Author Topic: Repairing Punctures  (Read 1536 times)

Andybg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 827
Repairing Punctures
« on: October 25, 2012, 11:32:56 AM »
I have never had much long term successs with repairing innertubes. This is not a massive issue with the low rate of punctures I get with Schwalbe Marathon tyres and generaly just replace the inner tube with a new one.

I am interested in what other peoples modus operandi is and if anyone has some tried and tested repair kit and procedure that is foolpoof.

Andy

jags

  • Guest
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 12:16:53 PM »
if i puncture out on a spin i change the tube could not be bothered trying to fix it on the road i'll do that when i get home.
so no secrets Andy same old stuff. ;D

JWestland

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 756
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 02:17:43 PM »
The Halfords kit/patches I got 2 years ago was very good.

But I find, in general that repair kits are a bit hit and miss, and sometimes the patch won't stick. It really seems to be the glue rather than skills.

Also, any puncture near a seam generally causes the patch to sit a bit high/not stick and such repairs tend to fail.

Spare inner tube is the way to go for me. Especially as it's %$%* hard to get the quite stuff Continental SC tires of the very deep CR18 rims  ;D
Pedal to the metal! Wind, rain, hills, braking power permitting ;)

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 04:17:23 PM »
Hi Andy!

I've always has good luck with the Rema Tip Top brand of cold- (chemical) vulcanizing repair kits; others less so.

The trick is to...

1) Make sure the surface is first roughened properly (a bit hard sometimes if the areas to be spanned on the tube includes mold lines).

2) After spreading on the glue, make absolutely certain it is dry (a back-of-hand test leaves less possibility of skin-oil contamination). Needless to say, the tube and glue must not get wet with water during this operation.

3) After removing the foil back, the patch has to be put in place the first time; no relocations are possible.

4) After placing and rubbing firmly, the most valuable trick of all is to ever so slightly stretch the patch while holding it firmly in pace on the tube. The cellophane will crack further across the middle where it is already split. Peel it off from center to edge.

5) Last step to assure success next time: Before capping theglue tube, squeeze the contents right up to the rim before capping to minimize any air trapped in the tube.

Some good advice: Replace the kits every couple years if they have not been used; ensures the glue and rubber remain fresh.

Rema has been the brand for me for me the last 35 years or so, and I think I've tried them all. They're thin and nicely tapered at the edges and cause the least tube distortion on inflation of any brand I've used. The only downside? If you run tires with tan sidewalls, the dye used in the center of the patch will leach through the tires and produce unsightly brown-black stains on the sidewall, making them look spotted (it can't be removed).  I've used the oval versions of these patches on occasion as tire boots; they can be cold-vulcanized to the inside of the casing as well as the tube.

For really miserable conditions where it can be hard to get a Rema to vulcanize (i.e. very cold and humid/foggy/torrential downpours), I simply replace the tube and deal with the problem later or slap on a glueless patch (also ideal for fixing thorn punctures in Thermarest pads; it is a near-permanent fix if you do it right and if the pad has the proper cover texture). I take a box each of glued and gueless patches on day rides. On long tours, I usually take a half-dozen kits and sometimes the same in tubes (when touring on smaller, lighter 700C tubes; usually 3 of the Schwalbe SV13 tubes for the 26in wheels).

For goathead thorn country, I toss in a couple Mr Tuffys liners (tightly rolled and secured with nylon-covered headbands and placed in a zip-top bag with the spare tubes) for installaton after the first puncture and removal after I leave Thorn Country. Yes, they eventually cause wear-induced flats of their own, but at a far lower rate than thorns and I detest the results caused by puncture sealant that has gotten loose in the tire cavity and rim well. This strategy has always worked well for me, doesn't for others, and is a personal choice best governed by personal experience.

I don't like getting flats, but I always feel a certain satisfaction when I make a repair using a patch. That may be because I'm chea- er, "careful" and feel I'm not just throwing-away something that might well last a bit longer with a few moments' extra work. I do recall riding with my father one day when we managed to acquire 17 flat tires between us (poor gravel road mixed with steel-cord belt shrapnel from exploded tires). I finally cut one tube in two and knotted the ends after we ran out of patches and spare tubes. By the dozenth repair, my arms felt like cooked spaghetti from pumping and I was a bit less satisfied. My usual limit is 3 patches, then replace with a new tube. I've had some patches loosen on sun-warmed roads in desert heat when the surface temperature of dark asphalt was at or above 140F/60C. A bit discouraging for repairs, but ensures they're made quickly.

Best,

Dan. (Going um, "flat-out" each day...)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 04:14:15 AM by Danneaux »

StuntPilot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 385
    • Tour on a Bike
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 07:58:49 PM »
Great advice as usual Dan. My experience so far with puncture repair kits is limited to the SJS one (only 1 each!) ...

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sjs-cycles-puncture-repair-kit-prod1934/

The Rema looks good too. So far I have found the SJS kit really simple and of good quality. I had not heard of Mr Tuffy liners. They
look ideal for rougher terrain. Anything to avoid changing or repairing a tyre in the pouring rain. Thanks for the info!

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 12:23:31 AM »
Quote
I had not heard of Mr Tuffy liners. They look ideal for rougher terrain.
You're surely welcome, Richard!

Truly, the Mr. Tuffys (no apostrophe) are a mixed blessing with the result being largely positive for me. Their design has been greatly improved over the years, but the overlapping ends and tire tread-to-road flexure assures you will eventually get a wear-flat from the liners rubbing through the tube (it is critical one match the liner width to the tire). My father truly disliked flats (even though I changed them when we rode together  ;)), so he decided he'd like one permanently installed in his rear tire. He managed to go over three years without a flat, and that next one was caused  by the Tuffy. Still, not a bad tradeoff for him. He decided to run his front tire without a liner...it is a Law Of Bicycling that front tires have fewer flats. Why? They're less heavily-laden, and you can usually steer around the hazard...just in time for the heavily laden rear tire to hit it square on, and then get driven in a bit further with weight on each rotation.

Tire liners do add rolling resistance, and I have found integral Kevlar or other belts embedded in the tires do a fine job for me in most circumstances. The exceptions are exploded steel-belted truck tires (which can happen anywhere, but mostly on the shoulders of major highways. The little wire shards go right through Dureme belts) and goathead thorns (which occur in certain areas of America's Great Basin and desert southwest). The Tuffys have proven very helpful to me in Goathead Country. I wait till I get my first thorn-caused flat, then keep the liners in place till I'm in the clear again, when I remove them and roll 'em up and return them to storage in the bottom of the panniers. Yes, I have found they work particularly well on rough terrain.

Goathead-caused flat prevention is a topic almost as controversial as wearing helmets and there are those who greatly prefer sealants. Slime and Stan's are the two main contenders, with Stan's getting the edge among many residents of Thorn Country. To openly declare my personal bias based on sad experience: I just detest sealants. I have found them to clog valves, ruin pumps, imbalance wheels, and cause all sorts of messy, horrible problems when they are called upon to do their job (it gets on the rim sidewalls and is flung from there). It is not unknown for escaped sealant to glue the tire bead to the rim and in my own experience, things go rapidly downhill from there (I found -- very rare for me -- they came with a language course). As much as I dislike sealants, it is only fair to say they really are The Answer for many cyclists, who seem to have had much happier experiences with them than I.

Quote
So far I have found the SJS kit really simple and of good quality
The great success of the Rema has spawned a host of imitators over the years. These often work very well indeed, and it is thanks to a Rema innovation -- thinned edges. Rema's particular claim to fame is the "feather-edged" patch, but the copies can be very good, and are typically identified by a thin reddish border around a black center.

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 02:09:06 AM by Danneaux »

pdamm

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 03:41:21 AM »
Andy

The only thing I can add to Dans comprehensive reply is that my technique includes carrying the head of a disposable razor to shave off any mould lines that would otherwise get in the way.  This makes it easy to patch a hole near a mould line.  I find it easier to shave the mould line if the tube is well inflated at the time.

I believe the purpose of roughing up the tube is to remove the residual release agent off the surface of the tube.  The release agent is intended to prevent the tube from sticking to its mould during manufacture and is equally successful at preventing a tube from sticking to its patch.  Some patch kits I have seen use a thin piece of metal with a series of small sharp holes to scratch the tube like a mini cheese grater.  These can leave much of the release agent in place between the scratch marks.  I always use a piece of sand paper to remove the release agent completely.  Again I find it easier if the tube is inflated at this stage.

I like to keep my tubes going and have had some patches last several years before the tube was finally replaced.  It is always a sad moment to throw out an old well patched tube, we have been through so much together...

Peter
 

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 04:07:26 AM »
Quote
...my technique includes carrying the head of a disposable razor to shave off any mould lines that would otherwise get in the way
Peter! This is brilliant! What a fantastic idea! Wow. I am delighted by your addition (and heading directly to the cabinet over the sink to see what I can find in disposable razor heads). You have simply made my day with this suggestion, and I can't stop smiling for hearing it.

A wonderfully stated explanation of the tube-roughing rationale and the hazards of using the little "cheese grater". I have used aerosol ether (starting fluid) at home on occasion for the same purpose. It doesn't seem to harm the rubber and flashes off quickly so the tube is ready for the vulcanizing fluid straight away.
Quote
I like to keep my tubes going and have had some patches last several years before the tube was finally replaced.  It is always a sad moment to throw out an old well patched tube, we have been through so much together...
My brother! :D

All the best,

Dan. (...who is very grateful to *not* know it All!)

Andybg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 827
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2012, 06:36:50 AM »
Well  you have managed to persuade me.

Thanks for all the help. I will carry on replacing tubes at the roadside, but will tart a regime of repairing the punctured one when I get home.

I am not sure wether past failures have been due to old repair kits (very possible), poor prep (definetly possible) or not ensuring the surface is properly dry after using water to locate the puncture in the first place.

I will move this task from the chore list to the challenge list!!!

Roll on the next puncture - well maybe not quite that enthusiastic!!!!

Thanks Guys

Andy

il padrone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1208
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 07:18:24 AM »
Thorn puncture-prevention? I just run Vittoria Randonneur Cross 26x1.75" or the new Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 26x2.15" for a wider tyre. Randonneurs in the plain slick version are available in a wide range of widths for 700C wheels.


Tube release agent? I've always roughed the tube up with some sandpaper or the little mini-cheese graters. If you give a good light working over even the cheese-grater will give enough coverage to clear the surface. No. 1 thing to beware is do not rush the patch on. You must wait until the glue is virtually dry then the bonding action will be secure and instantaneous. I always give the patch a good 30 secs or so of pressure for good measure.


I usually run tubes for quite a while, and have had tubes with up to 8 patches on them. Then they've been retired. But since using the Randonneur Cross tyres I simply do not have punctures. More than 22,000 kms on two sets of tyres - zero penetration punctures.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 07:21:29 AM by il padrone »

High Moors Drifter

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 05:09:51 PM »
Has anyone experience of glueless patches either as a permanent repair or as a stop gap whilst out on the road? Whilst on the road I always carry a spare inner tube and have used a traditional puncture repair kit when I get home.

Id.

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 06:07:44 PM »
Id,

I've used glueless "instant" patches with some but not universal success. I carry both kinds and use the glueless kind as a backup when I am in a real hurry or when I need to patch my self-inflating sleeping mattress -- they have so far proved ideal for that.

It is also nice to have the glueless instant patches on hand in case your previously opened tube of cold-vulcanizing cement has dried out. A little tip: If you squeeze your opened tube of glue so the contents come right up to the edge so it can be capped without an air gap, it will last longer in storage.

The problem I have found with them comes with age and hot weather, when the adhesive has sometimes softened and caused them to peel and lift from the edges over time.

Of the glued kind, my favorite is Rema Tip Top for reliability and durability though I prefer not to use them if the patch overlaps the edge of a gum- or skin-colored sidewall. More than other brands, the color on the black portion of the patch bleeds and stains the tan sidewall from the inside out, making it look unsightly. The red fringed rim has so far been color stable.

I have found the quality of glue less patches can vary widely. Two brands that have worked reasonably well for me are Park and Bell.

Best,

Dan.

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1246
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 12:01:48 AM »
Dan, I'm guessing that Tenacious Tape would work as a glueless backup, too. As usual, cleaning the affected area with an alcohol swab, and roughening slightly, would help. Your thoughts?

Cheers,  John

Danneaux

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7163
  • reisen statt rasen
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 12:19:40 AM »
I've long had the idea in mind, John, but have not yet tried it. Tear-Aid (what I use) is pretty hard to cut cleanly...it gums up scissors blades until they are cleaned with 99% alcohol. The Tear-Aid kits I use do have some precut dots, ovals, squares, and rectangles as well as larger uncut sections on a roll. However, given the relatively high cost, I tend toward commercial glueless patches if I don't use the cold-vulcanizing kind.

Short-term, duct tape can make a nifty patch, but I really can't recommend it unless there's nothing else available. The adhesive tends to creep out 'round the edges causing havoc of its own.

One thing I've tried with remarkable success is beta-cyanoacrylate -- the kind of super glue rated to work on wood and rubber. I just empty the innertube of air, squeeze the sides together so the puncture opens up, and apply a single drop of glue before letting go so the edges of the puncture squeeze shut. In about 15 seconds, it is fully sealed and ready to add air to pressure once contained in the tire. I now always take a tube with me. It is well suited to relatively low pressure tires rather than narrow, high pressure road tire tubes. It works great on tire slits and small holes also and can be combined with duct tape or bills on the interior tire casing for a low-mass tire boot.

All the best,

Dan.

JimK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1523
    • Interdependent Science
Re: Repairing Punctures
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 05:34:50 AM »
I patched a flat out on the road a couple weeks back, using a glueless patch. Seems to be holding up fine.

It was a staple, maybe 1 cm long, right through a Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour. Nice clean little puncture!