Fix A Puncture – Patch An Inner Tube

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Even if you only ever plan to fit new tubes it’s useful to know how to patch a tube. You may have multiple punctures on one trip and a patch kit – which only weighs a few grammes – will help get home. It’s also useful if you meet a rider without puncture tools whose tubes are a different size to the ones you carry. If you want to patch tubes for routine re-use the most efficient way is to store punctured tubes until you have a few and then process them together.

Step 1 – Clean And Dry

If you used water to trace the hole make sure the tube is dry. Use fine sandpaper or an emery board to clean the area around the hole. Clean an area larger than the patch you intend to apply.

Step 2 – Spread The Cement

Smear a thin layer of rubber solution around the hole.

Step 3 – Wait

The cement is a solution. Don’t apply the patch until all the solvent has evapourated. If you sniff the layer of solvent you must smell only the rubber of the tube, not the alcohol solvent. The length of time this takes depends on the weather conditions it’s quicker in warm dry air, longer when it’s cold and wet.

Step 4 – Rediscover The Hole

If you’re not certain where the hole is pump a small amount of air into the tube to show where the air escapes

Step 5 – Apply The Patch

Peel the protective layer off the patch. If the patch has paper on one side and foil on the other it’s the foil that comes off. If it has paper and cellophane, it’s the paper. Apply the patch to layer of glue so the hole is centred under the patch.

Step 6 – Bond

Place the tube on a firm smooth surface and rub the patch onto the tube with a smooth implement. A tyre lever works well. This action encourages the patch to bond to the tube.

Step 7 – Remove The Backing

Fold the tube to crack the backing paper or cellophane and peel it off from the centre outwards. If you want to leave the backing on that’s no problem. The tube will work with it still on.

Step 8 – Dust

Dust the patch and surrounding area with fine dust or chalk. A patch kit often has a block of chalk to generate this dust but you can use any fine dust lying around. The dust neutralises the glue around the patch so that the tube won’t stick to the inside of the tyre.

Pro Tip

If this is a routine patch — as opposed to an emergency repair — hang the tube up overnight with enough air in to hold an ‘O’ shape. If they haven’t sagged to an ‘I’ by morning they are holding air and ready for re-use.

Step 9 – Roll

Roll the tubes carefully to force all the air out then fold with the valve on the inside and secure with a rubber band.


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Category: General

32 Responses to “Fix A Puncture – Patch An Inner Tube”

  1. Very elegant

  2. or you can go buy a new tube for $6 why spend all that time

  3. zzrsc: Wow! I'm impressed by your post. With all kinds of new products on the market I wonder if anybody has tried using LIQUID TAPE. That stuff is incredible — however, personally, I have not tried it as a "patch" material.

  4. Jolly good video…thanks & cheers from the states!

  5. Get a fold going

  6. "The cement is a solution (so) don't apply the patch til the solvent has evaporated" what the heck is that supposed to mean?

  7. Thanks – some good tips in this video.

  8. Harold Long: I used old tubes to "thorn proof" the tubes on my 10 speed and my wife's 10 speed in the 1970's. Currently, I ride the irrigation canals of San Joaquin Valley with "Slime" thorn proof tubes and an old tube as a liner in the 2.25 tires of my 7 speed Schwinn. When I first started riding the canals 2 years ago, had a flat tire every other day. After a month of that bullshit, went to current method and not one single flat tire since. However, I know nothing about how that method would work at speeds in excess of 15 mph on a racing bike. Only one way to find out.
    P.S. I keep my tires inflated BEYOND recommend tire pressure — they are damn near rock hard!

  9. i liked this video, it answered every possible question in a plain and simple way.I suggest stopping at 3 mins though as the folding does get a bit tiresome

  10. Wow that sucked

  11. i feel relaxed too.

  12. ….this was oddly relaxing. lol

  13. I was "thorn proofing" my tires before most of your fathers were born.  How?  Used tubes.   Using a pair of scissors, cut the valve core out of the tubes; next, split them all the way down the the inside; now rap them around the new tube;  insert the new tube with the old tubes wrapped around it into the tire;  install the new tube with the old tubes wrapped around it into the wheel.  Inflate your tire.  Bingo!  You now have 2-3 layers of rubber between you and thorns on the road.  Keep in mind:  IQ means nothing until you learn how to use it.

  14. were is the other part. I fill nuts.

  15. To neutralize the glue, would corn starch (or even baby powder) work, instead of powdered chalk?

  16. Nice DIY!

  17. wtf with all the fiddling at the end, rubbish non informative

  18. Haha, the narrator sounds like Graham Gooch – ex Essex and England batsman!

  19. half the video was rolling it up…

  20. Shell Busey would say. " It's just that easy"

  21. I just use the rubber solution. I don't patch it still holds. Let it dry your done.

  22. This is a splendid, informative video that makes it easy to learn how to fix a tube. Thank you.

  23. how soon can the tire be inflated and ridden on?

  24. Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for!

  25. What???? If you sniff????

  26. love the way it is rolled back ..

  27. 3-4 minutes

  28. you just need to put the part of the tyre you glued under heavy thing like a table or something like that and it will be done in less than a day

  29. if it is hot and dry aprox how log do we have to wait

  30. Mmmm, Solvent Abuse….

  31. and pass it

  32. roll it up