O.k. the season is not starting out very good - I went out to the pole barn and thought "why is my T leaning to the right?". Then I saw the rear tire was completely flat! Pulled out a small tack (dang!!). I haven't gotten around to taking the tire off yet, but I'm thinking the hole can't be too large. What do you recommend to patch the hole? Those metal stemmed tubes are pretty costly so I'm thinking patching is the answer.
Patching a tube is easy. If your auto supply store doesn't have a patching kit go to the local bicycle shop and get one. It nothing more then rubber cement and a piece of rubber. Just be sure that the tube and the patch are clean and dry.
You might also want to put a plug in the tire itself I know it isn't tubeless but anything to seal up that hole and stop sand and other things like water from getting in that space
But if you're going to all the trouble to remove the tire and the tube, why trust a patch when a new tube is only around $30 bucks??
I can think of two reasons to save a punctured inner-tube:
If it is of the metal air-valved variety and the valve hasn't been misbehaving, or if the inner-tube is filled with dyna-beads, you might be saving yourself some trouble by patching it. Otherwise, use a new inner-tube.
Patching tips I learned as a kid (and I patched a LOT of bicycle inner-tubes in those days):
1.) Most inner-tube patches come with square corners and that's bad. Take a scissor and round off the corners. Ideally, you want a round patch, but if you cut that much off, there may not be enough of the patch remaining, so just round off the corners.
2.) You don't want any kind of powder, oil or manufacturer's release agents to keep the rubber cement from adhering correctly, so wash the afflicted area of the inner-tube with soap (ideally, Dawn dish-washing liquid — but if you want really soft hands, use Palmolive) and water and let it dry.
3.) Take a piece of sandpaper (about 180-grit is fine) and rough up the afflicted area on the inner-tube. You don't want it to feel smooth, but don't over-do it either.
4.) Spread the rubber cement about a quarter of an inch further than the area of the patch. Cap the rubber cement bottle. Light the rubber cement on the inner-tube with a match and blow it out. Then, quickly peel the patch, stick it down hard on the inner-tube and hold the assembly tight between the heels of your hands for a couple of minutes.
That patch ain't going no place.
PVC pipe cleaner for the glue works great for cleaning a tube also. Dave
Yes, the tube is a metal stemmed tube and one that I replaced last year! The hole is extremely tiny - in fact, I had a hard time finding it until I put enough air in the tube. I think I'll take your good advice and patch it. Thanks for all the wisdom!
One additional thing that I didn't see mentioned,.....from what I have read lately, the new inner tubes that are available now may not be as good quality as the one you already have! (....tires too for that matter,.....)
Go to the bike shop. They have top quality patch kits not like what we had years ago but ones that really work. I always carry a couple as well as new tubes.
I thought I read on a previous post that the rubber which new inner tubes are made of does not take patches well Is this true or not?
I've gotten lazy in my old age. I take my tubes to the local tire store, and let them patch them!
Gene is right. The best place to buy an inner-tube patch kit is a bicycle store.
In fact, it might even be a little difficult to find one elsewhere.
There was a time when bicycle patches didn't work on automotive tubes. There was a difference in the rubber. Maybe that's changed now?
Any good tire store should have the proper patches and apply them for you, call around till you find a good place. KGB
Slime makes a lot of tire patching and plugging equipment. I haven't tried their patches, but I've got a plug in my Silverado's tire that's been holding steady for probably at least 5,000 miles. I will do some investigating about their patches and see what I can find. Might be another good thing to throw in the toolbox during long tours. A patch and plug kit has to be smaller than a spare tube, and you wouldn't have to worry about the spare tube rotting away in the box.
I have used Slime patch kits on my bicycles (pressures up to 90 psi) and they work very well.
When possible stay away from those quick plug kits. They're not as good as a permanent tire patch from a tire shop. They tend to allow air into the plys and later cause separation.
The quality patch kits from a good bike shop will work well on a T tube. They've really been improved since the days of the Western Auto hardware store types that you might still find at your local Walmart. The bicycle people need a dependable kit to fix their tubes since they have no spare tire for the racers.
I'm also betting many of the tire shops around don't even carry a patch for a tube.
Ralph Ricks and I went to get one of his tubes patched and the guys sort of had that confused look on their face when we asked them to patch his tube. Kind of like asking them to fix your flat on a clincher. Maybe an old time shop would be better in a small ag town.