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Tube patching success... ditch the patch kit.

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Tube patching success... ditch the patch kit.

Old 06-17-11, 11:14 AM
  #1  
Diegomayra
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Tube patching success... ditch the patch kit.

Getting flats suck. It sucks even more when you patch a tube to get home and its a slow leak that eventually demands that you change out the tube. This has happened over thousands and thousands of miles, that now I had a box of old tubes riddled with patches. It is quite rare that I successfully patch a tube with a REMA tip-top patch or Lezyne stick-on, success being measured as holding 100+ psi for more than a day or two until you need to repressure and ride.

Shop mechanics have told me to toss them, at high PSI's they just wont hold. Save your tubes, they can come in very handy in all sorts of situations and are the best patching material around. Makes sense, fix it with the same material the tube is composed of. (Good luck with Butyl)

May be old news, but just get some Vulcanizing fluid (cold gel) from an old patch kit or buy it alone, cut an old tube and rough it up good. In a fix I just use asphalt, concrete, or if I'm desperate sand paper, argh, I prefer using a dremel. Apply Vulcanizing to both ends and wait for tackiness, then apply and vise under hand brakes or anything flat. Viola, perfect patches.

I've ditched the glueless applications and REMA patches and just carry pre-roughed and cut tube pieces in various sizes, this may be very old news but when something works you want to talk about it. Good luck!


All you need is Vulcanizing
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Old 06-17-11, 11:37 AM
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thanks for the info.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:47 AM
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I will have to try that. Thanks for the idea.

I should say that since switching to Conti GP4000s tires, I haven't had to patch one of my own tubes for more than 4,000 miles. Of course, now that I've jinxed myself, I'll probably get a chance to try this out sooner rather than later.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:47 AM
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But... my patches, sander, levers, and glue all come in a patch kit because I don't like to have them rattling around in my main tool kit.

Vulcanized patches have been around forever and work better than anything... I rarely get flats but carry a spare tube so that in the event of a flat I can make a quicker repair and patch the damaged tube later.

Even then, patching a tube does not take that long unless it happens in colder weather as then it takes a very long time to get the vulcanizing cement to set up.

Don't forget your pump.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:52 AM
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Tube patching success... learn to apply a patch.
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Old 06-17-11, 11:55 AM
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I used to love to patch tubes. Now...honestly I hardly ever get flats. Being a wheel builder I actually change wheels more often than tires or tubes. That being said I was never impressed with those pre-glued patches. Regular old vulcanizing kits, well, WORK.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Daytrip View Post
I will have to try that. Thanks for the idea.

I should say that since switching to Conti GP4000s tires, I haven't had to patch one of my own tubes for more than 4,000 miles. Of course, now that I've jinxed myself, I'll probably get a chance to try this out sooner rather than later.
My experience also. Might not be the tires but I must be doing something right.

My other experience is a fresh tube is dirt cheap. Probably less than some concoction that what one of the over-priced coffee places charge for a double whatever grande.

Throw it away and put a fresh tube in and quit worrying. Patching a tube is a WASTE of time.

Unless you live in goathead country. Then never mind. Patch away.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Diegomayra View Post
It is quite rare that I successfully patch a tube with a REMA tip-top patch or Lezyne stick-on, success being measured as holding 100+ psi for more than a day or two until you need to repressure and ride.

Shop mechanics have told me to toss them, at high PSI's they just wont hold. Save your tubes, they can come in very handy in all sorts of situations and are the best patching material around. Makes sense, fix it with the same material the tube is composed of. (Good luck with Butyl)

May be old news, but just get some Vulcanizing fluid (cold gel) from an old patch kit or buy it alone, cut an old tube and rough it up good. In a fix I just use asphalt, concrete, or if I'm desperate sand paper, argh, I prefer using a dremel. Apply Vulcanizing to both ends and wait for tackiness, then apply and vise under hand brakes or anything flat. Viola, perfect patches.

I've ditched the glueless applications and REMA patches and just carry pre-roughed and cut tube pieces in various sizes, this may be very old news but when something works you want to talk about it.
This post is confused on several basic points.

It is well known that glueless patches do not work for long. At least not on high-pressure tubes anyway. They are cross-your-fingers-and-get-me-home and that's about it.

And it seems that you know the correct way to apply a patch, but you try all kinds of bizarre shortcuts (using old tubes as patch material... roughing up the old tube on the road surface?) and then claim that "patching doesn't work".

From all the tube-patching threads, I have distilled out this explanation of "why" patch kit patches work.

"It's a two part system, with a vulcanizing accelerant in the cement, plus finely ground unvulcanized rubber, and a solvent to make it all spreadable. The patch has a thin layer of specially prepared rubber on the surface that touches the tube; it's got an extremely fast acting vulcanization accelerant that requires external activation (by the accelerant in the cement). There's enough unbound sulphur on surface of the tube that the system produces a cross-linked connection from the tube surface through the rubber in the cement, and including the rubber of the patch. It's a very clever bit of applied chemistry. Details vary a bit from patch brand to patch brand (and is one of the reasons that some patches are very specific about what cement to use.)"

Yes, people have tried using pieces of old tubes, but it's not the best way to go. Patches are what, a quarter apiece? Do the right thing.

And for what it's worth, I don't patch tubes while riding. I carry spares (new or patched). When I patch a tube, I do it at home where I have the time and work surface to do it correctly. A properly applied glue-on patch will not leak.

Actually since I upgraded my tires, I almost never flat anyway.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Throw it away and put a fresh tube in and quit worrying. Patching a tube is a WASTE of time.
Speaking of waste, I like patching tubes because it means it unnecessary to throw out an otherwise perfectly good tube.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:30 PM
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Yep, a piece of old tube will work, but a real patch designed to work with vulcanizing fluid will work better - plus the patches are thinner than a piece of tube and tapered to a very thin edge at the edges.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pallen View Post
Yep, a piece of old tube will work, but a real patch designed to work with vulcanizing fluid will work better - plus the patches are thinner than a piece of tube and tapered to a very thin edge at the edges.
So whats the patch kit of choice? I'm probably not good at it so I like to blame the patch kit...
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Old 06-17-11, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller2 View Post
So whats the patch kit of choice? I'm probably not good at it so I like to blame the patch kit...
I, too, would like to know. I've been batch-patching with pieces of used tubes, but sanding those little suckers down is a chore.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller2 View Post
So whats the patch kit of choice? I'm probably not good at it so I like to blame the patch kit...
Right now the patch "kit" in my toolbox has a mix of loose patches from Rema, Specialized, and Performance Bike. They are all orange-edged patches. Some are pretty old and all work the same. I use whichever one is the right size for the hole(s) in the tube. I patched six tubes a few months ago and two of those went back on the bike. No problems.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:48 PM
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I bought a number of Zefal kits... they come with everything except a pump.

Since I use a number of different bikes and bags have one in each set of panniers, the seat bags have one, and my main toolkit also has one.

This way I never forget to bring a patch kit... which usually pleases other people more as it is their tyres that get patched far more than mine.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
My experience also. Might not be the tires but I must be doing something right.

My other experience is a fresh tube is dirt cheap. Probably less than some concoction that what one of the over-priced coffee places charge for a double whatever grande.

Throw it away and put a fresh tube in and quit worrying. Patching a tube is a WASTE of time.

Unless you live in goathead country. Then never mind. Patch away.
Patch kit-$3.99
Tube-$3.99

5 flats with patch kit=$3.99
5 flats "the ahsposo way"=$19.95

Do you just have bad luck patching tubes?
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Old 06-17-11, 01:01 PM
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I've had very good luck with Park - I'm sure others are good too
http://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-VP-1...8337229&sr=8-1
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Old 06-17-11, 01:04 PM
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A few years ago I bought something from a bike swap meet and the guy threw in about a dozen patch kits. So, I have enough patches to last decades unless they bad because of their shelf life.

I have had great success with vulcanized patches. I just change the tube on the road and patch it when I get home. I can patch a tube in about 5 minutes and the patch holds like a new tube so why wouldn't I do it. New tubes are $5.00 each and I can patch them for free. Plus, people I ride with give me their tubes because they don't patch them either.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:05 PM
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I've used the Park stick on ("temporary") on two bikes for at least ten years. They work for me. Sure, a couple of times I had to redo them, but they work for me. I've done literally dozens of patches. My glue patch kits have dried up. They work great for patching Platypus bottles, too.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:07 PM
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Hell, I've used tubes cut in half circumference-wise and used it as a tire liner. Not ideal or as effective as tire liners, but better than none at all. And free.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:10 PM
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Does anyone remember the old hot patches? I vague memories of using them as a kid - it seems like i remember a cork thing you would light and the heat would melt the rubber together. They probably gave me cancer or something, but we used them quite a bit as a kid.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_5700 View Post
Patch kit-$3.99
Tube-$3.99

5 flats with patch kit=$3.99
5 flats "the ahsposo way"=$19.95

Do you just have bad luck patching tubes?
In general though you are missing the cost of time. That combined with the fact that your example uses "5 flats" - which is more flats than I have had in the last 5 years.....
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Old 06-17-11, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
A few years ago I bought something from a bike swap meet and the guy threw in about a dozen patch kits. So, I have enough patches to last decades unless they bad because of their shelf life.

I have had great success with vulcanized patches. I just change the tube on the road and patch it when I get home. I can patch a tube in about 5 minutes and the patch holds like a new tube so why wouldn't I do it. New tubes are $5.00 each and I can patch them for free. Plus, people I ride with give me their tubes because they don't patch them either.
I advocate and support your position of patching tubes - especially those of fellow riders who don't want to patch them. Cool move.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
In general though you are missing the cost of time. That combined with the fact that your example uses "5 flats" - which is more flats than I have had in the last 5 years.....
Very true. I consider the 5 minutes of my time as cheap/free labor, while others simply do not have the time or are building high quality custom wheelsets. I have had 5 flats already this year on some Serfas Seca RS tires.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:19 PM
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I use regular and stick on patches. The only time I've had a problem is when I try to rush and don't clean the surface enough.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pallen View Post
Does anyone remember the old hot patches? I vague memories of using them as a kid - it seems like i remember a cork thing you would light and the heat would melt the rubber together. They probably gave me cancer or something, but we used them quite a bit as a kid.
You lit it, and it burned, melting the patch to the tube.

Discussed HERE.

As an adolescent boy, that made me a bike fan for life.

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