Author Topic: Can I patch a bike TIRE?  (Read 1940 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4547
Can I patch a bike TIRE?
« on: April 22, 2015, 10:54:48 AM »
Big Brother's bike has a flat tire and Mr. FP says that there is a small hole in the tire itself (judged by the feeling that air is coming out between the treads). Can I patch this somehow, or should I just buy a new tire?

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3028
Re: Can I patch a bike TIRE?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 11:01:36 AM »
If the hole is really tiny you can patch the tube (or put a new one in) and then use some cut up squares of old tube to "patch" the tire from the inside.

It likely won't last forever and this trick is usually just used to get you home when you get a flat on the road.

johnmyster

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: Can I patch a bike TIRE?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 11:09:43 AM »
When you pull the tube out, pay attention to its orientation.  Hook the pump up and find where the air hisses out.  Look at the corresponding spot on the tire and find the hole.  If it's small (depending on the type of bike/tire we're talking about here) then there's no need to worry about it.  Just make sure to feel around on the inside of the tire and make sure no thorns, glass, or other hazards still exist.  If you really want, put a tube patch over the hole on the inside of the tire.  Then put in a new tube and go.  Thorns and small pieces of glass will often work their way through a tire without cutting the threads of the casing, in which case you're fine.

Depending on the road hazards present on the commute and the necessity of on-time arrival, ask your local bike shop for tires that have a puncture protection layer.  Specialized Armadillo tires are expensive, but we installed them on a fleet of rickshaws I was managing and cut out over 90% of our puncture flat incidents.  At $5 per tube, plus CO2 cartridges for emergency inflation, we figured the the cost difference paid for itself 5 times over during the lifespan of the tires...not to mention lost fares.

Thorn-proof tubes (I used to buy them from performance bike) are made of really thick rubber so they add weight, but are another way to up your protection factor and your fitness level.

Also, if this is a thin road bike tire, they tend to be more prone to hazards working their way through the tread when they get worn down.  I used to get about 3000 miles out of flat-resistant training tires when I was a bike-racer guy.  When I got my first flat on the road, I knew it was time for a new set of tires.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 11:12:29 AM by johnmyster »

BlackIronStubble

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Mid-sized Southern City
Re: Can I patch a bike TIRE?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 01:14:10 PM »
+1 on what Johnmyster says.  I'll also add that running a shop vac around inside of the tire and the wheel can help if you find yourself getting mystery flats. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4547
Re: Can I patch a bike TIRE?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 02:22:58 PM »
When you pull the tube out, pay attention to its orientation.  Hook the pump up and find where the air hisses out.  Look at the corresponding spot on the tire and find the hole.  If it's small (depending on the type of bike/tire we're talking about here) then there's no need to worry about it.  Just make sure to feel around on the inside of the tire and make sure no thorns, glass, or other hazards still exist.  If you really want, put a tube patch over the hole on the inside of the tire.  Then put in a new tube and go.  Thorns and small pieces of glass will often work their way through a tire without cutting the threads of the casing, in which case you're fine.

Depending on the road hazards present on the commute and the necessity of on-time arrival, ask your local bike shop for tires that have a puncture protection layer.  Specialized Armadillo tires are expensive, but we installed them on a fleet of rickshaws I was managing and cut out over 90% of our puncture flat incidents.  At $5 per tube, plus CO2 cartridges for emergency inflation, we figured the the cost difference paid for itself 5 times over during the lifespan of the tires...not to mention lost fares.

Thorn-proof tubes (I used to buy them from performance bike) are made of really thick rubber so they add weight, but are another way to up your protection factor and your fitness level.

Also, if this is a thin road bike tire, they tend to be more prone to hazards working their way through the tread when they get worn down.  I used to get about 3000 miles out of flat-resistant training tires when I was a bike-racer guy.  When I got my first flat on the road, I knew it was time for a new set of tires.

Thanks for the tip--I will check it over carefully and see what the deal is.

Since Big Brother is four years old, he does not do a lot of commuting :-).

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: Can I patch a bike TIRE?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 06:43:05 PM »
If the hole in the tire is big enough to let the tube bulge through (my rule of thumb is 1/4" or so) then it'll flat again.  I use pieces of old tires to make boots.  Cut them into about 2" chunks and then cut off the bead.  Make sure there's no remaining trash in the hole, put the boot inside the tire covering the hole, new tube, and ride out.  I have ridden severely slashed tires this way until they wore out.