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I've personally never ridden on Latex inner tubes.

If I get a puncture on a latex tube I'd prefer to be able to fix it, given they're a lot more expensive than regular butyl tubes.

My research suggests

  • No, nothing works, you need to replace the whole tube whenever it punctures
  • No, but you can knot them to isolate the hole and then reinflate for the ride home, where you replace the tube.

and

  • Yes, with regular tyre patches and vulcanising fluid,
  • Yes, with regular tyre patches and rubber cement
  • Yes, with latex patches cut from another latex tube, and rubber cement
  • Yes, pre-glued patches (ie "stickers")

But for everyone claiming one of the solutions works, someone else says that it doesn't work.

Is it possible to Patch a puncture on a latex inner tube? and is the patch permanent or only a get-home fix ?

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  • Probably best to leave tubulars out of this, and focus only on latex innertubes.
    – Criggie
    May 29, 2020 at 2:48
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    I can only answer a couple of those: yes, with regular tyre patches and vulcanising fluid; and, yes, with regular tyre patches and "rubber cement" (as in this: amazon.com/Slime-1050-Rubber-Cement-oz/dp/B07H8RLF9G). I've never used pre-glued patches on a latex tube, and I haven't tried latex patches cut from another latex tube so I don't know if they'll work -- but I suspect that they will. Next time I get a flat I'll try and revisit your question.
    – R. Chung
    May 29, 2020 at 4:12
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    @R.Chung that looks like an answer right there (even if it doesn't address every point).
    – FreeMan
    May 29, 2020 at 16:14
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    Semi-related: @RoboKaren asked in 2015 if rubber cement (e.g. the kind you can buy at the store) was the same as vulcanizing fluid. Some debate here: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/35317/… but, contradicting that answer, one other chemist said that they seem to be identical bikeforums.net/road-cycling/…
    – Weiwen Ng
    May 29, 2020 at 19:00
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    It's possible that a lot of the people that claim method's a, b and c work are only inflating to 70psi or lower, but if they were to inflate to 105psi or higher then they'd understand that their chosen method doesn't work... Friend claimed those Leyzene glueless patches were the duck's nuts, so I used them, it was a hot day, tube literally popped on me at the lights when I (randomly) stopped with the patch on the pavement... Turns out she only pumped to about 60psi and here I as going near double that (not latex, but similar logic applies) May 31, 2020 at 1:10

2 Answers 2

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It is possible to fix both latex intertubes for clincher tyres and latex inner tubes inside tubular tyres.

Whether you'll be able to do it, depends on your ability to do it.

As you suggest, using a patch made from another latex tube and glue will work. This webpage suggests using tubular rim glue instead of normal patch glue for better results.

That webpage also gives detailed instructions on how to mend a punctured tubular tire.

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  • 1
    Congrats on passing 1000 reputation points. Keep it up!
    – Criggie
    Jun 12, 2020 at 13:53
  • Thank you very much! <3
    – abdnChap
    Jun 12, 2020 at 13:56
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In addition to abdnChap's answer, here is some additional information.

I concur that using a patch from a cut up old latex tube plus traditional vulcanizing fluid works. I like to buy standalone tubes of Rema fluid from my bike store. They are the same ones as you find in patch kits. Because the fluid eventually dries up, I wouldn't like to buy vulcanizing fluid in bulk. I don't sand the patched area. Just make sure to cover the entire area below your patch with fluid, like you would on a butyl tube.

My experience has been that finding the hole can be troublesome, even with water. One bit of advice is that you should try to stretch out each section of the tire as you pass it through the water. This hasn't worked universally for me, but others might try it. I have had several cases where I have a slow leak in the tire that I can't find, even after patching a suspected hole.

If you are in that situation, you might consider using tubeless sealant to rescue the tube. I confirm that it has worked twice this year for me. I suspect I've encountered a lot of glass on the roads. I've had more than one person say to me that Orange Seal is the best tubeless sealant. If you don't have tubeless tires, you might try to find a buddy with Orange Seal and ask them nicely or bribe them. I believe you only need an ounce or so per tube. However, if you let the tube go flat, it will stick to itself and it may not reinflate properly. Be cautious of this.

Overall, I would rate the difficulty as on par with repairing a butyl tube, once you're used to the process and provided you've located the hole.

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  • 2
    In my comment on the original post, I said that I had experience with only two of the four questions so I couldn't provide a full answer. Since then, I've added a third: a glueless patch. That worked to get home, but the patch I used was a little old and dry so it leaked, slowly. I have to pump up my latex tubes every day anyway, so that wasn't as much of a deal-killer as you might expect. After a few months, however, the leak rate was faster, so I replaced it with a conventional patch and glue. I still haven't used a bit of cut up latex tube.
    – R. Chung
    Oct 9, 2023 at 16:16
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    @R.Chung It sounds like by now, there's enough information there to justify writing it as an answer.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Oct 9, 2023 at 18:29

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