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planning for flat tires // self-adhesive vs conventional patches. And how many?

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planning for flat tires // self-adhesive vs conventional patches. And how many?

Old 11-24-15, 12:33 PM
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gauvins
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planning for flat tires // self-adhesive vs conventional patches. And how many?

I am on my first set of marathon supreme. They've covered 1500km without any problem, so it would be easy to assume that flat tires are history. Yet...

1. I am leaning towards ditching traditional patches and rely exclusively on self-adhesive patches. I've read reviews suggesting that they are not as reliable as patches that are glued with a vulcanizing compound, but if you look at Amazon's reviews, both systems score equally well. I've also read that vulcanizing compound dries in the tube and that you must be careful to restock or otherwise you run the risk of discovering that you cannot patch roadside. Any insight to share?

2. Irrespective of patch "technology" I can't find guidance on the number of patches to carry on an extended trip. This number is a function of the flat hazard (i.e. how many flats per 1000km for example) which itself depends a lot on tires, road conditions, load and maintenance; on the restocking options (a trip across Europe is less of a problem than a trip across Tibet); and on risk aversion (i.e. how would I deal with the possibility of having to stuff grass in the tire). As of now, pulled out of thin air, I would carry one spare tube and 6 patches per bike + 1 tube of vulcanizing compound (that could be used with custom patches cut from an old inner tube. How many is too many?
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Old 11-24-15, 12:53 PM
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I carry regular old fashion patches - I know they work. The only advantage I see with self-adhesive patches is that it saves you the trouble of fiddling around with glue - big deal.

Now since patches and glue weight next to nothing I don't see what the issue is, when it comes to decide how much, bring a hundred, bring two hundred you won't notice the difference.

Last edited by gerryl; 11-24-15 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:22 PM
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I take both but the glue on generally hold up better for me. Take as many as your little heart desires.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:25 PM
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I have had bad luck with both, but I in part attribute that to whether or not I was in a hurry. For home use, I wait until I have several tubes that are flat, then patch them all with the glue type patches. That way I get lots of them patched on one tube of glue.

A couple friends of mine did a vehicle supported cross country trip this past spring, California to Florida. One had 35 or 37mm wide touring tires and had a total of four flats for the whole trip. The other used a racing bike with skinny tires, maybe 23mm, lots more flats, he told me that there were a couple days when he had 7 flats per day. I have no clue how many total flats to cross the country he had.

On a tour, I carry two inner tubes, I have not had a flat on a tour yet, but I use good tires. (I know that I should not have said that, now it will happen.) But, I carry the self adhesive ones touring, as I would want to just slap one on and go if my other tubes were already flatted.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:28 PM
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Extra Tubes and a Patch Kit.. The kind you scuff the tube and Glue [Patch Prep ] on..

since You first put a spare tube in you can do the patching where it is more convenient ..

I also Bring a 3rd Tire.

97 tour , thorn resistant tubes no punctures but a tire sidewall gave out (3 months in) .. thick tube bulged out but did not 'pop'.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-24-15 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:29 PM
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planning for flat tires // self-adhesive vs conventional patches. And how many?

At the start of a multi-month tour in europe I take one 6 Tip Top patches and glue, a Park Tools boot patch, and two spare tubes.

Across Tibet, I'd double all that (at least) and even a foldable spare tire (or two)

I don't trust glueless, but I'm a retro-grouch, so that doesn't count for much.

I believe glue and patch can be more or less compatible between brands (and no-names) so a "kit" is preferable.
Like I said TT is my go-to

"How many is too many?" I dunno, but I know how many one too few is!

In Goathead country all bets are off.
Schwalbe Marathon Pluses are the best protection there.

Last edited by imi; 11-24-15 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
At the start of a multi-month tour in europe I take one 6 Tip Top patches and glue, a Park Tools boot patch, and two spare tubes.
+1. In over 15,000 miles of loaded touring in the U.S. and Spain I can count the number of flats I have had on two hands.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:37 PM
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As @gerryl says, they weigh almost nothing so take plenty. If you use the self-adhesive version, be aware that you'll need to re-patch that tube eventually, they fail after a few months. However, they do save messing around in the dark/rain. I generally have a patch kit and a couple of spare tubes so I don't have to repair tubes at the roadside.
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Old 11-24-15, 01:43 PM
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planning for flat tires // self-adhesive vs conventional patches. And how many?

Tire boots can be improvised with silver tape, dollar bills or tire rubber found at the side of the road, etc... I've never had too though.
Any real life stories of doing that?
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Old 11-24-15, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Tire boots can be improvised with silver tape, dollar bills or tire rubber found at the side of the road, etc... I've never had too though.
Any real life stories of doing that?
Yep. I cut out a nice neat oval out of a yogurt container and taped it in, desperate times call for desperate measures.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Any real life stories of doing that?
Yea, 4 years ago, buddy blew a side wall on a Panaracer Tour Guard, used Gorilla duct tape which I always carry, worked like a charm.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Tire boots can be improvised with silver tape, dollar bills or tire rubber found at the side of the road, etc... I've never had too though.
Any real life stories of doing that?
Mt bikers tend to get more tire cuts than your average rider. Have used duct tape and the foil like wraps off of power bars and the like( mylar?) Both worked well.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:25 PM
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When the adhesive patches work, they are much faster and easier than traditional patches, but I have had many situations where the adhesive kind would not do the trick. If I'm planning ahead, I usually take both. And a spare tire.

How many patches? I usually buy a little patch kit and take how ever many are in there. I'd guess it's usually at least half a dozen. But that rubber cement does have a habit of drying up after it's opened. Not right away, but it's not uncommon for me to get one or two uses out of tube, then go fix another flat several months later and find the cement has dried.

Starting out, I would bring a full, small patch kit with a never-been-opened tube of adhesive. And as soon as I had to break the seal on the rubber cement, I would keep an eye out for an opportunity to pick up a new patch kit. There's no right or wrong number of patches to carry, but I figure if you're flatting more than six times between opportunities to resupply, then you probably want to look at spending more time on flat prevention (different tires, for example) and less time patching your tire.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:30 PM
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I am in the "they don't weigh much, take plenty" camp.

I've cycled ~8000 miles across Europe+Asia and had one flat. Used that as an opportunity to replace worn rear tire (I had two spare tires with me) and finished rest of the trip with only that one flat.

At opposite side of ledger:
- One year on the HI-AYH San Diego Christmas ride, I got 6 flats in a day. I was unlucky, it was raining and I hadn't quite addressed the root problem.
- While touring, my largest number of flats in a day on my bike has been three. I have however, cycled with a partner where I fixed 5-6 flats on their bike.

Hence, as a result, I often end up with two or three patch kits, at least two tubes - and sometimes a spare pump. Overkill, but it has kept me going.
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Old 11-24-15, 02:55 PM
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The real kicker is prepping the old tube before patching, whichever system you use. It takes me 3-5 minutes to sand all the mold release off the tube before a new patch will stick.

There's a tendency among some users to skip sanding for the "glueless" patches. If you do that, you're gluing to the part of the tube that's designed not to stick -- and it won't.
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Old 11-24-15, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Tire boots can be improvised with silver tape, dollar bills or tire rubber found at the side of the road, etc... I've never had too though.
Any real life stories of doing that?
On one trip I was on, one of the people had a Bike Friday trailer tire that he should have replaced before the trip. Odd size, virtually impossible to buy a new tire along the way. He kept using one dollar bills (USD$). I kept telling him that a ten dollar bill would last ten times longer, but he never believed me.

I never needed a tire boot, but I carry some tire boots that I cut from the Tyvek material from US Postal Service envelopes. They cost less than dollar bills.
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Old 11-24-15, 03:25 PM
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planning for flat tires // self-adhesive vs conventional patches. And how many?

I wonder how credit-card tourers make tire-boots?
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Old 11-24-15, 03:27 PM
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I've had bad luck with self adhesive patches. The vulcanizing patches have always worked great for me as long as I follow the correct procedure in using them.
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Old 11-24-15, 03:31 PM
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I have had very bad luck with 'glueless' patches. I have tried them a few times and can't remember not having one fail.
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Old 11-24-15, 05:52 PM
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You know we put a man on the moon, can speak to someone on the other side of the planet in a mere few seconds but we can't come up with a glueless patch that will actually stick to an inner tube for long periods. Maybe we're opposing certain laws of chemistry here but it doesn't seem that it should be that difficult, hey Stuart what's up with this?
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Old 11-24-15, 05:56 PM
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I have never had a self-adhesive patch hold for a long period of time, so I stopped taking them. The rubber cement patches have all held well for me and several of my bikes have tubes with those patches in place for several years.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:28 PM
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dude, they're so light, ultra-light dare i say!
carry more than you need, enough to share.
never know when you might run out with no
chance of replacement.

certain countries have few bike shops. bikes
are purchased at local farmers' markets.
spares are not available. tubes, if you can
find them, are the wrong size, or wrong valve.

patches? bwhaahahahahah! no. no patch kits,
no patches, no glue.

gotta find a mr. spock on the street corner.....
get vulcanized.
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Old 11-24-15, 09:50 PM
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I've used a lot of those Park patches. They're good for a quick fix, but as others have mentioned, they don't last long-term. Unless you only want to make it to the next town to buy new tubes, you might want to keep your regular patch kit on hand. That's not to say the patches are useless. There are times when you really want to just get back riding ASAP and worry about patching later. The patches are great for those moments.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:58 PM
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tried the glueless patches years ago. like others, i have bad memories. never even considered using them again. FWIW.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:51 PM
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Glueless patches eventually come unglued IME, nearly every time.
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