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Tubes: Patch or Pitch?(16 posts)

Tubes: Patch or Pitch?Val_Garou
Oct 20, 2003 10:13 AM
Hello from Tucson, where the streets are composed of 18% broken glass, 17% thorns, 35% strewn gravel, 20% assorted debris, and 10% real pavement. As a result, somebody in our group is flatting out almost every other ride. Riding every day, that adds up to a bunch of dead tubes.

Some of the folks simply throw the tubes away, others insist on patching and reusing the tubes (both traditional and self-adhesive patches are used). The former tell the latter that their patched tubes are just repeat flats waiting to happen, while the patchers accuse the tossers of being wasteful.

In your experience, who's got it right?
it depends...daCaT_
Oct 20, 2003 10:57 AM
If I get a pinch flat or the tube has more than 4 patches I replace. Otherwise I patch. If you know how to properly patch a tube it is no more prone to flatting than a new tube. Glass and thorns dont know the difference.

If you are flatting that much I would consider using Slime or tire liners. Slime works great on my MTB but I havent tried either on a road bike with the higher air pressure.
four patches?Steve_0
Oct 20, 2003 11:20 AM
I have tubes with so many patches I doubt there's room for four new ones.
Patch 'emOffTheBack
Oct 20, 2003 11:02 AM
I think every tube I own has at least one patch on it. If you apply it carefully, a traditional patch will hold pretty much indefinitely. Throwing out a 5$ tube every time it gets a pinhole is a waste, IMO.
It is wasteful, but ...Live Steam
Oct 20, 2003 11:03 AM
I generally toss them. Though it's probably not rational, I fear that riding on a compromised tube on a fast decent, could be hazardous. Road tires/tubes get hot on hot surfaces and very hot on same at speed. I do patch MTB tubes. I generally flat in the woods more than on the road. Besides, MTB tubes are made from heavier material and the speeds are not as great, so the risk isn't either.
definitely patch...fasteddie
Oct 20, 2003 11:18 AM
I always attempt to patch. Sometimes it's a tear or hole across the tube seam that experience has shown unlikely to be successfully patched - those get tossed. But usually mine are small holes not what I would consider blowouts. After each repair (I use traditional patches - I could never get self-adhesive patches to hold worth a darn!) I pump up w/air and leave at least overnight to check for leaks. Twice (2 out of 30) I've had a patch not hold, so then I decide if I want to try a re-patch or just toss it as well. Also, I don't try to patch on the road, too many distractions. For each ride I carry 2 "good" tubes and simply swap out a flatted tube and insert a good one. Then I can patch and test at home and typically do a better job at both.

I really can't understand why someone would consider throwing out what, in most cases I would think, is an otherwise perfectly good tube....maybe a session on remedial patching is in order.
Keep the patched tubes for trainingMR_GRUMPY
Oct 20, 2003 11:21 AM
The only time that I have had trouble with patched tubes is when they sit in a 130-140 deg. car on a sunny day. Besides that, I've never had one fail.
Oct 20, 2003 11:41 AM
Patch. I thought I was cheap by limiting my patches to 2 per tube and then I read that some patch four times and more.

I have never had a patched tube fail at the repaired spot. When I get about 10 bad tubes I have a patching session with my daughter. It sounds goofy but my 5 yr old loves to help and she gets a great feeling of accomplishment.
Idiot's guide to patching tires?loki_1
Oct 20, 2003 11:46 AM
It doesnt seem like rocket science. Recently I tried again to have have a go at patching. Using glue and following the directions (sandpaper scratching, cleaning, glue, patch) they seem to hold air fine until i put them in the tire and bring them up to pressure.
Idiot's guide to patching tires?Steve_0
Oct 20, 2003 12:02 PM
1. did you firmly press patch into the tube? Preferably 'rolling' the patch like you were baking pizza-dough (christmas cookies) ?

2. Are you sure you got all the holes? Best to pump up a bit before you reinstall to check for additional leaks.
In 30+ years, I've had ONE patch fail, and that was my fault.Cory
Oct 20, 2003 12:37 PM
No question--patch 'em and never think of them again. I'm sure I've put on hundreds of patches over the years, and I've had only one failure, when Slime leaked out the hole and I didn't clean it all off before I put on the cement and patch.
That's with conventional patches. With self-adhesive ones, my failure rate's close to 50 percent. I don't use them anymore.
self adhesive is only for when the glue-tube is dried out. nmSteve_0
Oct 20, 2003 12:40 PM
they work great on MTB and CX tubeslaffeaux
Oct 20, 2003 12:57 PM
At lower pressures the glueless patches work great. On road tubes at 110 psi, they work less well.
patch themlaffeaux
Oct 20, 2003 12:55 PM
Not only do you save a few bucks by patching them, you don't fill the landfills with rubber. Trash goes somewhere. Try to limit producing it as much as possible. Reuse tubes.
patch themdaniell
Oct 20, 2003 2:36 PM
I think that many people do not wait until the glue dries before applying the patch. This is very important for a good bond. I had one road tire with 27 patches before I retired the tube.
Oct 21, 2003 6:05 AM
remember as a kid we'd ignite the glue for instant repair.
More an excuse to play with matches than urgency for immediat repair, I suspect.