Patching a punctured tube: Is it worth it?

Lately I’ve been getting more flats than usual. I got one last night in Donghu, and I was surprised to discover that it wasn’t a new puncture, it was a leak from a patch over an old puncture. The kicker is, I didn’t patch it myself–a bike shop did it for me because they were out of tubes in my size. The spare I had with me was also patched–it was a slow leaker that I patched myself at home. It still looks OK today, but I can’t help wondering when it’s going to go flat.

So my question is, is it even worth bothering to patch a punctured tube, or should I just replace it with a new one? If patching is the way to go, does anyone have any tips on how to do it effectively? How much should the tube be inflated when you stick on the patch? (I’m guessing it should be about the size of the tire, maybe a little larger but definitely not smaller.) At the moment I’m inclined to patch only as a last resort, just because tubes are cheap, patching is a pain, and the patches don’t seem to last.

It is not worth it, IMHO. I do bring spare tube AND a patch kit with me though… Just in case I get multiple punctures in one ride.

Yes, it’s worth it.

As medmonds said - take a spare and some patches on the road. If you get a p**ncture, then replace it with your spare.

Apply the patch on your old tube when you get home. Regardless of how cheap tubes might be, patching is less inconvenient than going down to the shops to buy a new spare tube.

I’ve been fortunate enough yet to not have had to replace a tube or patch yet but if I end up stranded on the side of the road, I can rest easy knowing I have spare tube and patches and use whichever seems more appropriate at the time.

If I had to patch a tube, especially one that has been patched multiple times only to find out a old patch has come off, I’d probably just chuck the tube instead of going through the trouble of patching it again.

What size of tube do you need? I bought a tube for my 700C wheels at a local Giant store for $150NT.

[quote=“MLR”]I’ve been fortunate enough yet to not have had to replace a tube or patch yet but if I end up stranded on the side of the road, I can rest easy knowing I have spare tube and patches and use whichever seems more appropriate at the time.

If I had to patch a tube, especially one that has been patched multiple times only to find out a old patch has come off, I’d probably just chuck the tube instead of going through the trouble of patching it again.

What size of tube do you need? I bought a tube for my 700C wheels at a local Giant store for $150NT.[/quote]
My front tire is 700 x 32 and my rear tire is about the same (it’s measured differently, 28 x something or other, so I can’t say for sure). The shop I was at before was out of the larger 700c tubes. Now I have two or three of them in reserve here at home.

I find patching a tire by the side of the road to be very hard if not impossible. Slow leaks are tough to find without putting the tube underwater, and you need something to clean the tube (and your fingers) with before you stick the patch on. But patches are so light that I can’t justify not carrying them. I suppose they’d come in handy if I was really in a bind, though, or on an overnight trip.

[quote=“haokaiyang”][quote=“MLR”]I’ve been fortunate enough yet to not have had to replace a tube or patch yet but if I end up stranded on the side of the road, I can rest easy knowing I have spare tube and patches and use whichever seems more appropriate at the time.

If I had to patch a tube, especially one that has been patched multiple times only to find out a old patch has come off, I’d probably just chuck the tube instead of going through the trouble of patching it again.

What size of tube do you need? I bought a tube for my 700C wheels at a local Giant store for $150NT.[/quote]
My front tire is 700 x 32 and my rear tire is about the same (it’s measured differently, 28 x something or other, so I can’t say for sure). The shop I was at before was out of the larger 700c tubes. Now I have two or three of them in reserve here at home.

I find patching a tire by the side of the road to be very hard if not impossible. Slow leaks are tough to find without putting the tube underwater, and you need something to clean the tube (and your fingers) with before you stick the patch on. But patches are so light that I can’t justify not carrying them. I suppose they’d come in handy if I was really in a bind, though, or on an overnight trip.[/quote]

Yeah I bought some patches when I first got my bike but I’ve never used them. I’m not even sure why I have them in my bag anymore. Then again I’ve never had a slow leak in well over 1000km (only 1 pinch flat and three blowouts!) Anyway, tubes are cheap, compact and comparatively light when you are riding a bike that’s set up for touring (read: heavy) anyway. Also, I can’t imagine any tour in Taiwan where you would go through more than two tubes without being within striking distance of a Giant or Merida shop (although I’m sure someone will chime in with an anecdote of exactly this happening).