How to Patch a Flat Bike Tire
You're all set to go for a ride. The sun's out, the birds are singing, and your tire's... flat.
No problem, in today's post well learn how to quickly patch a tube so you can get rolling again!
Grab Your Patch Kit
Today we'll be using the Lezyne Patch/Lever Kit, but there are plenty of options out there. I like the Lezyne because it's 1) glueless, 2) includes tire levers and 3) it's small enough that I never have to ride without it.
Locate the Puncture
Locating small punctures can be tricky (even trickier if the camera is determined to focus on the grass behind your hand).
If you can see something stabbing into your tire, it'll make finding the hole in the tube way easier. Check out where the puncture is relative to the valve, pull the tube, and check the same spot! If it's a mystery flat, just put a little air in the tube, squeeze, and listen for the hissssssss - that'll lead you to the culprit. If all else fails, put some air in the tube, hold it under water, and look for the bubbles - bingo! And don't forget to run your finger along the inside of the tire to make sure whatever did the damage in the first place isn't lurking in there waiting to pop your patch too.
Scuff the Area Around the Hole
Using the included sandpaper (or in this case, the awesome metal scuffy bit), rough up the area around the puncture. Go well wide of the hole, the goal is to create some texture on the tube that'll help the patch grip.
Apply The Patch
Now simply apply the patch. In the case of glue-on patches, this'll be a two-part process where you apply the rubber cement and then the patch, but because these are glue-less, just peel, stick, and press for 30-seconds! Put a little air in the tube to make sure everything's holding and you're done!
This tube's road-ready again (and after a quick scan we can see this isn't its first trip to patch-town)!
There's really no limit to how many times you can patch a tube. The patch will always be stronger than the latex was previously, so until your tube is more patches than rubber, I say, "Patch away!".