Patching a bike's tire inner tube is much easier and faster than it sounds.
You will need
- An inner tube with a puncture
- A bicycle patch kit
- consisting of patches
- and a square of sandpaper
- A bike tire pump
- A big bowl filled with water (optional)
- Towel (optional)
Step 1 Remove the flat tube from the tire Remove the flat inner tube from the tire.
Step 2 Attach tube to a pump Attach the inner tube to a bike pump.
Step 3 Pump up the tube Pump up the tire until it’s full of air.
Step 4 Listen for the escaping air Listen for the hiss of air escaping from the tube. Bring it close to your ear to help.
Using a bowl of water, run the air-filled tube through the water. Look for a stream of bubbles emanating from the tube. That’s where your hole is.
Step 5 Let air out of tube Cover the hole with a finger, detach the pump, and let all the air out of the tube by pressing down on the valve stem.
Step 6 Lightly sand the area around the leak With your sandpaper, lightly sand an area around the leak larger than your patch.
Step 7 Wipe the leak area clean Wipe clean with your hand or optional towel.
Step 8 Cover the sanded area with glue Cover the sanded area with glue.
Step 9 Let the glue dry Let glue dry for 5 minutes.
Step 10 Put the patch over the leak Separate the patch from its backing and place directly onto the tube, pressing it firmly into the glue.
A good rule of thumb is to replace a tube after you’ve patched it three times.
Step 11 Remove the cellophane cover Remove any cellophane cover over the patch and you’re ready to go.
Bike patches are typically more durable than the tube itself.