So how well does a patch hold on a tube?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    shining bright
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    So how well does a patch hold on a tube?

    Just got into riding pretty regular and I have accepted that flats are a recurring issue and part of the ride. I have not made the switch yet to tubeless, although I plan to try it eventually. For now I'm running tubes, but I am patching pretty often. I am out of new tubes and I'm fixing to have to put one of my patched tubes in to keep riding. I don't know if I can trust it. I've never ridden with a patched tube. Should I go ahead and order some new tubes or ride with patched tubes?

    I am very careful with the tube prep before the patch. Clean with alcohol, prep the rubber with the little sanding disc, clean with alcohol again, let dry, apply rubber cement, patch, wiggle patch around to be sure rubber cement is distributed evenly underneath, and clamp between two flat objects for a few hours.

  2. #2
    All Mountain
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    patches can hold and make a tube seem brand new if you get the right ones. I would stay away from the ones that just stick on. those never worked for me. Go to your LBS and get the patches that come with the glue you put on and then the patch over the glue. those work perfectly for me everytime. I once rode with a tube that had 6 patches on it and none of the patches ever leaked.

    A pack of 6 should only cost you 2 maybe 3 dollars with tax. a great investment tho in my opinion.
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  3. #3
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    You should be fine with the glued patches, and I second the advice to stay away from the "sticker" style patches.

    One thing to keep in mind: if the hole is near one of the raised rubber seams that runs down the tube, you'll need to sand that seam down so that it's level with the rest of the tube in that area. Otherwise air can leak out between the patch and the raised seam.

    I've also had the best luck when I remount the tube immediately after the patch dries and fill it with air. I'm not sure why, but sometimes I've patched a tube, not mounted it immediately, and had it leak on me. Probably user error on my part - maybe someone else can explain why this happens.
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  4. #4
    i also unicycle
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    only thought on why that would leak is that immediately reinstalling presses the patch against the tire and makes sure the glue bonds correctly/completely against the hole as it fully cures over the next several hours.
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  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz
    Just got into riding pretty regular and I have accepted that flats are a recurring issue and part of the ride. I have not made the switch yet to tubeless, although I plan to try it eventually. For now I'm running tubes, but I am patching pretty often. I am out of new tubes and I'm fixing to have to put one of my patched tubes in to keep riding. I don't know if I can trust it. I've never ridden with a patched tube. Should I go ahead and order some new tubes or ride with patched tubes?

    I am very careful with the tube prep before the patch. Clean with alcohol, prep the rubber with the little sanding disc, clean with alcohol again, let dry, apply rubber cement, patch, wiggle patch around to be sure rubber cement is distributed evenly underneath, and clamp between two flat objects for a few hours.
    Done right, patches are permanent.
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  6. #6
    meh... whatever
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    go tubeless.
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  7. #7
    powered by peanut butter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf
    only thought on why that would leak is that immediately reinstalling presses the patch against the tire and makes sure the glue bonds correctly/completely against the hole as it fully cures over the next several hours.
    Makes sense.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz
    ...I am very careful with the tube prep before the patch. Clean with alcohol, prep the rubber with the little sanding disc, clean with alcohol again, let dry, apply rubber cement, patch, wiggle patch around to be sure rubber cement is distributed evenly underneath, and clamp between two flat objects for a few hours.
    Pay particular attention to this part of the directions for patching..."The cement must be "dry" for the patch to stick. The surface will look dull when it is ready".

    Do not put the patch on before the cement has dried.

  9. #9
    Ride Instigator
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    I've always had pretty good luck with patches holding although I've tried patching some larger punctures before and sprung a leak.

    My general rule of thumb is that if I have a VERY easy time finding the puncture (being a larger one) then it's not a good candidate for patching because the patch may not hold. On the other hand, if I have a difficult time finding the leak, have to go as far as dunking the tube in a tub of water to find the leak then it's a good candidate for patching.

    I also go by the 3 strikes and you're out rule. I'll patch a tube twice, if I get a 3rd puncture then the tube get's tossed in the can.

  10. #10
    trail addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz
    ....patched tubes in to keep riding. I don't know if I can trust it. I've never ridden with a patched tube. Should I go ahead and order some new tubes or ride with patched tubes?
    hahaha... trust it??? I have tubes with like 6-8 patches (maybe more?) that I am still recycling!


    You say you have been "patching pretty often"... what were you planning on doing with your patched tubes? USE THEM!!!

    Sorry, don't mean to sound sarcastic.... I guess I just take it for granted that people should know that a properly installed patch is fine to use. Then again, there are many who will throw a tube away and buy a new one.

    Seriously, if you are roughing up the rubber and cleaning with alcohol and using the rubber cement the right way, your repairs are fine and meant to bring the tube back to full life. Only concern would be if there was some slow leak hole that you didn't find, which is always a possibility with any used tube whether it is patched or not. Check your pressure before every ride-good habit anyway.

    The instant patches that you just stick on are nice for an emergency quick-fix, but they have never lasted long for me. A real glued-on patch, however, has never come off (bike or dirtbike... and for that matter, a properly installed plug works well in most auto tires).
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  11. #11
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    Where I live you pick up one or more of these bad boys every local ride.




    I run tubes in all my bikes with a couple of squirts of Slime Tire Sealant for Tubeless Tires. We never get any flats anymore.

    Last year my son got 3" of twisted heavy wire stuck into his tire and flated. We pulled the wire out and it left a 1/16" hole and tear in the tire. I though the tube was destroyed but we aired it up and he is still riding that tube / tire. Blew me away...

    BTW - we always carry a full tool kit and at least 1 spare tube for the group


  12. #12
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    It depends. A well glued on patch on a regular puncture is permanent. On a snake bite, cut or a larger hole a patch may start leaking with time. It depends also on the place, patches on the tread of the tube hold much better, than on a side or inside.
    The thinner and softer the patch is, the better it catches on, also small round patches are more reliable, as they have relatively shorter perimeter and no corners.
    I spread one layer of rubber cement, let it dry up completely, then spread one more layer, let it dry a bit, so that it becomes sticky, and put the patch on. One more tip - never touch the surfaces you glue with fingers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cncwhiz
    ...apply rubber cement, patch, wiggle patch around to be sure rubber cement is distributed evenly underneath, and clamp between two flat objects for a few hours.
    The key is to put a thin layer of rubber cement on both the tube AND the patch and LET THEM DRY, like you would when allowing wax to dry on a car before wiping it off. They should dry to a light haze over, but not completely dry (like, don't let them sit drying for two days) - 5 mins should to the trick. Again, thin layer, not gooped up.

    Apply the patch - you only get one shot so make it count. This is why marking your hole with a sharpie after you've cleaned the area with alcohol helps.

    Use a tire lever or socket to roll out the bubbles and burnish the sides of the patch. I put a little baby powder on my finger and spread it around the glue residue so it doesn't stick to the tire inside, but if you leave the clear plastic cover on it, you shouldn't have to mess with it.

    I allow my patch job to dry for a good hour before reinstalling it and airing it up. This is why I bring a tube on the trail/road instead of trying to patch one when I'm riding.

    Read step 5 from the Park Tool website. http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...er-tube-repair

    If you do it using the drying method, you won't have to clamp it between two objects.

    I've done this dozens and dozens of times. When I've been out of patches, I've used cut up old inner tubes and made patches out of them - works just as well as long as you use the drying method.

  14. #14
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    I've never had a problem riding on a patched tube. These patches work great - http://jensonusa.com/store/product/T...Patch+Kit.aspx Super easy and quick.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko
    I also go by the 3 strikes and you're out rule. I'll patch a tube twice, if I get a 3rd puncture then the tube get's tossed in the can.
    Why? It's not as though the patched areas affect the rest of the tube. I've run tubes with a dozen or more patches before the tube finally died by leaking where the valve stem is bonded to the tube - there's no patching that.

  16. #16
    shining bright
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    Took the bike out today and went 8 miles with the patched tube, seemed to do fine. I feel alot better about it now. Thanks for everyone's replies and tips.

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