1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Patch Kit Vs Spare Tubes

    Looking to learn how to fix a flat on the trail to further me away from a possible newbie status. Going to the LBS soon to get a bigger saddle bag so I can store more stuff. Not to jinx myself but I never get a big tear in my tires or tubes, it's always a small puncture. Is it better to carry a Patch Kit or is it best to carry a spare tube? Not looking to make the move to the Stans setup or tubeless at this time.

  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    It is best to carry a spare tube AND a patch kit.

    The tube is the primary fix. The patch kit is there in case you are really unlucky, or leave something sharp in the tyre when you do the first fix.

    ... and patch the punctured tube at home.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  3. #3
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    Ditto. I always carry a spare for fixing on the trail and a patch kit (they're small and don't take much space) in case of multiple failure.

  4. #4
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    i carry a tube and a patch kit (the sticker kind). the other kind of patches work better but take more time and are better done at home. actually these days i've been carrying 2 tubes, really need to go tubeless!

  5. #5
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    here is my experience,I don't like to change tubes on the trail or patch.I have gotten the slime tubes and some co2 or nitrius shots.I've gotten some pinch flats and have used the shots to get me back to the trailhead.That being said,I've never had a pinch when running enough air in my tires.
    Yes dear I've been in the woods,look at the blood

  6. #6
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    also think about getting a tire boot. you never know if you're going to slice a tire. these you can put inside the tire over the slice so when you put the tube back in and it wont protrude through the cut in the tire and pop.

  7. #7
    TubeSok
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    I have a topeak wedge size medium. It holds a tube, patch kit, multiple tool, co2 and inflator. It also has elastic loops on the bottom it you want to be safe and carry a small pump. As for the patch kit, I have the glue patches which I find to work the best. If you use the stickers you really need an alcohol wipe to clean the surface clean. Also a dollar bill is handy to patch a tire in a pinch. It won't stretch like a rubber patch and could save you from walking home.

  8. #8
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    I agree with Perttime....

    Carry a tube and a patch kit.

    The traditional patches that vulcanize the rubber with rubber cement work far better than the self adhesive patches. The traditional patches will outlast the tube while the self adhesive patches will eventually stop adhering and you'll have to patch the tube again.... after you clean off the failing glue.

    I've had tubes with what seems like more patches than actual tube.

    Unless you're racing and need to save a few seconds, my recommendation is for a traditional patch kit.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    The traditional patches that vulcanize the rubber with rubber cement work far better than the self adhesive patches.
    I always forget this. I've only ever used the traditional kind, and they never seem to fail when you follow the instructions: let the "glue" dry before you put the patch on.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  10. #10
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    Stick on patches, so far i have used 3 and none of them held. Today i changed tubes , patched a tube then had one more pop and my freaking pump failed. All within the first 2 miles.

  11. #11
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    Let's say you decide to only carry a patch kit. It may not happen often (did to me about 6 weeks ago) but every so often conditions are right and a tube will blow beyond repair. If you have a slit in the tube large enough, you won't be able to fix it with a patch kit so as others have said and I totally agree: carry both a patch kit and an extra tube.
    2012 Intense M9
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  12. #12
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    Carry both for all the above reasons and because it's polite. Everybody gets a flat now and then, and if you can swap your tube quick, nobody will mind. But if your riding buddies have to sit there while you fumble with your sandpaper and rubber cement because you were too cheap to throw a $5 tube in your jersey pocket, that's just inconsiderate. And ditto for those glueless patches. Nothing worse than having to stop twice because some guy thought he could fix his flat with a sticker.
    Quote Originally Posted by trogdor
    I think everyone who wears a helmit should carry around an old crank arm, then when you see someone without a helmit on, give them a good wack in the head. That'll teach them to flaut their helmit-less noggins out in public.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by upNdown View Post
    Carry both for all the above reasons and because it's polite. Everybody gets a flat now and then, and if you can swap your tube quick, nobody will mind. But if your riding buddies have to sit there while you fumble with your sandpaper and rubber cement because you were too cheap to throw a $5 tube in your jersey pocket, that's just inconsiderate. And ditto for those glueless patches. Nothing worse than having to stop twice because some guy thought he could fix his flat with a sticker.
    +1. Glueless patches are worthless. But the rubber/glue ones will last forever if done properly, I had a tube with about 15 of the things on it.

    Carry a tube + patches. And carry tire irons!!! Some tires come off super easy, so it wouldn't be necessary. But other rim/tire combos are a bear, so be prepared.

  14. #14
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    At the risk of sounding redundant...

    Carry both. Primary fix is to replace the tube, then do the patch at home. (In a wrost casescenario, you can always do the patch on the trail if you have no spare tube.) Then toss the patched tube into your wedge of Camelbak as your spare. Also, depending on where the puncture happened on the tire (and how bad it is) you may actuaally need to patch the inside of the tire as a temporary (or possibly) permanent fix.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  15. #15
    College Boy
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    I tend to carry 2 spare tubes when I ride then patch them after I get home and then that one becomes my spare tube.

    Sent from my rooted Atrix 2.3.4 using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    What I've found with the sticker patches; they work fine until you start messing with PSI. Low PSI causes them to pinch up which leads to the air coming up. OK in a bind but I'd rather just throw a fresh tube on and deal with it at home.

    Once home the traditional patches are the way to go. Takes time because you need to let it dry. I'll let the cement dry and then put on the patch, and I'll even add a little more cement around the edges of the patch once it's on. Once all is dry I'll fill it with some air and let it sit just to make sure there's no leaks.

  17. #17
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    I use the stick on patch (Park tools kit), never had an issue. Winter or summer, even helped a few folk out on the trail that had pinch flats, although I cant say how long it lasted the intent was to allow them to ride back to the trail head and car which it did. I carry a spare tube in my kit but often forget to switch out the size depending on the bike I ride (26 vs 29).

    I have not had many flats but I've been well served by the easy as pie to carry and use stick ons. 2-yrs and still running on a tube with 2 patches on my 29er.

    The tire boot is a good idea.

    dam, just got me a new smaller backpack now I dont know if it's big enuf anymore...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moozh View Post
    I carry a spare tube in my kit but often forget to switch out the size depending on the bike I ride (26 vs 29).
    It is quite possible to stretch a 26" tube onto a 29er rim.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  19. #19
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    That just sounds like a bad idea...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shatterpulse View Post
    That just sounds like a bad idea...
    I agree with you but if it meant the difference between riding out or walking, I'd probably go for it.
    2012 Intense M9
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  21. #21
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    Good point. I had to walk 5 miles last month because of a flat (I didn't have a spare tube).

  22. #22
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    This is all great info guys, thank you! I think will use this method as mentioned a few times: "OK in a bind but I'd rather just throw a fresh tube on and deal with it at home. Once home the traditional patches are the way to go. Takes time because you need to let it dry. I'll let the cement dry and then put on the patch, and I'll even add a little more cement around the edges of the patch once it's on. Once all is dry I'll fill it with some air and let it sit just to make sure there's no leaks."

  23. #23
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    Clarification....

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony777 View Post
    This is all great info guys, thank you! I think will use this method as mentioned a few times: "OK in a bind but I'd rather just throw a fresh tube on and deal with it at home. Once home the traditional patches are the way to go. Takes time because you need to let it dry. I'll let the cement dry and then put on the patch, and I'll even add a little more cement around the edges of the patch once it's on. Once all is dry I'll fill it with some air and let it sit just to make sure there's no leaks."
    Time to let it dry = a few extra seconds

    Adding extra cement around the patch is overkill. Whatever the patch size, just make sure that the glue is greater than the contact area for the patch.

    Once you apply the patch, it will hold air.

    Check the tire for thorns before you reinflate.

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  24. #24
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    Working in the IT industry we go live by the motto "Backup your backups." Having both a patch kit and a tube ensures your back out on the trail having fun quickly and safely.

  25. #25
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    I carry both, patch for thorn punctures, spare tube incase of pinch flat .. oh and a power bar wrapper
    WARNING : Do not ride your bicycle until you have read and thoroughly understood the owners manual.

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