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  1. #1
    Just Ride. john_dun's Avatar
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    Using a lighter to fix a flat

    I read a great tip in a magazine about fixing flat tyres. Instead of waiting ages for the glue to set, set fire to it for a couple of seconds and it becomes tacky so much faster. Becareful though, because the glue is surprisingly flamable. I try'd it the other day and it does work well.

  2. #2
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    What about patching old school?
    We still have an old heat patch kit (but I think we're out of the patches). This will probably be hard to visualize unless you've seen it, but it's basically a C-clamp with a die as one of the pads(available in triange, round, or square and are interchangeable). The rubber patch is attached to a piece of cork-wood about 1/4 inch thick and the same shape as the patch. This is pressed into the die. You smooth out and clean the area to be patched, then clamp the patch kit on. Then you light the cork on fire and let it burn. It will burn for just long enough to fuse the patch and the tire cleanly, and it's a lot cooler if you're a pyrophillic like me. I never had a patch fail.
    This particular kit isn't something you'd take out riding, although it could definitely be made small enough if Park or Topeak or someone thought it would sell. It's still quicker, however to user a regular glue patch, but not as cool
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  3. #3
    Senior Member RacerX's Avatar
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    why? glueless patches are faster on the road and regular glue patches work fine- I never felt the 2 minutes it takes glue to dry was out of reason.

  4. #4
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    Glueless patches take like 10 seconds, and I don't usually carry a lighter with me..
    Booyah!!

  5. #5
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    I once saw a show on Discovery where some explorers in the arctic used a spraycan of flammable liquid and a lighter to quickly seat a tyre onto a rim. The heat causes the air to expand so quickly and evenly that the tyre seats itself perfectly onto the rim. These are huge 200lbs offroad tyres we're talking about.

    As for me, I'll stick to a patchkit or simply carrying around a spare tube. I have glueless patches but for some reason I'm shy about using them. Perhaps it's because I always end up having to tear off at least two pieces of saran-wrap when I go to put leftovers into the fridge. The first try always ends up in a wadded ball. I fear that with glueless patches, I'd have at least half of my fingers tipped with nice airtight seals. On the upside, at least I won't have to worry about finding band-aids. For some reason I seem to have no fumbling problems with traditional glue patching.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
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  6. #6
    I am a lonely visitor RegularGuy's Avatar
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  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Buncha pyros! All of ya!

  8. #8
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    I used to know of a place that did hot patches on tubeless tyres as well as tubes (mostly big tubes for construction equipment). Never had one of those patches fail, either. I have occasionally done a similar thing with common glue patches, using a small propane pencil torch and a clamp-seems to work well, but I wouldn't try this on any lightweight tubes.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  9. #9
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    In retrospect, the hot patch idea was really cool, at the time I thought nothing of it because I was pretty young and hadn't seen glue patches, so this was the only way I knew of to patch tires. It's true though, it wouldn't be a good idea to use it on a road tire, it might cause damage around the patch area.
    I'm kinda curious if anyone else has seen these hot patch kits around lately. It's a neat little novelty.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  10. #10
    Senior Member jump's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Raiyn
    Buncha pyros! All of ya!
    You know what's even cooler? Get a water bottle with a little cap (not a gatorade-sized cap, like a Coca-coola cap). Then hold it and let gas into it with a lighter in a still-aired place. Don't flick it, just let the gas out. Then after ten seconds or so, flick it and get a flame. Then hold it close to the hole ... tilt it a little, and phwooooooommmmm! Flamethrower effect for about 3 seconds if you do it right

  11. #11
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jump
    You know what's even cooler?
    ....

    jump, as I read your post while looking at your icon, I can just imagine StrongBad himself saying it and it makes me laugh. |8^)
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
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  12. #12
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    I have never seen anyone else use the same method I use to patch tubes in the shop. After abrading the spot to be patched with sandpaper, I clean the area with lighter fluid (naptha) and then apply the cement after the solvent evaporates. According to my father, who showed me this when I was a kid, all patch repairs were done this way back when all tires had tubes. I can't swear the solvent is absolutley necessary, as I obviously don't carry lighter fluid on the bike with me, but it does seem to act like a flux. Works well with the self vulcanizing patches I like to use.
    A man's actions influence his attitude as much as his attitude influences his actions.

  13. #13
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    I was touring with friends this weekend and one friend was on his last patched tube when the patch failed. We had plenty glue patches, but could not get them to take. We suspect the humidity was effecting them. One of the crew finally tried a trick from his childhood and touched a lighter flame to the glue for a second or two. After an hour of failed attempts to repatch the tube using the instructions in the kit, this method worked. Our companion was able to make it home on that patched tube, 45+ miles.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_dun View Post
    ....... set fire to it for a couple of seconds and it becomes tacky so much faster. Becareful though, because the glue is surprisingly flamable. I try'd it the other day and it does work well.
    I can remember seeing that done in my fathers lawnmower shop when I was a child.

  15. #15
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    My Father showed me the patch with fire method 45-50 years ago. I've often wondered if anyone does that any more. I don't.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagmar View Post
    I was touring with friends this weekend and one friend was on his last patched tube when the patch failed. We had plenty glue patches, but could not get them to take. We suspect the humidity was effecting them. One of the crew finally tried a trick from his childhood and touched a lighter flame to the glue for a second or two. After an hour of failed attempts to repatch the tube using the instructions in the kit, this method worked. Our companion was able to make it home on that patched tube, 45+ miles.
    Now there's an experience that I haven't had. I've never had a glueon patch failure.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I always carry a spare inner tube because I prefer to patch at home rather than on the road. I follow the instructions on the patch kit box including waiting the full 5 minuted for the glue to set. The only thing that I do special is to clamp the patch after gluing it on.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  17. #17
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    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    At about 12 years the thread isn't old enough. Go back a good bit farther and we used to light the glue because it was vulcanizing fluid (not glue) and it needed the heat. Nowadays it vulcanizes at room temperature.

    It may help with regular glue (I don't want to try that personally) but that's not what the old time patches were about.

  19. #19
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    MMMMMMMM,
    Fire, Pretty.
    Pretty, Pretty, Fire.
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    RADIOACTIVE, RETINA RIPPING, DAY-GLO, Chartreuse !!! It's the new black.

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  20. #20
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Would zapping with a taser help a patch stay put better????
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  21. #21
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    I came into this thread expecting people to be melting the rubber back together around a hole.

    Leaving disappointed.

  22. #22
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    Years ago when I was in the business of tire repair, We used a flammable tire/tube cement.
    After preparation of the surface, the cement was applied and lit on fire just long enough to burn off the lighter elements and heat up the surface, it did speed up the patching process, left too long, it could burn the cement and you didn't want that.
    It was a method that worked very well once you got the hang of it.
    Then, I suppose, somewhere, someone burned the garage to the ground and the cement was replaced with a nonflammable product, in the name of safety, of course.
    Now I must wait an extra few minutes before applying the patch, I know, we're only talking about three or four minutes but they are my minutes and could be used for other important activities, such as reading this blog.

    I am waiting for the industry to develop and introduce a nonflammable starting fluid, in the name of safety, of course.

  23. #23
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    12 years isn't a record but close
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    12 years isn't a record but close
    Yup, who has the patience to page back that far to find a thread on innertube patching?
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

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