it usually takes me about 5 attempts before i feel comfortable and confident with a new skill. do something correctly the first time, and it could be dumb luck. do that thing correctly several more times, and you are SOLID
beth hit that magic number and even went beyond it the other night at our tune-up event. she patched 7 holes in a tube! and not because she couldn’t get the patch to stick. beth had aced the fine art of vulcanization on her first try. she patched 6 more holes in the same tube because the tire was ridden around when flat, and the rim had cut 7 different holes in the tube. beth was determined and vigilant, and she sealed every one of those snake bites. she was even showing another woman how to prep and patch a tube.
here’s how to fix a flat if you’ve never done it. or just ask beth next time you see her. i bet she’d even give you a demo…
Patching a flat 101:
- pump the tube up with air and encircle the tube with your hand. run your hand around the tube to feel for air while it escapes the tube.
- after locating the hole/s, prep the surface by scratching the inner tube with sandpaper. the prepped area should be larger than the patch that you will apply.
- cover the prepped area with rubber cement. the area should be slightly bigger than the patch you will apply. this ensures that the entire patch will attach, even around the edges.
- wait 5 full minutes!!! this is critical! you can wait longer, but DO NOT continue until the rubber cement is fully dried.
- peel the patch from the foil backing and attach it to the prepped area. place the patch squarely over the hole.
- firmly attach the patch by rubbing it with a tire iron, a nickle, or other hard object. pay special attention to the edges of the patch.
- carefully peel off plastic backing. this is not like a band aid. do not peel this backing off quickly. if the edges of the patch pull away from the tube, try to remove another corner of plastic backing.
- fill the tube with a bit of air to check that your patch is holding. redo if any air escapes.