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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    What's your experience with patched tubes?

    I'm not referring to veins, arteries or valves!!

    I had 3 flats in two days last weekend and have replaced the rim tape and solved the issue.

    My guess is some of you have big believers in using patched tubes. I'm trying to convince myself to reuse two of the tubes but am struggling with it?? What's your experience either way and does any one have any tricks to making sure patched tubes are rock solid???

  2. #2
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    I generally have found a patch, unless misapplied, returns the tube to functionally new. I don't recall many patches failing I'll admit to scatching my head when I take out an "old" tube with 3 or 4 patches and wonder how long this will go on.

    Sometimes I'll put a little talc between tire and tube because an old cycling codger told me to years ago and it makes a little sense though I've noticed untalced tubes seem to do fine, too.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  3. #3
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    I generally have found a patch, unless misapplied, returns the tube to functionally new. I don't recall many patches failing I'll admit to scatching my head when I take out an "old" tube with 3 or 4 patches and wonder how long this will go on.
    +1
    jppe, didn't you ride bikes when you were a kid? I know you must have ridden on patched tubes before.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    A patched tube seems good as new to me, too. Now, when it accumulates three, or more, I'll figure it's had too many rough miles and either toss it, or carry it as a spare.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  5. #5
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    I replace them. I find that if I stock up on tubes when they are on sale, it is well worth the cost to not have to chance it. In the past I used to ride patched tubes and never had any problems until one day.... I suspect you know how the story goes. When I'm on a ride and flat, I may repair the flat by patching the tube (if I have enough time), or I may simply throw in the spare tube I carry. I have learned from experience, however, to hold onto the first tube until I get home. It's no fun putting in a new tube and five miles later blowing the same tire again only this time the tube can't be patched, and not having the original to patch.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  6. #6
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I had a perfect record patching tubes last year. All of them leaked. Fortunately they leaked immediately so I was not out riding on a risky tube. This year I've had 2 successful patch jobs, but I'm still leary about taking a long road ride on a patched tube. I carry a new spare tube on road rides over 6 miles. I use patched tubes on our beater bikes that are only used for short rides.
    I never use a patched tube on my MTBs that I ride on single track. Never. In fact, I'm considering time replacing those tubes after three years. Getting a flat in the woods is not fun.
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  7. #7
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    Personal opinion I would guess. On my road bike, I have patched in the past and been satisfied, I choose not to patch now. It takes me 15 minutes or so to patch one, let it set, air it, and talc it before putting it back in, or folding it for a spare. In recent years I have found it not worth my time or effort. I buy tubes in bulk, and for the 3 or 4 dollars I spend on them it's easier to trash them and replace them with new.

    I still patch Mt. bike tires, go figure???

  8. #8
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    I consider myself to be a fairly good wrench, but I cannot for the life of me get a patched tube to hold air.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  9. #9
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    I have problems with the $5-$6 tubes on sale for $4 holding air - let alone a patched tube. I did take time to patch a tube last month. It immediately ripped up when the sidewall blew out. The batch of no name $2 (with purchase of 10+) tubes are holding air much better than the branded ones.
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  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    When out on a ride- a punctured tube was always replaced with the new one in the saddle bag- until I realised that the punctured tube was not repaired for the next ride. I still keep a new tube in the saddle bag but also a repair kit. It takes 20 seconds to put a patch on so I repair the puncture right there and then. Makes me feel great to have the skill to repair a tube- until it goes flat almost immediately because I did not check the tyre well enough to take the second thorn out. I suppose that is why I haves tubes with 5 or 6 patches on them.

    Had a puncture on the road bike a few weeks ago and now realise why the wheels are so light. They had the thinnest tubes I have ever seen. Made a mental note to buy new tubes- but the patch is still working and I have not been to the LBS Since. They will probably still be there in a couple of years time with 5 or 6 patches on them.
    Last edited by stapfam; 02-16-07 at 03:58 PM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I don't know if it is just me, but I have had worse luck with the patches that I have bought recently than the ones I used years ago. It seems like I used to have nearly a 100% success rate and have had more like 60% lately. I typically have always used Nashbar or Performance patch kits. Have I just gotten sloppy or is the quality of the glue not as good or something?

  12. #12
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I carry a spare tube and a patch kit. If I get a flat, I put in the new tube. If I flat again on the same ride, well, its patch time. The work to take off and put on the tires on the rims that I have is tough (going back on the rim). I do not want to do it any more often than is necessary.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    No satisfactory result with "modern" patches. I think the glue has been reformulated to preclude "sniffing" because the glue does not stink to high heaven as before.
    In addition to spare tubes, I carry the Park glueless patches but have not used them yet....any experience with these??

  14. #14
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Velox patches. Tradition. Results. Used by the Cognoscenti... used by CrossChain himself.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  15. #15
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrifty1
    No satisfactory result with "modern" patches. I think the glue has been reformulated to preclude "sniffing" because the glue does not stink to high heaven as before.
    In addition to spare tubes, I carry the Park glueless patches but have not used them yet....any experience with these??
    Luckily we still have proper glue over here. As to the Park Patches- I used them many years ago on the MTB with success, but I got some for High pressures when using slicks and they never did work.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  16. #16
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Good thread. I also carry a new tube and replace rather than patch on the road. However, I bring the flat tube home and if I know how the flat occurred (safety pin a couple of weeks ago) I usually patch the tube and put it back on my bike--I know, more work, but I prefer to do bike work at home where it is warm and safe and dry.

    Could we expand the thread a bit?....... How do you re-inflate?? Hand pump or CO2 cartridges? I broke a Presta valve with my hand pump and wonder if CO2 might be a better choice to carry along. Opinions??
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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  17. #17
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    I have not had a patch fail in about 13 years of patching. I don't use gluless patches. I had a tube rip near the stem where I could not get a patch on it. I've had a tube rip a long tear that could not be patched, so I always carry a spare tube and a patch kit.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  18. #18
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    The more you patch, especially out on the road, the more it becomes routine. I carried a frame pump for so long, it feels naked w/o...so I always carry a frame pump (Zefal) and, when I have one, a cartridge.

    I usually repair on the road because when I come home I'm too eager to get to the fridge or the shower....the tubes-needing-patches would pile up.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  19. #19
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Luckily we still have proper glue over here. As to the Park Patches- I used them many years ago on the MTB with success, but I got some for High pressures when using slicks and they never did work.
    I have some Park patches for a backup if the new tube fails and the regular patching doesn't work. It's happened, but I didn't have Park patches for a backup. I'll have to consider what to do about that, cause I have high pressure tires. I used to have to repair tires when I worked at a truckstop. Got pretty good at it. In the past two years though I've noticed that sometimes the glued patches won't hold. Very distressing to me.

    One day at Walmart I picked up a glueless patch kit in the bike department that said it was for bike tires and all inflateables. I had a flat on the trail and I opened the kit and what did I find. They were vinyl patches. That was the only patch kit I had. I thought this aint gonna work. I put on the patch and pumped up the tire. It held! But I hadn't pumped the tire up fully. After about 5 miles I came to a town and finished blowing my tire up. Wow, I thought this isn't so bad. And I turned around and rode the 13 miles back to my van with no problems. When I was unloading my bent at home, the tire was flat. I learned a lot that day about patches, tubes, and patch kits. I learn best when things go wrong.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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  20. #20
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Could we expand the thread a bit?....... How do you re-inflate?? Hand pump or CO2 cartridges? I broke a Presta valve with my hand pump and wonder if CO2 might be a better choice to carry along. Opinions??
    I too have torn a valve stem off. I use a Topeak Road Morph now. Since you can plant it into the ground so it won't put that much pressure on your valve stem. To me it makes more sense than CO2 cause you can run out of those.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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  21. #21
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    I consider myself to be a fairly good wrench, but I cannot for the life of me get a patched tube to hold air.
    I used to patch, and they almost always leaked. As I do a lot of long distance riding, I just carry new tubes with me.

    I've since revisited patching, and have found (for me) the key to success. Find the hole, sand thoroughly, wipe area with alcohol pad, let dry, apply glue, let dry, apply patch, inflate. Until I included the "wipe area with alcohol pad" step, successful patching was a hit-or-miss proposition. Now it's pretty much a guaranteed fixed tube.

    I still only pack along new tubes on my rides, though. The patched tubes go on the wife/daughter bikes......
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  22. #22
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    Could we expand the thread a bit?....... How do you re-inflate?? Hand pump or CO2 cartridges? I broke a Presta valve with my hand pump and wonder if CO2 might be a better choice to carry along. Opinions??
    I carry Co2 and a compact frame pump. I find that one 12g Co2 cartridge inflates my tire to near perfect pressure, and I can finish the ride with no worries. I carry three of those, and use the pump as last-ditch backup if things go wrong. I also carry a Performance patch kit for emergencies.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  23. #23
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    The more you patch, especially out on the road, the more it becomes routine.
    And the better you get at patching in the dark, or the cold, etc. I prefer to patch on the road unless it's very cold. The more you practice the better you get.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  24. #24
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Since this is the 50+ forum does anyone remember the vulcanized patches? They were a rubber sticky patch attached to a little tin with phosphorus compound. After you stuck the patch on you lit the compound and it burned for a while. Once cooled down you had a patch basically melted onto the tube.
    Korval is Ships
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  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Never had a patch fail in over 50 years of patching tubes. I have never used tire tube combinations that took over 75-80 PSI though.

    Since I've been using Schwalbe Marathon Tires (tire treads HS 270 and HS 308) for the last 9+ years I haven't had to fix a flat on the road while daily commuting, only slow leaks that flatten at work or at home. Always carry a spare tube and patch kit nonetheless. I like Tip Top Brand patches when I can get them.

    When I commuted in Philadelphia in the 70's with cheap Pep Boy tires I probably had to fix a new flat every two weeks due to all the broken glass, but never a failed patch. I didn't throw out tubes until I had over 20 or so patches on 'em.

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