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Flat Tube: Repair vs Replace?(12 posts)

Flat Tube: Repair vs Replace?crestlinefarm
May 19, 2003 3:36 PM
Do you repair your tubes or do you simply discard them and replace with new? I flatted today, looks like a small slit (less than 1mm long.) Being newly re-united with road biking, I don't know if I'm just asking for trouble repairing tubes on a high pressure 700c tire? Years ago, I would throw a patch on and keep rolling.
Do repaired tubes make a decent emergency spare to keep on hand? Or is that just asking for more grief?

Also, what are some good suggestions for durable tube/tires for commuting?
It's your moneyKerry
May 19, 2003 4:18 PM
I would guess that the average tube in our family (my wife's road bike, my road bike, my commuter) has 3 patches on it. All of our on-bike spares are patched, and I never think twice about it. I patch tubes until they fail, which usually means either a longish slit or a detatchment of the valve stem. Typically that means 4-6 patches until they reach old age for some other reason. Occasionally, one will get a hole too near the valve stem to patch. I see no difference in durability between patched tubes and new tubes - maybe twice in the last cumulative 80K miles has a patch delaminated from the tube. Other people will tell you that they ONLY ride new tubes and they keep their patched ones to give away to people they meet along the road. It's your money.
Replace with new, patch for a stationary trainerLone Gunman
May 19, 2003 4:42 PM
I have a whole new outlook on using a patched tube. 2 weeks ago I was on organized ride. I swerved to the right in an unbalanced situation, the tire blew out and I went down in a heap. After examining the tire I could not see anything wrong to explain the blowout/off. I looked at my tube, PATCHED AT THE SITE OF THE BLOWOUT!!! I had warranteed a wheelset to the LBS in the fall and they put a small slice in the tube which they patched, I recall seeing the patch and my commment was "gee, I don't recall patching that tube" as I had been on a ride, had a flat and put on a new tube. That is the last time I ride with a patched tube. It is not a badge of honor to see how many times a tube can be patched until it fails. The size of the blowout slit convinced me about patches.
I always use new tubes!the bull
May 19, 2003 5:35 PM
Why even risk having something that could possabally fail.
Tubes are cheap.At least for me.
I like the Michelin tubes.
Second tube of choice-Continental!
They probally all made by the same company.
I have never had a patch failLC
May 19, 2003 9:50 PM
As long as it is a real patch (not a quick-patch) and the hole your patching is nothing more than a pinhole it is fine. Near the valve and snake bite punctures mean you need a new tube.
I carry a new spare and ride patched tubes. nmdzrider
May 20, 2003 4:34 AM
Continental tubes are US$3 here.Eug
May 20, 2003 6:52 AM
Considering that a bike often costs thousands, and 10 new tubes costs less than US$30 here, I don't bother with the hassle of patching a tube unless I absolutely have to. (I do carry a patch kit with me just in case I run out of tubes though.)
Had ONE patch fail in 30 years of ridingSilverback
May 20, 2003 7:47 AM
I've never understood why people toss tubes with one puncture. I've been riding more or less regularly since the early '70s, certainly had at least 150 flats, and only one patch has come unstuck. Even that was probably my fault--it was a slime tube, and I'm not sure I got all the slime off before I put on the cement. It's just not an issue.
Had ONE patch fail in 30 years of ridingboyd2
May 20, 2003 9:38 AM
I have tubes with so many patches on them you can't tell what color they started out as! But seriously I always carry a new tube and patches. If I am on the way to work I use the new tube. On the way home I patch.

Stay away from those glueless patches. I used to carry them and one day on the way home from work I fixed the same flat 4 times before I ran out of patches and called my wife. Unfortunately I did not have a spare tube that day. I still wave every day to the old lady that let me use her phone!
Had ONE patch fail in 30 years of ridingcrestlinefarm
May 20, 2003 11:48 AM
Thanks for the advice--and at least you made a friend from your patching fiasco!
I will patch the tube and keep using it, and save the new one for when I'm in a hurry.
I used to chuck my punctured tubes....DINOSAUR
May 20, 2003 3:04 PM
I started to throw my punctured tubes in a box, then one day when it was raining, I sat down and repaired all of them at once, a total of ten. I don't know what the average cost for a tube is but that's ten tubes that I did not have to buy. Just about all of my tubes have patches on them. The trick is to get all the air out of them so you can pack them in your seat bag or jersey pocket. I like the Michelin A1 Airstop tubes..A repaired tube is just as good, if not better than a new tube....
I toss thempmf1
May 22, 2003 5:19 AM
I find patching a tube a pain in the @ss. Especially if its cold or dark out. Patch kits cost $1 and are only good for one fix in my experience. The next time you pull it out, the glue has dried up. If they included extra bottles of glue they'd be more useful.

At least once every year, Performance sells tubes for $2 each. I go in and buy 10-15 and that lasts me for the year. I find them to be good quality and always carry 2 with me. I also carry a Park glueless patch kit. These are not as good as the glue kits, but they're small and the patched will get me home.

In the end, its probably cheaper to patch your tires. Its cheaper to eat beans and rice every night for dinner too. All a matter of taste and convenience.