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How many patches before you toss your tubes?

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View Poll Results: When do you toss a tube?
After one patch - every gram matters!
42
21.99%
After two - they just start to look funny.
25
13.09%
After three - you have to draw the line somewhere.
27
14.14%
As soon as a patch has to overlap another patch.
55
28.80%
Never! My patches have patches!
42
21.99%
Voters: 191. You may not vote on this poll

How many patches before you toss your tubes?

Old 09-17-09, 07:56 PM
  #1  
twentysixtwo
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How many patches before you toss your tubes?

Just put a third patch on a tube today.

I tend to use them as long as I think they are reliable, but realized others might not do the same.

When do you toss / donate / stop using a tube?

NOTE! My wording was somewhat unclear - it should really be how many FLATS before you toss a tube - the first therefore becomes tossing a tube after 1 flat.

"Patches? We don't need no steeenking PATCHES!!!"

Last edited by twentysixtwo; 09-19-09 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 09-17-09, 07:58 PM
  #2  
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0 for me. They are cheap, and I only get a flat once every 10 months or so. Whether that is attributable to this method is a different story.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:40 PM
  #3  
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No patches. I chuck the tube after the first flat. they cost like 4 bucks so why bother with patching
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Old 09-17-09, 08:40 PM
  #4  
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Since I ride trails, I slice them around the middle, drop the valve and line the tire with it for the new tube. I do this up to two times for any tire. I'm running 26" X 2.2" mudders.
 
Old 09-17-09, 08:59 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
No patches. I chuck the tube after the first flat. they cost like 4 bucks so why bother with patching
Could you save them and mail to me?
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Old 09-18-09, 07:51 AM
  #6  
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I generally keep patching and using a tube until it gets some damage that cannot be patched.
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Old 09-18-09, 07:55 AM
  #7  
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2 .... at that, I take it as a sign. If it's a bike that I rely upon, in any case if it doesn't hold most of the air for 2 weeks, tube gets the boot.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:33 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
No patches. I chuck the tube after the first flat. they cost like 4 bucks so why bother with patching
Well... patching reduces waste.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:38 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Could you save them and mail to me?
When someone flats on a group-ride, I generally will "dispose" of the old tube for them. Can go for a long time without buying tubes like that.

Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
I generally keep patching and using a tube until it gets some damage that cannot be patched.
+1
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Old 09-18-09, 10:00 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Steev View Post
When someone flats on a group-ride, I generally will "dispose" of the old tube for them. Can go for a long time without buying tubes like that.
I've done the same when I see someone about to toss an old tube. For whatever anal-retentive reason, I don't run patched tubes on my own bikes but I work on enough bikes for friends and family that I find a use for those patched tubes.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:18 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
... but I work on enough bikes for friends and family that I find a use for those patched tubes.
It's the friends-and-family thing that got me into patching tubes too. I don't mind running them on my own bike though.

Can't say I really have a limit as to number. My neighbor just flatted for the third time in about a month. His tube was new a month ago. The patches are in different locations. A patch in one spot is not going to make the tube more likely to fail in another, so might as well keep on riding it.

Now if a tube is a few years old, then I'm more inclined to toss it.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:34 AM
  #12  
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sigh... just put a fourth patch on my tube yesterday. The first three were caused in as many days by a worn out tire that has been replaced since.
I usually patch my tubes until the valve tears, and then i cut them to make new patches
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Old 09-18-09, 10:57 AM
  #13  
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After 8 flats in one ride i tossed the tube out of spite. I could of kept on patching, but
I was rather irked.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:42 AM
  #14  
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for me 0, i buy performance tubes on sale for like $3 and usually get 6 at a time. not worth patching anymore.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:49 AM
  #15  
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I do it more now than as a kid.
Back then, a flat tube was an excuse to make a new skateboard-jumping-assist strap.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:00 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
No patches. I chuck the tube after the first flat. they cost like 4 bucks so why bother with patching
Um, because it's wasteful? Yeah, that's it. Why throw a tube out that can easily have it's life extended with a simple repair? Save the planet and all that.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:51 PM
  #17  
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Old 09-18-09, 02:11 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
No patches. I chuck the tube after the first flat. they cost like 4 bucks so why bother with patching
Same here. I race triathlons with my bike, I am not trusting my race to a glued on patch.
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Old 09-18-09, 02:17 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
Same here. I race triathlons with my bike, I am not trusting my race to a glued on patch.
I'm the same. Plus I do lots of training rides. Patches work just about all the time. But why risk one that doesn't work for $3?
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Old 09-18-09, 04:06 PM
  #20  
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Number of patches doesn't matter. If the tube isn't patchable, it gets replaced. I think I've gone as high as 15 patches, but that's rare.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:29 PM
  #21  
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10 yrs ago in the modern era, I put holed tubes on a peg in the basement and happily put new
tubes on flatted wheels. Then one day, about 4yrs later I saw there were 17 tubes hanging
there and new tubes, formerly $1.50-$2 were $3-4 and even more for my long stem requiring
wheels. I started patching, using a bunged wheel to test the repaired tubes. This was helped
by a buy of 20 patch kits from Performance for $10 or ~$0.12/patch. An 8oz can of glue from
Wmart lasts about 5yrs before getting too thick. Then I found Rima patches in 100 packs for
about $16 from AEBike and patch away. Rimas come in 15 and 20mm sizes there which handles
most chores. Tubes now get tossed mostly for valve tear outs and the 17 tubes are nearly gone.
A few survive in the short stem wheels, but recent acquisitions have necessitated buying up a load
of 45 and 60mm stem tubes.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:35 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by alancw3 View Post
for me 0, i buy performance tubes on sale for like $3 and usually get 6 at a time. not worth patching anymore.
same for me, unless I run out of tubes on a ride and then get out the patch kit.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:42 PM
  #23  
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patch it up! I had 4 on my last tube and then the valve failed.
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Old 09-18-09, 07:49 PM
  #24  
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Might as well make a tube out of patches and be done with it!

Seriously though, three has been my limit. If I get more flats - then I want to analyze what is responsible for this. Bad route? Lots of broken-glass? Etc.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:03 PM
  #25  
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You have to find the puncture when changing the tube so that you can remove any offending thorn, michelin wire or glass shard from the tire; that's a lot of the work of patching already so you might as well mark the hole in the tube when you find it. The rest of the work of patching is mostly waiting for glue to dry and is best done in batches. I throw punctured tubes in a corner and when there are enough of them I patch them all at once. If you save up a good sized batch it is definitely worth your time at $3/tube.

I have patches that overlap on a couple of tubes and they hold up fine. Tubes get discarded when there's some un-patchable damage.

One old tube lives in the kitchen drawer and helps grip the lids on stubborn jars.

When long distance touring, carry a spare tube; if you get a puncture patch it and put your spare tube in. While you ride on, the glue on the patched tube will dry and will be ready to go in for the next puncture.

Last edited by zzyzx_xyzzy; 09-18-09 at 10:09 PM.
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