General Cycling Discussion - Using a lighter to fix a flat
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03-06-03, 07:27 AM
I read a great tip in a magazine about fixing flat tyres. Instead of waiting ages for the glue to set, set fire to it for a couple of seconds and it becomes tacky so much faster. Becareful though, because the glue is surprisingly flamable. I try'd it the other day and it does work well.
03-06-03, 08:02 PM
What about patching old school? ;)
We still have an old heat patch kit (but I think we're out of the patches). This will probably be hard to visualize unless you've seen it, but it's basically a C-clamp with a die as one of the pads(available in triange, round, or square and are interchangeable). The rubber patch is attached to a piece of cork-wood about 1/4 inch thick and the same shape as the patch. This is pressed into the die. You smooth out and clean the area to be patched, then clamp the patch kit on. Then you light the cork on fire and let it burn. It will burn for just long enough to fuse the patch and the tire cleanly, and it's a lot cooler if you're a pyrophillic like me. I never had a patch fail.
This particular kit isn't something you'd take out riding, although it could definitely be made small enough if Park or Topeak or someone thought it would sell. It's still quicker, however to user a regular glue patch, but not as cool :p
why? glueless patches are faster on the road and regular glue patches work fine- I never felt the 2 minutes it takes glue to dry was out of reason.
Glueless patches take like 10 seconds, and I don't usually carry a lighter with me..
I once saw a show on Discovery where some explorers in the arctic used a spraycan of flammable liquid and a lighter to quickly seat a tyre onto a rim. The heat causes the air to expand so quickly and evenly that the tyre seats itself perfectly onto the rim. These are huge 200lbs offroad tyres we're talking about.
As for me, I'll stick to a patchkit or simply carrying around a spare tube. I have glueless patches but for some reason I'm shy about using them. Perhaps it's because I always end up having to tear off at least two pieces of saran-wrap when I go to put leftovers into the fridge. The first try always ends up in a wadded ball. I fear that with glueless patches, I'd have at least half of my fingers tipped with nice airtight seals. On the upside, at least I won't have to worry about finding band-aids. For some reason I seem to have no fumbling problems with traditional glue patching.
03-07-03, 12:13 AM
Oh man! Why did I ever quit smoking?
I used to know of a place that did hot patches on tubeless tyres as well as tubes (mostly big tubes for construction equipment). Never had one of those patches fail, either. I have occasionally done a similar thing with common glue patches, using a small propane pencil torch and a clamp-seems to work well, but I wouldn't try this on any lightweight tubes.
03-07-03, 11:55 PM
In retrospect, the hot patch idea was really cool, at the time I thought nothing of it because I was pretty young and hadn't seen glue patches, so this was the only way I knew of to patch tires. It's true though, it wouldn't be a good idea to use it on a road tire, it might cause damage around the patch area.
I'm kinda curious if anyone else has seen these hot patch kits around lately. It's a neat little novelty.
Originally posted by Raiyn
Buncha pyros! All of ya!
You know what's even cooler? Get a water bottle with a little cap (not a gatorade-sized cap, like a Coca-coola cap). Then hold it and let gas into it with a lighter in a still-aired place. Don't flick it, just let the gas out. Then after ten seconds or so, flick it and get a flame. Then hold it close to the hole ... tilt it a little, and phwooooooommmmm! Flamethrower effect for about 3 seconds if you do it right :D
Originally posted by jump
You know what's even cooler?
jump, as I read your post while looking at your icon, I can just imagine StrongBad himself saying it and it makes me laugh. |8^)
03-10-03, 05:35 PM
I have never seen anyone else use the same method I use to patch tubes in the shop. After abrading the spot to be patched with sandpaper, I clean the area with lighter fluid (naptha) and then apply the cement after the solvent evaporates. According to my father, who showed me this when I was a kid, all patch repairs were done this way back when all tires had tubes. I can't swear the solvent is absolutley necessary, as I obviously don't carry lighter fluid on the bike with me, but it does seem to act like a flux. Works well with the self vulcanizing patches I like to use.
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