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Old 03-06-12, 10:59 PM   #1
wtandem
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Tire Patch Melting?

While doing a mountain descent ( Glendora Mt. in S. CA ), steering on a curve went really scary. Our front tire was really soft. We were able to stop fine and there was no obvious cause for what seemed like a slow leak ( tire still had a little air ; maybe 20-30 psi ). At home, I pumped up the tube, and still no leak, although there was a small bubble on a patch I had applied quite some time ago. So, I'm thinking the patch melted enough to leak. It was not a glueless patch. The wheel was pretty warm, when I stopped, but not too hot to hold. Anyone else have problems with patches melting? Maybe my first time, in almost 40 years on a tandem with this problem. It was scary enough, that I might not patch tubes on the tandem anymore.
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Old 03-06-12, 11:09 PM   #2
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While doing a mountain descent ( Glendora Mt. in S. CA ),
Was it on this? (lets us know what you were dealing with).
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Old 03-06-12, 11:35 PM   #3
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Was it on this? (lets us know what you were dealing with).
Yes.
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Old 03-07-12, 08:06 AM   #4
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We have had some similar patch failures but disc brake, so not heat related. I wonder about quality of some patches, certainly not patching and rellacing is an option
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Old 03-07-12, 08:49 AM   #5
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I don't patch tubes anymore, and this is a perfect example of why. If the tube had no patch, you'd know the tube was leaking somewhere else, but since it has a patch, you're not really sure. Since patches DO fail occasionally, the patch is always suspect. So I replace the tube every time. Particularly on the tandem.

But I don't throw the old tubes away, either. I have a friend that grabs discarded bikes when he sees them and fixes them up for the needy here in Clearwater. He gets the tubes, patches them, and keeps a reserve of patched tubes for those folks, as well.

NOTE: I run hardened tires so I don't get many flats, either.
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Old 03-07-12, 09:41 AM   #6
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There is a very steep downfill on Levis GrandFondo, the couple we were riding with had the same experience on the front wheel of thier tandem. I reinflated the tube at home and after a couple of days it was still holding air. I could think of no explanation other than a melted patch.
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Old 03-07-12, 05:10 PM   #7
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Never had that happen in hundreds of thousands of tandem miles.
And we do patch our tubes.
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Old 03-07-12, 05:56 PM   #8
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If you read what Jobst Brandt has to say about patching tubes, some of his points indicate that patched tubes and heat don’t play well together:

- “Flexing of rolling bias ply tires also loosens patches. Laying a standard 3.5x2 inch paper business card between tire and tube will show how severe this action is. After a hundred miles or so, the card will have been shredded into millimeter size confetti.”

- “The best remedy for a leaky patch is to remove it and start over. However, after several days of curing, a patch is hard to remove. With heat supplied by a hot iron or heated frying pan at moderate temperature, patches come off easily. Pressing a patch against a hot surface with the thumb until the heat is felt will allow the patch be pulled off easily.”
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Old 03-09-12, 07:06 AM   #9
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I don't patch tubes anymore, and this is a perfect example of why. If the tube had no patch, you'd know the tube was leaking somewhere else, but since it has a patch, you're not really sure. Since patches DO fail occasionally, the patch is always suspect. So I replace the tube every time. Particularly on the tandem.

But I don't throw the old tubes away, either. I have a friend that grabs discarded bikes when he sees them and fixes them up for the needy here in Clearwater. He gets the tubes, patches them, and keeps a reserve of patched tubes for those folks, as well.

NOTE: I run hardened tires so I don't get many flats, either.
I agree with this. Why take a chance especially on a tandem when tubes cost just about $5.00. I buy tubes in bulk to save money and when I get a flat I just discard them or I save them for use around the house. If you run good tires and watch your tire pressures you shouldn't get many flats anyway. We've gone 8000 miles without a flat then last year we got 3 in just 4300 miles.
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Old 03-09-12, 02:55 PM   #10
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Once again, it's all about where you ride, knowing your equipment and how you'll be using it.

I will always patch a puncture and use the tube again. Two punctures, it goes in the trash. But, then again, I'm also mindful of where we're riding. For 95% of our annual mileage, there is little if any chance that we'll put big heat into our tires.

However, if our ride plans will take us to places where there are or could be big demands placed on the brakes and tires, the brakes and tires get some extra attention as would the spare tubes in our seat pack. In fact, if long steep grades are in the cards, the rear rim brake will get swapped out for a rear disc which also necessitates a wheel change. When I do that wheel change I also inspect the tires, tubes, front brake pads, front rim brake tracks and re-align the front brake pads to the different rim. If the rear tire looks so-so, the front tire goes on the rear wheel and the front gets a new tire. The So-So tire typically gets set-aside and remounted when we get back home so that we can extract a few more miles from it before it gets chucked.The disc brake pads also get checked and the rotor gets cleaned.

Now, if we lived and rode in challenging terrain all of the time, different groundrules would apply. The seat pack would have a new tube, not a previously patched one as it does now. A punctured tube that was replaced or repaired on a ride would be relegated to use on the rear tire of a single bike, which will never get all that hot under any circumstances.

Perhaps it's just dumb luck that we haven't had any real tire problems over all the years that we've been riding tandems, or perhaps it's because I think about things like this more than the average Joe.

P.S. I've also been plugging punctures on certain motorcycle tires for the past 40 years, which some say is a no-no. Similar rules of engagement are used for tire mangement on the big bikes.
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Old 03-09-12, 03:48 PM   #11
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ONE tire puncture in 5,600 miles of riding in 2011.
Keep an eye on tire wear and where you ride.
We do live in he desert southwest and we have more detritus here than most places and our roads are not the greatest either.
Proper tires and inflation are a must. Most of our tires actually wore out without punctures in 2011.
But looks like 2012 is not as a good start; had a puncture on single bike just last week!
Throwing a tube away after it's first puncture is like throwing a $5 bill out the window!
We are retired but not among the 1%!
Pedal on!
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Old 03-09-12, 04:37 PM   #12
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I agree with Zona but it is a sign of our disposable society. If it can be purchased cheap then throw it away. The land fills need more stuff.
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Old 03-09-12, 05:05 PM   #13
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Throwing a tube away after it's first puncture is like throwing a $5 bill out the window!
I'll throw a lot of $5 bills out the window before I'll trust the two of us - with nothing but Lycra between us and the pavement - to a patched tube. I carry two new tubes and a patch kit. If we go through both tubes, I will patch the next puncture; but all 3 tubes are going in the trash when we get home!
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Old 03-09-12, 06:58 PM   #14
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I also never patch my tubes but they don't go in the trash unless they are ruined.
I instead give them to my less fortunate friends to use after THEY patch them.

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I agree with Zona but it is a sign of our disposable society. If it can be purchased cheap then throw it away. The land fills need more stuff.
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Old 03-09-12, 08:47 PM   #15
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I have had new cheap tubes split down the seam when inflated but have never had a patch suddlenly fail. Once or twice a slow leak on a patch but that is all. I choose to buy high quality tubes $8. And patch them when needed.
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Old 03-10-12, 12:08 PM   #16
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My limit is 6 patches/tube. Never had a failure, not even a leak. I'm a careful patcher. However, as TG says, new tubes for big rides, often new tires, too.
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Old 03-10-12, 04:07 PM   #17
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I use patched tubes on my single but not on the tandem so once I have a flat I switch it to the single. Two flats and I put it in the stack to be donated to a friend who has no problem using a tube that's already been patched twice. I don't thing she has purchased a new tube in six years.
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Old 03-10-12, 06:16 PM   #18
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I've got some buddies who are pretty hardcore riders/racers, and often train up & down that thing and have raced on it as well. From what they tell me, no way I'd ride a patched tire on it, let alone a patched tire on a tandem. Spend the $40 or so for a good tire--it's cheap insurance.

Edit: I'm not clear on what failed--was it a tube patch that was at issue, or a tire patch (like one of those Park tire patches to be used in the event of a sliced sidewall, etc.?
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Old 03-10-12, 10:42 PM   #19
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Edit: I'm not clear on what failed--was it a tube patch that was at issue, or a tire patch (like one of those Park tire patches to be used in the event of a sliced sidewall, etc.?
Patched tube was the issue.
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Old 03-11-12, 07:37 PM   #20
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Once again, it's all about where you ride, knowing your equipment and how you'll be using it.

I will always patch a puncture and use the tube again. Two punctures, it goes in the trash.
+1 for this approach.

I'm also picky about what type of punctures I patch (goat head pin ****** OK, slits no-go) and I verify good patch installation before putting the tube back in service.

YMMV
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