off.
-Next step is to slide the old broken zipper pull off. Before you do this, use forceps or whatever is handy to loosen the fabric that's folded over and stitched at the end of the cuff. With the old slider still connected, there's no risk of the zipper coming apart while you do this. Once things are a little more opened up, remove the old slider being careful not to let the zipper separate.
-Now comes the truly hard part. After completing this, I feel as though I could probably perform actual wrist surgery. One does not simply slide the new slider into place. First, pry it apart until the small end is noticeably larger. You'll make no progress until you do this. Now, get the fabric at the end of the cuff folded over and out of the way. I used forceps to work it loose for a few minutes, then removed them at the last second for more room to work. Folding the fabric over gives you the room and vision you need to install the slider, but it has a nasty side effect: it squishes the zipper tape into a sort of 'S' shape. To counter this, I pinched the zipper with my thumb and forefinger as close to the end as possible and installed the slider at an angle on the tape at first, then wiggled side-to-side to work it on. The first one took an hour and was very frustrating, the second one took five minutes and only made my fingers a little sore.
-Last step (although you'll feel as though you already conquered the world at this point) is just crimping the new ends on. I used straight pliers to get them started, then gave em a good squeeze with the backside (grip side?) flats on my wire cutters. This part is super easy.
I probably could have just lied to the shoe repair place and said it was a zipper pull on a boot, but now that I've gone and done it myself, I feel like a million bucks and am seriously considering going back to school to become a surgeon. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming! (Posted on 12/2/14)
- Replacement ZippersReview by John
- If you have the temperament the effort to replace the zipper sliders is well worth it. On the other hand, if you are of short temper and no patience then forget it. The sleeve cuffs are sorta hard to deal with. Plan on 1/2 a day to do this if aggravated and 15 minutes if you are a whiz! At least your zippers will work properly afterwards. (Posted on 11/25/12)
- Zipper Repair KitReview by SpyderAnn
- Took the kit to a shoe repair shop and had them replace the zipper pull. Saved $5.00 from their price and we still have plenty of replacements left over for future repairs. (Posted on 9/15/11)
- Tip: if you're having tro...Review by Wilder Grippo
Tip: if you're having trouble getting your replacement zipper on, try gently prying the slot open (very little) with a thin screwdriver. I struggled for an hour with the new zipper until I did this and it went on easily. You can then crimp it back closed with a pair of pliers once it's on.
(Posted on 5/15/09)
Modern zippers are precisely engineered micro-machines which usually work trouble free for year and years. When problems occur they are almost always caused by mis-uses like over-forcing a jammed slider, though sometimes dirt contamination, direct impacts or long wear also cause failures.
If you ride a lot it's a good idea to always carry an emergency replacement slider like this: FixnZip -- especially on day long rides and multi-day trips. Leave one of these at the bottom of any pocket and it will always be there when you (...or a riding buddy) need it.
Aerostich garments contain two different zipper types: Nylon molded-teeth with locking sliders for the main openings, pant-to-jacket connectors, and wrist gussets -- and a nylon coil style with non-locking sliders for vents and pockets. Both divide further into water-resistant and traditional styles. Most Aerostich zippers now are the water-resistant type.
These highly water-resistant zippers feature miniature gasketing systems, ultra-closely dimensioned internal tolerances, and vinyl covered knit nylon 'tapes' on either side of the zipper's teeth or coils. These specialized zippers come pre-lubricated and this lubricant should be renewed at least annually. We like this stuff: Teflon Multi-Use Lubricant because it lasts a long time, doesn't leave greasy residue, and doesn't collect dirt. Single-use lubricant packages are included with all new Aerostich garments, and are available separately here: Aerostich Single-use Zipper Lubricant
If fabric jams the slider, don't pull harder without examining the area first. Sometimes it's best to try and pull the fabric outward from the jam and other times it's better to carefully force the slider backward down the zipper.
If a zipper jams at the same place more than once, try creasing the adjacent fabric to help it ‘remember’ to stay away from the zipper’s sider better. And practice using one finger to help guide the fabric away, or pull the slider past this area with a slight upward or outward vector so the adjacent fabric is flattened away from the slider.
Aerostich toothed-zipper sliders all lock in place whenever the slider's handle is lying flat. Pulling the handle upward releases a spring-tensioned internal locking pin, allowing slider movement. If a zipper slider moves when it's not supposed to the slider’s handle is being pulled slightly upward, usually by pressure from adjacent fabric
If you have questions about zipper use, zipper repairs or anything else zipper-related, please give us a call. And if you need a replacement zipper or slider to fix any Aerostich garment, let us know and we will send at no charge.