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I got a puncture in my tube (size 700c x 23c, Kendra, came with bike) and applied a vulcanizing glue and patch, then checked it. Before reinstalling the tube, there was now a new leak right next to the patch, but the air is definitely not escaping from the lip of the patch, just very close to it.

So, I added another patch. Now the same thing happened again: a new small leak right near the patch but not from the lip of the patch.

I noticed these new leaks before reinstalling the tube, so the problem is not anything on the rim or in the tire.

I am relatively new at this so wanted to see if this has happened to others and what might be causing it.

Following the patch kit instructions, I applied pressure using the kit box from the center of the patch out. Would this potentially rip a new hole? Do I need to be very gentle with this step?

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How did the puncture originally occur? If it's "snake bite" from riding over rough terrain with too-low tire pressure, eg, then there will likely be several punctures. (It's also possible that you damaged the tube while removing it. Very easy to do with metal tire irons.) –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 11 at 22:43
    
@DanielRHicks Puncture from a sharp rock I found lodged in the tire. Removed with plastic tire irons, but could have scraped on the same rock during removal. Would the larger puncture potentially hide the smaller ones until it was patched? –  A.E. Drew Feb 11 at 22:55
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If there was a rock that had worked its way inside the tire it could easily have abraded the tube before it finally wore a hole through it large enough to get your attention. This would be exacerbated by the fact that you likely rode the bike for some time with low pressure before you noticed. (The tube is toast, BTW.) –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 11 at 22:59
    
(Keep in mind that with a 23mm tire you should be running at least 80 psi.) –  Daniel R Hicks Feb 11 at 23:00
    
@DanielRHicks Yes, I am sure I was riding at low pressure for a while before noticing. Ultimately, this seems like the most likely problem as well as giving me an action item (give up on this tube). If posted as an answer, I'll accept. –  A.E. Drew Feb 12 at 21:39
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3 Answers 3

You may have a sort of systematic effect, such as debris (puncture causing material) near the patch site, or missing rim tape or something depending on where the patch is. It may not be easy to find the causing material unless the tire is flexed under load though, which is why you might just not see it.

Either that, or you're consistently not applying the patch right (which you just need to follow the directions in the patch kit).

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Should have specified, I notice these new leaks before reinstalling the tube, so the problem is not anything on the rim or in the tire. –  A.E. Drew Feb 11 at 18:20
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Are you sure they weren't already there and you weren't noticing them? Smaller leaks may not come into play as effectively until larger ones are patched. –  Batman Feb 12 at 18:59
    
This is possible –  A.E. Drew Feb 12 at 21:36
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This kind of thing is common. I'm answering because I can't comment yet, but the previous answer nailed it. I just wanted to add. You need to really inspect the tire around where the punctures are happening. The worst thing is small bits of metal wire from decaying car tires that litter roads. They get stuck in the rubber in your bike tires and are really hard to spot. But when you put the new tube in and pump it up, the wire inevitably makes a new pinprick hole. Could be something else, but this is the most likely culprit.

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You may be doing everything right but have done something to get a series of small punctures. For example, I have had the misfortune of riding across an empty lot littered with small cactus plants (I didn't known it at the time as I was visiting the area). This left my tube littered with small punctures clustered together. As I patched one hole I would find another when re-inflating the tube. In my case the tube was basically a write-off and it took for ever to ensure the tire was usable again.

I do not know where you live or ride so the cactus example may or may not be applicable. That said it is still possible that you have simply acquired a number of punctures due to an unfortunate incident. Something like this is supported by the fact you notice new punctures even before you put the tube back into place.

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