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  1. #1
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    is there some huge secret to patching a tire?

    I got two flats on one ride the other day. I tried patching my tube since my spare also had a hole and suffice to say I ended up walkin 9 miles with my bike over my shoulder.

    I've followed the way the bike shop guy told me to do it exactly, and he sold me the same patches he uses so they work for somebody.

    He said you have to sand the tube a lot. I did just that but when I walked out this morning the tire was flat again.

    Any suggestion? otherwise I'm not riding for the rest of this month cuz I can't afford to get new tubes (or freakin flat proof road tires) right now because I'm moving and need every penny I can get.

  2. #2
    Back in black cydewaze's Avatar
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    1) Put a piece if masking tape or something on the tire where the valve stem is.

    2) Remove the tube and pump a little air into it. Make sure the hole you patched is the only hole you've got.

    3) Once you find the leak (assuming it's not a bad patch job), lay the tube on the tire (lining the valve stem up with the tape) and CAREFULLY inspect the inside of the tire for debris in the area of the puncture. Also, check the opposite side for debris in case you mixed up which way the tube came out (i.e. with the valve at 12:00, if your puncture is at 5:00, check the 5:00 and 7:00 positions on the tire for debris.

    What your looking for is something stuck in the tire that re-punctures the tube once you inflate it. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    I patch flat tubes and have no problems. I wouldn't say that I sand the area alot, just rough it up a little. Maybe you should list the process you use starting with how you identify where the hole is. Then maybe someone can help.
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  4. #4
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Use lots of glue. Don't skimp. You want to smear it all over the whole area the patch will cover. Any missed spots can leave a path for air to escape.

  5. #5
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    Use lots of glue. Don't skimp. You want to smear it all over the whole area the patch will cover. Any missed spots can leave a path for air to escape.
    Sit there for up to 2 minutes after applying glue before putting patch on it, many get impatient and apply patch in a hurry. 1 minute will do but if your in a hurry w/out a clock then count or something to that minute to avoid jumping the ***. it should have a dried looking film over the top before patch is applied.
    Also for day to day riding go with the tried and true. The new glueless patches work and all but with a standard vulcanizing rubber cement patch kit you got way more versatility and usefulness. You can patch larger holes or tears, use an old tube cut up for patches if you run out, cut a large patch down to size if you run out of smaller ones. Hell I "patched"..more like "fixed" the tire on the car I used to have with a standard bicycle patch kit.

  6. #6
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    I'm using those Park pre glued patches, maybe I need to switch. I felt through the whole tire and found what caused the hole. The most incredibly tiny bit of wire. I just got this bike and I haven't been able to afford decent flatproof tires so I still have the stock ones on. Huge difference from the armadillos on my commuter. I never get a flat with those.

    Are Hutchinson Carbon Comps durable tires? Performance has a great price.

  7. #7
    Feral Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    Use lots of glue. Don't skimp. You want to smear it all over the whole area the patch will cover. Any missed spots can leave a path for air to escape.
    I agree.

    When it's almost dry start to inflate the tube a bit to see if any air is escaping, then wodge another bit of glue in there and press down to seal it. That method works for me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    Pre-glued patches can definitely be a part of the problem. I know a lot of guys who swear that they never have gotten them to work reliably. I just carry a couple of spare tubes in my seat bad for road repairs. Then back home I use an old fashioned braze/glue/patch kit and have never had issues. It is key that you look and feel all along the inside and outside of the tire around the area of the puncture. You definitely won't be back on the road for long if you leave anything behind in your tire.

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    Throw away the old tube and install a new one.

    And when you put your tire on your rim always centre the sticker/label on the outside of the tire with the valve stem. This way when you pull off the old tube you can check the location of the hole on the tube against the location on the tire to make sure no debris is still embedded in the tire.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmboyrx
    I'm using those Park pre glued patches, maybe I need to switch. I felt through the whole tire and found what caused the hole. The most incredibly tiny bit of wire. I just got this bike and I haven't been able to afford decent flatproof tires so I still have the stock ones on. Huge difference from the armadillos on my commuter. I never get a flat with those.

    Are Hutchinson Carbon Comps durable tires? Performance has a great price.
    For sure change what you are using as a patch kit. Get the old kind. Most common comes in a green plastic box. (Other brands of the same thing I have tried are fine also).

    Just follow the directions.

    Someone said use lots of glue. I disagree, people make mistakes in both directions on this one. Either one makes for a bad patch.

    Usually just roughing the tube up a bit is plenty. BUT if the patch will cover a seam (place where there is a bit extra rubber because it is where the mold comes apart) then you need to sand the seam flat, otherwise this is a spot waiting to leak.

    The tiny little wire was steel belt from a car. There is a fair chance that you picked up more than one.

    A good way to set up your tires is so that the label on the tire lines up with the valve stem. That way you can easily line up the tube with teh tire after you find the hole in the tube.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cydewaze
    1) Put a piece if masking tape or something on the tire where the valve stem is.
    What is that all about...? I've been mounting my tires with their labels aligned with valve stems.....pretty standard practice.

    To the original poster: It helps if you told us initially whether you were using traditional or glueless patches......
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    What is that all about...? I've been mounting my tires with their labels aligned with valve stems.....pretty standard practice.

    To the original poster: It helps if you told us initially whether you were using traditional or glueless patches......

    I was struck by the sense of that technique- mark the spot, or use a spot on the tire. They both achieve the same effect. FWIW, I've been patching tubes for 35 years, and the idea of lining up the label just never crossed my mind. I've always assumed that if I picked up one flat-causing object I could have others, and very carefully check the entire tire.

    On to the OP- if you're getting repeat flats after repairs, look carefully at how you're putting the tire back on the rim. The slicks I use on my commuter are such a tight fit on one set of rims that I cannot get the tire back on without pinching the tube and flatting. Also, look at the rim strips, I've had problems with repeat flats due to cheap, rubber rim strips. A change over to cloth rims strips and the problem was solved.

  13. #13
    Back in black cydewaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    What is that all about...? I've been mounting my tires with their labels aligned with valve stems.....pretty standard practice.
    Yes, but how do we know whether or not the OP has mounted his tires that way? A piece of tape takes that variable out of the equation.

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    I always check the entire tyre for sharps. In urban jungles, beware that sharps can include discarded hypermic needles !!

    As said, you need to apply the right amount of rubber solution, not too much or too little and wait until it is tacky. I apply 2 coats of soln. The soln will fill the hole, the patch will strenghten it to resist pressure. Do NOT pump up without a patch.
    When applyng the patch, crease the paper cover and remove from the centre to the perimeter, otherwise you may peel the edge.
    In extremis, I have patched punctures with pvc tape.

    One downside to aligning the tyre is that you may always brake in the same rim position, leading to excessive tyre wear in one part of the tyre.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    One downside to aligning the tyre is that you may always brake in the same rim position, leading to excessive tyre wear in one part of the tyre.
    The only instance where that possibly applies that I can come up with is when skid stopping riding a fixed gear bike, given the right gear combos.
    Otherwise, I don't understand how a brake caliper would grab onto the exact same position on the rim every time I brake.
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  16. #16
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    .. do as I did... buy the Goo Tubes

  17. #17
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    I am one of those weirdos who thinks the glueless patches are okay. I've had 'em hold for just as long as regular glue patches.

    The thing is though, it's so much about the patching as it is about inspecting the tire, rim, etc. to make sure you've identified (and removed, if applicable) the source of the flat, otherwise you keep getting 'em, no matter how well you've patched and no matter which patch type you use. There's a good article on Sheldon Brown that discusses this all in detail.

    For me, I bring a spare tube in the seat bag. If I get a flat, first thing is use the spare tube. Another flat in the same ride, time to patch. Then when I get home both tubes are probably getting replaced with brand new ones, in addition to a thorough inspection of the tire and rim. New tubes can be had pretty cheap, I only have to sacrifice one Latte per day per tube

    Good luck.

  18. #18
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmboyrx
    I'm using those Park pre glued patches, maybe I need to switch. I felt through the whole tire and found what caused the hole. The most incredibly tiny bit of wire. I just got this bike and I haven't been able to afford decent flatproof tires so I still have the stock ones on. Huge difference from the armadillos on my commuter. I never get a flat with those.

    Are Hutchinson Carbon Comps durable tires? Performance has a great price.
    My bike came with those tires and I bought a couple sets since then. I like how they ride and how light they are - but they most definitely are NOT durable. They seem more prone to cuts and I had a lot of trouble after getting some flats where it seemed the little bit of damage it did to the tire would then cause even more flats (more so than with other tires). It was often enough that every time I got a flat, I almost expected to get more in the same place.

  19. #19
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    Next time i'd push the bike, not carry it.

  20. #20
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    I used to fix tires for a living, years ago. I think a blind person could do it. As far as marking the tire, or lining it up, i really don't worry about it. Especially on a road bike tire. Use your senses to find the culpret.

    Actually hearing and feeling are probably the best, that is why i say a blind man could do it. You can usually be directed to the puncture by the sound of escaping air. Then you can usually find the source by carefully running your fingers along the inside of the tire to make sure it is smooth and nothing is sticking in the tire.

    YOu should always do this. IF the tire is clean it isn't going to puncture when you re-install the tube. If you only mark the tire, it might. There is always a chance that something else is lurking in the tire elsewhere.

    The only real need for marking tires is when they are balanced and you don't want to rebalance them. Bike tires aren't balanced. At least mine aren't.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bshow1's Avatar
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    I may be wrong, but I think you need to be sure to smear the glue with your finger in a circle that's bigger than the patch. In other words, you don't want any part of the edges of the patch to not have glue under them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmboyrx
    I got two flats on one ride the other day. I tried patching my tube since my spare also had a hole and suffice to say I ended up walkin 9 miles with my bike over my shoulder.

    I've followed the way the bike shop guy told me to do it exactly, and he sold me the same patches he uses so they work for somebody.

    He said you have to sand the tube a lot. I did just that but when I walked out this morning the tire was flat again.

    Any suggestion? otherwise I'm not riding for the rest of this month cuz I can't afford to get new tubes (or freakin flat proof road tires) right now because I'm moving and need every penny I can get.
    Yes, one suggestion - do your Internet research first -
    What Every Cyclist Should Know About Flat Tires - by Sheldon Brown should give you all 'secrets' you need to properly fix a flat with a patch.

    Thank you
    Last edited by HooKooEKoo; 08-16-05 at 06:46 PM.

  23. #23
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Ever since Carlisle tire stopped making American made bike
    and small equipment tubes & tires I stopped wasting my
    time trying to fix junk tubes. I just replace the worthless
    b!tch of a tube and ride off.

  24. #24
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    I started racing back in the early eighties and it was taught to me way back then to line up the tire label with the valve stem. Not really for offending flat purposes but so that finding where to spin the wheel to in the morning for air ups was easier. It takes really no time to line up the stem when you're putting your tires on and once you're used to this, you'll probably really like it.

    As for finding what gave you the flat, it's just in your best interest to check 100% of the inside of your wheel and tire. Rim strip and all. You've got it appart afterall.

    One last tip, don't mix your "patch this when I get the chance" tubes with your good tubes. There ain't much more fun than bringing along a bad tube as your spare. I pitch my "to patch" tubes in a box. If I put it anywhere else my wife might move it, somewhere.

    Cheers,

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmboyrx
    ...I got two flats on one ride the other day....
    ... He said you have to sand the tube a lot...
    ... I did just that but when I walked out this morning the tire was flat again....
    ...or freakin flat proof road tires....
    Was the flats fixed at the same time or was it ... ride ....pssssss ...fix .... ride .... pssss ... fix .... pssss?

    You do NOT have to sand it ALOT ... you have to ensure that an area around the hole larger than the patch is clean of powder, dust, sand, oxidation, etc. The purpose of "sanding" or "scuffing" is to CLEAN the tube NOT remove rubber from the tube. I also carry a small piece of white marker to draw a big circle (slightly bigger than the patch) around the hole in the tube. When I started applying the glue, it would make the hole hard to see and centering the patch over the hole was difficult. The big white circle helps in placing the patch correctly. Just remember to glue an area larger than the patch. You want the patch sealed all the way to the edges of the patch. I use the thick rubber patches with the orange interface material.

    This sounds alot like my experience. I had a flat. I found that a small sliver of glass was driven through the tire. So I fixed the flat. Unfortunately, in my haste I failed to replace the patch under the small hole in the tire. This is where all the aligning tire markings with valve stem advice comes in handy. So I installed the "patched" tube opposite the way it came out. This allowed the small tire puncture to "chew" on a new piece of tube instead of a niece thick piece of patchwork. So the fix got me home but the next day I noticed the tire was flat. Going through the routine again, I check for the new tube hole and found it under the tire puncture. I patched the tube and tossed the tire out and installed a new tire. I've ridden about 3 months now with a tube with two patches (just waiting for the next sliver of glass). I also carry two spare tubes in my bag incase the tube cannot be patched.

    Oh BTW, I had a nice set of those special Kevlar puncture proof tires and the sliver of glass went right through it. I would buy good tires but I wouldn't go overboard with the "puncture-proof" ones because I don't think there is such a thing.

    Although I don't have any, I was told the the tire liners help to protect the tube from tire irregularities should a tire get punctured. I may get some liners and install them whenever I get a reason to. With my luck, I'll ride another year without a flat (of course that's OK too).

    d.tipton

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