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Does Anyone Patch Tubes Anymore?

Old 02-28-24, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
What happens to all these old tubes? Landfill?
Yes.
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Old 02-28-24, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Yes.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:36 AM
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Or you could just go and buy some actual patches - they're not expensive
I always patch my tubes - once they're up to 3-4 patches, it's time to retire them. I avoid "patch kits" - the little tubes of glue inevitably dry out once they're unsealed, and you're stuck without glue the next time you need it. I usually experience 1-2 flats/year, so I don't patch often. I bought a selection of patches and a ~100ml tin of "Slime" rubber cement ~5 years ago (Amazon IIRC - ~$6), with a proper screw-down lid, so it doesn't dry out. Based on how it has lasted up to now, I suspect that this will last me the rest of my life.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
What happens to all these old tubes? Landfill?
I have been saving up my old tubes to ship to one of you who patch; I am at 3 so far. Sorry, choddo, you are too far.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I have been saving up my old tubes to ship to one of you who patch; I am at 3 so far. Sorry, choddo, you are too far.
https://naparecycling.com/guide/bike-inner-tubes/
Just saying
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Old 02-28-24, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
No problem, and thanks for the suggestion, but:

1. The website does not provide any information whether my local REI or Trek dealer is participating.
2. Even assuming yes to #1, it seems more environmentally friendly for another BF member to patch and use my tubes than for Alchemy Goods to turn them into something else altogether.
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Old 02-28-24, 01:38 PM
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If I flatted often, I'd patch. But since I don't flat very often, I'm lacking the skill to do it well. And the glue is usually dried up from that first time I opened it up. So a big waste to me.

Besides, I find too many uses for the old inner tubes. Cut them up into strips and they are good to use as ties to go around open partially used bags of fertilizer and other bags. Or even to wrap around cabinets I build and glue up instead of having to have a couple dozen more expensive cabinet clamps. Once you get use to using them for other things, you'll find all sorts of stuff to do with them.
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Old 02-28-24, 02:34 PM
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i patch, but as noted I only use Rema patch kits....I have tried other kits and the peel and stick patches and nothing works as well

IMHO silly economy to try anything else like contact cement and bits of rubber

I also have had better luck with quality tubes than cheapies

FWIW I carry 2 tubes, patch kit, co2 and a pump.
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Old 02-28-24, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
What happens to all these old tubes? Landfill?
In most cases, yes. The charity shop where I volunteer is part of an urban farm. We don't have a budget for new tubes (we rely totally on donations), so we patch tubes whenever possible. When it is not possible, we send the derelict tubes to the farm, where they use them to provide support for various crops, e.g. branches on fruit trees, etc.
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Old 02-28-24, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
No problem, and thanks for the suggestion, but:

1. The website does not provide any information whether my local REI or Trek dealer is participating.
2. Even assuming yes to #1, it seems more environmentally friendly for another BF member to patch and use my tubes than for Alchemy Goods to turn them into something else altogether.
For sure. Maybe we should set up some kind of system that brings the tubers and the patchers together??
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Old 02-28-24, 03:04 PM
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Bought a 100-pack of Tip Top patches and a can of Patching cement (with handy brush).
I fix all the tubes I can, but there are always some failures that can't be patched and others that just accumulate too many of them.
Tubes cost a lot more lately so the incentive is certainly there.
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Old 02-28-24, 03:33 PM
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I don’t. I don’t trust the patch, and once I’ve put a spare tube in to ride home, I’m not patching a tube and reinstalling it—lazy I guess. Fortunately I have pretty good luck avoiding flats or it would get expensive.
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Old 02-28-24, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
What happens to all these old tubes? Landfill?
One of my local bike shops recycles them somehow. There's a bin in the service area where folks can drop them off.
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Old 02-28-24, 04:35 PM
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I buy a can of Rema vulcanizing fluid and pour it into a small glass vial. I put into the calendar to check the state of the fluid every 6 months. If necessary, I add a solvent. The Rema fluid is usable for about 4 years. Incidentally, I may use it outside of patching, e.g., to glue back together slices of a grip shortened for a handlebar configuration that gets changed. The handlebar rubber is very porous and holds like it was never cut after gluing.
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Old 02-28-24, 05:43 PM
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Sure do. Rema patches. And reuse the patched tunes with a new tire unless there are too many patches and I have a new tube the correct size.
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Old 02-28-24, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I have been saving up my old tubes to ship to one of you who patch; I am at 3 so far. Sorry, choddo, you are too far.
Schwalbe has a recycling program that seems to have been in operation since 2015. The problem is that they don’t offer any information on recycling locations. I may have to get my co-ops involved.
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Old 02-28-24, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Schwalbe has a recycling program that seems to have been in operation since 2015. The problem is that they don’t offer any information on recycling locations. I may have to get my co-ops involved.
I doubt that Schwalbe would patch the tubes for reuse by cyclists; too much liability. So recycling through Schwalbe may only make sense if it allows Schwalbe to reduce the overall energy or raw material used to make a certain number of new tubes or tires. May still be more environmentally friendly for me just to ship my old tubes to another BF member who knows how to patch.
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Old 02-28-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I doubt that Schwalbe would patch the tubes for reuse by cyclists; too much liability. So recycling through Schwalbe may only make sense if it allows Schwalbe to reduce the overall energy or raw material used to make a certain number of new tubes or tires. May still be more environmentally friendly for me just to ship my old tubes to another BF member who knows how to patch.
The link details what they do and even provides energy savings (80%) over virgin rubber.
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Old 02-28-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
The link details what they do and even provides energy savings (80%) over virgin rubber.
Nice! I did not see the link just now. Hmmm, but it is unclear whether Schwalbe accepts other brands of punctured tubes.
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Old 02-28-24, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
If I flatted often, I'd patch. But since I don't flat very often, I'm lacking the skill to do it well. And the glue is usually dried up from that first time I opened it up. So a big waste to me.

Besides, I find too many uses for the old inner tubes. Cut them up into strips and they are good to use as ties to go around open partially used bags of fertilizer and other bags. Or even to wrap around cabinets I build and glue up instead of having to have a couple dozen more expensive cabinet clamps. Once you get use to using them for other things, you'll find all sorts of stuff to do with them.
A few years ago, I used strips from an inner tube as a makeshift spring when the aluminum anchor for the spring on a Suntour front derailleur on my commuting bike broke off. The derailleur seemed to work slightly more smoothly with the rubber strip. I eventually got around to replacing the derailleur.

In the early '70's, a friend of mine wanted to figure out how to get his motorcycle to a repair shop 5 miles away without having to pay to get it towed and asked me if I had any ideas. I strung a series of inner tubes and tubular tires from my little Volvo's rear bumper to the handlebar stem on his motorcycle, and off we went, with him sitting on his bike and grinning all the way.
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Old 02-28-24, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
FWIW I carry 2 tubes, patch kit, co2 and a pump.
Boy Scout?
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Old 02-28-24, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
i patch, but as noted I only use Rema patch kits....I have tried other kits and the peel and stick patches and nothing works as well

IMHO silly economy to try anything else like contact cement and bits of rubber

I also have had better luck with quality tubes than cheapies

FWIW I carry 2 tubes, patch kit, co2 and a pump.
Originally Posted by SpedFast
Boy Scout?
Eagle and order of the Arrow...and my dad was the first silver beaver award for leadership in montana

but I have had cases where I used both spares and then had to patch. I never used to use C02....but pumping a tire and then having to repump after the valve failed on a 105 day lead me to Co2

I also carry spare valves and valve tool
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Old 02-28-24, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
.... I never used to use C02....but pumping a tire and then having to repump after the valve failed on a 105 day lead me to Co2

I also carry spare valves and valve tool
I carry CO2 simply because that allows me to carry a cheap Bell pump. If it "gets legs", I'm not out much.
Pump the tire up about 20-30 PSI to check bead seating etc. If good, add about 10 more if the pump is still up to it and then hit it with the cartridge. On paper, that should be about right if not a tic low. Plenty good enough to get home on my skinny tires.
I haven't had a flat on that bike to find out how well theory works.
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Old 02-28-24, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Nice! I did not see the link just now. Hmmm, but it is unclear whether Schwalbe accepts other brands of punctured tubes.
In the “I'm Already Enrolled in the Schwalbe Tube Recycling Program”, they give details about collection process.

THE CONTENTlease only collect used butyl bicycle inner tubes in the package!
All brands are allowed!

Attention! Please do not return tubes filled with Sealant of any variety! The Sealant leaks out and soaks the boxes during transport.
They take any tubes except those with sealant…and nobody likes messing with those!
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Old 02-29-24, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Lionheart
I kind of like the idea of not throwing away a tube for one little pinch flat. OTOH, I don’t have any patches. Can I use rubber cement and little scraps of tube? Does that work?
No, i'd just get a tube from Amazon and replace it.
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