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With puncture repair kits, generally you get like 6-8 patches and a tube of glue.

The only problem is I can really only use the glue for the first patch because once it opens, it just ends up drying up. Am I putting the lids on wrong or something?

I have plenty of the patches left. It's pretty much the glue that makes me keep having to buy more kits. Why do puncture repair kits only have one tube of glue? Is there anywhere where I can buy just the glue in bulk?

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Mine had two... –  meagar Mar 24 '12 at 15:07
    
In my experience, if you cap the glue tightly it will last a couple of months. And I suppose the manufacturers could address your gripe by only putting 2 patches in the kit -- count your blessings. –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 24 '12 at 16:35
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Of course, I haven't had a puncture in probably 10 years. Kevlar belted tires are the way to go! –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 24 '12 at 19:46
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I find that the glue lasts well over a year. I put the lid on almost hard enough to make the thread skip, and keep the repair kit itself shut tight (in a plastic bag with my bike repair tools). Like @Daniel, I use puncture-resistant tyres but I wear the tyres until they do puncture before I replace them. That's how I know they need replacing. –  Kohi Mar 26 '12 at 3:41
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I wish that glue came in little foil packets with just enough for one patch (just like hand lotion samples, but smaller). Once the glue tube is opened and used once, it is only a matter of time before it goes bad and you never know when! –  Angelo Aug 14 '12 at 11:21

7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In my experience:

  • You only need to apply a drop of glue a bit larger than a pea (about 7mm diameter) per patch;
  • Glue inside eventually dries. If you only have a puncture once a year, most probably the glue remaining from the last puncture would be dry "no matter what". Also, there is an expiration date of around two years, but I think it's two years if you didn't open it yet;
  • (IMPORTANT) When you attach the cover of the tube, BE SURE TO REMOVE ALL THE AIR INSIDE by pressing its bottom untill half a drop shows up in the opening, otherwise the glue will evaporate inside the very tube (happened to me a lot of times until I figured it out...).
  • These glues have a volatile nature. I wouldn't buy it in large amounts, but rather to buy new spare glue tubes (without the whole patch kit). The kind of patch I use also have this problem: the patches (a small roll I have to cut with a scissor) last much longer than the glue.

Well, hope it helps!

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I always roll the end of the tube as I use the glue and have never had the glue dry out on me. My guess is that since there is no air space, it never has the chance to dry up. I just run out of patches before I use up my glue. –  Benzo May 12 '13 at 12:26

I think those tubes of glue are pretty much universally the same and I've never had an issue with a tube drying up (surprisingly). Maybe try to get the tiniest bit of the stuff around the rim of the tube so that when you close it up that will dry up and create an airtight bond that will protect the glue inside. Come to think of if, that's probably why I've never had a tube dry up because I use the tube itself as the applicator.

You can buy the tubes of glue separately but they cost roughly as much as the patch kit itself. If you really wanted to buy it in bulk, you could go to an automotive shop and purchase a tub of the stuff. Regardless of the application, it's referred to as "vulcanizing fluid"

Glueless patch kits will get you home. That's about it. Not nearly as reliable as glue type patches.

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+1 for making an airtight seal with the glue itself! –  Jahaziel Mar 26 '12 at 21:10

The best solution to this extraordinarily irritating problem is to use a can or jar of vulcanizing rubber cement for most repairs and to reserve the single-use tube of cement for emergencies. Specifically:

  • Ride with a spare inner tube and a patch kit (with an unopened tube of rubber cement).

  • If you get a flat, use the spare inner tube.

  • If you get a second flat and don't have another spare inner tube, use the patch kit. Now that you've opened your tube of rubber cement, close it tightly (squeeze until the cement is showing to make sure there's no air).

  • When you get home, use a can of rubber cement (more about this below) with a brush to patch any punctured tubes you brought home with you.

  • Keep your used tube of rubber cement for at most a month or so. Once you've opened the tube, consider it used. You might get lucky, but unless you like being stranded on the side of the road, it's safest to put a new patch kit in your saddle bag as soon as possible.

I've heard mixed reports about whether all brands of rubber cement are vulcanizing. To be safe, I recommend buying rubber cement at an auto parts store in the tire repair section. I bought a 4 oz. can for about $8. Most (or all?) such cans come with a brush on the inside of the lid. This built-in brush makes it easy to apply a thin, even layer of cement.

Since you'll only use your tube of cement when you get two flats in one day, you won't have too many (if any) leftover patches when you throw out a tube of dried-out cement. And a brush is more convenient for patching anyway.

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The cynic in me says, "So you will buy more puncture kits". I too have never been able to reseal the glue well enough to use it more than twice, and only then when I had two punctures a short time apart.

You can buy rubber cement in a bottle. There seem to be at least two kinds: the type used for cut and paste for layout (the paper based technique kind that preceded electronic publishing) and the type used for rubber repairs. You want the latter. Here's one example I found by searching for rubber cement. I tried contact cement, but it didn't work very well; the formulation isn't right for tube repair. I haven't tried automotive rubber cement.

There are glueless repair kits. See this question for more information.

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I think that repair kits are thought for repair shops where patching tubes is more frequent, so you can use all the glue before it dries up inside the tube. Smaller kits that are for emergencies include two to five patches, and a very small tube of glue, generally enclosed in a disposable case, but are not universally available.

My trick to get a little more out of a glue tube is that I pile up a few punctured inner tubes, and patch them at home, all of them at a time so I use more glue every time. Then I always carry one of these tubes in my backpack so I just change the tube, instead of patching while in the trails.

At least in My country it's easy to find only the tubes of glue, which I find curious: Is it that manufacturers know patches last longer than the glue?

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Put a bit of white plumber's tape over the end of the tube before you put the cap back on. It will make the glue last for serveral seasons without drying up!

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This is an interesting idea. Does it really work? Do you keep the teflon tape in your saddle bag? –  amcnabb May 14 '13 at 4:05
    
I tried this, but even with the teflon tape, it still dried out. I don't know if I left too much air in the tube, or if I didn't use enough tape. –  amcnabb Jan 12 at 1:08

I use preglued patchs in the road kit.It is one less thing to carry,they go on quickly and no need to wait for the glue to dry.

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They also come off quickly. :) –  amcnabb Aug 13 '12 at 22:51
    
Theres still value to them though - if its quick and gets you home, thats really all that matters. –  Batman Jan 12 at 4:57

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