How To Repair a Punctured Inner Tube

Many mechanical problems can arise during a bike ride. There is, however, one that no cyclist will be able to escape and that he will encounter at more or less regular intervals. This is of course the puncture. Despite all the tips and precautions to avoid it, we know that it will eventually catch us off guard at a bend in a road. 

So better to be prepared and know how to fix it. Replacing an inner tube or installing a patch to repair it are simple operations that every cyclist should know how to perform. Here are some tips for easily repairing an inner tube.

What material is needed to change a bicycle inner tube?

Before repairing your inner tube, you need all the equipment to repair a puncture of a bicycle tire. You must first have patches. These are small rubber parts intended to plug the hole in the inner tube of a bicycle during a puncture. There are self-adhesive patches, but they are less effective and less durable than traditional patches.

For these, you need a small metal grater and a dissolving tube, which are often sold together in an inner tube repair kit. Tire changers and a bicycle pump will also be necessary. If you cannot find the leak in the inner tube, a basin of water will also be very useful.

How to find a puncture on a bicycle tire?

Before replacing an inner tube, it is essential to detect where the puncture is . To do this, you have to start by removing one sidewall of the tire and removing the chamber from the rim. As you re-inflate the inner tube, you will normally hear a slight hiss of air that will guide you to its source.

Once you find the puncture on the inner tube , locate the place on the tire to which it corresponds. The person responsible for the puncture could well have stayed there. Now is the time to remove the small shard of glass or flint that has gone through the tire. Otherwise, you will have a good chance of suffering a new puncture a few meters further on.

In the case of very fine perforations, sometimes no hissing sound is heard. The best method is then to immerse the inner tube in water until bubbles appear on the surface. This is where you will need to perform the repair.

The steps to apply a patch on a punctured inner tube

Before starting to install the patch , you must first prepare the inner tube for the repair. It is a delicate operation which must be carried out with the greatest care. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Grate the inner tube around the leak with the metal grater or, failing that, sandpaper. This improves the action of the glue and allows a better weld with the patch.
  • Spread a drop of dissolution (also known as vulcanizing glue ).
  • Wait a few minutes for the glue to appear dry.
  • Install the patch after removing its lower aluminum protection.
  • For one minute, press the patch on the inner tube, avoiding slipping it. This is essential to ensure the sealing of the weld.
  • TIP : Add a drop of dissolution on the repair to consolidate the whole if you have any doubt about the quality of the patch (this is often the case if it has been lying around in your saddle bag for a few years!).
  • Once the patch is well stuck, remove the transparent plastic film. If you forget this step, it doesn’t matter, no need to dismantle the tire again!

How to reassemble the inner tube and tire

The procedure is the same as replacing an inner tube with a new one. Before reassembling everything, carefully inspect the tire. Indeed, even if you have already found the culprit of your puncture, other sharp objects could well have nestled in the tire in other places. To do this, run your hand inside the tire around its entire circumference, being careful not to cut yourself. Also visually inspect the outside of the tire.

Then, slightly re-inflate the inner tube to be able to slide it more easily between the tire and the rim. You have to be careful not to pinch it. Once done, just mount the tire, finish inflation and close the valve. In this regard, we advise you to read the article: what to do to properly inflate bicycle tires?

That’s it, you’ve completed the repair.

If your inner tube is already full of patches, it may be safer to replace an old inner tube with a new one after you get home. And rather than throwing away your used inner tube, follow our tips for recycling used bicycle inner tubes!

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