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How many patches before you reitre a tube?

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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
View Poll Results: How many times do you patch a tube before you replace it?
zero: I can't/won't patch a tube
46.05%
one to two: I can't bear to see more patches on a tube
27.84%
three to five: Conserving waste without being goofy
15.46%
six or more: I buy more patch kits than tubes
10.65%
Voters: 291. You may not vote on this poll

How many patches before you reitre a tube?

Old 01-05-07, 11:43 AM
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How many patches before you reitre a tube?

Just curious how many of us wear our tubes out vs. just replacing.
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Old 01-05-07, 11:44 AM
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I replace regularly. After 2 seasons I throw them out.
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Old 01-05-07, 11:44 AM
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I only patch tubes on the road when I don't have a spare. Otherwise I trash them. Slightly wasteful I know.
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Old 01-05-07, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I only patch tubes on the road when I don't have a spare. Otherwise I trash them. Slightly wasteful I know.

I am with you. For 5 bucks I am replacing. It isn't worth the time to patch.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:04 PM
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0-2, depending on the situation.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I only patch tubes on the road when I don't have a spare. Otherwise I trash them. Slightly wasteful I know.
+1. They're cheap and flats aren't that common.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:13 PM
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I know it sounds odd but if I had bullet proof tires, I'd replace them more often...
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Old 01-05-07, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
...and flats aren't that common.
Well you don't ride with my wife. LOL I don't know if she aims for glass, nails, etc or what but in our last 4 rides she has flatted 3 times. The tires don't look too thin but I just picked up a pair of armdillos for her bike.

Now for me I haven't had a puncture on the road in the last 2 years....I try not to run over crap on the road though.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:21 PM
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None.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:31 PM
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Once I've patched a tube twice, I retire it and put an new one in. If it was a bad hole and I patched it and made it home, I might take it out and replace it after one really bad hole. But generally two patches is my max before I put in a new tube.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:31 PM
  #11  
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I put three to five. I have one tube with four patches on it right now. I'm not sure what I'll do the next time it gets a hole. FWIW, I've never had a tube fail in the exact same place once I've patched it. Patch kits are cheap (around $2.50) and you can patch five or six tubes with one kit. I usually wait until I have two or three tubes that need patching and do them all at once. I don't understand why anyone would NOT patch a tube. With the money I save by using one patch kit I can buy a six-pack of good beer or a twelve-pack of cheap beer.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:35 PM
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Just isnt worth the effort. I carry a spare tube in my seatbag. Dont even own a flat kit. I probably will after I eventally flat twice on a single ride when I am alone. But until then....
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Old 01-05-07, 12:37 PM
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3. No particular reason. I have had this odd obsession with the number three my whole life. Or at least since I could count.
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Old 01-05-07, 12:37 PM
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I think both tubes on my bike right now have 2-3 patches each. I had a thread like this over in the General Bike Discussion section and someone posted a story of some dude having 20+ patches on a tube...

I plan on using my tubes until they're unrepairable because i'm cheap like that.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:11 PM
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Count me on the "too cheap to fuss over" side of the ledger. Totally disposable in my book.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gfrance
Count me on the "too cheap to fuss over" side of the ledger. Totally disposable in my book.
I'm just too frugal. I ride in the dark and in the rain, so I get a few flats a month. $15/month pays for my NetFlix AND my patch kits

I'm also responsible for a few bikes that aren't mine -- they all get patches
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Old 01-05-07, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
The tires don't look too thin but I just picked up a pair of armdillos for her bike.
i hope it's never wet out when she rides, everyone i know nicknamed them "Black Ice" for a reason...
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Old 01-05-07, 01:41 PM
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I patch. The only time I retire a tube is if I blow one off the rim or the stem fails. Having 25 patches on a tube isn't uncommon.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:41 PM
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I don't patch any tubes, never have. I just throw them away when I get home.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:45 PM
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Will patch on the road if I don't have a spare tube with me but will generally replace it when I get home.
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Old 01-05-07, 01:48 PM
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Normally I replace a flat tube with a spare tube.

But, on one ride this year I found that my spare had a hole in it, so I was forced to use one of the Park glueless patches that I carry in my seat bag (much smaller than a regular patch kit, and you won't find the %$#@! glue dried up).

The glueless patch worked great.
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Old 01-05-07, 02:03 PM
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I just replace with a spare tube during the ride, take the flat one home, and leave it until I have four or five, then patch them all at once and put them back in circulation as spares. If there are already a few patches I'll throw it away. Always good to carry patches on the ride too.
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Old 01-05-07, 02:08 PM
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There is no limit to patching!!!!! Back when I was poorer, I had a tube with 12 patches on it. Finally, the valve broke.....
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Old 01-05-07, 02:22 PM
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Unless it breaks near the valve, or the valve itself goes, I go to infinity. But I don't buy patch kits, I use an old tube that *did* flat near the valve.

I got sick of buying patch kits...

On the other hand, I always carry a verified-good tube under my seat; I'm not much for patching on the road. If I use up the one tube, there's an LBS at 1/3 of the way through my most common ride, and again at 2/3 of the way. I still carry what I need to patch, but I don't like sitting on the side of the road doing it.

There's so much crap on the side of the roads here, that I was getting a flat ~100 miles last summer.
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Old 01-05-07, 02:26 PM
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I only get 1 or 2 flats a year over 6000 miles so I pitch the tubes. More often than not I pull the stem off the tube from removing the pump so the tube is useless anyway.
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