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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
    Just Ride !
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    I carry both, patch for thorn punctures, spare tube incase of pinch flat .. oh and a power bar wrapper
    Hit the trails with your bike and get freaky.

  26. #26
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    I got my first flat this week. I didn't have anything with me so i had to dial a ride.

    Interestingly after i replaced the tube the next day I went out of a 6 mile ride around town. As soon as I pulled into the garage and closed the door I could hear my tire bleeding air and I found a metal shard sticking through the tire.

    So now I am riding around with 2 tubes in my backpack, tire levers, and a Co2 thingy. I will do a thorough inspection of the tire before putting it back on too lol.

    The whole patch thing is interesting. The thought of "patching" never even came to mind when I set out to get my wheels back up and ready to run. I'll look into it.

    Having a bunch of patches on a tube though..wouldn't that be adding rotational mass?

  27. #27
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    Old habits die hard, so even tubeless, am still packing a 26" presta tube*, new patch kit, mini pump, and CO2 . For repairs, regular patches do work best, yet often I've seen glue tubes be dry & worthless, and the instant patches work well enough to ride out. [*Have used 26" tubes in a 29er for years w/o issue.]

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Having a bunch of patches on a tube though..wouldn't that be adding rotational mass?
    Not enough to make any difference to a mere mortal.

    "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"

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Not enough to make any difference to a mere mortal.
    If you want to be really technical about things, you could calculate the difference in inertia between a patched up tube and a new tube, but as was already stated, it's not enough to make a difference.
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  30. #30
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    Growing up in the desert (NM, AZ, and now SoCal) I'd suggest slime tubes and a patch kit. The last time I had to walk to the trail head was when I flattened a rear wheel 5 years ago, and I just used the last patch from my 4 year old patch kit on the future wif's beach cruiser.

    The time spent not fixing flats is great: the front tube on my bike is the same slime tube the LBS put in it when I bought it 6 years ago. YMMV, and you may be more concerned about weight.
    The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing more helpess and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an either binge. And I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon...

  31. #31
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    Park Tools sticker style patch kits are great but you are definitely advised to clean the surface with alcohol in advance. I have even had success patching slime tubes with the Park Tools patches. When riding in groups, fully agree, just throw in a new tube and roll on, fix the fallen soldier at home.
    Keep the rubber side down

  32. #32
    Riding free's the mind
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    After reading everyone's tube patching posts, it reminded me once again how much I take tubeless tires for granted....not having had a flat in years. Just the same I do carry a spare tube in my camelback just in case.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  33. #33
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    i carry both.. you never know when you will have 2 flats in a day..

    I generally use Patches for thorns, and new tube for a pinch.

  34. #34
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    I carry both but the patch kit is a last resort. Tubes are cheap and I'm too impatient to screw around with patching them even once back at home. Throw the damn thing away and spend 10 bucks on a new one.

  35. #35
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    How reliable are patches? My LBS said they get bikes all the time with failed patches. Do these people simply not know how to apply one? They said always keep a spare tube (I agree) and skip the patches, they don't work (not so sure I agree).

  36. #36
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    I've been using the Park glueless patches for nearly 15 years now, and they work very well. In fact, I don't even bother carrying an extra tube with me. It's just the patches, a mini pump, and a tire boot. That's the least amount of crap you can carry, while still getting yourself home.

  37. #37
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    Patch reliability:

    I've never had problems with the "old fashioned" patches with the vulcanizer liquid (glue). Looking at what others have posted in this thread, others have similar experience. People have run a patched tube for years without issues.

    Experience with the "stick on" patches seems to vary more. I don't know if it depends on brand, what year it was made, pressures, what tubes you run, or whatever. I have not tried them.

    "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"

  38. #38
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    Carry both

  39. #39
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    They're wrong...

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy_c View Post
    How reliable are patches? My LBS said they get bikes all the time with failed patches. Do these people simply not know how to apply one? They said always keep a spare tube (I agree) and skip the patches, they don't work (not so sure I agree).
    Traditional patches work for years and will outlast the tube. It could be that people don't know how to read instructions. You need to let the glue dry before you apply the patch.

    I've never had very good luck with the self adhesive patches. They've held enough to get me off the trail but once you've inflated and deflated the tires a couple of times, they develop a ridge that creates an air gap. Eventually they've either leaked or dirt gets underneath them and the glue is ruined. Keep in mind that I'm not looking at a patch as a temporary fix but rather as a permanent solution, so my expectation is that a patch will last for the life of the tube.

    Usually, I change tubes when the rubber around the valve stem splits and can't be patched.

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  40. #40
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    I am another for carrying both. I used to just carry an extra tube until I ripped the stem off the new tube while pumping it up. That was a couple mile hike back.

  41. #41
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    I've also had good luck with Park Tool Glueless patches. I've got one that's coming up on one year old and holding fine.

  42. #42
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    I carry a tube and a vulcanizing glue patch kit on my road bike. Since I ride solo, patching is my first method of fixing and usually doesn't take much longer than putting in a new tube. I've never had these patches go bad, usually toss the tube after I burn an entire patch kit on one, 5-6 patches.

    Mountain I just carry a tube as I'm tubeless, probably should start carrying a patch kit and a candy bar wrapper as I just got a nice sidewall cut that my latex has done a nice job of trying to keep sealed allowing me to ride out with a small pump of air.

  43. #43
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    FWIW if you're cheap you can make your own patch kit with an old tube and super glue.

    Just cut the old tube up into 1" or 1/2" squares, and toss a tube of super glue in your kit. Works like a charm.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtBaxter View Post
    FWIW if you're cheap you can make your own patch kit with an old tube and super glue.

    Just cut the old tube up into 1" or 1/2" squares, and toss a tube of super glue in your kit. Works like a charm.
    Interesting idea. At around $3 for the park tool patch kit, I think I'll fore-go the trouble.
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  45. #45
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    I usually just carry a tube because patches are to messy for me and I don't trust them after some times. Maybe im just bad at putting patches on!

  46. #46
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    I carry both - and a section of old tyre to use as a boot in case I cut a sidewall open.
    Less isn't MOAR

  47. #47
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    I'm tubeless but....

    Even though I'm tubeless I carry a tube for a typical ride, two tubes plus patch kit for epic rides. I carry a park tire boot and some really long quick ties in case of a serious cut. I once had a 3" slice in my sidewall and between a tire boot, a dollar, a tube, and three wire ties around the tire and rim I was able to hold the thing together for 15 miles on rough terrain to get back. I also carry some paper towels in a zip lock in my camelbak to clean the Stans off of stuff. Can be pretty darn messy draining the Stans out. I've contemplated a few ounces of Stans as well but don't right now.

    Being tubeless I carry a combo inflator/pump and two CO2 cylinders. I can reseal the tire with the Inflator if needed and top off by hand. Otherwise I need 3 cylinders per 29er 2.4 tire to seat and fill.
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  48. #48
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    How long does the cement take to dry (traditional patch) before you can safely ride on it?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sermon View Post
    How long does the cement take to dry (traditional patch) before you can safely ride on it?
    A handful of minutes. The trick is not to apply the patch to the glue while the glue is still wet. You need to wait until the glue is just tacky, then press the patch on hard. Give it five minutes after that, install the tube and you are good to go. You may find that next time you pull the tube out, that it is slightly stuck to the inside of the tyre from where some glue has adhered, but it's no big deal. Typically, I just install a spare tube when I get a flat, and patch the other one and leave it in my pack.
    Less isn't MOAR

  50. #50
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    I'm of the "I don't trust those glorified stickers" ilk. I like the glue ones and have had tires with more patch than tube. I go hard.

    When I ride I carry a spare tube and patch kit. So I guess that's both. Even though I am tubeless. If that sucker fails I'm not ****ing around and just loading in the tube. And it's also nice if someone is on the trail and is without tube/ patch and in need.

    I am surprised no one mentioned tying off the tube at the hole, so let me be the first. In a bind you can find the hole and tie a knot in the tube as small as possible cutting off air to the hole. Works like a charm. I have never tried it on a road tire until recently and it works on those too. I rolled like that for a few months( maybe five) until I ran a piece of glass over 'cause I'm awesome and do things like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

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