Gentleman (and ladies), is it safe to repair inner tubes for future use? I've got about five, each have a minor hole in them. If it's safe, what's the best way to repair? If not safe, are they scrap and should be tossed? Thanks.
Yes as long as it's a puncture not a long rip. Get a tube repair kit and follow the instructions. I have taken tubes out that had several patches but the tubes were just way too old for future service.
While I don't think the rubber cement repair is as good as the old Camel hot patches, the rubber cement repair type patches have been around at least as long as there have been inner tubes.
Thanks, Mark. Do you mean the kind of repair kit used on bike inner tubes?
While a bicycle kit can work, the patches tend to be a little on the small and thin side. Auto Zone or any of the other auto parts stores sell patch kits, a popular one is marketed under the "Slime" brand name (really!). It comes with an assortment of larger and thicker patches, glue, and sandpaper to clean and rough up the tube prior to applying the glue.
A rule of thumb I use on my bicycles is I will patch a tube twice, after that it gets tossed and replaced with a new tube. Whether you adhere to this or not depends on your confidence in your patching ability and your budget.
Mark Strange got it.
I have found old tires with tubes that had 6 or more patches and never lost any air. The tires dry rotted but the tubes remained supple. The old tubes are much thicker, have better valve stems and are not porous like the new tubes they are selling. I have replaced new tubes with old patched tubes on numerous occasions with much better results! I have also noticed that the new tubes do not take patches very well. I don't know if it is because they are so thin or they are putting something in the rubber mixture that causes a problem. Has anyone else noticed this?
The old school real rubber tubes repair nicely. The chinese tubes are a cruddy mix of something or other, and don't hold patches very well, and will soon blow out again.
I've given up trying to patch the synthetic rubber tubes. There are apparently two types of tubes being sold by the vendors today. One type is very thick synthetic silicone rubber. Patches don't stick to it.
The thin natural rubber tubes accept patches and work well. I like the Camel self vulcanizing patches best.
Thanks a timely post -I replaced both my front tires yesterday and I think I pinched a tube on one if not both -I was careful but obviously not careful enough