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Home » Cycling » How to Fix a Stuck Zipper on a $150 Thin, Convertible, Awesome Cycling Jacket: Google (Or Alternately, “Dude, Sorry Mom”)

How to Fix a Stuck Zipper on a $150 Thin, Convertible, Awesome Cycling Jacket: Google (Or Alternately, “Dude, Sorry Mom”)

April 2017
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I bought an awesome Specialized convertible rain jacket/vest at the bike shop several weeks ago.  I’m going to include my own photo because I can’t find the jacket on their website.  It was wildly expensive compared against the deals one can find online for other reputable brands, however I like the idea of supporting my local shop for many purchases and Specialized’s return policy is second to none.  Not only that, their clothing lasts an exceptionally long time under rough usage.  I’ve got a long sleeved jersey that still looks new after five years.  I’ve still got RBX Pro shorts in the rotation that I’ve owned for four years.  Same for my winter cycling jacket (though I wear the jacket enough it’s showing signs of its mileage – if it does still work perfectly well).  My knee warmers, leg warmers and arm warmers are all five years old and still look excellent.  I own a lot more, but you get the point…  I look at owning Specialized clothing a lot like people look at Rapha.  It costs a lot but there is value to the price in durability – and I actually care a lot about my local shop staying open.

So with that out of the way, the zipper stuck on my jacket Tuesday night – and I mean stuck.  I tried, my wife tried, there was no way that zipper was going to be un-stuck…  So I did what any normal late-40’s cyclist, father and husband would do:  I asked Google.  Specialized has their great return policies but I had a problem:  I didn’t want to return the jacket.  I freaking love it.  It’s become my go-to cold weather kit because it effectively blocks the wind which allows me to stay warm with fewer, thinner layers.  It has become my favorite piece of new kit overnight and I don’t want to ride without it.

Google recommended, for a stuck zipper, a graphite pencil first (graphite is exceptionally slippy, we use graphite powder on sticky door hardware to stop squeaky hinges and sticky locks).  I tried that, didn’t work.  Next up was bar soap or wax.  I grabbed a birthday candle out of the junk drawer in the kitchen and rubbed some wax onto the zipper (it’s a two-way zipper so I could zip the upper and lower up, I just couldn’t get the zipper to disengage at the bottom).
The wax did the trick, instantly.  In fact, the zipper actually works much better now so I’ll be taking some wax to my other jackets.

There’s only one problem;  This little episode robbed my mom of a phone call.  In the days before Google (yes kids, and it wasn’t that long ago) when we needed some “how do you fix a stuck zipper” advice, I’d call my mom.  Now I can get the best answer in a tenth of a second by asking my phone directly.

I think I’ll call my mom anyway.  It’s been too long.  Crazy life, man.  I absolutely love it.

 UPDATE:  For those who voiced concern, and those who are, the call to my mom was placed.  It lasted more than 15 minutes, and it was good.  😉


  1. Dino says:

    My mom always says about her grandmother that she was google of those days for her. 🙂

  2. tischcaylor says:

    My kids are old enough (and their age gap large enough) that I can definitely remember crossing that line where I started telling them to Google stuff rather than asking me. Kind of a relief to not pretend I know why the sky is blue and all that. You’re a good boy for calling your mom, though.

  3. Been using candle wax on my dry suit & sailing/canoeing bag zippers for years – ace! Also it’s sometimes road salt (as well as sea salt) that can jam them so a good soak in hot water may help.

  4. i usually use a spray of wd40 and brute force, plus repetitive zipping and unzipping to get it moving again-but zip on my gillet is totally bust now-so i’ll make a note of these when i get a new one

  5. unironedman says:

    Don’t forget to call your Mum…

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