It wasn't a good idea (in my experience) to buy anything bigger than a tiny tube of vulcanizing glue (unless you patch many tubes at a time) since the whole thing usually dried up after being exposed to air.
There are several ways to ensure that the glue tube won't dry.
The tube has the open ends. One is crimped but usually not perfectly. The other has a cap with screw thread.
The crimped end should always be "under water" so that the glue doesn't evaporate and diffuse as a gas through the crimp. So glue tubes should be stored cap upwards, crimped end downwards.
The cap end should always be closed so that you push the glue to fill the cap end before closing the cap. This ensures that there is no air inside the glue tube. If there is air, the glue evaporates and then diffuses through the cap screw threads. The cap obviously needs to be tight. A loose cap will mean the glue dries.
Of course in your toolkit you always carry with you, it may not be feasible to force a certain orientation for the glue tube. So that tube always remains vulnerable. But in your home you can store the glue tubes cap upwards.
So nowadays you can't find those patch kits as cheap as $1 anymore and I'm noticing that places like Wal-Mart can sell inner tubes for as cheap as less than $5.
It's a bad idea to buy cheapest path kits.
A cheap patch kit typically has a "cheese grater" to remove the surface mold release from the tube. They work poorly. Better patch kits have a piece of sandpaper. Of course you can buy a suitable sandpaper in bulk and replace the "cheese grater" with your own sandpaper.
A cheap path kit usually has patches that don't have an initiated crack in the protecting film. This means that the only ways to remove the protecting film are:
- Remove it from the side. This invariably lifts the patch because the glue isn't dry yet.
- Use a razor blade (you need to carry this separately) to initiate a crack in the protecting film middle and then stretch the film and patch. The patch stretches, the protecting film doesn't and the film splits in half. Then you can remove the film from the middle of the patch without lifting the patch sides.
With better patch kits, there is usually an initiated crack in the protecting film so you can only stretch it without first treating it with a razor blade.
So unless anyone knows a good source of where to buy those tiny tubes of vulcanizing glue, I'm thinking it's just more cost-effective (and trouble-free) to just go w/ new inner tubes instead of patching.
Rema Tip Top patch kits are usually the best value for money. They have not only glue tubes but also patches. About $0.50 per patch. Far less expensive than buying new tubes, and besides, it's feasible to carry 7 patches with you (the amount in a single patch kit). It's not feasible to carry 7 inner tubes with you.