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Do you repair inner tubes or bin 'em ?

If I can repair a known good tube with just a small puncture then I have started to do so and then I put it back on the wheel after repair back at home and then repack the one that I used to get my out of trouble back into my saddle bag. Not because of being mean/tight but because I have opened brand new (admittedly cheapo) tubes at the side of the road before and they were duffers. At least with a tested, repaired one, I know it is good.

I have started to buy better inner tubes now that cost a couple of £more and I am giving the three for £5 a wide berth (as a result of above). Schwalbe ones are £6 and I have started to get those. I always carry two inner tubes with me in case of double flats.

What is the collective wisdom of the BR oracle on this?
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Posts

  • carbonclemcarbonclem Posts: 948
    I never repair them, never have confidence in them. I've also never had a duff 'new' one - even Tesco/Halfords budget tubes.
    2020 Metric Century Challenge Winner
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,589
    Always repair, until the hole gets too big or the patches become so old that they start to perish and leak.
  • I never repair them, never have confidence in them. I've also never had a duff 'new' one - even Tesco/Halfords budget tubes.

    I had two duffers from a pack of Decathlon ones. Maybe a bad batch then and I do not mean to impugn Decathlon.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,118
    I repair 3 times assuming they are small, then ditch.
    Think of the environment.
    https://www.cycleassociation.uk/news/?id=2388&name=Bicycle+tyre+recycling+survey
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 810
    fix once using proper patches and glue. Any puncture after that and into the bin. I generally buy a few tubes at once whenI see them on offer eg vittoria @£0.99
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,670
    edited June 2020
    If you repair correctly, with decent repair kit, the patch will (should) actually become the strongest point of the tube.

    Tbh it's a complete waste to throw them away unless the hole is too big to replace, or if you have made multiple repairs, or if the tube is a few years old.

    BTW you shouldn't be binning them, under new laws coming in (England) bicycle tyres and inner tubes will follow the same disposal/ recycling rules as car tyres:
    https://road.cc/content/tech-news/heres-how-recycle-your-tyres-and-tubes-274319?amp
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,689
    The glue and patch is a bit of a faff, but since I now use Supersonic, I tend to fix them, as they cost £ 12 each. I've found the Topeak adhesive patches to be a very easy and effective solution, so convenient thatyou can do a repair on the road. They come in a tiny plastic box, which you can carry with you, instead of riding with 2 or more spare tubes on long rides
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,695
    pblakeney said:

    I repair 3 times assuming they are small, then ditch.

    Likewise

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,838
    I used to repair on the odd occasions I got them. But I would normally find the self adhesive patches dried out or the blue tube would if using a kit. Now running mainly tubeless on my bikes so no need. Tend to carry one on group rides and end up donating to people who forget theirs. TBH I've got a bag with several MTB tubes in from last 4yrs or so awaiting repair, CBA to repair them.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • parmosparmos Posts: 84
    did roughly around 20 a few months ago ( 3 diff bikes of tubes) just punctures then left in the garage for ages!! so while i was working away took them all with me one week and did 3 -4 each night when in a routine they were really easy can't say i've used any of them since
  • Charlie_CrokerCharlie_Croker Posts: 1,104
    pblakeney said:

    I repair 3 times assuming they are small, then ditch.
    Think of the environment.
    https://www.cycleassociation.uk/news/?id=2388&name=Bicycle+tyre+recycling+survey

    I agree, I’ve always repaired until the tube is no longer viable (not a scientific measurement just a gut feeling or when punchers re-occur in the same spot). That’s the way I was brought up.

    Following your link pb I ended up at http://www.velorim.co.uk/ but I find the figures used frankly unbelievable. But whatever the true amount of waste is, we must do our bit to get this figure as low as possible IMHO
  • ibr17xviiibr17xvii Posts: 483

    I never repair them, never have confidence in them. I've also never had a duff 'new' one - even Tesco/Halfords budget tubes.

    Me too, I rarely patch them.

    Complete waste I get but just don't trust them.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,359
    I tend to repair in small batches, fitting fresh ones if I have them available at the time. For years I had mixed results with repairs, but more recently, success rate has been close to 100% since giving glue 3mins+ to cure before applying patch... I used to be far too eager!
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,118
    Not only that, but as I am in no rush I give them 24 hours to cure before doing a pressure test on a wheel.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 578
    Same as OP, will always have non-patched tubes in my tool bottle and if I use them on a ride will take them off, fix the one that got a puncture and stick back on the bike when I'm home.

    I always use glueless patches - Park tool seem to be the best. Glueless patches work fine if you keep them at home in a cool dry place like your garage, but tend to lose stick in a saddlebag in the damp etc. So wouldn't want to attempt to patch on the side of the road (albeit I do have 2* tubes & 2*patches in my tool bottle "just in case").

    That's another reason I like to have non-patched tubes at all times - before I did that I've had tubes where I patched and tested & fine at home but after being deflated, folded, getting damp etc. the patch has failed when reinflated. You can get round that by using a completely waterproof tool bottle, keeping the tube in a bag or even just switching to glued patches but to me seems more faff & less confidence inspiring than having a tried and tested tube that's never been punctured.

    I don't think I've ever attempted to patch more than three times; sure it can be done but it's a judgement call and I would write off a tube for anything too large or a couple close together etc.
  • bondurantbondurant Posts: 847
    Always repair, using Rema kits with proper glue. Some of my tubes have 4 or 5 patches.

    Wouldn't be happy binning them due to recycling issues highlighted above.
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 746
    Never carry spare tubes, so repair at the side of the road regardless. I don't understand the idea of taking the wheel out, then the tyre off to put a replacement tube in when the puncture can be repaired there and then.
    Obviously a bit more time consuming in the middle of a cold, wet winter ride, but do it once and forget about it, rather than building up a collection of punctured tubes that still need to be repaired later on.
    I'll usually repair up to half a dozen times unless it's a really big hole, then I'll bin it as soon as I'm home.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,689
    Cargobike said:

    Never carry spare tubes, so repair at the side of the road regardless. I don't understand the idea of taking the wheel out, then the tyre off to put a replacement tube in when the puncture can be repaired there and then.
    Obviously a bit more time consuming in the middle of a cold, wet winter ride, but do it once and forget about it, rather than building up a collection of punctured tubes that still need to be repaired later on.
    I'll usually repair up to half a dozen times unless it's a really big hole, then I'll bin it as soon as I'm home.

    It's the best way if you find the hole... sometimes you can't find the hole there and then, especially for tiny ones
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,191

    The glue and patch is a bit of a faff, but since I now use Supersonic, I tend to fix them, as they cost £ 12 each. I've found the Topeak adhesive patches to be a very easy and effective solution, so convenient thatyou can do a repair on the road. They come in a tiny plastic box, which you can carry with you, instead of riding with 2 or more spare tubes on long rides

    You'd be in trouble if the hole was around the base of the valve.

    My latest deflation (22/23 June) happened after I completed a ride. I decided to leave the bike in the house (rather than lock it away). Came down in the morning and noticed a flat
    front tyre. I had every intention of patching the tube. I used my finger on the inside of
    the tyre (as you do) to determine if there was any tiny foreign object that was the cause
    of the issue. Nothing found.

    I then put some air in the tube, only to be met with a constant hisssssss. Upon inspecting the tube, I noticed the area surrounding the bottom of the valve had become separated from the rest of the tube. That duff tube is now in a box awaiting a decision on a secondary use for it.
  • ibr17xviiibr17xvii Posts: 483
    Cargobike said:

    Never carry spare tubes, so repair at the side of the road regardless. I don't understand the idea of taking the wheel out, then the tyre off to put a replacement tube in when the puncture can be repaired there and then.
    Obviously a bit more time consuming in the middle of a cold, wet winter ride, but do it once and forget about it, rather than building up a collection of punctured tubes that still need to be repaired later on.
    I'll usually repair up to half a dozen times unless it's a really big hole, then I'll bin it as soon as I'm home.

    Never carrying spares seems like asking for trouble to me.
  • fatted864fatted864 Posts: 61
    I throw them away
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,713
    I used to just replace the tube, if you puncture often it means you have old (or rubbish) tyres, so get new tyres.... I would get about 2k on new tyres before starting to get occasional punctures and after about 6k I found punctures happened more frequently (at least one every fortnight)... I used GP4000s tyres and vittoria ultralight tubes (about 3quid per tube in multipacks).

    Now I run tubeless, haven't had a puncture yet (touch wood), find it so much better (and more comfortable with lower pressures 60-90psi).... I just carry a tubeless repair kit (rubber worms and cement) which is a lot smaller than taking a spare tube.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,689
    de_sisti said:

    The glue and patch is a bit of a faff, but since I now use Supersonic, I tend to fix them, as they cost £ 12 each. I've found the Topeak adhesive patches to be a very easy and effective solution, so convenient thatyou can do a repair on the road. They come in a tiny plastic box, which you can carry with you, instead of riding with 2 or more spare tubes on long rides

    You'd be in trouble if the hole was around the base of the valve.

    My latest deflation (22/23 June) happened after I completed a ride. I decided to leave the bike in the house (rather than lock it away). Came down in the morning and noticed a flat
    front tyre. I had every intention of patching the tube. I used my finger on the inside of
    the tyre (as you do) to determine if there was any tiny foreign object that was the cause
    of the issue. Nothing found.

    I then put some air in the tube, only to be met with a constant hisssssss. Upon inspecting the tube, I noticed the area surrounding the bottom of the valve had become separated from the rest of the tube. That duff tube is now in a box awaiting a decision on a secondary use for it.
    The idea is to carry one spare tube and patches as opposed to 2 or even 3 spare tubes...

  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 741
    I don't see the big worry about riding on patched tubes, I don't think I've ever had patch fail in 20 odd years and if it did it wouldn't be any worse than the original puncture anyway.

    I carry a spare tube for quick swap on the road/trail and then patch the old one when I get home to go back in my saddle bag.

    It seems very wasteful to bin a tube for a pinprick hole. I might chuck it if the hole was near an existing patch or if it was a snakebite.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,590
    I repair but often find that patches are too wide for narrow tubes meaning you have try and wrap them round which always carries the risk they don't seal.

    So I buy these large patches and cut to suit the narrow tube size. Used with the usual rubber cement the repairs are as good as the original tube. I tend to keep punctured tubes until I have a batch of 3 or 4 to repair at a time.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-maintenance/bike-puncture-repair/halfords-standard-bike-tyre-patch-strip-175810.html
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,126
    I always put them to one side to repair. Then I think if I patch them I can test them by inflating them and leaving them over night. However if I take them out as spares on a ride in case of puncture and when I use it as a replacement when I have punctured and low and behold I have done sh*t job. So the answer is to mend them when I get back from a ride and swop them for the one I put in to get home. Somehow I never get round to this and after a while I just bin all the pictured ones or use them as therabands.
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 746
    ibr17xvii said:

    Cargobike said:

    Never carry spare tubes, so repair at the side of the road regardless. I don't understand the idea of taking the wheel out, then the tyre off to put a replacement tube in when the puncture can be repaired there and then.
    Obviously a bit more time consuming in the middle of a cold, wet winter ride, but do it once and forget about it, rather than building up a collection of punctured tubes that still need to be repaired later on.
    I'll usually repair up to half a dozen times unless it's a really big hole, then I'll bin it as soon as I'm home.

    Never carrying spares seems like asking for trouble to me.
    Replacing a tube every time you puncture is asking for far more trouble long term IMO. Obviously the environment doesn't matter for some ;)
    I just don't understand the logic in taking a wheel out, undoing one side of the tyre to get the tube out, to then replace it. You've done the hard bit by then, might as well fix the puncture, refit the tube and tyre and be on your way.
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 394
    edited June 2020
    If you get two or three punctures in a ride patching becomes a chore. On a wet cold day and I ride in those conditions then patching is non starter. You get too cold and the glue takes too long to dry. A cold and wet pathcer does not patch well and you get even colder.
    By cold and wet think 4 to 6 celicus and very wet or 0 and wet. Now thats special. Tell me then patches are a good idea. Have you tried patching when verging on hypothermia.

    Light people can carry one tube. Heavier folk need to carry more. Patch at home where its warm and dry and glue cures properly. I no longer have tubes that need patching. Tubeless is bliss.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 746
    If you are getting two or three punctures in a ride you obviously have the wrong choice of tyre, surely?

    Even in the midst of winter I've always repaired on the side of the road, you become quite adept at it with practice. I'm a big lad even at my slimmest, so should encounter more punctures than most, but the reality is that punctures are very rare these days, certainly nothing like the number I'd get daily around the turn of the century.

    By your reasoning I should be pulling a trailer along behind me being the size I am now to carry all the spares I need.

    If you're on the verge of hypothermia perhaps try cycling faster, it might warm you up.
  • lesfirthlesfirth Posts: 1,104
    I hit a pothole on top of the Pennines in mid winter. Punctured both tyres- yes I know pressures should have been higher. Fitted my one tube and failed after several attempts to fix second with self stick patches that worked fine at home. Ski clothing would have been more suited to the conditions not my supposedly winter bib tights. Crouched behind a dry stone wall,waiting for my lift to find me, I was seriously wondering how long it took to die from hypothermia.
    I have run tubeless now for about two years . No problems.
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