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Rivendell raises a patch question; whaddya think?(21 posts)

Rivendell raises a patch question; whaddya think?Silverback
Aug 24, 2002 10:18 AM
In the latest Rivendell e-mail, Grant makes a comment about, "if you're among the few who still patch tubes...".
I knew there were a few cyclists, Colnago owners and sponsored racers and such, who toss a tube when it gets a puncture. Just out of curiosity, though, how many of you DON'T patch? How many just TOSS INTO THE OVERBURDENED ENVIRONMENT a $5 item you could FIX IN TWO MINUTES so it's as good as new. And for God's sake, WHY?
I have a bias here, but I won't tell you what it is....
Patched Tubes Make Great Backups and freebies to those who...jose_Tex_mex
Aug 24, 2002 10:38 AM
... just did not prepare for the ride by bringing an extra tube.

Normally, when I flat I put in a new tube and use the old one as a backup. If the flat was just a pinhole, today's easy stick patches make it worthwhile to patch.

As for professional racers, it's not worth the hassle or risk. Can you imagine a professional racer losing a race because of a patch that came undone or leaked - that would just be silly. However, for the rest of us they are just fine - probably better than new.
Why do you ask?Spoke Wrench
Aug 24, 2002 11:02 AM
I only average about 2 flats per year. Occasionally I'll patch one, but usually not. Occasionally I'll even reinflate one with a 16 gram screw in co2 cartridge, sometimes not, depends on which bike I'm on. I generally don't let stuff this small affect my serenity.
Wanted to make sure I wasn't uncool. (nm)Silverback
Aug 24, 2002 2:03 PM
re: Rivendell raises a patch question; whaddya think?amflyer
Aug 24, 2002 12:16 PM
I always patch, but keep the patched tubes mounted on the wheels. I'd rather find out if they hold air at home rather than find out they don't on the road.


Peterson spouts offKerry
Aug 24, 2002 12:44 PM
A lot of people still engage in the arcane act of patching tubes. While I only have to deal with maybe 5 flats per year between my wife and I, I only throw out a tube when it can't be patched. Both of our bikes have tubes on them right now that probably average 4 patches each. I have found patched tubes no less reliable than new tubes. It is extremely rare for me to have a patch fail. This business of "why deal with the insecurity of a patched tube" says a lot about the person doing the patching than it does with the reliability of a tube patch.
Five flats a year? TWO flats a year? I had two TODAY.cory
Aug 24, 2002 2:01 PM
I'm a patcher. It always amazes me, though, when some flat-related question comes up and people say they have two or three flats a year, or "rarely" have flats. One guy a few months ago said he'd had his first in three years.
Here in the land of glass and thorns, it's rare to go more than 50 miles without a puncture. I had two on a 25-mile ride today, and that's through the Kevlar belt.
We have goatheads that go through Mr. Tuffy like he wasn't there, and it's the high school fashion to drive around, drink beer and throw the empties out the window. I passed four places on my way to work this morning where a six-pack or so had shattered on the shoulder. The city sweeps them up on Monday mornings, but that makes Saturday and Sunday tough. Count your blessings....
I'm ashamed to say it...Spoke Wrench
Aug 24, 2002 3:06 PM
but I only ride a couple thousand miles a year, and that's spread over five different bikes. Two of them have Specialized Armadillo tires that are decidedly low performance, but nearly bullet proof. The only bike I ride that has averagely fragile tires is my Klein with Axial Pros. Generally I only ride it out in the country where there isn't much broken glass. Oh - and no puncture vine goatheads here in St. Louis.
Don't know how to patch themDMoore
Aug 24, 2002 9:49 PM
I've been riding for 30 years, and have never learned how to patch a tube. 20+ years ago I tried to patch a flat tubular. When I was all done it still leaked. I never tried again. Since I've started racing again in the last couple of years, I've had good luck with the tubulars and have only had a couple of flats. They're stacked on a closet shelf, waiting for me to find someone to send them to for a fix. As for clinchers, which I ride most of the time -- tubes are cheap. At $6 or $7 a pop for the lightweight tubes, I don't have the attention span to bother with trying to fix them. At 6500 miles or so per year with lightweight tires (Veloflex Pave, mostly), I probably go through a dozen tubes a year. I always carry two spare tubes - 3 if I'm doing a century. A couple of guys in my club who do patch tubes have a steady supply from me.
re: Rivendell raises a patch question; whaddya think?dave woof
Aug 24, 2002 10:21 PM
Good grief

Two or three flats a year? I ride 20-30 miles a day and get 3 or 4 a month! I have to patch. Doesn't make sense to throw away a tube (environmental cost and $ cost) when it can be patched for 29 cents.

fwiw - get Rema patches and glue, use two quarters, clamp it with adjustable pliers with rubber bands around the handle. Never had a patch fail using this method.

re: Rivendell raises a patch question; whaddya think?clintb
Aug 25, 2002 10:02 AM
good idea on clamping with quarters, dave. I second the Rema patches and glue. Never had one of those come off if the area's prepared properly. I used to get the patches and glue in bulk and it was dirt cheap that way. Only thing is, the glue will dry up fairly quick in large containers.
re: Rivendell raises a patch question; whaddya think?DrD
Aug 25, 2002 9:47 AM
I generally patch tubes, but typically will dump the tube when it punctures the third time, or if it punctures adjacent to a patch already in place. Both wheels currently have patched tubes in them - I only use new, unpatched tubes as my spares though (why tempt fate) - I switch them out once I get home and fix the old tube.
Frankenstein tube...Fignons_ponytail
Aug 25, 2002 10:08 AM
I had a mountain bike tube I called "The Frankenstein Tube." When I finally ripped it (and my sidewall) on a root, it had 14 patches on it! After the fourth one, it became a goal to see how many times I could patch the tube and still ride it. I was pretty sad the day I had to get rid of it.

And no, I would never do that on my road bike. I respect her too much for that!
Three strikes and your out!Rich_Racer
Aug 25, 2002 11:02 AM
I'm the same as DrD
Frankenstein tube...daniell
Aug 25, 2002 2:15 PM
I once had a road tube with 27 patches in it. It still held air. I stopped using it however. I see no reason to throw out a tube with a small hole. A properly applied patch will make the tube as good as new.

Aug 25, 2002 7:22 PM
I never do. I don't trust patches. I've tried many times, but it seems about half the time they don't work, especially if the hole is close the the little molding ridge down the center. I take a kit for emergencies, but that's all.

My riding time is extremely valuable to me. I don't want it spoiled by any equipment failure, especially from a $4 item.

What do you enviromentalists think about all the aromatic compounds released from the rubber cement? :-)

Aug 25, 2002 8:28 PM
I'm for minimizing our impact on mother earth, but would not consider myself a tree hugger.

My feelings about the impact of the aromatic compounds released from the cement while fixing a bicycle flat is that it pales in comparison to those released from so many other sources, but I suppose every little bit helps. Kind of like the joke: "A man was asked his intentions when he was observed urinating into the ocean from a boat. His reply; my wife fell overboard and can't swim, I'm helping her to drown - every little bit helps." (You can change the genders to fit the circumstances).
actually, I've not thrown them awayDougSloan
Aug 26, 2002 6:59 AM
Another thing, time is worth something. I just don't think my time is worth the attempt to save a tube. I'd rather just buy some. Time is just too precious.

I just remembered that I don't throw them away unless they are shredded. I have about 50 tubes with holes hanging on a hook in my garage. Maybe I'll sell them as a lot on ebay? Or, if someone knows of a poor junior bike team that would take them and patch them, I'll gladly donate. Any ideas of how to usefully re-distribute these things?

that's funny, i do the same,...JS Haiku Shop
Aug 26, 2002 7:20 AM
store them the same way, and consider them in the same regard. however, i see tube patching in my future. i'm getting some serious flak about my spending habits these days. :(
Just because time is valuable . . .Steve98501
Aug 26, 2002 3:50 PM

My time is valuable also, but I don't begrudge the time I spend patching a tube any more than the time I spend cleaning my bike. It's all part of the "bike thing" that I do. I always patch a tube unless it's beyond repair. I've rarely had a patch fail.

I believe the aromatic compounds released into the atmosphere from patching cement is far less damaging than the extraction of the resources and the process of manufacturing the tube in the first place. It might even be less damaging than the total exhaust released into the atmosphere from transporting a new tube from the place of origin of the raw materials, through manufacturing, to my local bike shop.
I save 'em for a rainy dayColnagoFE
Aug 26, 2002 6:40 AM
must have 20-30 tubes saved up now. On a rainy day I'll often patch a bunch of em at once.