Thursday, March 25

Steve and the Child Resistant Glue Tube

Y'all saw my inability to match up a Presta valve spare tube with my Presta valve rim, here. Well, thanks to Lizzylou, I now confess that it is even worse than I claimed. In her comment, she noted that "Hm, all of my glue tubes have had a puncture point on the opposing end of the cap, so that was never a problem. I've considered trying those 'self stick' patches, but for some reason I don't want to trust them."

Well, she can consider that innocent observation to be payback IN SPADES for a battery comment I made over her way a while back.

#1 Puncture Point
Here's what the glue tube looks like that I used. Upon careful examination, one will notice a sharp point recessed within the cap, which is designed so that clumsy children will not stick themselves by accident. Well, unobservant cyclists at dusk don't always notice such things while they're searching for something sharp either. After reading Lizzylou's comment, I looked at that glue tube again and find that I needn't have borrowed a pen to puncture the seal from the coffee shop barista. Where was she on Friday? A simple psychic message might have done the trick. In my own defense, I'll note that I did not see any instructions that directed me to look and SEE the sharp point within the cap. Well, perhaps I ought to just shut up here or my wife might reconsider her claim that I am NOT a goofball...

#2 Self Stick Patches
I didn't note it in the previous post, but my patch kit always includes a self stick patch. What's more, I actually used it in the repair. I stuck it on the inside of the failing tire before I discovered that my spare tube had the wrong kind of valve for my rim. I tend to agree with Lizzylou that those self stick patches are worthy of sketicism, but they are GREAT for fixing up stuff where you don't care if they hold pressure over the long run or not. I previously used one to patch my rim strip so the tube wouldn't get punctured by the spoke end. On Saturday, I had a chat with ChipSeal and he swears by the things. Myself, I'm an old fashioned boy. Still, the "self stick" comment made me blush a little. Regardless of what one thinks of the things, it is not a brilliant move to use one's only self stick patch before fully assessing the situation. Had I just stuck it on the tube, it would have saved time and the whole tube puncture thing, and since I align my tire label with the valve hole, it would have gotten me home just fine. Perhaps Lizzylou will consider getting a few, if not for the tubes, where holding air is important, for the TIRE and rim strip, where you just don't want to see something come through the and attack that tube you just fixed. They work GREAT for THAT purpose. What's more, they are cheaper than the old-fashioned solution of using a dollar bill to cover the tire damage and have the added benefit of not moving around inside the tire as well.


Oldfool said...

Hmmm...maybe I should write a post on fixing flats.

Chandra said...

Do you have a preferred brand of patches? Thanks.

Steve A said...

Chandra and Oldfool BOTH have excellent points here:
After much digging around, here's what I have:

The current kit I carry around havs a "Bicycles, Inc" sticker over the whole kit. The glue tube says "ProPatch." The glueless patch I carry in the same box (bought separately) says "Thumbs Up." I never trust a glueless patch to actually hold air beyond "getting me home when there is no other choice." None of the other patches has any ID that I can definitely state. They all seem to work with whatever glue actually will flow onto the damaged tube.

My other patch kit says "Rema Tip Top TT02 Touring" and the actual patches don't look a whole lot different. As I recall, this kit came from Wallyworld or some other store at an attractive price. Actually, it seems there was only one kit choice so the price was more or less irrelevant unless compared to the price of a brand new tube.

My own personal theory is you get glue, and you get patches, and they're interchangeable beyond that. The glueless patches are different animals entirely, but none are any better than the others. Patch kits poop out when the glue does. At that point, move the unused patches to the kit with the new glue. Eventually, you have to throw out the scummiest patches or you start using them more indiscriminantly. I have patches on rim strips and tire casings, in addition to the more conventional tube patches.

My advice: put patches on everything when anything fails and hope you use up the patches before the glue runs out.

Tracy W said...

I got a little box of self-stick patches at a ride last year, then not too long after that went through a rash of unrelated flats. Rather than pitch several tubes or just leave them hanging around until I got a new patch kit (yep, dried up glue), I went ahead and used the self-stick patches and stuffed those tubes back into the bike bags to be re-used. I'm not sure how many I've actually re-used at this point, but it's been at least a couple. No patch failures yet!

Although, I hope that last statement didn't just awaken the thorn/glass/rock demons....

Velouria said...

Hah. I was just having the same problem with the super glue tube when mending a leather case. I don't do well with fine motor skills!

Anonymous said...

Haha! Vindication!

On brand name patches... I don't know who makes my patches, they come in a nice little plastic box bearing the name of the LBS so the actual maker is unknown. I've never had one of the unbranded patches fail me though.

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