Thread: Using Old Tubes
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:15 AM
DaveT DaveT is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 98

REMA TipTop patch kits (green plastic box - are the gold standard for patch kits; they include a tube of "glue" (actually vulcanizing cement that "melts" the rubber patch to the rubber tube), patches, and a piece of sandpaper to clean/roughen the tube surface before applying the cement.

Most independent shops will have the TipTop patch kits. I imagine the store brand kits (eg Performance) are probably the same stuff, but I stick with what I know works. I usually will patch tubes until they have five or more patches before I toss them.

The number one thing to remember is you MUST wait until the vulcanizing cement has completely dried (test it with the back of your finger) BEFORE applying the patch - this can take from less than a minute in the summer to 2-3 minutes in the winter.

Another tip - after you open the tube of vulcanizing cement it will dry out over time. One way to slow this is to squeeze the cement tube slightly before putting the cap back on to make sure there is no air in the tube. If you are going to be very far from help (like on a tour) I recommend you put an extra tube of cement in your kit. Some shops sell the vulcanizing cement separately.

As stated above, the self-stick patches are NOT permanent. I also recommend carrying a spare tube as well as a patch kit and using the tube for roadside repairs. When I have 2-3 tubes that need patching I do them at home.
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