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Riding with a Patched Tube

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Riding with a Patched Tube

Old 05-10-21, 06:32 AM
Hit Factor
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
?? I missed this change. The standard glue in the green boxes seems to be the same stuff its always been.
The change was some time ago (1980s?). Goal was to prevent kids from sniffing the glue.

Maybe I'm just no good at it.
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Old 05-10-21, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
You are right, and it's going to be me. I have been using tape-type patches successfully for years. If you think it's like taping a box you are going to have failures. If you do it right, you will not.

They put in sandpaper for a reason, and you really need to rough up the surface AND removed the oxidized outer layer, so do more than you would every think you need to do. Then after putting the patch on, burnish it in place, thoroughly. If you skip this, it won't stick.

I have had the same experience with both nylon jacket repair tape and adhesive velcro. You MUST burnish adhesives, hard, so that they go into the fabric (or fubber) thoroughly and are defintely pressed in place. I use the edge of a coin for this on all three types, tires, nylon, velcro, and there's never a problem after that. Just laying any of these on with a bit of thumb rubbing won't do it.

If you read reviews of any of these three, you'll see that there are plenty of people who can't get them to stick, but it's not a problem with the adhesive.
Maybe I didn't burnish them hard enough (I used my thumbnail and not a coin), but my experience was the patches stuck and sealed just fine for quite a while, but then after about 2-3 years started to leak out the sides of the patch.
It's like riding a bicycle
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Old 05-10-21, 05:29 PM
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There's no point going through the effort of patching if you're just going to toss the tube when you get home.

As others have pointed out, a proper, cold-vulcanized patch is a reliable, permanent fix. I ride such tubes until they get a failure I can't patch, such as a tear at the base of the valve stem.

Bike shops don't bother patching tubes because the labor cost of doing so is higher than that of simply using a fresh tube.
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Old 05-10-21, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Bike shops don't bother patching tubes because the labor cost of doing so is higher than that of simply using a fresh tube.
Though I know several shop employees who take those tubes home and patch them for their own use.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:36 PM
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Had a flat yesterday so this is fresh on my mind. I ride a recumbent trike so it has two different size wheels 700C and 406/20. I carry two of each, one new and one patched. I picked up a glass shard that flatted the front 406 tire instantly. It took about 4 minutes to replace the tube and pump up the tire (still on the trike). When I got home I repaired the tube. I use cheap standard patches that used to sell 50 for a buck ordered from China. Cut one in half, cleaned the tube with a Q-tip soaked in paint thinner, and used rubber cement from a 4 oz container. After applying the patch I put it in a hobby vise applying pressure to the patch and tube, By this morning it was thoroughly fused to the tube. Pumped air into the tube and checked for leaks using a quart yogurt container half filled with water. No leaks so it went back into the storage area under the trike seat. If you get tired of having those wretched tiny tubes that are often dry when you go to use them, go to any mass merchandiser or office supply store and buy a jar of Elmer' rubber cement. It's cheap and if you cap it tightly between uses it will last for a couple of years. The brush-in-cap makes it easy to apply a thin layer of rubber cement.
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Old 05-11-21, 05:46 PM
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I patch my tubes if I'm riding alone, put in a spare if I'm riding with others. When I get home, I patch the punctured tube and put it back on the bike. Something about my spare tube having a patch doesn't sit right with me. I've ridden 1000s of miles with a patched tube without another puncture before, so I'm not sure why I think that way.

I recently got one of those new pre-glued patches, patched one tube, haven't put it in to try it yet. I need to buy some more vulcanizing patch kits to put in my toolkit just in case the pre-glued patches are no good though. I've heard the pre-glued patches are not the best at holding, I figured I would make the decision after trying it myself.
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