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Picture of Patch a bike tire
A simple explanation to find and patch a hole in your bike's inner tube.
 
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Step 1: Inflate the inner tube

Picture of Inflate the inner tube
After the inner tube has been removed from the bike, inflate the inner tube until it is no longer limp.

Pressure inside the inner tube will help you locate the hole.

Step 2: Locate the hole

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Submerge the inflated inner tube into a sink full of water. Look for air bubbles escaping through a hole in the inner tube.

Be sure to check the entire inner tube as there may be more than one hole.

Step 3: Fetch the towel

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Mark any holes with a permanent marker. Then dry the inner tube with a towel.

The inner tube needs to be dry so that the adhesive will stick properly.

Step 4: Prepare the tube

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Score the surface of the inner tube 1.5 inches around the hole with 100 grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Apply the adhesive

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Apply and spread a 1mm layer of adhesive evenly over the scored surface of the inner tube.

Step 6: Patch the hole

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Peel off the foil from the patch. Center the patch over the hole and place the orange side of the patch on the glue.

Step 7: Remove the plastic

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Peel off the plastic backing from the patch.
Little tip for when you don't have a tub of water, inflate the tube up a good bit, more than just enough to make it self supporting, now run the whole thing through your hands listening carefully, you should be able to hear a difference in the hissing of the hole, now look for it using a finger, though usually by now you can see it anyway (unless its really tiny...) using your finger just run it around the tube untill you hear the change in hissing again, by now you can easily loacte your puncture.... another trick is when you hit a curb and get a snakebite puncture two smaller patches will work, then if you have one put a far bigger patch around them, this acts as a bit of protection for the repair. Also no matter what people try to say a car patch will work on a bike tyre despite the different composition of the tubes... for high pressure tyres use a truck patch, it'll be good for 120psi so it wont leak when you hit potholes. i also just learnt another trick, using a bit of carboard between the tyre and tube works really well as a puncture guard for all the little ones like bits of glass... it works similarly to to using an old inner tube... Great instructable, nobody seems to have posted a proper instructable yet, just a video, funny enough my wee brother didn't know how to repair a bike puncture at the age of 16m you saved me a bit of bother...
 When I've been out on the dirt, I found that by over pumping the tube like you said but wetting your finger helps detect the puncture.

Also add that if you do have a bowl of water, squeezing in as much tube as possible may cover a puncture in the folds of the tube. Best to feed a few inches of tube between your hands and do a full circle of the tube. Also, this is when you can find the slow punctures. Brush off any bubbles and if they reform, that's your slow puncture.
how long does it take for the glue to cure fully?
5 mins
JerryMopar7 years ago
I found that properly buffing is the key, especially like this one you did, where it was on a mold line.
thnk for this instructable i tried patching my tube 2day ans it didnt turn out that good i dont think i sanded enough and let it dry
Nice job. :P My dad always has problems on this, thanks for showing.
infinitemonkies316 (author) 7 years ago
We should probably specify what kind of patch kit it is.