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Old 02-16-17, 11:19 PM   #1
vol
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Best patch kit?

Which brand or type of patch kit on the market is the most reliable, according to your personal experience? There are Sunlite, Rema, Park Tool, ...... I had my first ever flat due to puncture (glass) yesterday . (The only other flat I had was due to rim tape tear. Thankfully neither happened during a ride.)
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Old 02-17-17, 12:19 AM   #2
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Park seems to bond better than others I've tried. I've tried REI's house brand (Novara?) and one or two others, but the edges don't seem to bond as well.

But for quickie fixes on the road I've switched to the no-glue patch kits from Lezyne. Fewer hassles, especially with cold hands. Depending on the tire/rim fit you may be able to pull out just the bit of tube affected, slap on the no-glue patch, feel around inside the tire for whatever caused the puncture, and keep going. Sometimes I'll stick a second no-glue patch inside the tire if I'm unable to find the pokey thing that caused the flat. Later I'll remove the tire and use high power reading glasses and tweezers to fish out the tiny bit of whatever caused the flat.

The patch kits come in tiny plastic envelopes that fit anywhere -- you can duct tape 'em under the saddle, stick 'em in a tiny media card pouch, even in your wallet. I buy three or four Lezyne kits at a time so I'm always sure to have one even if I leave off my tool bag.

Only drawback to the no-glue Lezyne (and, presumably, the Park equivalent) is these should be regarded as temporary. I've had some last for several weeks, but others developed slow leaks within 2-4 weeks. They don't fail suddenly, just leak slowly. You can slow down the leak just by reinflating the tire with more pressure than usual. I tend to run my tires a bit soft, around 50 psi for tires rated up to 85 psi. When a slow leak developed I just inflated to 70-80 psi and kept riding.

About a month ago I had a rash of flats in the same area, mostly tiny razor thin shards of glass and grass burrs. After about the fourth or sixth I finally redid the temporary patches with permanent patches and set that tube aside as a spare for my errand bike.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thanks. The hole is near the (raised) length-wise seam/crease of the tube. Is it ok to sand off the raised seam/crease?

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Later I'll remove the tire and use high power reading glasses and tweezers to fish out the tiny bit of whatever caused the flat.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:40 AM   #4
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I usually sand down those seams a bit -- actually I think they're the mold release nibs -- like those on new tires -- not technically seams in the tube. They don't seem to interfere with patching. But sanding 'em down shouldn't affect tube integrity. Heck, ride a tube long enough and eventually friction inside the tire wears down those seams/mold release nibs anyway.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:20 AM   #5
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Which brand or type of patch kit on the market is the most reliable, according to your personal experience? There are Sunlite, Rema, Park Tool, ...... I had my first ever flat due to puncture (glass) yesterday . (The only other flat I had was due to rim tape tear. Thankfully neither happened during a ride.)
I buy bulk patches on ebay, such as these:


I always have a few of those with me on the bike, and a lot more at home. I'm not sure those are the best ones; just the first ones I found. Some of these have a metal backing, others have a metalized plastic backing; I prefer the latter, but the former are easier to find.

48pcs Motor Bicycle Bike Tyre Tire Inner Tube Puncture Rubber Patches Repair Kit | eBay

They only work with the right glue. I buy little tubes of glue on ebay.

Again, there are many options; that's a photo of the ones I'm using at the moment. There must be a hundred ebay sellers offering the same glue. I buy a dozen or so, and always have at least one unopened tube with me on the bike, as well as an opened one. With luck, the open one will dry out before I get another flat.

Bike Glue Cement Rubber Inner Tube Repair Puncture Cold Patch Solution AUCB4 | eBay

At home, I use glue in a can:


By the way, I also carry a piece of a discarded belt sander belt, or of a sanding disk (they tend to be waterproof); and I strongly recommend pressing the patch down with a roller after gluing it on. The ones I use look like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TYRE-INNER-T...IAAOSw4GVYNbQr

Again, I don't think it matters which one you use, but you need something that really presses the two layers of rubber together. If you properly scuff the tube, let the glue dry long enough, and press the patch on thoroughly, you can have 100% confidence in your patches; and they don't take long. Most of the time is spent waiting for the glue to dry. If you forget these tools, scuff the tube with a piece of roadside debris (a piece of gravel will do the job nicely) and use a smooth metal tool to press the layers together. It's good to have the right tools, but almost anything will do; but do not omit these steps.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:58 AM   #6
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As @canklecat mentioned above, Lezyne Smart Kit. Super compact, no need for glue, they actually stick, and the little kit costs about $2.50.

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Old 02-17-17, 09:32 AM   #7
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As @rhm mentioned, I stopped buying patch kits. I bought a huge bulk of patches and a big can of Slime vulcanizing cement (regular Elmer's rubber cement WILL NOT work properly!). I used to buy the Park kits simply because that's what my LBS keeps on hand.

I always carry a spare tube, and a small pack of Slime glueless patches as a backup for the spare tube. Like others, I regard those patches as temporary, and would replace with a real patch when I got home.
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Old 02-17-17, 09:47 AM   #8
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AFAIC, there's no such thing as a "real patch." Tube is patched on the road to get me home, tube is discarded when I get there. Tubes are cheap.
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Old 02-17-17, 09:53 AM   #9
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While I'll concede that @rhm and @PatrickGSR94 have superior systems, I've used Elmer's rubber cement successfully on dozens of patches, and it has been perfectly adequate in my experience. If you're just looking for a patch kit, my vote is for Rema as the "best", but I can't remember ever having one of any type that didn't work.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:00 AM   #10
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The best patch kit is the one that has liquid glue in the tube when you need it.


As far as my experience goes, patch kits are generic. Buy what's in the store when you need one.


But a patch kit is the second line of defense for me, after replacing the tube. If I get a second flat, it's time for the patch kit. Tubes with holes go home with me and accumulate until there's enough to make it worthwhile to sacrifice a rainy weekend afternoon to a session with bulk Rema patches and a can of vulcanizing cement (now that my Elmer's rubber cement dried up).
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Old 02-17-17, 10:03 AM   #11
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AFAIC, there's no such thing as a "real patch." Tube is patched on the road to get me home, tube is discarded when I get there. Tubes are cheap.
Where are you finding cheap tubes? Most Presta valve tubes I see even online are $5-$6 minimum, and closer to $10 at the LBS. I have probably $100-$150 tied up in inner tubes at my house right now. $6-$10 tube vs. a 10 cent patch. Patch wins every time.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:10 AM   #12
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AFAIC, there's no such thing as a "real patch."

At the risk of piling on, what's a "real patch?" I've had as many as 10 patches on a tube before something happens that makes it impossible to repair further (usually a valve problem). If the patched tube doesn't leak, why isn't the patch "real?"
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Old 02-17-17, 10:26 AM   #13
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AFAIC, there's no such thing as a "real patch." Tube is patched on the road to get me home, tube is discarded when I get there. Tubes are cheap.
A real patch is a patch that holds air now and will always hold air. It does not prevent your tube from getting a puncture somewhere else, but that puncture is done. If you're having patches fail, you have either bad technique or bad equipment. I do not consider "glueless" patches to be real patches; they don't last for ever.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:33 AM   #14
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I only patch if I'm out of tubes. Always ride w 2 tubes + 3 kinds of patches. I just keep buying them every year & throw them in my bag. I shud really go thru them & see what I have, & if any can be discarded. guess I have a lazy side :/
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Old 02-17-17, 11:16 AM   #15
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At the risk of piling on, what's a "real patch?" I've had as many as 10 patches on a tube before something happens that makes it impossible to repair further (usually a valve problem). If the patched tube doesn't leak, why isn't the patch "real?"
I second this- it's not that hard to patch a tube so that it doesn't leak. Once it doesn't leak, why do care that it has an orange wart on it? I've easily hit 10 patches on a tube, probably more. I draw the line when I have to patch on top of a patch.

I tend to buy a Rema patch kit from my LBS, and refill the cool plastic box with bulk patches from ebay. The Rema ones seem to work better-but the cheap ones still hold, just seem a bit thicker.

Also-it may be sacrilege, but I don't believe in rolling or pressing on the patch. Once it's dry, put it back in the tire and let the 50+ psi force the patch in place.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:08 PM   #16
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I only patch if I'm out of tubes. Always ride w 2 tubes + 3 kinds of patches. I just keep buying them every year & throw them in my bag. I shud really go thru them & see what I have, & if any can be discarded. guess I have a lazy side :/
I tend to do this too. The only time I ever patch a tire on the road is if I've already used the spare tube and then got another flat (and that hasn't happened yet). I keep a pile of tubes that were punctured and then when I've got some free time and nothing better to do I patch the old tubes, put them in baggies and toss them in my spare tube container.

I bought some tubes recently because I somehow found myself in a position where most of my spare tubes had valves that were too short for the rims that I use on most of my bikes. It also didn't help that I bought a bunch of frames last year and built them up. I feel like I shouldn't ever need new tubes, but somehow I keep finding myself going through the pile of spares and not finding any that I'm happy with. On the other hand, I have a great supply of tubes that don't fit any tire I still own.


Answering the original question, I bought a pack of 100 Rema patches and have been very happy with them. It's much more economical than individual patch kits, and you don't end up having to use those ridiculous larger sizes to patch the small punctures. I mean, seriously, how often do you get a cut in the tube that requires a 1 inch patch?

The only patches I have used that I wouldn't recommend are the Park glueless patches. They're convenient (as long as it isn't raining) but they don't bond well enough to be permanent but stick a little too well to be temporary.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:20 PM   #17
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I tend to do this too. The only time I ever patch a tire on the road is if I've already used the spare tube and then got another flat (and that hasn't happened yet). I keep a pile of tubes that were punctured and then when I've got some free time and nothing better to do I patch the old tubes, put them in baggies and toss them in my spare tube container.

I bought some tubes recently because I somehow found myself in a position where most of my spare tubes had valves that were too short for the rims that I use on most of my bikes. It also didn't help that I bought a bunch of frames last year and built them up. I feel like I shouldn't ever need new tubes, but somehow I keep finding myself going through the pile of spares and not finding any that I'm happy with. On the other hand, I have a great supply of tubes that don't fit any tire I still own...
I'm glad I'm not the only one. I have a box with a couple dozen punctured tubes that I haven't gotten around to patching yet and another box with a dozen or so new ones, but I never seem to have an extra of the one I need when I need it. I guess that's the downside of having a bunch of bikes.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:25 PM   #18
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As @canklecat mentioned above, Lezyne Smart Kit. Super compact, no need for glue, they actually stick, and the little kit costs about $2.50.
I like these kits and their patches, dislike other glueless patches. The lezynes are still easier to mess up than good ol' glue patches (can get a wrinkle in the patch when laying it down). I also go the bulk route of rhm.

I definitely keep patching tubes until they stop holding air. Patch patch patch patch patch patch patch patch patch
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Old 02-17-17, 12:50 PM   #19
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...

Also-it may be sacrilege, but I don't believe in rolling or pressing on the patch. Once it's dry, put it back in the tire and let the 50+ psi force the patch in place.
Hey, whatever works for you, that's fine with me! I figure OP is asking for what's best, not what's good enough. Using the roller improves your odds of a successful patch, that's all. It's better to use it than to not use it.

The thing about the roller is that it puts a great deal of pressure on a very small area. Let's suppose I push on the roller with the equivalent of 50 lbs of weight on my arm and the roller concentrates that weight on an area around 1/100 square inch, then in just a few seconds I subject every part of the patch to a pressure around 5000 psi. That's a pretty rough estimate, obviously. The idea is to make so many bonds between the rubber molecules of the tube and patch respectively that no air molecules can slip out between them.

If there is a way for any air to get under the patch, it will; and once it's there, it presses the patch and tube apart the same pressure as the air pressing them together.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:10 PM   #20
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As far as my experience goes, patch kits are generic. Buy what's in the store when you need one.
Rema patches in combination with Rema fluid are the best. Their fluid has components that react with components in their patches to speed up vulcanization. For home use, you can buy a larger can.

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Old 02-17-17, 02:49 PM   #21
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At the risk of piling on, what's a "real patch?" I've had as many as 10 patches on a tube before something happens that makes it impossible to repair further (usually a valve problem). If the patched tube doesn't leak, why isn't the patch "real?"
I rode patched tubes for a good while, and never thought a thing of it. Then one day my nephew was riding with two patches on the front tube, and one of them decided it wasn't going to keep working. Tire went flat instantly and the rim hit the ground shortly before he did. He was road rash all the way up his right side.

So while I know it works well for others, and I've never personally come to harm due to riding patched tubes, it's an element of risk I simply choose to live without. Those couple of bucks for a new tube buy peace of mind.
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Old 02-17-17, 03:19 PM   #22
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I'm glad I'm not the only one. I have a box with a couple dozen punctured tubes that I haven't gotten around to patching yet and another box with a dozen or so new ones, but I never seem to have an extra of the one I need when I need it. I guess that's the downside of having a bunch of bikes.
lol at least yours are in a box. Mine are laying around the garage workbench, in the house on the breakfast table (which never gets used), hanging over the backs of the kitchen chairs.
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Old 02-17-17, 03:26 PM   #23
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Old 02-17-17, 04:44 PM   #24
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Thanks for sharing all your experiences. And thanks rhm for the links to the interesting products for so cheap. I can only try to imagine who frequently many of you get flats. Like I said I've only had 2 in 6+ years, that's why I've never done tube repair before. But seeing all these strategies and techniques, I'm a little itchy for more flats to try to practice all the stuffs said . Anyway, I'm interested in reliable, long-lasting patching, not temporary ones. I'm afraid of getting a flat in the middle of the ride. My first flat due to rim tear happened at home. The puncture flat two days ago happened when the bike was parked at work.
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Old 02-17-17, 04:50 PM   #25
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can only try to imagine who frequently many of you get flats. Like I said I've only had 2 in 6+ years
2 weeks ago I got 2 flats (due to a broken steel bead). before that musta been a little over 7 years?
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