Picture of Make Bulk Bicycle Tube Patch Kits
Last year I helped organize and prepare my Venture (scout) company to go on a 200km cross country bike trip along the Kettle Valley Railway. Once everyone (10+ people) had a suitable bike and panniers (saddle bags), and cooking and cleaning equipment the only things left was to maintain about 8 bikes that were bought from local classifieds and un-tested. Buying 20 (two each for good measure) patch kits would not have been terribly expensive, but saving any cost is always good. Besides all the things that are in a patch kit were laying around my house. 

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
Most of  the things you need can be bought at a hardware store.
Contact Cement (500ml or less)
Sandwich bags (1-2 per kit)
Sand Paper (1 square inch per kit) - optional
Old Inner tube (1 will do)
Spoon (disposable hopefully)
hammer and/or tin opener  (or  COLD chisel) to undo and do up the contact cement can. 

Be careful when opening the can and read and follow the warning label on the contact cement.

Note if you're not using sand paper use sand from the location you're in instead, if you're location doesn't have any sand or gritty substances make sure to pack the piece of sand paper. 
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ryant_xc19 days ago

I'v gotten 3 flats in the last week and a half and I'm done buying new tubes! this should work great.

chiefredelk3 years ago
I've made temporary patches for years.. I carry scissors,,,a piece of old inner tube and Super Glue in my stool case.. Super glue works if you spit on the tubes and wipe most of it off..These patches can't be trusted for long. Just gets us home..

I ride with my grandsons , one as young as 6 and there are times are 10 miles from home and a flat can be a bad thing..We all have different size bikes and different size tubes/ The repairs often call for different size patches.. I cut my patch and leave some excess and super glue it on as needed. I carry a bike pump to air up the tire and we ride home where I then install a NEW tube.... Yes, Check the tires before repairing tube. I found TWO thorns in one tube last time I made a repair.....I am curious.. I need to find out what type of glue works for a LONG time repair so I don't have to keep replacing the bike tubes...Exactly what glue do I buy at the Auto store?

I carry water toilet paper, urine and fecal matter in my stool case.

Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  chiefredelk3 years ago
Either Contact cement (see materials step), or vulcanizing fluid (I don't know what that looks like). Contact cement (contact glue) can be found at most hardware stores were as vulcanizing fluid is more likely found at an auto store. Thanks for asking.

Thanks. I fixed 2 tubes with 8 and 7 inches long cut alont the tubes. This is for a road bike. Works great. Bought 3 oz contact cement in a small hard-to-break glass bottle for $4 plus at Lowe. A nice brush is part of the cap. Done with buying endless patches. Wonderful!

Thanks glad you found this useful.

Thanks, worked great!

Thanks so much. Fixed 2 blown up inner tubes with 8 inch and 7 inch cut along the tubes. Works great. This is a road bike. Holding 70 psi. Bought contact cement from Lows (sp?). comes with small hrad to brake glass bottle with very nice bruch as part of the cap. It was $4 plus, Thanks, done with buying patches.

omikeo5 months ago

thanks, i already use used tubes as an endless supply of patches, but i couldn't remember if i needed rubber or contact cement - i have a can or two i hope it didn't freeze though - and i though about sand paper for the scratcher too - just make sure to clean the area again after sanding

Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  omikeo5 months ago

If you can find vulcanizing cement it works even better, chemically "melts" the rubber then when it dries the tube and the patch are one piece, as opposed to two that are glued together.

dimaspin1 year ago

I once did this, it will always works

dimaspin1 year ago
can you recommend a "proper gum cement"? Im working on a series of improvised repairs videos, and i want to test this stuff side by side.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  joe_process2 years ago
It's called Vulcanizing Cement. You can find it in automotive stores (I think).
So far my contact cement patches are holding up. After a year I think you should be able to get a new inner tube. Thanks for the tip about clamping and heating.
diamar793 years ago
I wonder what whould happen if we just replaced all the air with spray foam? Just sayin..lol
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  diamar793 years ago
I imagine the ride would be much bumpyer.
mysss3 years ago
This seems like a very harden-prone method of carrying the rubber cement...I think I'd rather just buy the tubes of cement, with the infrequency I get flats away from home and the little glue they take. The important thing, of course, is that when you get that third hole (you were carrying a spare tube, weren't you? the glue doesn't set completely all that fast) you still have patch material and usable rubber cement to repair it. Also, I'd advise against using sand, because it's liable to stay on the tube, defeating the purpose of sanding in the first place (this actually isn't to rough up the rubber--it's to remove the talcum powder left over from manufacture, which is what prevents the insides of the tube from sticking together). Although it is a very resourceful idea, you also risk contaminating the inside of the tire/rim, which could lead to another flat. So I guess you could do it, but make sure you clean the heck out of the areas exposed to sand (although we all know sand gets into everything).

ALSO, minor nitpick: please don't call panniers saddlebags. It's that kind of general misinformation that makes it impossible to get good search results when you're looking for a saddle bag (bicycle "seats" are actually technically saddles, so-called because they're not meant to support all your weight).

In conclusion, thanks for the ideas, cool hatchet, and I hope your trip was awesome! I hope to go on one like it sometime.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  mysss3 years ago
Thank you for all your tips, I called them saddle bags because I wasn't sure people would know what panniers were. The trip was vary good and we only had one flat, unfortunetly we ran over an old 6 in nail that completely shredded the tube so we couldn't try out the patch kit.
thewmas3 years ago
As a buffer, I've took a tin can lid and a sharpend nail, hammer the tin flat and punch a bunch of small holes on a piece of wood.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  thewmas3 years ago
I'm not sure what you mean. (probably my fault). What do you mean as a buffer?
where to rough up or scratch the patch area
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  thewmas3 years ago
Ok I get it., I guess that would work, but sandpaper (or just sand) is lighter and smaller. Whatever works for you, Thanks for the idea.
ak088203 years ago
Unless you already have the contact cement procured for another purpose, it will not be cost effective. Puncture kits are available from $1 at the dollar store to under $5 for bet brands. It will be messy to carry around contact cement in ziplock bags. I bought a box f 40 patches for $3 on Ebay.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  ak088203 years ago
I made my own mostly because I had the materials lying around. btw my dollar stores don't have patch kits, and the bike stores sell them for about $5.00. Thanks for your advice.
Moem3 years ago
Fun fact:
If 'contact cement' is anything like what we call 'contact glue' over here, namely a glue that's usually yellowish and that needs to dry for a while before both parts are brought together, then you've just described the only way to patch a tire that will work in very hot areas.

I have learnt this from a truck driver in Sudan, on a day when the sand was so hot that the 'proper' vulcanising tire glue underneath patches that had been glued on two weeks earlier melted into snot. The driver didn't just tell us this, he also gave us a bit of his glue and a piece of tube, large enough to get us through the Nubian desert.
May fate function in his favour as long as he lives.
I buy Contact Cement in Sturdy 2 Oz bottles with a brush in the lid.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  snoopindaweb3 years ago
That would work well for this.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  Moem3 years ago
It's nice to know that contact cement does have some benefits.
It definitely does! Be sure to bring some whenever you intend to cross the Nubian Desert.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  Moem3 years ago
Good to know, next time I find myself crossing the Nubian Desert I'll make sure I pack some :)
aapurim3 years ago
. . . Proofreading your (possessive pronoun) text, you're (contraction for you are) constantly using "your" where you mean to use "you're" ... and in every place you should say "where" (the place) you incorrectly use "ware" (a noun for a usable object). If you can correct these spelling errors, it will read without distractions.
. . . It is not clearly explained how you store small amounts of rubber cement in plastic bags: putting it in the bag and getting all the air out is understood, but how is the bag sealed from leaking? Commercially, the stuff comes in tubes with a screw-on cap; what substitutes for that tight of a seal? It would seem an empty toothpaste tube would do, if it is somehow thoroughly washed out, and you devise some kind of way to inject the canned rubber cement into the smaller tube, which must be made of a material the rubber cement won't attack and dissolve.
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  aapurim3 years ago
Sorry for my grammar, the plastic bags are Ziplocs they have an air tight zipper like closing on the top.
HEY YOU3 years ago
Nice instructable!

Good Comment on not sucking the air out of the contact cement baggie.....

You can remove all the air by closing the baggie almost completely, then lowering it into a bowl of water, pushing out all the air, and then sealing the last 1/8" or so.

Cheers and happy riding
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  HEY YOU3 years ago
Thanks for the tip, I just rolled mine like a dry sack.
Kettle Valley Railway BC.?
sitearm3 years ago
@Zaphod; Hi!

Very nice, I've Tweeted your article.

Cheers! : )
Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)  sitearm3 years ago
alzie3 years ago
Yes, contact cement can work.
I used to use it, but
from the car parts store I bought
a can of the proper tire patch rubber cement.
I believe that its better able to dissolve the rubber
for a better bond. Different solvent.

I didnt want to carry the whole can
of rubber cement around with me, so
i got a spent nail polish bottle and
filled it with the rubber cement.
Just the right amount to carry, and
it doesnt seem to dry out in the bottle
as it does in the tire patch kits.
Also, the nail polish bottle has
the nifty little brush for applying the goop.

So far, ive got 9 patches on my rear tube over ~6 yrs.
Im going for my personal best record on this.
Ive just switched my rear tire to the Walmart one
with the internal kevlar belt puncture guard.
Sofari sogoodi!
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