I am always surprise to see riders trash bicycle tubes after a puncture. A properly patched tube is just as reliable as a new tube. I can recall my son asking me if I didn’t think it was time to replace the tube, after seeing a tube I had been using and patching for years that had perhaps a dozen patches on it. The truth is, that I never considered replacing the it. Why would I? It was still a good tube!
In those days I never even carried a spare tube. I simply patched my flats by the side of the road and continue on my ride. However, since then I’ve learned the error of my ways. After getting flats in the rain or at night in an area with little light to make the repair, I now carry a spare tube so I can make a quick repair and take the punctured tube home to fix in my workshop.
The reason most riders don’t patch their tubes is because their patches fail. So, how do you patch a tube so it is a reliable spare? The first step is your patch kit. I’m not talking about the small patch kit you carry on a ride for emergencies. We’re talking a home workshop tube repair kit for making permanent reliable patches.