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  1. #1
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    So I finally started patching...

    After a year of intensive cycling....I finally broke down and decided to learn how to patch a tube instead of just tossing it and installing a new one. Did my second one tonight and it seems to be working just fine. The first one is in the rear wheel of my Bianchi roadie and has a over one hundred miles on it since the repair. I guess that means I am living proof that anyone can learn to patch a tube with success! I don't know how long to expect these tubes to hold out...but I figure I can always patch again or go back to a new tube. How many of you have never used that patch kit?

  2. #2
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    I wonder how many of us thought about answering this post, but didn't want to jinx our next ride.
    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    I had such a run of flats last year, I had to learn to patch. Old fashioned, I guess, but I do still think bankruptcy is something to be ashamed of.
    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    I patch. A lot.
    Suntree, Fl.
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  5. #5
    el padre
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    Patches are part of bike riding, especially in the country where there are all kinds of thorns to encounter. I try to stay on the asphalt but once in a while one of those little buggers gets on the road OR I get off the road... It does take some time but once you can do it (as you have learned you can) it is well worth the time to have fun with some down time. peace

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    I don't know how long to expect these tubes to hold out...
    A decent patch should last the life of the tube. I've been patching for decades.

  7. #7
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    Next step; wrenching. With a good maintenance/repair book, it's not as difficult as many people like to think. My lawyer skills (lie to it and hope it changes position) weren't working. So, I had to learn how to actually fix the thing. It turns out, that it is not all that tough. The reward; a bike that is always in tip-top shape. That I like. The small downside; a lot of friends want you to fix their stuff. bk

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    That's what rainy Saturdays are for.

    Throw your punctured tubes in a box. Sometime when the weather doesn't cooperate, get yourself set up and patch them all at once. To me, the worst part of patching an inner tube is waiting for the cement to set up. Doing a batch of them eliminates the waiting period.

  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    Next step; wrenching. With a good maintenance/repair book, it's not as difficult as many people like to think. My lawyer skills (lie to it and hope it changes position) weren't working. So, I had to learn how to actually fix the thing. It turns out, that it is not all that tough. The reward; a bike that is always in tip-top shape. That I like. The small downside; a lot of friends want you to fix their stuff. bk
    You know, even though I have the mechanical skills of a banana slug, I've occasionally toyed with the idea of picking up a $25 Craigslist bike just to practice on and learn how to "wrench." It would be cheap, I couldn't hurt much and if I screwed it up too badly I could just toss it.

    But it seems like that would fall short of learning how to repair contemporary bikes, wouldn't it? Haven't the components changed so much that I'd still not know what I was doing?

    Kind of like practicing on a 1970 Chevy Nova, seems to me. Would that enable me to work with confidence on a 2007 Malibu, so to speak? (Why I chose Chevys is beyond me. I don't like Chevys!)
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  10. #10
    Mistadobalina AGGRO's Avatar
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    HEYYYYYYYYYYYYY I had a 70 Nova

    Wish I stll had it.

    I've got some tubes with up to 7 patches on em.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Patch kits? With 3 bikes I seem to buy a patch kit every month. 8 patches to a kit and enough glue to fir them with.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  12. #12
    Senior Member Coloradopenguin's Avatar
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    I must confess I patch!
    Knock on wood, my flats are few and far between. If on the road, I'll pull the tube and throw in a new tube and save the bad one for a batch session in the garage.

    Of course, if the tire is flat when I'm ready to get on it and ride, I'll say a few choice words, pump it up, and pray it lasts until I get back . . .
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming --
    WOW!!! What a ride!"

  13. #13
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    You know, even though I have the mechanical skills of a banana slug, I've occasionally toyed with the idea of picking up a $25 Craigslist bike just to practice on and learn how to "wrench." It would be cheap, I couldn't hurt much and if I screwed it up too badly I could just toss it.

    But it seems like that would fall short of learning how to repair contemporary bikes, wouldn't it? Haven't the components changed so much that I'd still not know what I was doing?

    Kind of like practicing on a 1970 Chevy Nova, seems to me. Would that enable me to work with confidence on a 2007 Malibu, so to speak? (Why I chose Chevys is beyond me. I don't like Chevys!)
    Having built 200mph race cars in the 1960's does not qualify me to fix a 2007 Malibu.

  14. #14
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    But it seems like that would fall short of learning how to repair contemporary bikes, wouldn't it? Haven't the components changed so much that I'd still not know what I was doing?
    I haven't bought a modern bike, so this is hypothesis based on the books I have read and looking at the modern stuff at the LBS.

    You wouldn't be able to fix brifters by working on an old bike, but from my understanding those aren't repairable anyway.

    Frankly, a derailleur is a derailleur, and you are just as likely to get a difference between models as you are between years (or decades) as far as maintenance.

    For the RD, hooking it to the hanger or installing it with a claw is different, but if you can do one, you can figure out the other.

    Derailleurs... they align the same way regardless of year.

    Each derailleur has at least 2 screws that you should learn to adjust. Limit screws for the high end and low end. Rear derailleurs have another screw for tension/positioning.

    Bottom brackets are different, whether one piece (old low end American bikes) three piece cottered and three piece cotterless. three pieces share some similaritiees, so whatever you learn could be used up the chain. I would suggest avoiding the one piece for learning unless you just plan to own one... and ideally find something cotterless. Special (inexpensive) tool required.

    Knock yourself out and upgrade a cotterless bottom bracket to a sealed cartridge, see both technologies by performing the upgrade... cost about $15 for the BB, and it will last a long time. Special (inexpensive) tool required.

    Brakes, I haven't adjusted dual pivot brakes yet, but many techniques used on older brakes can likely be applied from what I see.

    A handlebar now probably has grooves, but probably won't differ otherwise.

    Threadless headsets and stems are different, but you will rarely need to replace a headset.

    Wheel hubs are easier today than they used to be due to sealed bearings etc... still it is fun to know how to maintain old loose ball hubs.

    The rear cluster on an old bike could be a freewheel, whereas most modern bikes will use a cassette. Each requires at least one special tool (freewheel or cassette tool) and to disassemble the freewheel (not recommended) or remove a cassette you also need a chain whip.

    So, go give it a try. You will either have some fun and a good learning experience, or know that you want to support the friendly people at the LBS by letting them do the work.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    It can't take any longer than the Diego did can it?

  16. #16
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx
    It can't take any longer than the Diego did can it?
    I'd smack you upside your head if you were nearby!

    The Diego is FINALLY getting surgery today or tomorrow morning. I've almost forgotten my excitement...but that will change soon!
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  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    So, go give it a try. You will either have some fun and a good learning experience, or know that you want to support the friendly people at the LBS by letting them do the work.
    Very helpful suggestions, LD...thanks! I might just start scoping Craigslist again with all this in mind. My limit will be $25. That makes it fun!
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  18. #18
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    You wouldn't be able to fix brifters by working on an old bike, but from my understanding those aren't repairable anyway.
    [cough]Campy![/cough]

  19. #19
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    I don't throw a tube away until the stem rips off or the patches overlap, so I can't apply a new one. Here in the Land of Big Thorns I averaged a flat every 30 miles or so until I started using Kevlar-belted tires, and once had nine, count 'em, nine flats in a century (five were in one incident, when I ran over a thorny branch, so that really only counts as one...).
    For what it's worth, I've had only two patch failures in more than 30 years of adult riding. If you count the punctures I've fixed for my wife and kids, I'm certainly well into the hundreds. One failure was my fault--I didn't have sandpaper and so didn't rough the tube. The other was just fate.

  20. #20
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    Gary, taking apart a cheap bike and putting it back together would do the trick. The key is to keep messing with it 'till you get it right. It took me a while to get derailleur adjustments right. This meant some rides with funky shifting. Once I got it, confidence came with it. This winter I changed (upgraded) the chain, cassette, rear derailleur, chainrings and bottom bracket. It all went without a hitch. Yes, it can be done. bk

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I have always patched repairable innertubes, but I have had much better luck with old-fashioned glue-on patches than the modern glueless, which would be alot more convenient, if they worked well for me.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  22. #22
    following breeze Spokejoker's Avatar
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    glue

    Let the glue dry.............
    The pump dont work caus the vandals stole the handle

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I always ride the tubes I have patched, and have brand new ones in the saddlebag cause I've had a patch fail that was in the saddlebag and when I needed it I wasted a CO2 cartridge. Then if a patch isnt going to hold the tire will go flat overnight.
    Wiggy wiggy scratch yo yo bang bang

  24. #24
    Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin
    I haven't bought a modern bike, so this is hypothesis based on the books I have read and looking at the modern stuff at the LBS.

    You wouldn't be able to fix brifters by working on an old bike, but from my understanding those aren't repairable anyway.

    Frankly, a derailleur is a derailleur, and you are just as likely to get a difference between models as you are between years (or decades) as far as maintenance.

    For the RD, hooking it to the hanger or installing it with a claw is different, but if you can do one, you can figure out the other.

    Derailleurs... they align the same way regardless of year.

    Each derailleur has at least 2 screws that you should learn to adjust. Limit screws for the high end and low end. Rear derailleurs have another screw for tension/positioning.

    Bottom brackets are different, whether one piece (old low end American bikes) three piece cottered and three piece cotterless. three pieces share some similaritiees, so whatever you learn could be used up the chain. I would suggest avoiding the one piece for learning unless you just plan to own one... and ideally find something cotterless. Special (inexpensive) tool required.

    Knock yourself out and upgrade a cotterless bottom bracket to a sealed cartridge, see both technologies by performing the upgrade... cost about $15 for the BB, and it will last a long time. Special (inexpensive) tool required.

    Brakes, I haven't adjusted dual pivot brakes yet, but many techniques used on older brakes can likely be applied from what I see.

    A handlebar now probably has grooves, but probably won't differ otherwise.

    Threadless headsets and stems are different, but you will rarely need to replace a headset.

    Wheel hubs are easier today than they used to be due to sealed bearings etc... still it is fun to know how to maintain old loose ball hubs.

    The rear cluster on an old bike could be a freewheel, whereas most modern bikes will use a cassette. Each requires at least one special tool (freewheel or cassette tool) and to disassemble the freewheel (not recommended) or remove a cassette you also need a chain whip.

    So, go give it a try. You will either have some fun and a good learning experience, or know that you want to support the friendly people at the LBS by letting them do the work.
    Could you repeat that in English please?

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