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  1. #1
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    Homemade patch kit

    Can you make your own patch kit by cutting up an old tube and using left over vulcanizing compound? Would you just have to rough up both pieces of ruber with the sandpaper? Or are the patches that come in kits significantly different from "a piece of rubber".

    anyone do this?

  2. #2
    BloomBikeShop.com BloomBikeShop's Avatar
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    I think I've done that.

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    Senior Member bkbrouwer's Avatar
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    I once patched a 3"-4" tear with a piece of soda bottle (from the side of the road) and some rubber cement. It got me the two miles to home while slowly leaking. Anything's possible.

  4. #4
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    you could do it, but the patches would be so much thicker than normal ones that your tire might feel a little lumpy.

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    It's worked for me. I've used what seem to be car tire (or maybe truck innertube) tire patches, and I realized they're pretty much the same as cut-up bike tube, so I made some of my own. Only used them once, though, and no long-term testing or anything.

    -Will

  6. #6
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Used to do it all the time, when I was a kid, had no money, and didn't even know what a patchkit was. Cut up an old tube and used superglue. I think I've used duct tape too...but that may be a faulty memory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math
    Can you make your own patch kit by cutting up an old tube and using left over vulcanizing compound? Would you just have to rough up both pieces of ruber with the sandpaper? Or are the patches that come in kits significantly different from "a piece of rubber".

    anyone do this?
    Why?

  8. #8
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    Frugal German/American farming heritage I guess.

    I was at the LBS looking at the patch kits thinking how I needed one cause mine was used up but with only half of the glue used and I heard my dad's/grandfather's/greatgrandfather's voice, "Why buy something if you can make it?"

    But as part of my commute is late at night and a little bit "out there" I wanted some second opinions before I started down this road.

    Based on the responses I think its worth a try. Maybe I can do a controlled experiment over the weekend.

    Although I don't know as if my frugal instinct will let me purposfully flat a tube.... maybe we'll wait for the next one.

  9. #9
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    I keep a spare tube and "store bought" instant patches with me when I ride, but use the rubber glue/old tube method when I get home. Works fine for me.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

  10. #10
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    You can buy Rema patches in boxes of 100 from Bike Tools Etc for $15 and a 4-oz bottle of Elmer's rubber cement at any office supply or X-mart for $1.50.

    Together, they will provide years of tube repairs. Much better and easier than cutting up old tubes.

  11. #11
    "not enough rage" Old Breadbutt's Avatar
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    I think people used to cut up old tubes for patches pretty often, probably requires slightly more skill or care to apply them, but whatever. I've seen old tubes with a lot of little square rubber patches where they were repaired. I prefer to keep an old altoids box full of store bought patches and a little tube of vulcanizing fluid, just for ease, convienience and that they really aren't that expensive. I use old tubes for a variety of other things like tying stuff down and shims for attaching a light to my bike.

    also the store bought patches have tapered edges which leads me to believe they would cause less wear on the tube around the edges of the patch. (but that could just be me being anal)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    I've done it, but I only bother if I have some sort of situation that the standard small patch ( the only ones I buy) won't cover, like a snake bite that's just a bit too wide for one but two would overlap.
    It really is easier to buy the single patches and use the leftover glue.

  13. #13
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    I've never done it but i say its worth a go, next time i puncture my tire i'll try it if i have any old tubes...

  14. #14
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math
    Why buy something if you can make it?
    Because commercially-produced patch kits are cheap, work well and most riders don't go through them quickly, so unless you enjoy tinkering, you end up spending more on the time to cobble together your own patch kit than it's worth.

  15. #15
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    The short answer is "YES". When I worked in Africa all tubes were patched this way with bits of old tubing. Patches that you buy do a much better job and are so cheap there is no reason to not use them unless it's an emergency.
    2006 Lemond Sarthe
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  16. #16
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    My tire has a few patches i just ride withthem i dont care. I patch them with an old tube glue it then wrap it with electrical tape. It hold really well

  17. #17
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    I have done it once or twice long long time ago, and the ride is no more bumpy than with a "real" patch or a new tube, because it's the tire that holds the tube, not the other way around.

    However, I have been told that unless you smooth out the edges of the home-made patch, the abrupt edges may cause premature failure of the tube due to abrasion near the edges. A little bit like what happens if you ride with a Mr. Tuffy tire liner that is improperly installed.

    In my case, I had no problem with the tube(s) I patched, but it was in the "good old days" when 40 psi in a bike tire was a lot.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math
    Frugal German/American farming heritage I guess.

    I was at the LBS looking at the patch kits thinking how I needed one cause mine was used up but with only half of the glue used and I heard my dad's/grandfather's/greatgrandfather's voice, "Why buy something if you can make it?"

    But as part of my commute is late at night and a little bit "out there" I wanted some second opinions before I started down this road.

    Based on the responses I think its worth a try. Maybe I can do a controlled experiment over the weekend.

    Although I don't know as if my frugal instinct will let me purposfully flat a tube.... maybe we'll wait for the next one.
    Old English saying "Penny wise, pound foolish." Sure you can probably save a couple of cents by making your own patches. But will they stick? Or will they not? And, I bet dollars to donuts, that they place they let go is "late at night and a little bit 'out there'". You just have to ask yourself if a long walk home in the dark is worth a few cents?

    But all is not lost! You can buy a box of 100 patches here. Unless you live in 'sticker land' like me, it's almost a life time supply. For me, one box might get me through a year, if I'm careful
    Stuart Black
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  19. #19
    Barracuda Jacana
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    I won't be needing 100 patches anyways, in about years of riding a bike regulary, that 3-4 times a week, i have got one puncture, but of course, lately i've got into it alot more and will be getting my new bike on wednesday

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