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My tire tube repairs never work. What am I doing wrong?

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My tire tube repairs never work. What am I doing wrong?

Old 02-21-16, 01:16 PM
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HBxRider
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My tire tube repairs never work. What am I doing wrong?

I've followed all the proper steps, but my tires end up being flat the next morning.

I inspect the inside and outside of the tire and hub for any debis that might re-puncture the tube

I inflate the tube and inspect it under water in my sink and locate the puncture. Typically its the snake bite type.

I dry the tube then buff the area with the sandpaper to create the ideal surface for the adhesive

I apply the patch, press it down with my fingers with a lot of force, for much longer than advised

I wait 15 minutes, and put the tire back and pump it up. And then it slowly goes flat again.

This has happened with 2 different brands of patches. My current ones are these:




I've even used a pair of plyers with cloth to protect the tube, to make sure enough pressure is used to make it stick.

Any other tips to try? What kind of patch kits do you guys use?
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Old 02-21-16, 02:34 PM
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I think the step you are missing is the step we ALL miss very often. In order to get the adhesive to bond, you need to let it dry for a good ten minutes or so (until it has almost lost its tackiness) before you apply the patch. This never feels right, as your instinct will be to apply the patch right away. Plus, we are always in a hurry to get back on the road! This is the reason many cyclists carry a spare tube and save patching for when they get home.

I use REMA patches. I have tried glueless patches in the past with lousy results. The glue patches do work if you use them correctly. Don't feel bad. We've all burned through a pack or two before finally getting it right!
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Old 02-21-16, 02:43 PM
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Make sure the tube is inflated to about the size it will be inside the tire before applying a glue patch. Follow directions as to drying time and apply a wide enough area of glue to more than accommodate the patch so the edges don't come up. Forget the stickers except for temporary repairs in bad weather.
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Old 02-21-16, 02:52 PM
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Try these instead of the glue less that you are using. Amazon.com : Rema Patch Kit (24/Box), Large : Bike Tubes : Sports & Outdoors
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Old 02-21-16, 03:02 PM
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I've used Rema, Park, and Suntour patches with equal success. As others have suggested, doing it correctly is what matters. No need to use more force then a modest thumb pressure to seat the patch.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I think the step you are missing is the step we ALL miss very often. In order to get the adhesive to bond, you need to let it dry for a good ten minutes or so (until it has almost lost its tackiness) before you apply the patch.
The OP missed that step because he was using glueless patches.

A few people have reported good luck with the glueless patches. But, many have have had better results with glue type patches, as noted by the responses above.

When your tire went flat the second time, did you check where the flat was? Under the patch? Somewhere else? That will tell you if the patch failed, or if your flat is caused by bad rim tape, trapped debris, something left in the tire, or poor installation technique.

I always try to locate the hole in the tube, then figure out where it would have hit the tire to direct my search.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:37 PM
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My tire tube repairs never work. What am I doing wrong?
Number 1_ Glueless parches .. I never use them, not being a waster of time and Money.

They are only temporary at best .. so your expectations of glue-less patches may be examined.

Bring a spare tube . then use the proper surface prep and an old fashioned patch Kit

on the punctured Tube and then It will be your spare the Next time.

and Make Sure you have not left the debris that made the 1st puncture in the tire.

My LBS has Park's patch Kits, I've used Rema For decades ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-22-16 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 02-21-16, 03:46 PM
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>>>>The OP missed that step because he was using glueless patches.<<<<

Ah...I didn't enlarge the photo to see what the OP was using. Definitely, toss the glueless patches!
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Old 02-21-16, 04:04 PM
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Going to ask a naive (I guess) question. I can see carrying a patch kit to get you home, or a spare tube to replace the one holed. But I guess I don't understand why you would insert a new tube and take the old one home to repair it.. presumably to reuse it?? Why would you put your fate in a repaired tube? They are not that expensive, particularly in light of the investment in your ride (bike and perhaps distance from home), unless you get lots of flats. Help educate me.
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Old 02-21-16, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
...Help educate me.
Cyclists have been patching and re-using tubes for a hundred years, give or take. Patched correctly, a repaired tube is just about good as new. For this reason, it's a pretty safe bet that the tire you take home and patch (the right way) will last about as long as a brand new tube.

I'll admit, though, that it took me quite a few flats to get it right and not have the same results as the OP when patching my tires.
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Old 02-21-16, 04:54 PM
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Yeah, second the patch kits with glue. It hardly matters which one you get. It is ancient technology and works really well. Follow the instructions. Do it with the cleanest hands you can manage. (I have done it many times on the road far from water and soap. I've been known to lick my fingers and wipe them on my shorts.)

I have tossed many tubes after a full life and with a half dozen or more patches. Never used a glueless patch kit. (I'd been patching tires with glue for a couple of decades when they came out. Never saw what need they answered.)

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Old 02-21-16, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Cyclists have been patching and re-using tubes for a hundred years, give or take. Patched correctly, a repaired tube is just about good as new. For this reason, it's a pretty safe bet that the tire you take home and patch (the right way) will last about as long as a brand new tube.

I'll admit, though, that it took me quite a few flats to get it right and not have the same results as the OP when patching my tires.
Hmm, sounds like I don't have much confidence in my patching skills yet.
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Old 02-21-16, 05:02 PM
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Forgot the OP mentioned snake bites. Those dual punctures are tougher to patch. Do you use two patches overlapping, one that just barely is big enough or the long patches crosswise that are too long for the job or cut down a long one to e better size? None of these options is perfect. You tend to have a lot of non-stretchy patch and little inner tube, so if you use a smallish tube, there is a lot of stress to the patch edge and tube there as you inflate it.

I don't like telling OPs answers to questions they did not ask, but this sounds like a case of either too small a tire or too little pressure if snake bites are happening a lot.

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Old 02-21-16, 05:29 PM
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I've seen the term "snake bite" punctures. What causes them? I've only had one flat, a nail, through and through from one sidewall to the other. Looked like a nail from a nail gun.
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Old 02-21-16, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
I've seen the term "snake bite" punctures. What causes them? I've only had one flat, a nail, through and through from one sidewall to the other. Looked like a nail from a nail gun.
Running too low of pressure, a harsh bump causes the tire to collapse, and somehow the pressure through the rim, the tire, both walls of the tube, and the tire again, is still enough to cause a small double-hole in the tube. I suppose it would vary on tire size, but for road tires, it makes a distinctive pair of holes about 3/8" apart, with no obvious hole in the tire or bad spot in the rim.

A rider probably remembers hitting something.
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Old 02-21-16, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Going to ask a naive (I guess) question. I can see carrying a patch kit to get you home, or a spare tube to replace the one holed. But I guess I don't understand why you would insert a new tube and take the old one home to repair it.. presumably to reuse it?? Why would you put your fate in a repaired tube? They are not that expensive, particularly in light of the investment in your ride (bike and perhaps distance from home), unless you get lots of flats. Help educate me.
A well repaired tube should be 99% as good as a new tube. A patch is only a few cents. A tube is $2 to $8 each, possibly more for special tubes.
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Old 02-22-16, 09:57 AM
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I had bad experiences with glueless patches in the past (Slime Skabs from Walmart, specifically), so I started using Park patches with rubber cement, and they've all worked fine. However this past Friday I had sort of an emergency repair situation, and got some Skabs glueless patches from Walmart since that's all they had, and it worked out fine. I just scuffed the repair area, wiped off any debris, and pressed the patch in place. I put plenty of pressure and made sure it was fully adhered across the whole thing, the reinstalled and pumped up the tire to 70 PSI just fine.
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Old 02-22-16, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Going to ask a naive (I guess) question. I can see carrying a patch kit to get you home, or a spare tube to replace the one holed. But I guess I don't understand why you would insert a new tube and take the old one home to repair it.. presumably to reuse it?? Why would you put your fate in a repaired tube? They are not that expensive, particularly in light of the investment in your ride (bike and perhaps distance from home), unless you get lots of flats. Help educate me.
Patches are easy and good if you apply them correctly. I have a tube at home with 5-6 patches in it and it still holds air just fine. The majority of the holes are from when I forget to pump up the tires and I get pinch flats.
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Old 02-22-16, 10:48 AM
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Patching is a whole lot easier and cheaper than me having to find the time to go to the LBS to get another tube. Particularly since I always end up buying something else besides just a tube.

I recently retired a tube with 4-5 patches in it, since it wasn't holding air and I couldn't readily locate where it was leaking. I was just tired of fooling with it. But a patched tube works perfectly fine as long as it doesn't leak.
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Old 02-22-16, 10:51 AM
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I'm curious to know what size tube the OP is patching. I am running 23s and have had trouble getting patches to seal.

Also, has anyone tried these patches? 48pcs Rubber Puncture Patches Bicycle Bike Tire Tyre Tube Repair Cycle Patch KIT | eBay

It seems a waste to buy a new patch kit simply to get a few more patches when the glue is still good.
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Old 02-22-16, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by canadian deacon View Post
I'm curious to know what size tube the OP is patching. I am running 23s and have had trouble getting patches to seal.

Also, has anyone tried these patches? 48pcs Rubber Puncture Patches Bicycle Bike Tire Tyre Tube Repair Cycle Patch KIT | eBay

It seems a waste to buy a new patch kit simply to get a few more patches when the glue is still good.
Those look exactly like the Park Tool patches.

My problem is that I have to use a patch so seldom that the rubber cement ends up drying out. I just bought a large bottle of Elmer's rubber cement the other day to use for patching at home.
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Old 02-22-16, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by canadian deacon View Post
....It seems a waste to buy a new patch kit simply to get a few more patches when the glue is still good.
I haven't done this in a while, but I used to cut up old tubes and make my own patches from the rubber. They worked fine. I'm not sure why I stopped doing that!
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Old 02-22-16, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Those look exactly like the Park Tool patches.

My problem is that I have to use a patch so seldom that the rubber cement ends up drying out. I just bought a large bottle of Elmer's rubber cement the other day to use for patching at home.
You want vulcanizing fluid, not rubber cement. And yes, you can buy plenty of sealable larger quantities online.
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Old 02-22-16, 12:06 PM
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Any other tips to try? What kind of patch kits do you guys use?

After Sanding.

Clean the area with Pure Acetone.

Dry

Apply the contact cement and MUST LET it Dry for at Least 5 minutes.Before putting on the patch.

I then clamp the patch with a large washer on top and an a clamp of 10 minutes.
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Old 02-22-16, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by canadian deacon View Post
I'm curious to know what size tube the OP is patching. I am running 23s and have had trouble getting patches to seal.

Also, has anyone tried these patches? 48pcs Rubber Puncture Patches Bicycle Bike Tire Tyre Tube Repair Cycle Patch KIT | eBay

It seems a waste to buy a new patch kit simply to get a few more patches when the glue is still good.
Yes, I use those patches (or similar ones). I buy the glue separately. There are different grades of rubber cement; the stuff they sell at stationery stores is made for gluing paper, and it isn't very good for rubber patching. Contact cement is also not very good. What you want is a Vulcanizing rubber cement. As long as it's a vulcanizing rubber cement, it's good. I've bought a dozen 1-oz tubes of Slime cement, for example... always carry an unopened one in addition to one that's been used before. The latter is probably okay... but if not, pull out the unopened one.

You can get a roller tool to press the patch down. Good idea. I'm especially fond of this one:


Roller Rasp 2 in 1 Vinyl Rubber Patch Tool for Boat Tire Tube Bike 89PQ | eBay

but there are more deluxe ones:
Car Truck Handle Tyre Tire Repair Tube Patch Stitch Wheel Roller Puncture Tool | eBay
The roller used for pressing screen came into window screens is a good substitute.
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