Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

How do Tube Patches Work?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

How do Tube Patches Work?

Old 06-09-21, 01:37 AM
  #1  
PDKL45
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
PDKL45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Korea
Posts: 575

Bikes: Merida Speeder

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 57 Posts
How do Tube Patches Work?

Like the title says, I'm interested as to what goes on when you patch a tube. I had a puncture while commuting just yesterday, a tiny piece of glass that remained in the tire after my first check and punctured my spare tube about 5 kms later, near work (thankfully). I had to buy a puncture repair kit at lunchtime and sit by the river after work, thoroughly checking the tire, extracting the tiny 1 mm x 1 mm piece of glass in it, patch both tubes--as well as a snakebite puncture caused by my own clumsiness--and finally ride home.

So does anyone know patches actually work? It's just for the sake of knowing, really. You buff the tube, put on solvent goo, allow it to dry, peel off a patch and apply the patch to the now dry solvent goo. Someone was saying somewhere that the patch becomes part of the tube? Does the solvent work to "weld" the patch to the tube?
PDKL45 is offline  
Old 06-09-21, 03:53 AM
  #2  
JoeTBM 
Droid on a mission
 
JoeTBM's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 636

Bikes: Diamondback Wildwood Classic

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 173 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 72 Posts
Rather then repeat this other latest thread, a little search and you would have found it as it was very recent

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...ube-patch.html
__________________
JoeTBM (The Bike Man) - I'm a black & white type of guy, the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
www.TheBikeMenOfFlaglerCounty.com




JoeTBM is offline  
Likes For JoeTBM:
Old 06-09-21, 07:41 AM
  #3  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,328

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4306 Post(s)
Liked 1,811 Times in 1,102 Posts
Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
Like the title says, I'm interested as to what goes on when you patch a tube. I had a puncture while commuting just yesterday, a tiny piece of glass that remained in the tire after my first check and punctured my spare tube about 5 kms later, near work (thankfully). I had to buy a puncture repair kit at lunchtime and sit by the river after work, thoroughly checking the tire, extracting the tiny 1 mm x 1 mm piece of glass in it, patch both tubes--as well as a snakebite puncture caused by my own clumsiness--and finally ride home.

So does anyone know patches actually work? It's just for the sake of knowing, really. You buff the tube, put on solvent goo, allow it to dry, peel off a patch and apply the patch to the now dry solvent goo. Someone was saying somewhere that the patch becomes part of the tube? Does the solvent work to "weld" the patch to the tube?
Only some patches become part of the tube. It’s a chemical process that requires a sulfur containing compound in the patch and an activator/accelerator in the fluid. When they two are placed in contact, the activator starts reactions that cause the sulfur compound to bond with itself and the rubber in the tube. The two chemicals have to be kept separate for obvious reasons. The solvent is just there to make the application of the accelerator easier.

Only one bicycle patch kit…the Rema TipTop… that I know of has actually uses this kind of chemical bonding. I’ve checked many MSDS listings for various patch kits and the Rema is the only one that lists an “amine” in the ingredients. All the other one list solvent and rubber.

Bad patch kits…the vast majority of them…use rubber cement as a contact glue to hold the patch in place. The contact is relatively strong but it’s not a chemical bond and is less permanent. They tend to fail far more often than the Rema, even when you prepare the tube properly.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Likes For cyccommute:
Old 06-09-21, 05:35 PM
  #4  
PDKL45
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
PDKL45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Korea
Posts: 575

Bikes: Merida Speeder

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Only some patches become part of the tube. It’s a chemical process that requires a sulfur containing compound in the patch and an activator/accelerator in the fluid. When they two are placed in contact, the activator starts reactions that cause the sulfur compound to bond with itself and the rubber in the tube. The two chemicals have to be kept separate for obvious reasons. The solvent is just there to make the application of the accelerator easier.

Only one bicycle patch kit…the Rema TipTop… that I know of has actually uses this kind of chemical bonding. I’ve checked many MSDS listings for various patch kits and the Rema is the only one that lists an “amine” in the ingredients. All the other one list solvent and rubber.

Bad patch kits…the vast majority of them…use rubber cement as a contact glue to hold the patch in place. The contact is relatively strong but it’s not a chemical bond and is less permanent. They tend to fail far more often than the Rema, even when you prepare the tube properly.
Thank you very much, that's exactly what I was looking for.
PDKL45 is offline  
Likes For PDKL45:
Old 06-09-21, 06:04 PM
  #5  
MrWasabi 
Senior Member
 
MrWasabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 416

Bikes: 2014 Fuji Traverse 1.3, 2020 Electra Cruiser 1, 1995 Giant CFM-4

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 34 Posts
What's everyone's favorite patch kit to get?
MrWasabi is offline  
Old 06-09-21, 06:05 PM
  #6  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 32,084

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1049 Post(s)
Liked 588 Times in 297 Posts
They Work.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is offline  
Likes For 10 Wheels:
Old 06-09-21, 06:26 PM
  #7  
rydabent
Senior Member
 
rydabent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 9,094

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Tour II

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2454 Post(s)
Liked 732 Times in 433 Posts
I use Park glueless patches. I have had some last 3 years or more. The trick is HOW to use them.
rydabent is offline  
Likes For rydabent:
Old 06-10-21, 01:16 AM
  #8  
Geepig
Senior Member
 
Geepig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Eastern Poland
Posts: 718

Bikes: Romet Jubilat x 4, Wigry x 1, Turing x 1

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Liked 183 Times in 140 Posts
Last week I had to patch a tube - the first time in about 35 years. Someone borrowed my 20" bike wheeled trailer and overloaded it. Luckily the biggest patch in the kit covered the tear in the tube. And it was pouring with rain at the time.
Geepig is offline  
Old 06-10-21, 02:59 AM
  #9  
HTupolev
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,924
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1788 Post(s)
Liked 963 Times in 475 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Only some patches become part of the tube. It’s a chemical process that requires a sulfur containing compound in the patch and an activator/accelerator in the fluid. When they two are placed in contact, the activator starts reactions that cause the sulfur compound to bond with itself and the rubber in the tube. The two chemicals have to be kept separate for obvious reasons. The solvent is just there to make the application of the accelerator easier.

Only one bicycle patch kit…the Rema TipTop… that I know of has actually uses this kind of chemical bonding. I’ve checked many MSDS listings for various patch kits and the Rema is the only one that lists an “amine” in the ingredients. All the other one list solvent and rubber.
Velo-Orange used to sell Rustines patch kits in the US; The safety data for Rustine's "Dissolutin" fluid lists tetramethylthiuram disulfide, which leads me to suspect that they're trying to accomplish something beyond plain rubber cement. I didn't have any trouble with those patches, although Velo-Orange has since switched to Rema.

Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I use Park glueless patches. I have had some last 3 years or more. The trick is HOW to use them.
Yeah, Park GP-2 is good stuff. Takes up no space, weighs nothing, easy to use, and seems to work very well despite being a glueless patch.
HTupolev is online now  
Old 06-10-21, 03:17 AM
  #10  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,066
Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2323 Post(s)
Liked 442 Times in 283 Posts
I tried glueless patches years ago and they sucked. Almost got me stranded once. Last year I decided to give them another try and bought some Slime Skabs when I was at walmart. They're actually outstanding, they stick well and stretch out like they should. I keep them in my saddlebag but when I'm repairing at home I still use traditional glue on patches.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 06-10-21, 07:22 AM
  #11  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,328

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4306 Post(s)
Liked 1,811 Times in 1,102 Posts
Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Velo-Orange used to sell Rustines patch kits in the US; The safety data for Rustine's "Dissolutin" fluid lists tetramethylthiuram disulfide, which leads me to suspect that they're trying to accomplish something beyond plain rubber cement. I didn't have any trouble with those patches, although Velo-Orange has since switched to Rema.
I haven’t ever run across Rustines. German marketing vs French? Yes, they appear to have put the sulfur compound in the fluid. I suspect that the amine is in the patch. I suspect that’s a way to get around patents as Rema puts the sulfur compound in the patch. It would also mean that a user would have to use their fluid and patches to make the chemistry work.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-10-21, 05:56 PM
  #12  
PDKL45
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
PDKL45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: South Korea
Posts: 575

Bikes: Merida Speeder

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 57 Posts
Thanks again for the tip regarding Rema Tip Top. I actually just found them here in Korea for about US $4.00, a couple of dollars cheaper than the Godawful bargain basement one I had to buy from the budget bike shop near work. I'm going to order a couple.
PDKL45 is offline  
Old 06-11-21, 01:24 AM
  #13  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,778

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1371 Post(s)
Liked 603 Times in 451 Posts
Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
Thanks again for the tip regarding Rema Tip Top. I actually just found them here in Korea for about US $4.00, a couple of dollars cheaper than the Godawful bargain basement one I had to buy from the budget bike shop near work. I'm going to order a couple.
When using the glue, make sure you squeeze a bit of glue out and then put the cap on the tube.
An air bubble will cause the glue to dry before its time. Better to waste a couple drops of glue than the rest of the tube.

Make sure you let the glue dry before applying the patch.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Likes For Bill Kapaun:
Old 06-11-21, 07:52 AM
  #14  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,328

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4306 Post(s)
Liked 1,811 Times in 1,102 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
When using the glue, make sure you squeeze a bit of glue out and then put the cap on the tube.
An air bubble will cause the glue to dry before its time. Better to waste a couple drops of glue than the rest of the tube.

Make sure you let the glue dry before applying the patch.
This is an old myth that needs to be put to rest. Air inside the tube of cement isn’t going to cause the glue to dry out. There is a limit to how much solvent can be carried in air in a closed container. The amount of air available and the amount of solvent that it can carry is tiny compared to the glue. In a 225mL can of Rema vulcanizing fluid, the amount of solvent that can be carried in a nearly empty can is on the order of micrograms. In a tube of glue, the amount of solvent in the air bubble is going to be orders of magnitude less.

Tubes of glue can certainly dry out but the mechanism of that loss of solvent isn’t a bubble inside the tube. Not putting the cap on tightly enough is probably the most common. Other things can go wrong, however. Simply squeezing the tube can crack the tube and allow the solvent to escape if the tube develops cracks. Rolling the tube can cause the metal to crack and cause a loss of solvent. But a bubble inside the tube won’t cause it to dry out.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-11-21, 08:19 AM
  #15  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,912
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 279 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 94 Times in 75 Posts
While vulcanizing patching is the 'best' way to patch, rubber cement such as slime sold in 8oz cans and a box of Rema patches ($17 for
100 patches) is good for 10-15 yrs of patching and rarely fails. The only fails I can recall are tubes with star shaped holes usually from
side wall blowouts or holes next to larger than usual mold ribbing or in the cross hatch area some tubes have. Although I have about
30 small tubes of patch cement from a batch of kits I got for $0.50 each from lamented Nashbar years ago I no longer use or carry these.
On the bike I have two good tube spares, a pump and take the rare on ride flat home for repair there. Park no glue patches in the '00-10
time frame got you home but never held air. Haven't tried them since as Rema batch patches are all I use.
sch is offline  
Old 06-11-21, 10:35 AM
  #16  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,778

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1371 Post(s)
Liked 603 Times in 451 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
This is an old myth that needs to be put to rest. Air inside the tube of cement isn’t going to cause the glue to dry out. There is a limit to how much solvent can be carried in air in a closed container. The amount of air available and the amount of solvent that it can carry is tiny compared to the glue. In a 225mL can of Rema vulcanizing fluid, the amount of solvent that can be carried in a nearly empty can is on the order of micrograms. In a tube of glue, the amount of solvent in the air bubble is going to be orders of magnitude less.

Tubes of glue can certainly dry out but the mechanism of that loss of solvent isn’t a bubble inside the tube. Not putting the cap on tightly enough is probably the most common. Other things can go wrong, however. Simply squeezing the tube can crack the tube and allow the solvent to escape if the tube develops cracks. Rolling the tube can cause the metal to crack and cause a loss of solvent. But a bubble inside the tube won’t cause it to dry out.
All you need to do is plug the nozzle! The rest of the contents become moot.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 06-11-21, 10:55 AM
  #17  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,328

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4306 Post(s)
Liked 1,811 Times in 1,102 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
All you need to do is plug the nozzle! The rest of the contents become moot.
Including a bubble of air.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 06-11-21, 12:04 PM
  #18  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 12,778

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1371 Post(s)
Liked 603 Times in 451 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Including a bubble of air.
Ignore list
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 06-11-21, 01:13 PM
  #19  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 24,328

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4306 Post(s)
Liked 1,811 Times in 1,102 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Ignore list
Your ignore list must be huge.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.