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  #1  
Old 05-20-2011, 03:11 AM
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dmc dmc is offline
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Default Using Old Tubes

I've been running through tubes. I have low grade tires on a low grade bike.

Today I installed Mr. Tuffys tire liners.

I have 3-5 tubes that have extremely small puncture wounds on them. THESE ARE GOOD TUBES!!! Can I like patch them and fill them up with a bunch of slime and get my money the ghetto way? Some of these tubes have the smallest of puncture wounds. I would feel so much better if I could invest 10 bucks and have them as backups in my seat bag.

Whats up? Each tire in my mind's eye is a five dollar bill. I havent tossed them because I believe they are still valuable. Am I crazy? Help me save moneh!

Last edited by dmc; 05-20-2011 at 06:05 AM. Reason: replaced the word 'tires' for the intended word 'tubes'
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:22 AM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is offline
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Slime is a mess if you ever got a real puncture. I would go the patch kit route if you want to save a tube. A tub of water and a pump will get all those pesky little holes out of the way so you have a good spare in hand. Just make sure to patch the tires exactly as described in the instructions and you will get a reliable patch.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:58 AM
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Do you feel the rubber glue patches work better than the pre-glued ones?
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:53 AM
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Bent Bloke Bent Bloke is offline
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I ride on patched tubes all the time. Never had a problem until I get another puncture. Then I just patch it again. So I think you will be fine patching old tubes and using as spares.

I mostly use the Touring patch kit, where the patches already have adhesive, but there is also a tube of glue that you use first.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:45 AM
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scdurs scdurs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmc View Post
Do you feel the rubber glue patches work better than the pre-glued ones?
The pre-glued patches are only useful to get you home where you can use a rubber cement patch kit. I recommend using the old fashioned rubber cement kind, then use the tubes as spares to carry. Carry a patch kit along with your spare tube. Use the tube if you don't have time to patch it. If you run out of tubes while on the road, then use the patch kit. I collect my punctured tubes and have a patching party every so often.

Get some real tires - you shouldn't be getting so many flats. Even if you get some Performance brand kevlar belted tires for $12.99 - they work great by the way - you're better off than cheap rubber with no kevlar belt. But spend some money on Schwalbe Marathons or similar and you won't regret it.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:15 AM
DaveT DaveT is offline
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REMA TipTop patch kits (green plastic box - http://www.rematiptop.com/parts.php?sid=4) 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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Old 05-20-2011, 10:48 AM
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I ride on patched tubes all the time. Good practice when riding with a group - if someone gets a flat, patch the old tube while they are installing the new one. Saves time later on when that second flat occurs.

Sweep the inside of the tire for that invisible bit of glass or wire. Might save you from getting subsequent flats.

Every once in awhile, closely examine your tires, and pick out all the little bits of glass and such.

I don't get many flats, but ride with people who do. 650B tires have a bit more rubber
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