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Flat: Patch or replace tube?

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Flat: Patch or replace tube?

Old 09-25-13, 02:38 PM
  #1  
ejapplegate
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Flat: Patch or replace tube?

Got a flat as I was headed out of my driveway the other day. I could hear the hiss, and stopped before I had gone more than 100 yards.

Once home, I removed the tube, and found a single pin-prick type puncture, in the middle of the tread. I thoroughly inspected the tire, but could not locate anything sharp, either on the inside or on the outside.

The tube had come with the bike (a craigslist purchase) over 2 years ago, so I don't know how old it is. I have a spare tube, as well as a patch kit. My question is, which should I use?

I ride on roads, and am preparing for a metric century in a couple of weeks.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-25-13, 02:47 PM
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I always replace tubes when fixing a flat. I save the bad tubes, and when I've accumulated a few and have the time, I'll inspect and patch them for spares.
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Old 09-25-13, 05:02 PM
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I do what FB does. I would not worry about the age of the tube. I've got a couple of bikes with tubes over 20 years of age. If you don't already, lign up the label on the tire with the valve stem. Helps know where on the tire the puncture occured so you can check it more closely.
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Old 09-25-13, 06:56 PM
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Hi,

Ride the new spare tube. Patch the tube and carry it as the spare.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 09-25-13, 07:04 PM
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I prefer to ride the patched tube and keep a new tube for a spare when I'm riding. I like the comfort of knowing my spare will hold air. Nothing worse than having a flat out on the road and finding out that your patched spare won't hold air. Ask me how I know.
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Old 09-25-13, 07:11 PM
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When I discover a flat at home, since I have to pull the tube out anyway and I'm always curious where the hole is and what caused it, I fix the tube immediately and put it back in. The patch will stick better if it's pressed against another surface at 120psi!

On the road, I put in a new tube and patch the "holey' one when I get home.
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Old 09-25-13, 07:26 PM
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IMO if it's a "thin tube" don't bother fixing it, and avoid buying another such tube. My Specialized Roubaix came with these, and after two weeks both of the tubes failed, and they weren't even punctured! I switched to Bontrager tubes from the other LBS in my city, and they work much better.
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Old 09-25-13, 07:44 PM
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you went 2 years w/o a flat?? congrats.

I always replace w/a new tube. They are a consumable item and usually > $10. gotta pay to play.

when I ride I bring 1 new tube and a patch kit. it hasnt happened yet but if I got 2 flats on the same ride I could repair it.
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Old 09-26-13, 10:19 AM
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Tubes are not expensive and it is possible, even with a good repair by an experienced cyclist, to have a leaker in a patch. But if I were budget conscious or didn't have easy access to new tubes I would patch it and not be overly concerned. I do prefer to have a new tube for repair on the road rather than a patched tube.

For what it's worth make sure you feel the inside (carefull, don't cut yourself) of the tire to make sure whatever flatted the first tube isn't stuck in the casing waiting in lay to puncture the second tube. Most often these items take many tire revolutions to work through the casing in to the tube and are often times lodged there. I run my finger tips along the inside looking for the thorn or broken bit of glass or tack or what have you. \

Don't forget to sweep your tires!
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Old 09-26-13, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 2 wheeler View Post
When I discover a flat at home, since I have to pull the tube out anyway and I'm always curious where the hole is and what caused it, I fix the tube immediately and put it back in. The patch will stick better if it's pressed against another surface at 120psi!

On the road, I put in a new tube and patch the "holey' one when I get home.
+1.
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Old 09-26-13, 02:13 PM
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i remove the tube
then inflate it to find the hole
and determine and fix the cause of the flat
then i replace the tube with a known good spare
either new or patched

then patch the punctured tube when i get home and have some time

the only occaisions where i do not patch tubes
is when the puncture is very close to the valve
or there is other damage to the tube besides the puncture
like abraisions from spoke heads when a rim tape has failed

but as long as the tube holds air
then it is good to go
regardless of age
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Old 09-26-13, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kmcrawford111 View Post
IMO if it's a "thin tube" don't bother fixing it, and avoid buying another such tube. My Specialized Roubaix came with these, and after two weeks both of the tubes failed, and they weren't even punctured! I switched to Bontrager tubes from the other LBS in my city, and they work much better.
I prefer Michelin Ultra Lite tubes (thin) and I've also used Performance Ultra Lite tubes. I've always had good service from thinner tubes and think they are easier to mount. In some cases I think the ultra lite tubes have better quality control than heavier tubes.
Anything that can get through the tire can cause a flat regardless of the tube's thickness.
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Old 09-26-13, 04:31 PM
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In such situations I usually ask myself "What would Rambo do?" If you do this I think you'll have your answer right there.

Sorry, gotta get off the Internet before the po-po finds out where this cave I'm hiding in is.
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Old 09-26-13, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
I prefer Michelin Ultra Lite tubes (thin) and I've also used Performance Ultra Lite tubes. I've always had good service from thinner tubes and think they are easier to mount. In some cases I think the ultra lite tubes have better quality control than heavier tubes.
Anything that can get through the tire can cause a flat regardless of the tube's thickness.
Good to know. Maybe it's only the thin tubes from Specialized that suck (I think they were actually made by someone else).
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Old 09-26-13, 04:49 PM
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Swap on the road, patch at home. (It's still a good idea to carry a tube and patch kit: you never know when you're going to get a second (or third) puncture.)
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Old 09-27-13, 09:59 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Swap on the road, patch at home. (It's still a good idea to carry a tube and patch kit: you never know when you're going to get a second (or third) puncture.)
Yeah. I carry a few stick-on patches for the rare occasion of a second flat. They take up no room, weight nothing, and have no tube of glue that you find has dried out at the most inconvenient time. If I do use one, I replace it with a glue-on at a convenient future opportunity.
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