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How many patches before you toss a tube?(6 posts)

How many patches before you toss a tube?Djudd
May 23, 2002 5:01 PM
I have a box in the back of my closet with no less than 15 tubes all patched, some 5 or 6 times. Some are patched and inflatable, others patched and won't hold air. I won't throw any of them out. Why? The inflatable ones obviously don't need to go. But the ones that won't hold air? How many patches before you toss a tube?
May 23, 2002 5:43 PM
After that it tends to be a waiting game before they start to leak. This is not science of course, only my experience.

I save the old ones as well, but I make things out of 'em.

I carry a light weight first aid kit in my bag that I made by stitching a cut open MTB tube into a wallet shape. A little black duct or electrical tape and you can make all sorts of cool packets and what not.

Ever have a spare tube get a hole from rubbing against a tool in your bag? Never happens now that roll 'em in a length of cut tube and rubber band it with "calamari rings" of old tube.

Make wallets for your cycling friends. It's easy and they are disposable when they wear out. Extra points if you can position logos or wording or old patches strategically on the wallet face. Mine has a sweet patch right dead center and a "Made in Japan" across the back.

Any other ideas for projects?


A. (Just proof read my post...I am a total bike dork. -sigh-)
Toss (or make stuff) only when I can't patch 'em againcory
May 24, 2002 7:54 AM
Like Ahimsa, I use old tubes for all kinds of stuff around the bike and garage--tiedowns, straps, with a hose clamp for temporary pipe patches (I have an old, leaky irrigation system in my yard from when the area used to be rural).
As for tossing them just because they're patched, though, I never do it. A patch is stronger than the original rubber, and one section of a tube doesn't know or care that there's a patch somewhere else. I use them until they crack or something happens that I can't fix. Since I live in Big Thorn country, it's not unusual to have 5-6-8 patches on a tube.
another use of old tubes...SteveO
May 24, 2002 8:53 AM
tire patches!
Umm... none?DMoore
May 23, 2002 7:47 PM
Gee - life's kinda short, to spend it patching tubes that only cost a couple of bucks to replace. And I'm afraid I'd never be willling to trust a patched tube. Now if you're talking about patching the tube that's inside a classic Clement seta tubular, that's another matter!
other end of spectrumSteveO
May 24, 2002 5:23 AM
I feel life's too short to be going to the store to buy replacement tubes.

it takes me (maybe) 2 minutes longer to patch a flat than replace a tube. Thats what, 6 minutes/year wasted patching (at most).

Well worth it over the umteen minutes wasted going to the store to get another replacement tube.

As far as trusting a patched tube? I've gone thousands of miles on patched tubes. No experience NOT to trust them.
On the other hand, Ive put a fresh tube out of a box and found a hole in it. Glad i dont rely on spare tubes on the road.