How to Patch a Bicycle Tube


For quite some time I found the front tire of my bicycle has some problem. Despite manually pumping the cycle every day the gas blows away from it every day. This means the front tube is punctured and it needs to be fixed.

In my small coastal town of Puri, Odisha, India, I generally found that here bicycle is a good medium. If you have simple patch kit then you can do it at home too.

If you are going for long drive or trekking with the bicycle having a small bicycle patch kit is handy for you. If you are in town then you can go to your favourite cycle repairing shop and get it repaired.

Finding the puncture:

  • Down the bicycle sideways.
  • In this way, its front tyre is at the ground.
  • Use tire levers.
  • You have to use two tire levers to remove the inner tube.
  • Be careful so that inner tube does not get cut through cycle spoke. After almost removing the inner tube, be careful in and around breaks of the bicycle.
  • Nearer to the front brake, put one lever and slowly down the cycle tube.
  • While downward the tube does remember to observe locations of spokes.
  • Now, the tube of the front wheel of the cycle tube is on the ground.

Locate the hole that is causing the leak:

Locate the punctured area in the inner tube with chalk
Locate the punctured area in the inner tube with chalk
  • Now, the tube is almost removed.
  • Bring one small bucket of water.
  • Be sure that the bucket should be flat surfaced. Pump the tire to its fullest.
  • Now, locate the hole that is causing the leak.
  • This can be done in many ways. Inflate the tube and watch it closely to find out the position of leaks.
  • Or else take the tube nearer to your ear and find out for any hissing noises.
  • That noises could be about streams of air.
  • Last not the least plunge the tube into the container of water and closely check for bubbles.
  • Do take clean water and the container should be cleaner so that the flow of bubbles could be seen easily.

Mark the hole in the tube:

  • Now, you find the hole in the tube.
  • Bicycles have the flat tire.
  • There could be surprisingly small holes.
  • It is important to mark that hole.
  • Otherwise, there are possibilities of losing this.
  • Take a piece of chalk and mark the nearby areas.
  • Take sandpaper and then put the tube on a strong surface.
  • Then rub the sandpaper in and around that hole areas.
  • Now, the hole of the tube is clearly visible.

Patching the hole:

  • Remove any foreign objects from the hole.
  • It can be the piece of rock, thorn or glass.
  • Then check the rims of the tire and remove the ay foreign object from there.
  • Take one heavy object and slowly put the press on it and do it slowly so that the surface hole will be clearly visible.
  • In this way, if any foreign object is inside of the tube then that can be broken into pieces.
  • Use small squared sandpaper to roughen that punctured area.
  • It is important to lightly sand that area.
  • Make the punctured area of rubber littles less smooth so that glue will stick correctly due to the presence of lesser elasticity.
  • By using some sandpaper friction on the tube it increases sticking power of some adhesives.

Apply the patch:

  • In the markets patches are available.
  • Some patches have their own glue to stick into the tube.
  • Some patches need to add adhesives.
  • I would suggest you buy a patch that requires to put adhesives on your own.
  • The former patch which has adhesives you are not sure how much it would work.
  • I use Fevicol or Quickfix glue on the patch.
  • Wait for some 30 seconds and then apply it on the punctured place of the tube.
  • Apply the same glue over the punctured place of the tube too.
  • Then on the cement put the tube and beat with some strong object to help the adhesive or glue patch to stick with the punctured hole.
  • After applying the patch hold it for few minutes to let it sealed the leak.

Putting the wheel back together:

Putting the wheel back together
Putting the wheel back together
  • Then, pump the inner tube which we just patched with air.
  • Check again with water by applying similar procedures described earlier.
  • We want to check whether any other punctured hole is there or not.
  • At the same time, we want to check just sealed punctured hole of the tube is actually sealed or not.
  • Remove air from the tube by opening volt-tube.
  • Check whether the volt-tube is broken or not.
  • If broken, do add one new volt-tube to it.
  • Get back the tube into the tire of the bicycle.
  • Stand up the bicycle from sidebar down position.
  • Close the volt-tube. Pump the tube.
  • Now, the inner tube of the bicycle is patched.
  • The inflation valve is commonly known as volt-tube.
  • It should be inward that is towards tube when you enter tube into the tire.
  • You may use tire level while pressing tire over the inner tube.
  • Make sure to fit inflation valve correctly so that pumping the tube in future will not be difficult.
  • The slowly pump the tube to let the tube settle inside the tire.
  • From time to time squeeze the tire while pumping to see how much air that need to be done to settle just patched tube.

Know when replacing the tube is a clever choice:

  • If there are multiple holes inside the tube.
  • The punctured zone has larger tears.
  • Even after several patches the air-leaks and cycle completely blow out air.
  • Patches are not for the long-term use of the tube.
  • Actual replacement of tube after periodical patches will be a right choice.

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