Puncture repairs

My last bike went 12 years without a puncture. My current bike has had 2 in 6 months.

The first one, I repaired with a puncture repair kit that cost me 6 quid. It comes with a set of useless tools including two plastic tyre levers that bent on first use. When I got my second puncture I thought I'd better buy a replacement inner tube in case the new puncture was actually a failure of the previous repair. As it turned out it wasn't, so I was able to repair it and save the new tube as a spare.

But this got me thinking. If an inner tube is 3 quid, is there really any point messing about with fiddly puncture repairs?
 
  • Like
Reactions: C R

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
My last bike went 12 years without a puncture. My current bike has had 2 in 6 months.

The first one, I repaired with a puncture repair kit that cost me 6 quid. It comes with a set of useless tools including two plastic tyre levers that bent on first use. When I got my second puncture I thought I'd better buy a replacement inner tube in case the new puncture was actually a failure of the previous repair. As it turned out it wasn't, so I was able to repair it and save the new tube as a spare.

But this got me thinking. If an inner tube is 3 quid, is there really any point messing about with fiddly puncture repairs?
Yes and no. It is more convenient to bin the tube and fit a new one, but not environmentally friendly.
 

I like Skol

I'm Jay-walking, and I love it...
Defo! Feather edge puncture repair kits can often be had for around £1.99, maybe even 99p if seen in somewhere like Morrison's or Wilko. You will need a useable set of levers and a pump anyway regardless of if you fix or replace the tube. I always swap the tube for a previously repaired one when at the roadside and then fix the punctured tube later in the comfort of my own home. I nearly always carry the small patch kit, just in case of multiple punctures but will normally have two tubes with me anyway. I have tubes with 3/4/5 repairs on them and only replace when the tube condition shows signs of deterioration, not based on number of repairs.
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
Defo! Feather edge puncture repair kits can often be had for around £1.99, maybe even 99p if seen in somewhere like Morrison's or Wilko. You will need a useable set of levers and a pump anyway regardless of if you fix or replace the tube. I always swap the tube for a previously repaired one when at the roadside and then fix the punctured tube later in the comfort of my own home. I nearly always carry the small patch kit, just in case of multiple punctures but will normally have two tubes with me anyway. I have tubes with 3/4/5 repairs on them and only replace when the tube condition shows signs of deterioration, not based on number of repairs.
I do this too.
In fact, since the glue in the puncture kit has a tendency to dry out, I save up my punctured tubes and repair them all together in a sizeable batch, using the on-the-bike puncture kit, which is then replaced by a new one with a sealed tube of glue.

When you do puncture, always find what the cause was before putting the spare tube in. If you don't, it's very likely you'll just puncture the spare too, from the flint or whatever that's still in the tyre.
Rather than carefully inspecting the whole tyre, I find it best to find the hole in the tube by pumping it up outside the tyre, and then line the valve up with the tyre (more reliable if you always line up the tyre label with the valve) so you've only got a small segment of tyre to search. This does presume you've got a decent pump to find the hole in the tube.
 

lazyfatgit

Guest
Location
Lawrence, NSW
Small punctures I use glueless patches. Larger cuts swap tube and repair at home. Generally discard once they’ve been patched 3 times. No 1 roadie and mtb running tubeless. No flats on road or trail in over 4000km.

The only way to truly avoid punctures is leave the bike hanging in the shed, but the tyres still go flat.
 

Vantage

The dogs chew toy
But this got me thinking. If an inner tube is 3 quid, is there really any point messing about with fiddly puncture repairs?
Well you get the nice feeling of not being a complete ignorant nob like the rest of the population who are all too keen to add to the world pollution crisis and,
as you've discovered, you get to save that spare tube for the day when the pu***ure fairy harpoons your tyre in freezing cold rain. Its much nicer to patch the tube when you get home.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Whatever the cost of a tube. They are worth repairing. Either on the road or at home. No need to splash the cash wastefully.
One of my cycling chums takes it to extreme though. I counted 12 patches on one of his inner tubes.
 

I like Skol

I'm Jay-walking, and I love it...
One of my cycling chums takes it to extreme though. I counted 12 patches on one of his inner tubes.
I don't see your issue with this, surely the 12th patch is equally as valid as the 1st if the tube is in a good, useable condition? Each repair has the same evaluation process;
  1. I have a tube with a repairable puncture.
  2. The tube is in otherwise good condition.
  3. I have a repair kit that will cost about 30p per repair.
  4. I will repair the tube in less time than it takes to go and buy or order a new tube and at a fraction of the cost.
If the tube fails step 2 then obviously a replacement is the only option unless it is an emergency.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
I don't see your issue with this, surely the 12th patch is equally as valid as the 1st if the tube is in a good, useable condition? Each repair has the same evaluation process;
  1. I have a tube with a repairable puncture.
  2. The tube is in otherwise good condition.
  3. I have a repair kit that will cost about 30p per repair.
  4. I will repair the tube in less time than it takes to go and buy or order a new tube and at a fraction of the cost.
If the tube fails step 2 then obviously a replacement is the only option unless it is an emergency.

I don't have an issue with it at all.
 
OP
U

User76022

Guest
Well you get the nice feeling of not being a complete ignorant nob like the rest of the population who are all too keen to add to the world pollution crisis
I hear you, and that is my gut feeling too. It seems obvious that it is better to repair than to replace. It probably is.

But do we know this for fact? I don't really know the eco footprint of producing and shipping an innertube or discarding a finished one. Nor do I know the eco footprint of producing that nasty glue, sticking it in a sealed and printed metal tube, and producing, cutting and packaging the rubber patches.

Without knowing these things, we are making assumptions.
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
The only time I really, really needed multiple instant patches on the road I opened the little box and mysteriously there was only one patch in it. The fairy must have been at work.
The variation on this is to find that the 'glueless' patches one's been carrying around in case a second puncture is experienced are not as sticky as they once were/need to be. Lesson: replace the tiny box of those patches reasonably regularly (?every 6 months) whether one's been 'lucky' during that period or not.
 
Top Bottom