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  1. #1
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Stick on Puncture Repair Patches

    Last summer I bought a tiny puncture repair kit that contained self adhesive patches. It was the most portable puncture kit I'd ever seen, weighing next to nothing and coming in a postage stamp sized plastic box.

    In use, the kit seemed to work well too, find the hole, rub with the supplied emery paper, peal the patch and press it on. No messy rubber cement. No fuss, or so I thought.

    This week, in two bikes I was out riding and had a flat tyre. I wasn't too far from home, so was not hugely inconvenienced. In both cases, the flats were caused by failure of the seal on these self adhesive patches. You could see where the air had forced its way out and I repaired the tubes again with a traditional rubber cement kit.

    Has anyone else had this kind of problem, or are you all so rich that you just throw away your punctured tubes? I'm not used to having a properly repaired tube fail later down the road.
    Last edited by EvilV; 01-12-09 at 07:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    I carry one spare tube, repair the holed one at home. Throw away after 3-4 punctures.
    Of course, by "throw away" I meant "bar tape underpadding" and "general purpose furniture bumpers"

  3. #3
    PDR
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    What are punctures?
    Iíve ridden over glass etc and my Schwalbe Kojaks have been fine... they have race guard
    I do carry a CO2 inflator and Lezyne glueless patches but have never had chance to use them.

  4. #4
    rhm
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    I don't use glue-less patches; haven't been able to make them work long-term. If a patch is done right, it is permanent; I keep using the tube until it can't be patched anymore (i.e. if it fails at the valve). The last time I replaced a tube on my mini, the tube had over a dozen patches in it, some overlapping. It finally tore at the valve-- and into the dumpster it went.

    My wife's bike, a 1966 Raleigh RSW-16, came with Dunlop tires and tubes. The tires wore out, but the tubes have threaded steel valve stems, complete with a locknut to keep them from flexing; they never fail at the valve. That bike is still running both its original tubes!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    What are punctures?
    Iíve ridden over glass etc and my Schwalbe Kojaks have been fine... they have race guard
    I do carry a CO2 inflator and Lezyne glueless patches but have never had chance to use them.
    Does that Kojak tire come in the 20" size? If so, who sells it? I get constant flats in my Schwalbe Marathons, and I'm riding on clean roads, too.

    Good to know about those glueless patches. I just started carrying them, but I better discard them.

  6. #6
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I don't get the glueless patches. Far too many failure!

    It takes all of 2 minutes more to make a permanent patch, with rubber cement.

    I used to get lots of flats, and my tubes had dozens of patches, all repaired while on the road. I carry a spare tube, and have not yet used it.

    It's just as easy to patch it and be done with the problem while I have the wheel off.

  7. #7
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    The thing I like least about normal patches is that the tube of glue dries out and might be unusable when I need it most. Of course I could always carry a spare tube - if I remember. Does anybody know a place where they sell about a dozen spare little tubes of rubber cement? They just seem to want to sell a whole new patch kit.

  8. #8
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Thanks for the responses. I'm obviously not the only one to have the problem with the glueless patches. I tend to patch rather than replace the tube because I don't need to remove the wheel to do it. It's pretty quick and easy to pump up the punctured tyre and then listen closely as you rotate the wheel until you come to the place where the puncture is. Then I simply flip one tyre wall over the rim with my plastic levers and pull out the affected bit of tube, mend it and shove it all back in again.

    My Merc Kevlar tyres have been rather good at resisting punctures. I ride a lot on bike paths that have tiny bits of sharp glass scattered around. Since nobody sweeps these paths much, the stuff lies around a long time if some drunken student on his way home chucks a stubbie beer bottle on the ground. I managed about 2800 miles with only three punctures and went another 800 before I got another. It was that one where the repair failed last week. Then my strida knock off got a puncture in its non-armoured rear tyre and that repair failed yesterday about a week after the repair was made. Strangely, that meant two failed patches in a few days.

    Those patches are no good at all. I'll never use them again. The traditional sort work and last.

  9. #9
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Do any of you people carry alcohol to clean the tubes before applying glue?


    I've noticed that tubes these days sometimes have a waxy feel about them, so I've taken to carrying a tiny bottle with some alcohol inside to wipe the tube after sanding it with emery. That way, I feel I can expect the glue to take properly. I use a small pill bottle and the thing weighs nothing along with a tissue in my emergency box. I also carry a very small hotel shampoo bottle (the freebie stuff you get with a room) so that if the tyre is problematic in going over the rim, I can lube it. This REALLY makes a big difference on the roadside. I know Jur can get his tyres over without levers - so can I with some, but others are B*st*rds to mount and dismount. The stelvios on my old Moulton were really hard. It felt like if I used any more lever force, I'd tear the tyre wall off. Soap made them far easier.

    By the way - in terms of how much stuff I'm carrying with these alcohol and soap solutions it is truly nothing at all - we're talking a few ccs in total - maybe a ounce at the outside.

  10. #10
    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
    The thing I like least about normal patches is that the tube of glue dries out and might be unusable when I need it most. Of course I could always carry a spare tube - if I remember. Does anybody know a place where they sell about a dozen spare little tubes of rubber cement? They just seem to want to sell a whole new patch kit.
    i carry 2 real patch kits and one self adhesive patch kits at all times, plus 3 different
    types of tubes


    I never have a problem. evar. I also seem to be able to use the glue and keep it stored
    for a year and go back and use the glue and it hasn't dried out.
    I like fat bikes
    and I cannot lie.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Why 3 different tubes?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    This week, in two bikes I was out riding and had a flat tyre. I wasn't too far from home, so was not hugely inconvenienced. In both cases, the flats were caused by failure of the seal on these self adhesive patches. You could see where the air had forced its way out and I repaired the tubes again with a traditional rubber cement kit.

    Has anyone else had this kind of problem, or are you all so rich that you just throw away your punctured tubes? I'm not used to having a properly repaired tube fail later down the road.
    Yeesh. You are bumming me out.

    A few years ago I experimented with a glueless patch kit and found that it worked well. By that I mean that the patches held for the life of the tube. Unfortunately that tube had a lot of independent flats, and, like joseff, I tossed it after the fourth puncture. So the patches lasted, but the test lasted only one season. Last summer, finding my beloved REMA Tip Top patch kits hard to find I switched over to Park glueless patches. Now you've got me worrying about whether the flats I patched last summer are going to come back to haunt me.

    Speedo

  13. #13
    smallwheelsonly
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    i put a little bit of 'slime' tire sealer before i get a flat and carry a pump and traditional patch kit[for my friends] but i have never used the patch kit since using the tire sealer. they also come in small bottles that fit a small tool bag.

    the slime does a great job ...yes it adds a bit of weight on the tire but to me thats negligible about 2~4 teaspoonsful is enough.

    i get goathead punctures and air leaks for a while i pump it up with air and it seals the puncture and im back on the road in no time.

    also you can't use any type of patch/glue/glueless once you put tire sealer as the sealer will eventually work its way out of the puncture and eventually patches fall off.

    so you either decide your going to use sealers or patches.

    in my experience couple years since i swithched to slimes and doing commuter/recreational type of riding small wheel bikes/folders.....sealers works the best. For purists/racers the tube glue/patching

    i had a kit of glueless patch kit once but the glue dried out before i even ever got to use it so never bought those types again.
    Last edited by EM42; 01-12-09 at 10:18 AM.

  14. #14
    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
    Why 3 different tubes?
    because at any time I may be riding the road bike, mtb, or 29'er

    and at any time either me, or someone, might have a flat and I might have the fix


    the only time I do not carry a camelbak with my full kit is in a race, otherwise I always
    carry a 'standard load' and that is everything I need to trail fix any of my bikes...
    ...and it the flat dept i can handle about 16 flats before I start to sweat about it
    I like fat bikes
    and I cannot lie.

  15. #15
    jur
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    Tried glueless once only, tossed them when the same puncture started leaking again. Since then I have seen a thread where lots of people had the same idea, and it was said glueless are just to get you home quick.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  16. #16
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Tried glueless once only, tossed them when the same puncture started leaking again. Since then I have seen a thread where lots of people had the same idea, and it was said glueless are just to get you home quick.
    I think that's exactly right. They go on quick and easy and stay stuck for a few days, or a week, or maybe two, but on the other hand, the glue only takes a few seconds longer and it pretty well keeps on working if the tube is clean and dry and you put the patch on right.

    Thanks all - I just wanted confirmation that it wasn't just me.

  17. #17
    I Fold bykerouac's Avatar
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    I'll have to chime in and say that I prefer the traditional patch kit. The rubber glue seems to meld with the tube and form a seamless bond. With the glueless patch however, one can see that the material of the patch and the tube are foreign to each other. Add water, moisture to the mix and it is not hard to imagine it unraveling soon.

    I like the idea of the glueless (that term doesn't seem to be right though as it has adhesive) patch. Perhaps they can make one that has rubber cement as adhesive instead of being a glorified sticky tape. But then again one has to apply a bit of glue on the tire tube and let it dry for maximum adhesion, so we're back to needing the tube of glue.

    On a related note, do you put talcum powder on your inner tubes?

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilV View Post
    Do any of you people carry alcohol to clean the tubes before applying glue?
    I carry alcohol swabs purchased at a pharmacy.

  19. #19
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykerouac View Post
    On a related note, do you put talcum powder on your inner tubes?
    Do you mean after making a tube repair?

    I used to scrape chalk on the emery paper in the kit when they supplied chalk a few years back (to stop the glue outside the patch boundary from sticking to the tyre) but now the patches I buy have a film on top of cellophane or thin plastic that is bigger than the patch. This would do the same job.

    To be honest, I'm not aware of any problem ever happening to my tubes from not counteracting extra rubber cement, but I suppose it could happen that a tube bonds to the inner side of the tyre. I've just never seen it though.

  20. #20
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    I've used em - it's really hard to get them on without getting fingermarks on the glue!
    I've had reasonable success with them but don't think they are a true substitute to a feathered round patch put on with a tube of glue. But they will get you home and then some.



    I usually chuck a tube if it has more than 2 or 3 repairs - more than that and the odds on a patch failure outweigh the economy of not getting a new tube. My old tubes? I chop 'em up latitudinally and fill little bags with hundreds of free little black rubber bands...

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Same story here... my LBS talked me into buying the "square" self-adhesive patches (Park) and they don't even last a day on a high-pressure road tire.

    When I fix a flat, I want it fixed for good. I've reverted back to the traditional rubber-cement patches, and threw all my self-adhesives away (they weren't cheap either as I recall).

    .

  22. #22
    jur
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    I have had a totally diferent problem, and wondered if anybody else has had same...

    On my narrower tyres (eg 28mm on Swift) I have had several occasions, like 3 or 4 times, where the tube split under the patch, starting at the hole and growing longer over time as the tube flexes while riding, until the split/crack meets the edge of the patch, then it's over. Flat again, and no possibility of fixing it.

    What I think happens, is the patch which is quite thick in the middle, flexes with some difficulty, and the puncture hole gets stressed and starts tearing.

    So now I have stopped using patches and making my own from a piece of inner tube. I apply rubber cement on both tube and piece, waiting for the cement to dry before proceeding as usual. haven't had a failure yet.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  23. #23
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    I've had pretty good luck with "Skabs". This is a glue less tire repair kit made by the same people that manufacture "Slime". I've only had one fail on me, and that was on an inner tube that got it's second flat one day I was grocery shopping.

    I had a special can of "Fix a Flat" for bicycles, and used it. Well it did it's job on the new puncture, but in less than half an hour, the Fix a Flat weakened the glue less patch from the previous repair, and the tire went flat again.

    Yes like another poster observed, the chemicals in Slime, or similar, will cause the repair using the glue less patch to fail. That said, the traditional tire repair kit with rubber glue will be more durable.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, there's a Skabs patch on the front inner tube of my Qile Duo folder right now, and it's still holding rather well after more than a week.

    Edward

  24. #24
    PDR
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    [QUOTE=werewolf;8166364]Does that Kojak tire come in the 20" size? If so, who sells it? QUOTE]

    Yes, my Dahon MU SL is fitted with these in 20".

    I would imagine any good bike shop will be able to get them for you.

    Iíve ridden through broken glass countless times at night on city streets and heard that nasty crunching sound and thought ďthatís it, Iíve bound to have got a puncture nowĒ... but no.

  25. #25
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    I envy you guys. I've given up on tube replacement/repair altogether because I could disassemble the entire bike in less time than it takes to get the tires on/off my folder (and I only ride folders anymore).

    I just take it to the LBS and try to keep a straight face as I hand 5 dollars to the clerk whose wiping 30 minutes of sweat off his face.

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