You can get dirt cheap bicycle patches from ebay, 48 patches for less than 1£.

How do they compare to patches from a well known brand such as TipTop or Park?

My question is only for patches that requires glue.

  • 1
    What kind of patches do you get? A good bike tire patch has rounded corners, is pretty thin overall, and gets thinner towards the edges, so that it stretches with the tube and stress points are eliminated. They also come with a foil cover on the glue side and a thin plastic cover on the "outside". The plastic cover greatly simplifies installation. And of course you need decent glue, on the patch and in a tube. I've seen crummy patches that are basically just a square chunk of rubber and I won't use them. Nov 19 '16 at 13:26
  • What's the point in trying to save money on patches? Maybe you get more punctures than me but I use two or three patches a year, max. At that rate of use, it doesn't really matter if they cost a pound or a penny. Nov 20 '16 at 12:07

Patches are simply rubber with some vulcanising agent pre-applied.

The differences between cheap knockoffs and quality patches are exactly that - quality control. Of your 48 patches, some number might be a bit thin or thick and are useless. Or the "glue" isn't well spread, or has set or gone off.

Sometimes the thickness/cut of the patch is substituting quantity for quality, so a thicker heavier patch makes up for lower-quality rubber. And more "glue" makes up for thin sloppy glue.

But for 1 local-currency, its not a big risk to buy some and use them. I've got one tube with at least 10 patches around it, in use perfectly on a MTB.

As an aside, you can even make your own patches using pieces of old inner tube. Simply cut a good shape, buff the inside to remove the oxidised rubber, apply vulcanizing agent and allow it to dry. Then do the same to your punctured tube.

  • Using them is free only if your time is worth nothing.
    – ojs
    Nov 19 '16 at 20:45
  • @ojs I think we've covered "patching vs new tube" in other questions.
    – Criggie
    Nov 19 '16 at 21:37
  • 1
    there is a difference between trying out a patch which may or may not work but saves a few cents if it is good and using a known good patch.
    – ojs
    Nov 19 '16 at 22:47

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