Cycling is lovely, but punctures are inevitable. Once in a while, you will encounter a tire puncture that may hinder your cycling session. Therefore, it is vital to have your repairing tools every time you are out with your bike. You need skills on How to Patch A Bike Tube.
Having your repair tools may not be necessary if you do not have the skills to use them. You will learn all you have to do our repairs on your bike tube. It is a straightforward process when you have patches and other fixing tools.
Related Article: The basic bicycle safety equipment
Patching a bike tube- step to step process
Step 1. Find the puncture
- Detach the wheel from the bike
On the sides of the wheel, locate the nuts at the center of the wheel. Using a spanner, loosen them, then detach the breaks. Remove the wheels after you disconnect the brakes. In case the bike is a mountain type and has gears, you will also need to remove them before removing the wheel.
- Remove the tire
At this stage, you will need a tire lever or a pointed, although not a sharp tool. Do not use sharp tools as they may further damage the tube and some to the rim.
- Find the specific place with the puncture
There are several ways you can use to locate the specific point where the hole is. Begin by removing the tube from the tire. Below are simple ways you can use it.
- Inflate the tube and check where there is some air moving if the impact is big
- Inflate and listen to hissing sounds from the tube
- Feel the streams of leaking air using your skin or finger
- Applying some water or saliva on the part that seems to have the hole as you will see a bubble
- Inflating and putting the tube in a water container or any air bubbles
- Locating a wet part as a result of moist air oozing out of the tube
After identification of the puncture, use a marker to help in locating the place. An x-sign or a + sign will make it easier. The point should be at the intersection of the sign. A pencil or a marker pen will help too.
Step 2. Patching the puncture
Before doing the patching process, you need to assess to determine the cause of the damage. At times, the object remains on the tube hence needs removal. Failing to remove it may re-puncture the tube.
- Clean the affected area
It is important to clean as it helps to remove any dirt and remains of elements. You, therefore, help in minimizing the chances of another puncture.
- Sand around the whole
The importance of sanding is that it ensures that the adhesive used quickly sticks to the tube. However, this step may not apply to all patches hence the need to read instructions of the patch in use.
- If the patch is not pre-glued, apply the rubber cement on the affected part.
- Apply the glue, and then the patch let it dry to ensure the puncture gets sealed.
- If the patch is pre-glued, remove the patch and apply it above the sanded part. Press and hold it until it is tight. You then have to let it dry completely before testing or using it.
- Test the effectiveness of the patch
You can comfortably do it by inflating the tube and checking if the seal is effective. Putting some water in a container, then putting the inflated tube is an effective method. Ensure that the tube is well sealed.
Step 3. Fixing the wheel back
- Put the tube back to the tire
Slightly inflate the bike’s tube, then put it back to the tire. Once done, you can inflate it further while checking on the dimensions to ensure that each is well fixed. Always ensure that there is no part left hanging and the positioning of the pumping part is accurate.
- Fix the tire and tube back to the wheel
This step requires the tube to remain partly inflated. You will use your thumb to press the tube to the rim and against the tire. Ensure that the tire is in the right direction with regards to running. Bearing in mind that some tires run in one direction, ensure your fixing is accurate.
- Fix the wheel to the bike
Fully inflate the tire and then fix it back to the bike. When inflating, take caution to ensure that the tube gets in place with the tire and is not sticky as it may burst. Only fix it back to the bike when it is firm.
Slide the wheel back and srew the nut back. Reconnect the chain if it’s on the back wheel and the brakes. Take caution while peddling until you are comfortable that the fix was effective.
Patching a bike tube without a patch kit
If your budget is insufficient, you can use an old tube to patch your bike tube. You will need some cement, sandpaper and an old tube cut into shape.
- After removing the wheel, locate the hole and then clean the affected part
- Sand the area where the hole is
- Using the procedure of the non-glued patch, do the fixing of the tube.
The only difference between the two methods is, therefore, the old tube. The advantage of using an old tube is that you will have more patches, and it is cost-effective. Environmental friendliness is also a benefit.
Pre-glued patch or rubber cement patch
The two patches are useful but come with advantages and disadvantages. Pre-glued patches are easy to fic, but their quality may not be good hence exposed to failure. They are as well lightweight and easy to carry.
Rubber cement is durable and complicated to fix. They are also bulky but once fixed, they rarely fail. You, therefore, need to choose one that favors you.
Patching is essential, especially when you are away from a place you can buy a tube. If you do not have a budget for replacing your bike’s tube, patching is effective. Using the simple steps in our guide, you will quickly repair your tube and enjoy cycling. These are the simple steps on how to Patch A Bike Tube