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  1. #1
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    Are Bell products any good?

    I was at Wal Mart and noticed they have patches that don't require glue. You just scuff and stick it on and wait a couple of minutes.

    Do you think these will seal and hold or is there no replacement for old fashioned glue and rubber?

    thanks

  2. #2
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Title of the thread is misleading. Bell brand helmets (and their other brand Giro) are very good and probably several other product lines I can't think of off the top of my head. Glueless patches are also offered by Park Tool. Could both be sourced from 3M afaik. I've not been a big fan of the glueless patches for high pressure tubes but it's been a while since I've used one. Make good frame protection from housing rub, too.
    suum quique
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  3. #3
    Asi
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    Bell also makes helicopters , that's another Bell

  4. #4
    Oldtimer borgagain's Avatar
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    Yes, some Bell products are very good. A bell helmet was the highest rated by Consumer Reports a few years ago (and may still be).

    No, glueless patches are not good. Carry a spare tube and patch the puncture properly when you have the time.
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  5. #5
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    Bell is part of Easton and Easton makes lots of good products.

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    Bell sells a lot of low-line and casual/kids bike accessories through Wal-Mart and sells far better stuff through real bicycle shops and specialty bike mail order dealers. Same company, different markets.

    As to the glueless patches, results have been mixed. Early ones were very failure prone. Current ones may be better but there are still reports of poor bondings and recurring leaks. It may be just poor patching technique and it may be an inherent weakness in the concept. Dunno. I got stung with the first generation and have never gone back.

  7. #7
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Stick on patches don't work (for long) in my experience.
    What is so tough about carying sandpaper, glue, and a patch?
    The real pain of a flat is taking the wheel off the frame and pulling the tire off the wheel.
    Once you lacated the hole and cleared the source the patch operation is the easiest.
    If you want easy (and heavy) get a goo tube. Those are always fun when you get a blowout.

    Enjoy
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  8. #8
    DOS
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    Glueless patches are not intended to be permanent. they are emergency repair to get rider through the ride when one is without spare tube. So you should alwys either replace the tube or follow up with a more permanent patch. A proper patch is not a patch per se in that the patch is more than a glued on to the tube. The"glue" more or less melts patch and tube together to form a more complete patch much less prone to failure then just sticking something onto the tube.

    As for Bell, Bell and Giro are owned by Easton so they are all as good as the other now.
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  9. #9
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    DOS is right. Those Bell glueless patches will work to get you home, but they are not a good permanent fix in my experience. The patch will dry out and fall apart over time. Fine for a quick emergency road-side fix, but that is all. Better to carry an extra tube and do a proper patch job at home after the ride.

    Park swears their glueless patches are a good fix, but I have never used them.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Criner View Post
    Park swears their glueless patches are a good fix, but I have never used them.
    The first generation Park glueless patches were less elastic than the tube rubber and the "differential expansion" as the tire flexed under load loosened the bond pretty quickly. That, and poor instalation technique (not cleaning or roughing up the area around the puncture), led to early failure. I had one last two miles before the tire went flat again and the leak was at the patch.

    Park claims they have solved the problems and the newer glueless patches are reliable. I've read reports from riders who swear by (not at) them and claim they last the life of the tube if used properly. I don't know if that's true since I've never tried them again.

  11. #11
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    I've used the park glueless patches for 10 years on MTB tube and never had an issue. Never tried them on road tubes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobaar View Post
    I've used the park glueless patches for 10 years on MTB tube and never had an issue. Never tried them on road tubes.
    The reports on these are bimodal. Some users report excellent and durable results and others experience failures within minutes.

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    Bell makes ok stuff for the most part. Their cable kits for example, are quite cheap but work well for low budget applications.

    That being said, I've never had luck with pre-glued patches of any brand. However, the kits @ my LBS for $3 that include Vulcanizing fluid are fantastic.
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    Senior Member TheSodaJerk's Avatar
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    People complaining of failures within minutes are either installing them improperly or buying really bad ones. I'll go to my LBS today and get the brand I used to buy, Ive used newer Park Tools glueless and they worked just fine as well. Ive used 3+ on one tube, with none of them failing, which goes to show that they do indeed last (granted I get a good number of flats, probably to the tune of one every week or week and a half.

    My experience is based on 23mm tires with 22mm tubes running at 100psi+

    I did have 2 fail, but they were due to user error.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    for casual cyclists and low end flips...I use Bell cables & chains a lot......Walmart is close and cheap.....
    Thumpic....

    Green is the new "CHEAP"

  16. #16
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSodaJerk View Post
    My experience is based on 23mm tires with 22mm tubes running at 100psi+
    My theory is that they are better for high pressures like you're running, because the pressure will force the tube against the tire tightly enough to help hold the patch in place.

    My theory could be all wrong, but I've never had a glueless patch hold on a mountain-bike tire long enough for me to even get the wheel back on the bike. I run really low pressures though, between 20-30psi depending on where I'm riding.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    My theory is that they are better for high pressures like you're running, because the pressure will force the tube against the tire tightly enough to help hold the patch in place.

    My theory could be all wrong, but I've never had a glueless patch hold on a mountain-bike tire long enough for me to even get the wheel back on the bike. I run really low pressures though, between 20-30psi depending on where I'm riding.
    You're doing it wrong, or using horrible patches, or both. I've had multiple park patches on the same MTB tube and they held as well as an unpatched tube. I run around 30psi in 2.1 tires. I do make sure to rough up the tube with the included sandpaper.

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