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Old 05-22-12, 12:57 PM   #1
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found a good source for patch glue/rubber-cement

So thanks to the miracle of Stop Flats 2 tire liners my rubber cement dried up (which I only discovered because I wasn't using a tire liner in front...but now I will start). I checked the prices for patch kits online, at my LBS, Autozone, Advanced Autoparts, etc...and what a ripoff! Finally I went to the 99c store and, lo and behold, they had patch kits for 99c each plus they gave me a free Koran. So now I'm patchin with "the prophet".

Asalaam alaikum!
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Old 05-22-12, 01:15 PM   #2
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Rema (etc.) vulcanizing solvent is not rubber cement, really..
you can buy the Rema stuff in a big tin,
places that repair tubed tires in trucks use that..
or in 100 little tubes per box , ordered thru your local bike shop.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-22-12 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 05-22-12, 01:26 PM   #3
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Goggle Rema, lots of places cheaper than the lbs. One of the cans will probably last a lifetime, store the stuff upside down so air can't leak into the can.

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Old 05-22-12, 02:24 PM   #4
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Rema (etc.) vulcanizing solvent is not rubber cement, really..
you can buy the Rema stuff in a big tin,
places that repair tubed tires in trucks use that..
or in 100 little tubes per box , ordered thru your local bike shop.
I know that, but almost all manufacturers of "vulcanizing solvent" call it "rubber cement" (including all the stuff sold to repair tubed tires in trucks at Autozone, Advanced Autoparts, etc). Rema is the only brand that charges extra to print "vulcanizing fluid" on the label, but I think it's safe to say that any "rubber cement" that's specifically manufactured and sold for the purpose of tire repair is the right stuff (which is pretty much all rubber cement except Elmers).

So why would I order 100 tubes of Rema through my LBS when I can buy them one at a time at my local dollar store? How much does a 100 tube box of Rema "vulcanizing solvent" even cost? Since it's a special order (couldn't even find a single online vendor selling such a box of 100) I guarantee it wouldn't be less than $100 at most LBSs...and I guarantee the LBS will also make you buy your own Koran!

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Goggle Rema, lots of places cheaper than the lbs. One of the cans will probably last a lifetime, store the stuff upside down so air can't leak into the can.
Not really...I couldn't find any place online selling Rema "vulcanizing fluid" for less than $1/tube (which is what my local dollar store sells it for including patches). That is, however, a good idea about storing the can upside down, but big cans aren't much use to me because I only patch my tubes as a last resort.

With all the things that could go wrong with tube patching from not having a suitably sized patch, to insufficient scraping of the area (or having tubes made with contaminated rubber), to dirt/talc fouling up the chemical reaction, to having the tube accidentally bond to the tire (or tire liner), to the glue drying up (or possibly being the wrong type, even if the label says it's for tire patching), to the patch just randomly failing, to the time wasted...it's just not worth it except for emergencies (especially when the magic Rema patches and "vulcanizing fluid" that some claim are needed to make the voodoo work cost nearly as much, per repair, as a brand new inner tube).

Last edited by chucky; 05-22-12 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 05-22-12, 02:38 PM   #5
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, but I think it's safe to say that any "rubber cement" that's specifically manufactured and sold for the purpose of tire repair is the right stuff (which is pretty much all rubber cement except Elmers).
Don't be dismissive of Elmers Rubber Cement ($1.25 for 4 oz at any Wal-Mart) for bike tube patching. I've used it with Rema patches for years with uniformly reliable results. I buy just the patches in boxes of 100 and share the Elmers with my wife who uses it to glue her music pages together. One size fits all.
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Old 05-22-12, 08:39 PM   #6
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Don't be dismissive of Elmers Rubber Cement ($1.25 for 4 oz at any Wal-Mart) for bike tube patching. I've used it with Rema patches for years with uniformly reliable results. I buy just the patches in boxes of 100 and share the Elmers with my wife who uses it to glue her music pages together. One size fits all.
Thank you for your input. The world needs more brave men like you who aren't afraid to stand up to the group think.
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Old 05-22-12, 09:53 PM   #7
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Thank you for your input. The world needs more brave men like you who aren't afraid to stand up to the group think.
If you're patching low pressure ballon tires, or mountain bike tires, you might be able to get away with using rubber cement. If you're working on higher pressure tires, it'll fail, usually at an inconvenient or dangerous time. The patch and vulcanizing fluid are a system. The patch, on the surface that faces the tube, contains unvulcanized rubber and a small quantity of a vulcanizing accelerator. The vulcaninzing fluid contains a solvent (so you can spread it), unvulcanized rubber, and an activator for the accelerator on the patch. Put the two together, and you'll get a nicely cross-linked bond between the patch and the tube. Elmer's and the like contain only a solvent and vulcanized rubber. The accelerator on the patch is likely to stay unactivated, and you've just got sticky rubber holding the patch together. That can move, particularly under load, or when it gets warm. I've seen lots of good patches put on with ****ty rubber cement fail, even where I'm pretty sure the surface was prepped properly. I've seen lots fewer patches done with vulcanizing fluid fail, especially when the surface was prepped properly.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:08 AM   #8
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I have seen no-name generic patch kits with tubes of stuff labeled "rubber cement" that really is rubber cement! It doesn't dissolve and cure the rubber patch onto the tube for a permanent repair. You can actually peel off the patch at a later time. The real vulcanizing fluid will bond the patch so securely to the tube that it's impossible to peel off the patch later without ripping the patch and/or the tube. For most repairs, the difference isn't going to make a big deal the way most people ride.

However, I've done a lot of high-speed downhills (+60mph) with maximum-braking into many corners. I've gone through brand-new brake-pads down to the metal posts on a single downhill. There's enough heat and squirming of the tyre & tube to soften and move a rubber-cemented patch (same thing with "glueless" patches). Had one let go once, luckily it was at the end of a straight and I had most of the braking done already down to 20mph. So only vulcanizing fluid for me from then on.

You can get 500g containers of vulcanizing fluid from many auto-parts and farm-supply stores such as Napa, Auto Zone, O'Reilleys, Farm & Fleet, Rural King, Tractor Supply Co. etc. Also 100-pack of Camel or Rema 1" patches can be had for around $10 as well.

Rema 203 vulcanizing fluid

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Old 05-23-12, 07:05 AM   #9
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If you're patching low pressure ballon tires, or mountain bike tires, you might be able to get away with using rubber cement. If you're working on higher pressure tires, it'll fail, usually at an inconvenient or dangerous time. .......Elmer's and the like contain only a solvent and vulcanized rubber.
Very interesting observations. Maybe you can explain why my 700cx23 tires and tubes run at 115 to 120 psi never fail when only glued with Elmers and Rema patches. I do a careful surface preparation and cleaning, spread a thin layer of glue, let it dry and then add the patch and "iron" it down with thumb pressure. They have been 100% reliable and I've been doing it that way for years. Am I fooling myself?
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Old 05-23-12, 08:17 AM   #10
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Forget the greasy kids stuff. Just use the thin glueless patches. No sticky fingers and waiting for the glue to dry. I have never had a glueless patch leak or fail.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:33 AM   #11
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I know that, but almost all manufacturers of "vulcanizing solvent" call it "rubber cement" (including all the stuff sold to repair tubed tires in trucks at Autozone, Advanced Autoparts, etc).
Vulcanizing fluid and rubber cement are not the same thing. I find rubber cement works ok but vulcanizing fluid works better -- patch adheres more quickly and is less likely to fail (as in never for me).
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Old 05-23-12, 08:34 AM   #12
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Forget the greasy kids stuff. Just use the thin glueless patches. No sticky fingers and waiting for the glue to dry. I have never had a glueless patch leak or fail.
These are fine for temporary fix to get you home. I usually get a few weeks out of them but invariably the spring slow leak.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:45 AM   #13
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If you're patching low pressure ballon tires, or mountain bike tires, you might be able to get away with using rubber cement. If you're working on higher pressure tires, it'll fail, usually at an inconvenient or dangerous time. The patch and vulcanizing fluid are a system. The patch, on the surface that faces the tube, contains unvulcanized rubber and a small quantity of a vulcanizing accelerator. The vulcaninzing fluid contains a solvent (so you can spread it), unvulcanized rubber, and an activator for the accelerator on the patch. Put the two together, and you'll get a nicely cross-linked bond between the patch and the tube. Elmer's and the like contain only a solvent and vulcanized rubber. The accelerator on the patch is likely to stay unactivated, and you've just got sticky rubber holding the patch together. That can move, particularly under load, or when it gets warm. I've seen lots of good patches put on with ****ty rubber cement fail, even where I'm pretty sure the surface was prepped properly. I've seen lots fewer patches done with vulcanizing fluid fail, especially when the surface was prepped properly.
Maybe so, but the point you're missing is that the common name for "vulcanizing fluid" is "rubber cement". So even if there's an ambiguity between non-vulcanizing vs vulcanizing rubber cement, the only people that call it "vulcanizing fluid" are snobby bicycle mechanics.

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I have seen no-name generic patch kits with tubes of stuff labeled "rubber cement" that really is rubber cement! It doesn't dissolve and cure the rubber patch onto the tube for a permanent repair. You can actually peel off the patch at a later time. The real vulcanizing fluid will bond the patch so securely to the tube that it's impossible to peel off the patch later without ripping the patch and/or the tube. For most repairs, the difference isn't going to make a big deal the way most people ride.

However, I've done a lot of high-speed downhills (+60mph) with maximum-braking into many corners. I've gone through brand-new brake-pads down to the metal posts on a single downhill. There's enough heat and squirming of the tyre & tube to soften and move a rubber-cemented patch (same thing with "glueless" patches). Had one let go once, luckily it was at the end of a straight and I had most of the braking done already down to 20mph. So only vulcanizing fluid for me from then on.

You can get 500g containers of vulcanizing fluid from many auto-parts and farm-supply stores such as Napa, Auto Zone, O'Reilleys, Farm & Fleet, Rural King, Tractor Supply Co. etc. Also 100-pack of Camel or Rema 1" patches can be had for around $10 as well.

Rema 203 vulcanizing fluid
Yes, except that Napa, Auto Zone, Farm & Fleet, Rural King, and Tractor Supply Co all sell it exclusively by the name "rubber cement" (not "vulcanizing" anything):
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Result.aspx?N=35234
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...ement/_/N-25le
http://www.farmandfleet.com/automoti...pair_kits/?p=3
http://www.ruralking.com/automotive.html?cat=872&p=1
http://tsc.tractorsupply.com/search?...iew=grid&srt=0

...and this is all sold for repairing heavy duty trucks, etc that require (by law) a lot more safety than your rinky dink bicycle which reaches the occassional 60 mph downhill. Can you imagine the **** storm that would ensue if the rubber cement being sold by Napa for "heavy duty truck repair" didn't hold the patch and subsequently killed one of the millions of truckers who cruise the highways of America at 75+ mph 24/7?

So, in fact, the term "rubber cement" refers to vulcanizing fluid. The only question is if perhaps some rubber cements are of subpar quality and manufactured incorrectly, but it's not like Rema's "vulcanizing fluid" is in a separate class (despite what they would like you to believe).

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Vulcanizing fluid and rubber cement are not the same thing. I find rubber cement works ok but vulcanizing fluid works better -- patch adheres more quickly and is less likely to fail (as in never for me).
...only in group think bizzaro world where up is down, left is right, and the naked emperor is said to be clothed.

In fact, rubber cement and vulcanizing fluid are the same thing...but as always be careful about quality because sometimes products aren't what they're advertised to be.

Last edited by chucky; 05-23-12 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:59 AM   #14
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Oh BTW Farm & Fleet has patch kits for $0.69 a piece (plus shipping):
http://www.farmandfleet.com/products...patch_kit.html

However, unlike the $0.99 ones at my local dollar store, the patches in the Farm&Fleet kit aren't feathered and you'd have to buy at least 15 to make up for the shipping cost. So I'm stickin with the dollar store.
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Old 05-23-12, 09:12 AM   #15
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...only in group think bizzaro world where up is down, left is right, and the naked emperor is said to be clothed.

In fact, rubber cement and vulcanizing fluid are the same thing...but as always be careful about quality because sometimes products aren't what they're advertised to be.
You mean I have been lied to. First by instructors at UBI and now above by dsscheidt? Say it ain't so.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:32 AM   #16
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You mean I have been lied to. First by instructors at UBI and now above by dsscheidt? Say it ain't so.
Decide for yourself:
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Result.aspx?N=35234
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...ement/_/N-25le
http://www.farmandfleet.com/automoti...pair_kits/?p=3
http://www.ruralking.com/automotive.html?cat=872&p=1
http://tsc.tractorsupply.com/search?...iew=grid&srt=0
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Old 05-23-12, 10:44 AM   #17
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Here I found the data sheets for Elmer's "Rubber Cement" and NAPA's "Universal Cement":
http://www.elmers.com/msds/me425_a.htm
http://partimages.genpt.com/partimages/1334628.pdf

The data sheet for the NAPA stuff says "Vulcanizing", but the main ingredients are the same for both: Heptane and Rubber

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Old 05-23-12, 11:10 AM   #18
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Well, if all those stores listed by chucky in post #13 are calling it rubber cement instead of vulcanizing fluid, then I don't see a difference. It is gotta be the same thing.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:14 AM   #19
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Decide for yourself:
Aha, they are different. The key toxic/combustible ingredient of the rubber cement seems to be heptane (no clue what that is). While ingredients of rema vulcanizing fluid are Naphtha,and N-Ethylcyclohexylamine (haven't a clue what these are either -- although I think naphtha is used to make gasoline). See, totally different

edited to add: found another vulcanizing fluid made with naphtha (Tech) but Patch Rubber Co vulcanizing cement is made with toluene (which I thought was the planet Darth Vader destroyed in Star Wars). None so far have heptane so maybe that means something; although all chemicals seem primarily to be petroleum based solvents, so perhaps not. And so ends my foray in chemistry.

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Old 05-23-12, 12:58 PM   #20
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Aha, they are different. The key toxic/combustible ingredient of the rubber cement seems to be heptane (no clue what that is). While ingredients of rema vulcanizing fluid are Naphtha,and N-Ethylcyclohexylamine (haven't a clue what these are either -- although I think naphtha is used to make gasoline). See, totally different

edited to add: found another vulcanizing fluid made with naphtha (Tech) but Patch Rubber Co vulcanizing cement is made with toluene (which I thought was the planet Darth Vader destroyed in Star Wars). None so far have heptane so maybe that means something; although all chemicals seem primarily to be petroleum based solvents, so perhaps not. And so ends my foray in chemistry.
As I already posted here is a "vulcanizing" fluid that is made with heptane and rubber, just like Elmers:
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...197_0361133051
It says "vulcanizing" and heptane right on the data sheet:
http://partimages.genpt.com/partimages/1334628.pdf
And it's listed in the product category "Tire Repair Cement" and "Chemical Patches & Cold Patches, Boots, Plugs & Vulcanizing Rubber".

So if there are differences it seems it's simply because there are different ways to make rubber cement (aka vulcanizing fluid).
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Old 05-23-12, 01:41 PM   #21
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Elmers absolutely works for me every bit as well as the Rema glue. I recently bought two little tubes of the Rema stuff to put in my toolkits. I use the bottle of Elmers at home, since it's a bit bulky to carry. Once I open the little tube, it dries out in a few months.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:48 PM   #22
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As I already posted here is a "vulcanizing" fluid that is made with heptane and rubber, just like Elmers:
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...197_0361133051
It says "vulcanizing" and heptane right on the data sheet:
http://partimages.genpt.com/partimages/1334628.pdf
And it's listed in the product category "Tire Repair Cement" and "Chemical Patches & Cold Patches, Boots, Plugs & Vulcanizing Rubber".

So if there are differences it seems it's simply because there are different ways to make rubber cement (aka vulcanizing fluid).
Yeah, I think you're right; I thought parenthetical comments like "no clue what that is" and reference to Darth Vader would make it clear that my post was tongue in cheek; too subtle I guess. As to the various petroleum based chemicals -- heptane, naptha, etc, I gather they all serve same purpose. They are solvents that evaporate once applied that serve bascially to keep the liquid adhesive liquid. Whether dscheidt take that some include vulcanizing accelerators while others do not, I haven't a clue and the list of contents I can find won't tell us because they only include those things considered hazardous.
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Old 05-23-12, 02:04 PM   #23
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I have always been a bit suspicious of "cold vulcanizing". Back when I worked at service stations and a tire store we used hot patches. These patches actually became one with the tube through the application of heat and pressure. Once these became "too unsafe to use" we ended up relying on "cold vulcanizing" which I still feel is more like adhering the patch to the surface of the tube than making it become part of the tube. Given the choice I would still be using hot patches.

As it is I just use whatever glue comes with the patch kits which I usually pick up at Tractor Supply. Cleaning the area to be patched with a scraper and a good solvent is helpful in assuring that the patch and glue will adhere to it. Using a tire patch stitcher/roller to press the patch is place also helps.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:27 PM   #24
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Anyone use the Slime brand cement sold at Tractor Supply and Autozone?
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Old 05-23-12, 06:32 PM   #25
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+1 on Rema != rubber cement. Whether that matters is up for debate but in my experience you can tell the difference on how the patch adheres to the tube. In fact, since Rema is easy to find (check ebay) I don't bother with anything else and just bought a kit with about 100 patches and a huge tube of solvent. It was the price of about 5 tubes but should last the rest of my life.
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