So I did a hasty fix this morning when I had a puncture. It got me to where I needed to go, but by the evening it was flat again.

I checked under water and there is that tiny little air bubbles coming out from under the patch. Is there any way for me to save this tube and patch well, or will I just need to replace it?

  • Is "save this tire" is supposed to be tube? You're going to have to basically replace the patch. Patched tubes aren't supposed to be used for a while.
    – Batman
    Oct 8, 2015 at 1:05
  • sorry yes, it's supposed to be tube. How can I remove the patch?
    – StanM
    Oct 8, 2015 at 1:11
  • Sometimes you can remove a botched patch, especially if it was not adhered properly in the first place. But you should always have a spare tube anyway. Oct 8, 2015 at 12:25
  • it adhered well enough to not be able to easily remove it. Will try what Criggie suggested to try to get cement into the under the seam, that's where it's leaking (it leaks under pressure so not a huge hole)
    – StanM
    Oct 8, 2015 at 14:04
  • I'd recommend to a) invest some money into a serious puncture proof tire, b) replace the tube, and c) forget about patching altogether. I usually do more than 10000km without a single puncture, and I love not having to worry about them. Every penny you spent extra on the puncture proof tires is a penny very well spent. Apr 1, 2019 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


My last 26" tube cost $8 NZ, so not a lot. Depends how much time you want to invest, and how much patches cost.

Poor abrading/sanding/scouring ot the area before applying the rubber cement will leave an area of bad adhesion, and the pressurised air can find its way out. I bet you were in a hurry and didn't give the cement 10 minutes to cure before fitting the patch?

Bad patches can be a waste of time too - if they're particularly poor quality or excessively cheap, or old or battered then there's a fair chance you'll get poor adhesion. To be blunt, 48 patches for a dollar from Ebay or alibaba is not generally going to be a good patch. Old, watery or stale cement/glue can be an issue too.

If your leak is because the patch straddles a ridge then you might be able to shove some rubber cement down there, and then spend a couple minutes pressuring the patch on.

Problem is that a good patch becomes chemically welded to the rubber tyre/tire. You often cannot remove the well-adhered patch and do it over. Your best bet would be to abraid the tyre surface, then push cement into the leak and around the area, WAIT 10 MINUTES, then fit another patch and press it down firmly with a spoon edge or a roller, or a large round coin.

If the patch adhesion is really poor it will peel off in one piece, and you can attempt to buff the tube to remove traces of glue.

If that fails, fit a new tube. For the cost, its not worth fitting $10 of patches to fix a $10 tube.

  • yup, both of those items are true for me. I didn't wait 10 minutes, and it is over a ridge. I was hoping there was some easy way to remove the patch and reapply, but yeah sounds like too much hassle, I'll just replace it.
    – StanM
    Oct 8, 2015 at 1:13
  • 1
    You coulf try peeling the patch off - since the cement never cured it may still be liquid underneath, Buy a new tube anyway for your carry-spare, ready for next time. There's always another flat waiting for you somewhere down the road.
    – Criggie
    Oct 8, 2015 at 1:21
  • 1
    yeah I have a spare one, just put that in. Going to try pushing the cement into the hole see if it will work. Thank you for the advice
    – StanM
    Oct 8, 2015 at 1:44
  • Nit-picking: Cutting patches out of an old tube is free of cost. And 10ml cement for 1EUR lasts tens or a hundred patches.
    – Vorac
    Mar 13, 2017 at 12:38

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