Problems repairing punctures

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Carrera, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I've been having difficulties repairing punctures for ages. Initially I made the mistake of not allowing the glue to set before applying the patch. However, as soon as I became aware of this, I made sure I allowed the glue to become tacky and then allowed the patch to set for 15 minutes or so.
    In spite of that, my tyres started to leak after a few weeks.
    They finally told me in the shop that racing tubes are very difficult to fix due to the synthetic material they're made of and the pressure of the tubes. They offered me what are supposed to be the best patches on the market - ultra thin peel-and-stick. You just peel off the patch and stick it over the puncture. I tried one after rubbing down the tube surface area and guess what? The centre of the patch simply bubbled after 10 minutes or so. I went back to my former patches and tube of glue.
    I've got better at fixing tubes than before but I still wouldn't feel too confident going on a long trek with a patched tube for fear it might leak. The shop specialist reckons it's best to just buy a new tube but it seems a little expensive to replace tubes every 2 or 3 weeks.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
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  2. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    seriously just throw the old punctured tubes out. and seriously how often do you flat. also do you make more than 20 dollars an hour. if so your wasting time and money in the long run, and not to mention stressing yourself out.
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    That is seriously alot of total hooey.Tubes can be patched and patched, and if done right, it's permanent. Some peoplel flat alot due to thorns,glass and other crap on the roads.
     
  4. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Very common problem.
    The issue is usually getting the tube clean in the entire area where the patch is to stick, without putting grooves in it from "sanding". The sanding process is to clean the tube so that the adhesive will stick to the tube material and not coatings.
    Cleaning the area with plain alchohol (not the kind with rubbing components) and letting it dry, goes a long way towards success.
    The instructions in Park Tools's kits and their web site are good:
    http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQGP2.shtml
    As other posters mentioned, it may be a job to skip or at least do at home in a clean, dry, and bug free environment.
    I favor glue type patches, except when I find the glue in the tube is all dried up.
    Long treks present another issue. Patching on the road may be required. If you are patching/replacing every 2 or 3 weeks you maybe putting on serious miles or need to find other tires to improve your situation.
     
  5. Hitchy

    Hitchy New Member

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    G'day,

    several issues with your question. Firstly, i'm firmly in the camp of those who reckon you can fix the tubes. the previous poster has some good advice re sanding etc. I take it you're not trying to fix the tubes out on the road?. If you are...that idea 'has whiskers on it". i carry several spare tubes (depending on how long I'm going out for). Just replace the tube out on the road & worry about fixing the puncture when you get home (or not!). Secondly, it concerns me that you know that the patch is lifting after around 10 minutes or so?. You're not supposed to stick 'em on & then pump them up, without them being installed into the tyre. The rationale is that when installed & pumped up, the pressure against the inside of the tyre will hold the patch in place & help seal it until the glue goes 'off' (up to 24 hrs). Thirdly, I'd check out my tyres.....provided you're not riding on disgraceful road conditions & running over every piece of crap you see, you really shouldn't be puncturing all that often. gee I'd be pissed off if I had one puncture a month, let alone the amount you seem to describe. Most modern bike tyres will have some sort of puncture protection built in, like a Kevlar bead or something....they are far more resiliant to punctures than they were years ago. Check that your tyre pressures are adequate, you may be suffering 'pinch flats' which can be caused by running too low a pressure.....finally...unless you are running 'high end' tubes, they only cost around $5 , (in Oz) each....so they are hardly worth the time to repair them anyway....good luck,

    cheers,

    Hitchy
     
  6. EoinC

    EoinC New Member

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    I'm with Hitchy on this (except for the part about the kevlar bead - the bead is the wired section which locks the tyre to the rim - it is the casing which requires puncture resistance).
    1) Being able to fix punctures is a good skill to have, regardless of the economics. Choose your economic path after you have gained the skill. I used to patch the inner tubes in my sew-ups (now that is a painful job) when I didn't have money to pay for new ones.
    2) Prevention is better than cure. Hitchy is right about how often you are puncturing. You need to do a bit of forensic work to find the route cause. If you are suffering an ongoing plethora of deflations, either your tyres are not up to the terrrain you are riding (perhaps by design or perhaps by damage), or your repair technique has a problem. Are the punctures (after the first one) due to an item coming through the tyre / a pinch flat / foreign objects (eg dirt) left in the tyre after repair / failure of the patch?
    3) All of the above failures (apart from the item coming through the tyre) relate to repair technique and procedures. Although patching is preferably done in a clean environment, there is nothing particularly wrong with doing it (patching that is) out on the road as long as you are careful about it.
    4) If you are having trouble with pinch flats (usually show up as 2 holes or 2 lines) on beaded tyres, a general rule is that you use tools (if necessary) to remove the tyre from the rim, but don't use tools to fit it back on.
     
  7. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Thanks, folks!
    I found some of your tips useful and, yes, I have been pumping up my tube before sticking it back in the tyre. I assumed that after an initial drying period, pumping a bit of air into the tube would strengthen adhesion. Probably I got it wrong.
    I recently bought some expensive tyres (the wider type with lots of tread). I don't get huge amounts of punctures but the roads in my area are shockingly bad. There are pot-holes all over the place and grids can be fatal. If you don't learn to dive and weave around them, it can be tough. I know guys who buckled their wheels a couple of times.
    Once I went right down a grid and got an immediate puncture (fortunately my wheel didn't buckle).
    I thought the advice about using alcohol was useful and some of the other tips. The advice is appreciated. I do carry a spare tube with me on the road as well as a pump and valves.

     
  8. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Seriously,I've patched tubes by the side of the road or years with perfect success. Even kevlar won't hold up to thorns and glass. I double flatted once this past fall, 3 holes in one tube and 2 in the other.
     
  9. EoinC

    EoinC New Member

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    A basic how-to (according to me)....
    1) Check the tyre for damage. If you can find the culprit, mark the sidewall so you know where it is.
    2) Remove the tube and tyre, being careful not to damage the bead in the process.
    3) Find the puncture and mark it on the tube. Determine the soze of patch that is required to cover it comfortably.
    4) Lightly sand the area (larger than the patch size, but centred on the puncture) to buff the surface off. Most puncture repair kits will come with fine sandpaper or a metal rasp. If you are out on the road, stretch the tube over the seat or handlbars as you do this. If there is a molding seam running through the patch area, sand it down flush with the surface as this can be a source of leaking.
    5) Blow any dust off and apply the glue to an area larger than the patch. Allow to dry (to a tacky stage).
    6) When applying the patch, be meticulous about cleanliness and not touching the surfaces. Lightly stretching the tube over a round object (jar / handlebars), use the rolling tool or a tyre lever to push the contact working from the centre towards the edges. It is very important that the edges bond so as not to allow later delamination of the patch.
    7) Examine the inside of the tyre by passing your fingertips over all the surface. Remove any foreign objects. Blow out any dirt that may be sitting in the bottom and ensure that there are no rough surfaces on the inside. Sand them out if they exist. On larger vehicle tyres, you can install tyre patches to the inside of the tyre, but, a bike tyre with that much damage is probably not worth salvaging.
    8) Check that the Rim Tape is covering the spoke nipples. If you are getting punctures on the insides of your tubes, this is where the problem is. Fit one bead of the tyre into the well of the rim, noting rotating direction if it is not a bi-directional tyre.
    9) Pump just enough air into the tube for it to hold its shape. If at home, check in a bowl of water with a little dishwashing liquid to see that there are no further leaks.
    10) Fit the valve through the open side of the tyre and down into its hole in the rim. Move the rest ov the tube up to sit inside the tyre for the full circumference.
    11) Starting at the valve area, pull the tyre bead onto the rim by hand, running your thumbs along the casing beside the bead in both directions, until you end up with a short section still outside the rim oppsite the valve.
    12) Ensuring that the valve is still pointed towards the axle (slide the tyre slightly if it isn't) and checking that the tube isn't caught between the tyre and the rim, work at pulling the remaining section of bead over into the well.
    13) Give the tyre a bit of a squeeze all the way around to ensure that the tube is well seated and pump it up.
    14) Ride.
     
  10. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    If you're referring to rubbing alcohol, it doesn't have any 'rubbing' components. People used to get massages using alcohol hence the name. It was very cooling to say the least. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol (usually 70% in water). It's a excellent disinfectant. It's what they rub on your skin before you get an injection. It could be used to clean grease, talc, etc. from the surface of a tube before patching. It's also available as a small swab in sealed foil packets so it could be taken on a ride.

    Regarding patching, I agree that a properly patched tube should last indefinitely. But everyone's sense of confidence is different and a tube is a relatively small expense.
     
  11. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    I use Vittoria tubes and don´t have any trouble patching them , just clean apply glue wait then apply patch then dust with talc/ chalk
    Did have a Hutchinson tube I couldn´t patch once but that´s another story .
    Carry a spare tube ; better two - one new , one patched - then fit the patched one to ride home in case you didn´t find All of what ever caused the problem in the first place - also gives you something to give a stranger in trouble .
    ps always carry your repair kit as well , you never know ....
     
  12. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    i don't know if it's true, but i've been told that the "peel 'n stick" patches are not as permanent as the "scratch 'n glue" and if you do peel and stick on the road you should replace the patch when you get home, if you want to keep using the tube.

    true? false?

    also, a little air to give the tube shape before installation is fine, but don't go pumping so much that the tube is stretching around the patched area. you're just going to loosen the patches grip as the tube stretches out.
     
  13. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    true! these things seem to last well enough to get you home, and maybe a short stint the next day. but i've done this twice--been lazy--and i'll just park my bike for a while the next day (couple of hours) and come back and there it is flat again. another emergency patch (rip old one off, put new one one) lasts even less time than the first one.

    now, i always go home and re-patch with glue. i think it may be related to patching on the road versus in your garage/basement.
     
  14. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    well my friend told me it was because the glue on the peel 'n stick stuff wasn't as strong.
     
  15. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    My present tubes are Kenda. I always carry a spare on the road. However, once I slipped up when I got a flat miles away and discovered the tube I had at the time had a mountain bike valve. I had no adapter either so I couldn't pump it up. I even tried blowing it up orally as a last resort but couldn't do it.
    I really hope all these tips work so thanks for the advice. Neither did I realise the peel and stick patches are only temporary. The shop told me they were super patches that would cure any puncture.
    Most of the punctures I've been getting are on my knock-about bike. This is the bike I use to get to work on so the tyres aren't as good as on my sports bike. I was just amazed that all my attempts at tube repairs had failed whereas my mountain bike repairs lasted fine.
    I don't know about you folks but I also have difficulty putting the tyre back on. I can do it but the air turns very blue. These days I tuck the tube in the tyre first and then push the valve onto the tube, sealing it with a nut. Then I push both rims of the tyre onto the wheel rims (making sure the tube stays tucked in) till I get to the last few inches. With some tyres I can complete the process quite calmly but there are some tyres that require the strength of Herculese. I never use levers anymore for fear of pronging the tube (it happened to me once).
    Have you ever noticed that some tubes appear too big for the tyre and you get some slack (about 2 inches)? Initially that really confused me as I thought I had the wrong size.


     
  16. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    there are so many of these peel and stick patches, my guess is that the cheap ones (the ones that tell you they aren't meant to be permanent) probably aren't. but if you have a patch that's supposed to be permanent, maybe it is--i just never used one.

    the two i've tried, well, one set was a hand-me-down (green/black with smiley faces). the ones i carry now are clear and the adhesive is pretty gummy. i'm too cheap to buy expensive "stickers" for my tubes, but if someone can come online and swear they are worth the money, i might try them.
     
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