Patching a bike’s tire inner tube is much easier and faster than it sounds.
Step 1: Remove the flat tube from the tire
Remove the flat inner tube from the tire.
Step 2: Attach tube to a pump
Attach the inner tube to a bike pump.
Step 3: Pump up the tube
Pump up the tire until it’s full of air.
Step 4: Listen for the escaping air
Listen for the hiss of air escaping from the tube. Bring it close to your ear to help.
Using a bowl of water, run the air-filled tube through the water. Look for a stream of bubbles emanating from the tube. That’s where your hole is.
Step 5: Let air out of tube
Cover the hole with a finger, detach the pump, and let all the air out of the tube by pressing down on the valve stem.
Step 6: Lightly sand the area around the leak
With your sandpaper, lightly sand an area around the leak larger than your patch.
Step 7: Wipe the leak area clean
Wipe clean with your hand or optional towel.
Step 8: Cover the sanded area with glue
Cover the sanded area with glue.
Step 9: Let the glue dry
Let glue dry for 5 minutes.
Step 10: Put the patch over the leak
Separate the patch from its backing and place directly onto the tube, pressing it firmly into the glue.
A good rule of thumb is to replace a tube after you’ve patched it three times.
Step 11: Remove the cellophane cover
Remove any cellophane cover over the patch and you’re ready to go.
Did You Know?
Bike patches are typically more durable than the tube itself.