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Patching - does size of the patch matter?

Old 01-07-14, 09:13 PM
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Patching - does size of the patch matter?

You folks that commute get my respect and I figure this would be the place for another..ugh...patching question. Honestly, I could not find the answer by Googleing ...

I'm new to patching and these blasted patches are actually bigger than the dia. of a 23-25 mm tube. Go figure. So I cut the patch down. But now I have squared-off edges instead of the feathered edge. (round patch, no 90 deg corners, just to clarify) One tube I'm testing has a patch that's about 1/2 inch in dia.... because I could.

Any comments on reliable patching that relate to patch size vs tube diameter and those darn tiny holes? Why such a large patch for such a tiny hole?

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Old 01-07-14, 09:47 PM
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You can buy smaller patches. You can also cut the patches in half and use them that way. A large patch for a tiny hole on a big tube ensures that even a bad patcher can make it air tight. On a small tube, use a smaller patch. You should be able to find sets of 100 (or something) online.
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Old 01-08-14, 08:10 AM
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I always cut the patches down in 2 or 4 pieces, that way I have more patches for the same price and as long as your patch is big enough to cover the hole properly you'll be okay. The few times I had a leaking repair was never because the patch was too small but because I did it wrong.
On my summer commuter I haves a tube with 4 or 5 cut-down patches.
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Old 01-08-14, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by vanttila View Post
You can buy smaller patches. You can also cut the patches in half and use them that way. A large patch for a tiny hole on a big tube ensures that even a bad patcher can make it air tight. On a small tube, use a smaller patch. You should be able to find sets of 100 (or something) online.
This is what I recommend too. The boxes of 100 that I use are sold by Rema (a German company, I think) and work very well on more narrow tubes. If your bike shop doesn't stock these (few shops do) they can special order them for you from any distributor that stocks Rema.

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Old 01-08-14, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
You folks that commute get my respect and I figure this would be the place for another..ugh...patching question. Honestly, I could not find the answer by Googleing ...

I'm new to patching and these blasted patches are actually bigger than the dia. of a 23-25 mm tube. Go figure. So I cut the patch down. But now I have squared-off edges instead of the feathered edge. (round patch, no 90 deg corners, just to clarify) One tube I'm testing has a patch that's about 1/2 inch in dia.... because I could.

Any comments on reliable patching that relate to patch size vs tube diameter and those darn tiny holes? Why such a large patch for such a tiny hole?

You can get 16mm Rema patches (model # F0-P) from various places. The "normal" Rema patch (model # F1-P) is 25mm wide. Frankly, I've never used the smaller patches even on narrow tubes. I just make sure the glue spot on the tube is larger then the 25mm patch and roll the patch onto the tube so that the edges are adhered.
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Old 01-08-14, 10:59 AM
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There are ebay sellers --mostly based in China-- that sell boxes of patches of all sizes. I've found them to be excellent.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:30 AM
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I've started to use the no-name Chinese-made patches. I agree that they are excellent. I still like Rema, too, though.
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Old 01-08-14, 11:48 AM
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I tend to buy sheets (approx 15cm X 10cm) and cut into the size i want but i usually use about 15mm square patches. I end up with 90deg. corners but i've never had a problem with that.
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Old 01-08-14, 03:52 PM
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Just remember to let the rubber cement dry before applying the patch and you'll be fine as long as the patch covers the hole.

This brings up another question: what's your biggest puncture? I've only had tiny pin holes so far.
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Old 01-08-14, 05:02 PM
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The biggest I was able to patch was about a centimeter in length.
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Old 01-08-14, 05:07 PM
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Tube valves wore out on these ,,The Patching held.



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Old 01-08-14, 05:48 PM
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So here's what I did last night before posting the questions. Then I get the willies thinking the patches are too small. Left to right is the Navara (REI) patch glue and foiled 1 inch patch, along with remnants of a larger patch from hardware store kit. The far left tube I did 3 times because it deflated overnight ( haven't mounted these yet, just sitting on the table with a little air) until I found another tiny hole (middle patched section) and then a cut down Navarra path which turns out to be 20 mm dia.

If the 16 mm patches you guys provided links to are smaller than that cut down patch that would be easy to work with.

My boys won't patch, just get new tubes, and that seems such a waste. I'm thinking carry one tube and a patch kit and a folding tire and I should not have to call my wife to pick me up. (BTW these aren't my tubes. I rode for years as a teenager and never flatted and never carried spares. Now down here in the 'burbs and just maybe 4000 miles in 2 years and no flats. Boys have each flatted a couple times. Go figure)

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Old 01-08-14, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Tube valves wore out on these ,,The Patching held.
Pretty amazing. The only possible reason I can think of to not patch is how they might affect the ride on 23 mm tires, and I don't think I ever read where anybody ever brought that up.
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Old 01-08-14, 06:06 PM
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RoadTire, when I'm going more than three miles or so, I carry a spare tube, a patch kit, and a pump. The patch kit is for the case where I get a second (and third) flat. I don't think I've ever had four flats on a ride, but I have had three.
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Old 01-08-14, 07:54 PM
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I was really ticked off when a quite new tube squirmed its way out between the rim and the bead and blew a several inch gash in itself. Out of spite, I patched the damn thing using a large piece of scrap innertube, and, whaddyaknow, it's still holding after several years. No pics, unfortunately, and no chance of getting them until I get my bike stuff out of storage.
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Old 01-08-14, 08:04 PM
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Wow, I never thought about patching a blowout! One went off in my house an hour after pumping up the tire. LOUD!

I wait until I have 4 or more tubes to patch, then open a new tube of glue and do them all at once. The glue dries up quick after it's opened, and I rarely get more than 4 or 5 punctures in a year.

I've trimmed the standard 25mm round patch, rounding off one side and leaving the feathered edge on the other, but I don't think it's really necessary.
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Old 01-08-14, 08:47 PM
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I've patched gashes about 25mm long with 60 x 30mm rectangular patches made from old tubes. 1 coat of cement on both surfaces, let dry, another coat, let dry, press between 2 wood pieces in a vise, leave overnight. Worked fine, never any leaks.
I suppose it's not necessary to explain I hate throwing things that can be repaired...
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Old 01-08-14, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
I was really ticked off when a quite new tube squirmed its way out between the rim and the bead and blew a several inch gash in itself. Out of spite, I patched the damn thing using a large piece of scrap innertube, and, whaddyaknow, it's still holding after several years. No pics, unfortunately, and no chance of getting them until I get my bike stuff out of storage.
I used to work in tire service. I have patched tubes for large construction equipment that holes I could put my head through. When a replacement tube costs $500, and more importantly can't be had for days, you fix even really big holes.

I've fixed a blow out from a brake shoe eating a tire sidewall. Took six or eight patches of the standard Rema size. Works fine, even though the hole (tear, really) was larger than any one patch.
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Old 01-09-14, 12:17 AM
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I thought I knew all I needed to know about patching. Now this thread has taught me a few more tricks! Thanks, folks.
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Old 01-09-14, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I wait until I have 4 or more tubes to patch, then open a new tube of glue and do them all at once. The glue dries up quick after it's opened, and I rarely get more than 4 or 5 punctures in a year.
The glue will last ya much longer if you store it in the fridge.
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Old 01-09-14, 10:45 AM
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I put the tube with the large patch in last night just to see if it will hold air for a couple weeks just sitting around. I'll try the other one after that.
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Old 01-09-14, 08:59 PM
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*pffft* It's flat. I'll pull it tomorrow to see what happened. While that one's off I'll put the other in.
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Old 01-10-14, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by vanttila View Post
The glue will last ya much longer if you store it in the fridge.
I also was annoyed when the tiny tubes in the patch kits would dry out. I've gotten a can of vulcanizing fluid (rubber cement) at the auto parts store. It seems to be fine even after a few years. (Yes, I've had to use it and know it works from unfortunate experience with flats.)

I've cut the larger Rema patches occasionally to patch smaller holes, and had patch kits that came with a sheet of rubber patching material to be cut as needed, and never had any problems with patches cut from either material. I think I've only cut patches from old tubes a few times, seemed to work fine.


I like to carry a patch kit in addition to tubes; in addition to multiple flats, I have several bikes with different size tubes. It is extremely frustrating to have a flat on a MTB and have only road tubes. The patches will fix any of them.
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Old 01-10-14, 03:32 PM
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No. The size of the patch doesn't matter. No matter what size it is, it's not going to hold any air.
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Old 01-10-14, 04:05 PM
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I had a sheet of the bulk patching material that dried completely out, and crumbled like dry leaves. Fortunately, I no longer had any tubes I patched with it...
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