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Can latex tubes heal small punctures themselves?

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Can latex tubes heal small punctures themselves?

Old 04-21-20, 08:14 AM
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MidTNBrad
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Can latex tubes heal small punctures themselves?

I know this sounds crazy but I thought I would ask anyway. Last weekend I had latex tube deflate on me while riding and after pulling over I could hear where the air was coming out from a small cut on the sidewall of my front tire. After replacing it with a butyl tube I carry with me I headed back out and made it home. As a postmortem I took the latex tube and inflated it to see how bad the puncture was but I couldn't hear any air leaking out. I decided to inflate it some more and let it sit. 2-3 hours later the tube was still fully inflated and stayed that way until it deflated being consistent with the normal air loss of a latex tube.

I think during the manufacturing process they probably dust the tubes to keep from sticking to themselves so I'm wondering if there is raw latex-to-latex contact in a small puncture can it fuse together strong enough to hold pressure?
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Old 04-21-20, 10:38 AM
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My experience with latex is that at least with small punctures, I can't inflate them enough to find the leak without them getting a balloon. But of course in the tire, they're restrained and so get more pressure than I can provide sans tire. Frustrating and I hope someone here has the answer . . .
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Old 04-21-20, 11:28 AM
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High pressure leak. You can't inflate it to the 70-120 psi you need to get a leak outside the tire. If you know where the puncture occurred, you can usually find the spot under a good light (might need a magnifying lens), or using the time tested underwater method.

One of the things I like about latex is that a small leak frequently leaks slow enough that you can still get home on a low tire.
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Old 04-21-20, 03:01 PM
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Yep, unrestrained by a tire the tube had a section blow up like a balloon and I didn't push it past that. I may try the water buck and see if I can find it.

Can a latex tube be repaired by another latex tube? Can I cut a patch out of another blown tube and use something like rubber cement to patch the puncture if I can find it?
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Old 04-21-20, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
Yep, unrestrained by a tire the tube had a section blow up like a balloon and I didn't push it past that. I may try the water buck and see if I can find it.

Can a latex tube be repaired by another latex tube? Can I cut a patch out of another blown tube and use something like rubber cement to patch the puncture if I can find it?
I couldn't get mine to make any bubble at all when immersed. You can use regular patches and glue. Have done on holes which were large enough to find.
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Old 04-23-20, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
Can a latex tube be repaired by another latex tube? Can I cut a patch out of another blown tube and use something like rubber cement to patch the puncture if I can find it?
Put some sealant in it. Good as new.
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Old 04-23-20, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Put some sealant in it. Good as new.
What brand do you like for this sort of thing?
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Old 04-24-20, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
What brand do you like for this sort of thing?
I've used the orange stuff and Stan's. 3-4 times in latex-tubed tubulars, 2x in latex clincher tubes.
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Old 04-25-20, 02:28 AM
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Same thing happened to me yesterday. Slow leak just past a small hill, replaced with butyl, and when I wanted to patch the latex back at home I couldn't find the hole. I ended up cleaning out the valve core (had old sealant residue that might have prevented the valve from fully closing) and just left it alone for now. If I can't find the hole I will refill with fresh sealant.
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