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Old 11-26-12, 01:20 PM   #1
FatBottomedGirl
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Pucture repair done right?

Hi there!

After ~5000 miles of commuting to and from work, I had my first flat today.
I know I should consider myself lucky to have it that late, but it's tough to feel lucky while looking at a tire desperately empty.
Where I do consider myself lucky is that it happened 50 yards from my office so I just pushed the bike there, parked it, removed the wheel and did the repair in my office.

Still, this is my first ever, so would you mind reviewing my process of repair? here is what I did:
1) used a couple of plastic tyre-levers to remove the tyre on one side
2) removed the tube (and was extra careful while removing the valve)
3) checked the inner side of the tire for remaining debris that might have caused the flat on the first place
4) inflated the tube to identify the leak (at that point I realized the even though it was leaking, the tube was holding its air quite well, obviously not enough to ride on it but it deflating completely would be a matter of minutes... This just seems to indicate the hole was not that big)
5) marked the leak with a marker
6) emptied the tube so that the patch would not be pressured while being attached
7) roughened the surface a bit with the piece of rough thing provided with the patches (both the tube and the tire were dry during the whole process, so no need to wipe any water...)
8) applied the patch (was a glueless one - only ones I had on me) with the hole right in the middle of it
9) pressed it quite strongly and let it dry for 5 minutes (the instructions were saying 1 minute)
10) put the tube back in the tire
11) put the one-side-of-the-tire-that-was-out back on the rim
12) checked for pinches and that the valve was straight
13) inflated as much as I could: my usual pressure is 8 bar in my 28mm tires, I inflated until arms were aching (pump guarantees 11 bar, turned out I stopped at 5)
14) left the wheel in my office till noon to keep an eye on it that it keeps its pressure
15) installed it back on the bike

At the end of the day I rode my 10 miles home on it. And it held!
I checked the pressure and topped it up to the usual 8 bar.

Now:
- did I do it right?
- does the fact that I made it home (10 miles) without the tire being deflated means that the puncture is fixed and that the tube is safe enough to be used as I would use an unpatched one?
- is it safe to use the tube normally (at high pressures such as my 8 bar - of course this is a pressure supported by the tube on the first place)
- can I assume I will not have a problem with that tube on that specific hole (I know I can have another flat anywhere else but is it weakened enough for me to worry about it?)

I am sorry if this sounds so stupid but as I said, this is my first one, and I don't feel very safe with it: I am sorry but the fact that a thick homogeneous tube is supposed to bear a high pressure despite having a hole in it only covered by a thin plastic patch...

Thank you!
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Old 11-26-12, 01:28 PM   #2
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That was almost perfect. The only thing you didn't do was to check the tire at the location of the flat to make sure there wasn't something left that would cause a flat later on. Sometimes you can miss a Michelin wire or a wedge of glass can end really close to the inside of the tire, and sometime after you restart riding it'll flat you again. 10 miles is getting close to the end of when that's bit me -- after two more rides that length without incident, I'd say you're home free.

Do make sure when you "roughen" the tube you're actually removing enough to get all the mold release compound off the outside of the tube.
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Old 11-26-12, 01:38 PM   #3
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Sounds like a great job! Care to fix my flats?!? LOL!

Yeah, if it holds the first day, it's probably not a bad job. Raise one arm up, reach out front and across chest with hand over the shoulder, then pat yourself on the back!
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Old 11-26-12, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
That was almost perfect. The only thing you didn't do was to check the tire at the location of the flat to make sure there wasn't something left that would cause a flat later on. Sometimes you can miss a Michelin wire or a wedge of glass can end really close to the inside of the tire, and sometime after you restart riding it'll flat you again. 10 miles is getting close to the end of when that's bit me -- after two more rides that length without incident, I'd say you're home free.

Do make sure when you "roughen" the tube you're actually removing enough to get all the mold release compound off the outside of the tube.
Alright thanks!

I did do the inside check (step 3), so I knew it was safe and I cleaned the outside (well not *cleaned*, merely removed the visible filth with my glove while trying to feel out for something fishy underneath...), did not do a extremely thorough job, ...

Still, thanks for the reassuring!
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Old 11-26-12, 02:05 PM   #5
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I found that glueless patch are easy to use, but from my experience after a couple of days or weeks they will start leaking. As oppose to glued patch which they will hold forever. Anyone had that experience too?

If you are using patch + glue. Your walkthrought will look like this
8a- apply glue on an area larger that the patch you are using. and wait to let the glue worked its magic
8b remove the aluminium foil on the patch, that side will go on the tube
9a pressed it quite strongly and let it dry for 5 minutes (the instructions were saying 1 minute)

anyway that's how I do it. Most of the time the patch will have some kind of transparent plastic wrap I usually don't bother removing it.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DAVIDPP View Post
I found that glueless patch are easy to use, but from my experience after a couple of days or weeks they will start leaking. As oppose to glued patch which they will hold forever. Anyone had that experience too?
+1 on the glueless patches not holding up over time.

OP - Sounds like you did a great job. Only thing I'd do now is keep an eye on the tire to make sure it holds. Then at the next opportunity I'd pick up a glue-type patch kit and ditch the glueless patches. Also, I like to keep a good (or new) tube in my bag, along with some boot material. The next flat may not be so kind.

KB

P.S. If you're having trouble getting your tires up to pressure with the pump in your bag, I'd consider a CO2 inflater and a cartridge or two, just to top things off.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:47 PM   #7
FatBottomedGirl
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Yeah, I figured the patches might be a mistake...
I only had those so had to deal with it.

As for the spare tube, I had one, just figured that the flat occurring that close allowed me to fix it almost as if I were home...
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Old 11-26-12, 03:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DAVIDPP View Post
I found that glueless patch are easy to use, but from my experience after a couple of days or weeks they will start leaking. As oppose to glued patch which they will hold forever. Anyone had that experience too?
I've come to the same conclusion. Glueless patches are a temporary measure, whereas glued patches are permanent (when done right). However, the glueless patches I've used have lasted more like 6 months to 1 year, rather than a couple of days or weeks.

Even so, I do keep a couple of glueless patches in my emergency repair kit along with my spare tube because if the spare doesn't work or I get two punctures on one ride then I want a backup option, and I don't want to have to worry about messing around with the glue on the side of the road.
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Old 11-26-12, 04:30 PM   #9
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I carry spare tubes (2 usually) and a patch kit. I repair the tube when I get to the end of the ride. At home I use acetone to remove the mold release that keeps a patch from sticking instead of sandpaper. Apply glue, let it sit for at least 5 minutes, apply the patch and press it in with a round metal tool.
I haven't tried the instant patches for years because they were not permanent.
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Old 11-26-12, 05:07 PM   #10
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Glueless patch are more of emergency repair to get you back on the road again. When applied to uninflated tube they will stick on, and when it is inflated they will stretch with the tube. It is when the air is let out the patch will shrink and it leaves a little gap or groove that the air can escape.

There was one time when I had a puncture and took out my tube, and sanded the hole, and when I reached for the glue ... it was solid as a rock. It had hardened up since the last time I used it.
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Old 11-26-12, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVIDPP View Post
I found that glueless patch are easy to use, but from my experience after a couple of days or weeks they will start leaking. As oppose to glued patch which they will hold forever. Anyone had that experience too?

If you are using patch + glue. Your walkthrought will look like this
8a- apply glue on an area larger that the patch you are using. and wait to let the glue worked its magic
8b remove the aluminium foil on the patch, that side will go on the tube
9a pressed it quite strongly and let it dry for 5 minutes (the instructions were saying 1 minute)

anyway that's how I do it. Most of the time the patch will have some kind of transparent plastic wrap I usually don't bother removing it.
Your "wait five minutes" is in the wrong place. Let the vulcanizing fluid dry *BEFORE* you put the patch on. the solvent is just there to allow you spread the glue, it's not at all part of bonding process. You cannot wait too long, which is why it's nice to patch indoors (and in batches, if you get enough flats). You can put the glue on and then come back when it's convenient, whether that's 10 minutes or over night, or next year. As long as you can keep the cured fluid clean, it'll work just fine.
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Old 11-27-12, 12:20 AM   #12
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Sounds like you did a pretty good job although I would second replacing your patch with a glue type patch as they do seem to last much longer.

One other thing, do not forget to double check the rim strip, it is on the rim and protects the tube from spoke holes/nipples. I have seen many flats caused by bad rim strips but usually with those cheapy rubber ones. Higher quality rim strips seem to last nearly forever.

Congrats on the 5k miles of commuting btw, that is awesome!
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Old 11-27-12, 12:34 AM   #13
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One thing I'd have done differently:

Inflate the tube to be the same size it would be when inside the tire
apply the patch

this way the patch rubber doesn't have to stretch when the tube is inflated
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Old 11-27-12, 04:38 AM   #14
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5k miles without a flat? Wow. What type of tires do you use?
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Old 11-27-12, 07:55 AM   #15
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My way

Peel the tire off on one side only, use the tire tools I carry,
get the punctured tube out,
get the offending prickler thing out of the tire,
get the new tube out, shove the old one in that box to patch at home later on.

In goes the new tube,,with a little air for shape,
Tire back on the rim by hand so I don't pinch,

Pump Pump Pump,,and ride away...
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Old 11-27-12, 08:12 AM   #16
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Fair enough...

I will re-patch the tube with a regular patch.
One last question though,... (since this is too my first regular-patch patching ...): does the fact that the tube is tightly pressed against the tire help the patch (assuming it was properly applied) to stay on? or would it start to leak if the tube were to remain inflated outside of the tire?

The reason of my question is that I will apply the regular patch at home, but is it a good test to then inflate the tube and leave it like this for a few days and assume the patching is done right if the pressure is the same a few days later??

Gearslinger: For the tires: I would say 4000 miles on Schwalbe Marathon Supremes (700x35c) and 1000 miles on Schwalbe Ultremo ZX (700x28c)
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Old 11-27-12, 09:18 AM   #17
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If you inflate the tube outside the tire with a glueless patch, the patch will not want to stretch with the tube and will come loose. If you apply a glued patch properly and inflate the tube outside the tire, the area around the patch will not stretch as much because the patch is basically part of the tube and is making one part of the tube thicker and more difficult to stretch - this will not damage the patch job... but inflating it inside the tire is a better idea.

Edit: If you do all of the following:

a. find the hole,
b. scuff the surface,
c. apply plenty of glue, making sure the glued area is slightly larger than the patch on all sides,
d. wait for the glued area to dry enough that it does not feel tacky when touched, and
e. press the patch down into the tube firmly over its entire area...

... then you don't need to do any overnight tests, or any other tests. I just follow those steps and assume the tube will hold air once in the tire... and it does!

Last edited by LarDasse74; 11-27-12 at 09:23 AM.
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