How to Patch a Bike Tire

Posted by Goggles n More on 14th Dec 2014

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Nearly every biker will experience a flat tire at some point or another. Along with the rough terrain, there are a number of hazards that can blow out your tire. Pebbles, nails, tacks, wood and pieces of metal are just a few of them. Instead of walking your bike back home, however, you can patch it up and re-inflate it by yourself in just a few easy steps.

What You’ll Need

The only items you'll need to patch a bike tire are a tire patch kit (sold at bike shops) and a small air pump. Most tire patch kits contain a rubber patch or two, adhesive and a metal scraper. Depending on the severity of the tear/hole, you may also want to purchase some extra super-glue.

Step One – Remove The Tire

The very first step in patching up a bike tire is to remove it from the frame and separate the tire from the inner tube. Unfortunately, there's no feasible way to patch a tire while it’s attached to your bike, so you'll have to remove it.

Step Two – Locate The Leak

Once you've removed the inner tube, connect the pump and inject some air into it. Place your ear down close to it and listen for any sounds of air escaping. If you hear the leak but can’t see it, try running your hand along the surface of the inner tube until you feel it. Depending on how well hidden the leak is, this step may take some time, but continue this process until you find it.

Step Three – Preparing The Area

With the leak located, you're now ready to start preparing it. Your tire patch kit should have come with either a strip of sandpaper or a flat sheet of metal (looks like a cheese grader). Rub either one of these items over the part of the inner tube where the leak is. Basically, all this does it help to flatten down the area so the patch will completely stick to the surface. If there are imperfections left, air could escape through the patch.

Step Four – Patch It Up!

Apply a small amount of glue to the area on the inner tube where the hole is and the back of the patch. Press the patch firmly against the hole and hold it for at least 5 minutes. Even though it may feel like the patch is dry, you should still wait about half an hour before hopping back on your bike. Giving it extra time to dry will ensure the patch doesn't pop off while you’re riding. Once the glue is finished drying, your bike should be ready to hit the road or trail.