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Patching a tube without removing the wheel

Old 06-10-15, 08:23 PM
  #1  
Cyclebum
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Patching a tube without removing the wheel

I watched a guy do this. Bike turned up, tube pulled out excepting the stem area, inflated, leak located, patched, tube reinserted. Seemed more trouble than the standard way to me.

Have you ever tried or seen this done? What's the advantage?
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Old 06-10-15, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Have you ever tried or seen this done? What's the advantage?
that's the way it's always done here in chinaland! i suppose it's "traditional."

advantage? in a developing country where few people own or know how to use
tools (wrenches?), and the quick-release is an alien concept, and most repairs
are done by the "bike guy" on the corner in the middle of the sidewalk with
limited space.........because 99% if bike riders don't know how to change
a tire or fix a flat or.......
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Old 06-10-15, 08:47 PM
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The location of a puncture is almost always easily identified before doing anything.
Occasionally, it might be necessary to add some air to detect it.
Unless the damage is so extensive that the tube cannot be patched, there is no reason to remove the wheel to patch.
Just pull one bead off the rim enough to pull out tube at puncture, apply patch, push tube back in, reseat bead, and inflate.
It is a hell of a lot quicker than needlessly removing the wheel.
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Old 06-10-15, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
The location of a puncture is almost always easily identified before doing anything.
Occasionally, it might be necessary to add some air to detect it.
Unless the damage is so extensive that the tube cannot be patched, there is no reason to remove the wheel to patch.
Just pull one bead off the rim enough to pull out tube at puncture, apply patch, push tube back in, reseat bead, and inflate.
It is a hell of a lot quicker than needlessly removing the wheel.
If there is a wisker of wire, thorn, etc. sticking through the tire; is it as easy to detect and remove - compared to removing wheel/tire ?
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Old 06-10-15, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by martianone View Post
If there is a wisker of wire, thorn, etc. sticking through the tire; is it as easy to detect and remove - compared to removing wheel/tire ?
In my experience, both can be detected and removed from the outside before the bead is even unseated. On just one occasion, I did a full examination of the tire through two revolutions before I finally found the wire from a steel-belted tire, which was folded over into into a groove in the tread, making it almost hidden. Once the bead is unseated and the tube pulled out, it is easy to reach in and feel for anything projecting through the tire.
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Old 06-10-15, 09:40 PM
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I suspect that I can pull the wheel and change tubes about as quick as the "non-remove" method. However, the tube still has to be patched later. In my experience there have been several times when the cause of the puncture was not detected from the outside. Heck, I have had couple of times I missed it from both sides and had to patch the tube over again. I also line my valve stem with the logo on my tires to help locate the cause, but have still missed it.
And it isn't like I have not had a lot of practice.

I think trying to mount a really difficult mounting tire, would be awkward while wheel is still attached the bike.

Last edited by Doug64; 06-10-15 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 06-10-15, 10:28 PM
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Been there, done that, stuck with a flat and bolt-on wheels and no wrench with me
Had a pump and patch kit though, back when some people still lit the glue on fire before applying the patch and then rolling the patch with the edge of the patch kit tin.

These days though that would be my last option.
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Old 06-11-15, 02:46 AM
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I used to do that on bikes that had bolts on the axles, and no wrench on the bike. Some of the very old bikes had wing nuts though, that shows that even in the day they were trying to get away without doing it this way. The other issue are bikes will a lot of difficult to remove clutter that is in the way of a wheel removal.

I prefer not to have quick releases on my wheels. I can't see any reason for them. I use the skewers that have hex heads. A lot nicer.
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Old 06-11-15, 03:45 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Have you ever tried or seen this done? What's the advantage?
I do that when/if the cause is obvious immediately and I don't need to look for the leak. I find it faster and easier when you can just pull out a short section of the tube, patch and put back in place. If you have to pull out nearly the whole tube, look for the leak, and so on I find it easier to remove the wheel.

The advantage... It is fast and easy, you don't need to remove the wheel, turn the bike over, or even lay it down.

BTW, that method was standard practice when I was a kid and there were no quick releases. I think back then most people did it that way.
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Old 06-11-15, 05:05 AM
  #10  
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In the third world utility bikes removing the rear wheel involves removing the rack, fender stays and uninstalling the brakes. The front wheel is almost half as complex with the rod brakes.
The horizontal dropouts with chain tensioner nuts need slipping the chain off the sprocket and removing the wheel in the rear direction.
Sometimes, all this is held together by a natural cement of dirt, grease and rust.
Leaving the wheel attached and just working on the tube is much easier. Roadside bike flat fixers used to sit under a shaded spot with a few tools like a pump, a pan of water, a stove top or electric vulcanizing iron and some vulcanizing cement and patches.
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Old 06-11-15, 05:11 AM
  #11  
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I did it for a guy I encountered in Valley Forge National Historic Park. He had an older bike w/o QR. After I finished he hit on me.

I don't patch unless absolutely necessary. I would simply take wheel off.
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Old 06-11-15, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I did it for a guy I encountered in Valley Forge National Historic Park. He had an older bike w/o QR. After I finished he hit on me.
His 'thank you' for a job well done.

Speaking of being 'hit on'. Read and scroll.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:06 AM
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Cannondale guys do it all the time w/leftys....
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Old 06-11-15, 09:09 AM
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Never tried it with the wheel On.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
His 'thank you' for a job well done.

Speaking of being 'hit on'. Read and scroll.
I learned later that the side of VF Park where I was was a known "cruising" location before the bike trail that runs by there became so popular.

I had a stranger flash me twice in a bar called Staggers in Monroeville, IN when I was crossing the country. I sat down at a table with the local town drunks who were 3/4 in the bag by 1 p.m. I had my camera with me and was taking a few portraits when one woman yanked up her shirt. I was slow on the draw so I asked her to do it again. She happily obliged. I would post the photo but I am sure it would violate the rules of the forum.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:27 AM
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I've done it on my fixed gear commuter when I didn't have a wrench for the wheel nuts. It's not the most convenient, but it's possible, and not really that difficult. I'd definitely rather take the wheel off if I had the necessary tools though.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:40 AM
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See the BFNail that made the hole, sticking out of the tire, you dont have to guess where it needs to be patched.
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Old 06-11-15, 09:35 PM
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Should work OK for tires with looser bead, might be harder w/tight tires. I tend to use tire liners so flats are rare enough it's hardly worth the trouble to patch. & I rode with Schwalbe Marathons w/o tire liners for a couple of years with no flats IIRC. Spent big $$ in the old days replacing punctured tubulars. Tried to patch a Clement once & the base tape was stuck on but good. Some people had cottage businesses repairing tubulars by mail.
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Old 06-12-15, 07:14 AM
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One of my old bikes, one that I ride quite a bit but have not toured on, has both a Sturmey Archer 3 sp hub and a derailleur. The derailleur is mounted to the chain stay, which was pretty common in the 30's. It works well, and it's fun to ride, so I like it.



And the brakes, Resilion 'cantilever' brakes, also work really well; but there is no quick release.


So taking either wheel out of the frame is a little complicated, and the rear one more so. Putting them back in is even more complicated. In fact, I'd rather not! So when I get flat tires, I just lay the bike down on its side, pull the tube out, inflate, find hole, scuff it up pretty good, and apply glue. While the glue is drying I figure out what caused the puncture, remove the wire or whatever if there's anything there. By that time the glue is dry; I stick the patch on, roll it thoroughly, and put it back into the tire. The whole process takes about ten minutes.
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Old 06-12-15, 07:20 AM
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Wow! There is always something one has never seen, even in pictures!
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Old 06-12-15, 08:35 AM
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By the way, anyone patching tires really should get one of these:



The brand name is "thumbs up." I've been able to get them on eBay for a couple bucks, shipped, from China; but they don't seem to be there now. But for scuffing the tube and rolling the patch afterwards, it's really great. Since started using one of these, I have hardly had a patch fail.
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Old 06-12-15, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Have you ever tried or seen this done? What's the advantage?
I've done this a number of times. The advantage is speed, especially with a loaded touring bike or a bolt on IGH wheel.

I used to lead bicycle tours and it was SOP to do this using a band-aid if, for example, there was a train to catch. I have my fastest rider switch places with the person who had the flat (within limits of bike fit), send the group ahead, fix the flat and the two of us would race back up. Being able to do things quickly was often the difference between catching a train or ferry, or waiting hours for the next one.

BTW- you can't use band-aids as emergency patches any more. The strips are micro-perforated and won't hold air.
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Old 06-12-15, 09:12 AM
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If I've got time, which I usually do, and can find the leak, I prefer patching in this manner. That saves the spare tube for a true emergency, like a tick-or-mosquito infested area, rough neighborhood, etc. Plus, I have a hard time getting motivated to patch a tube once I get home and sometimes that gets forgotten until...
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