How to Patch a Bike Tire: A Step-By-Step Guide

You’re biking down the street and suddenly, you hear a squeal. You look down and see that your tire has been punctured by a nail.

What do you do? Do you call AAA to come to change it for you? If so, how long will it take for them to get there?

Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to fix this problem at home.

In this article, we will show how to patch a bike tire using glue or patch kit in under an hour without any previous experience.

Table of Contents

Things You Will Need to Patch A Bike Tire

  • Allen wrench
  • Tire patch kit or glue
  • Bike pump
  • Replacement tube
  • Chalk
  • A bucket of water
  • Tire Lever
  • Talcum Powder

How to Patch a Bike Tire

Step 1: Remove the Tire from Bike

To remove the tire from your bike, there are two methods. The first is that you can remove the tire with a metal wrench for quick access, while the second is to loosen your bike from its frame and pull it off.

Now loosen bike screws or bolts on either side of the wheel before pulling out both sides of the chain.

Push up against one side of handlebars while holding them down to release the front brake lever along with shifting gears. Pull back on the opposite end so frame comes loose from seat post as well as pedals around the rear axle. This will allow you to pull the whole thing apart in order to take off tires more easily.

Step 2: Bring Out the Tube from The Tire

To take out the tube from your tire, you will need to remove it from both sides. This is done by unscrewing one side of the rim with a wrench or an adjustable spanner if there are two holes.

If there is only one hole, use pliers to grab the rim and then pull it out.

Use a knife or other sharp object to cut through the rubber strip that’s holding on your tube inside of the tire in order to release it; be careful not to puncture your bicycle tubes.

Once that’s done, grab onto the valve stem and twist until it pops off from the rim. Repeat these steps on the other side and then pull out the tube.

Step 3: Locate the Puncture

Look for any visible signs of punctures. We recommend having a small flashlight on hand so you can see the inside of your tire more clearly.

Mark it with chalk or removable paint and take note of how far up from the base of the tube it is located. This will help when cutting out just that section to patch in later.

Run your fingers around the inside of the tire to figure out what punctured it. If you feel something sharp, such as a nail or thorn that has penetrated into your bike’s rubber surface then remove it.

Examine the tire’s sidewalls for any cuts or slashes. This could be a sign of an object that has penetrated the tire and should also be removed.

If you can’t identify what punctured your tube, try shaking it to see if something falls out at the base of it. Check that the rim hasn’t exposed any spoke holes and is in good condition.

If you haven’t found an obvious cause yet, then you may want to inflate the tire and carefully listen to any hissing sounds. If the puncture isn’t visible to the eye or ear, then fill it with air and dip it into the water to find the leak.

Step 4: Repair the Puncture

Patching a tube is an easy way to repair the inevitable puncture.

Clean the area of the puncture. Use an alcohol swab or cloth for this, and then dry it with another clean cloth. Cut off any excess rubber around the hole in your bike’s tube with a knife or scissors if there is no way of removing it.

Apply glue around the hole in the tire. Be sure that you are not too close to the valve stem, otherwise, you will have problems inflating it.

Reapply glue to the hole in your tire and allow it to dry before inflating again with a hand pump or CO₂ pump.

Find the right size of rubber patch and peel off its backing, which is usually coated in the glue that comes on an adhesive strip. Slightly stretch out the patch and position it over the hole.

Clean off any excess glue with a damp cloth or paper towel. If you’re using patches, then once they’ve been secured in place, inflate your tire to ensure that there are no air bubbles left inside of it.

Step 5: Put Everything Back Together

Insert the valve of the tube through the hole in the rim and then, using a pump or your hand to inflate it.

Push the tube inside of the tire before inflating so that its bead is secure on both sides of the rim.

Inflate and release pressure from the tube valve until you hear no air escaping out of either side of the tire’s sidewalls.

How to Patch A Tubeless Bike Tire?

A tubeless tire is less likely to puncture than a tubed tire. But you should have the knowledge & tools to fix it. Now we will discuss some techniques of patching a tubeless bike tire.

Follow These Steps to Patch Bike Tire Using Sealant:

  • Mark the leak on your tire.
  • Use a tire lever to pull one wall of the tire off the rim. Don’t dig in so deep that you catch the tire liner.
  • Rotate your tire so that the leak stays at the bottom.
  • Clean and dry the area around the puncture with a paper towel.
  • Apply patch glue to the area where the puncture occurred. Allow the patch glue to dry until it becomes tacky.
  • Firmly press the patch over the hole on the inside of the tire. Allow the patch to sit for about five minutes to ensure proper bonding.
  • Pour the sealant back into the tire.
  • Hand-push the tire wall back over the rim wall.
  • To lock the tire into place, quickly inflate it with an air compressor or pump.
  • To ensure an even seal, deflate the tire and inspect the tire wall.
  • Inflate the tire to your desired air pressure.

Follow These Steps If You Have Tubeless Plug Kit:

  • Apply glue to the hole, then insert a plug into it and allow it to dry for about five minutes.
  • Fill the tire with sealant using an injector or tube of sealant paste. Be sure not to overfill. Then top off the tire with air.
  • You can do it very quickly on the roadside and continue to use the tire.

Fixing Your Bike Tire Using an Inner Tube:

  • Rinse the inside of the tire and dry it.
  • Fit a tubeless tube into the rim, starting from near where you patched up your puncture last time around the wheel.
  • Inflate with an air compressor or hand pump to make sure there are no leaks.

We always recommend you to keep a spare tube while leaving your home.

How To Patch A Bike Tire Without A Patch Kit

What will you do if you don’t have the necessary equipment but your bike tire has punctured on the way?

In this case, you can use a simple trick to patch the bike tire. Just follow these steps carefully:

  • To locate the puncture in the tube, follow the steps outlined above.
  • Firstly, tie a small knot in the tube around the hole using some fine/small cable. Try to make the knot small.
  • Pull as hard as you can without breaking them.
  • You can also do it in another way.
  • After isolating the hole, open the hole and stuff the hole with malleable materials like moss, grass, damp tissue, etc. This can slow down the air’s escape from the tube.
  • With this roadside fix, you can reach a point of safety where you can solve this problem properly or call for help.

You can also patch a bike tire without a patch kit in your home. Using rubber cement and a rubber patch, you can do this at ease. For rubber cement path follow these:

  • Rub the inside of the hole with rubber cement and allow it to dry for a minute or two before applying the patch on top.
  • Apply one inch or more worth of adhesive along the slit created by cutting open your tire’s inner tube, then apply the patch over the area using even pressure.
  • Make sure to create a ‘V’ shape at the end of the patch, then cut off excess material and seal it in with rubber cement.
  • Let the glue dry for half an hour before inflating again.
  • You can also use duct tape on top of rubber cement and add an extra layer if needed, as it is easier to remove than using glue alone.

This technique will only work for smaller puncture holes. If the hole is too big, then this technique will not work.

Tips You Can Follow for A Hassle-Free Ride

Your bike tire can puncture anytime without any pre-warning. So, we recommend you follow these tips:

  • Keep spare tubes, pumps, tire levers, and patch kits with you.
  • Check the tire pressure often so that riding a bike doesn’t turn into an emergency situation.
  • Make sure to get new tires when needed or replace them every six months for safety reasons.
  • You can also use your patched tube as the backup by riding on it at low speeds only until you get to safety. Don’t do any high-speed riding, otherwise one or more of the patches might come undone and leave you stranded again.

Frequently Asked Questions About Patching Bike Tires

What Should I Use to Patch Bike Tire?

You can use the traditional glue or a patch kit to fix punctures. The difference is that the glue is usually used for smaller, quicker repairs while a patch kit can be used on larger punctures.

How Long Can I Use A Patched Tire?

It depends on the condition of puncture and how efficiently the patch was applied. You can use your patched tube as the backup by riding on it at low speeds only until you get to safety.

Don’t do any high-speed riding.  Otherwise, one or more of the patches might come undone and leave you stranded again.

Can I Use Duct Tape to Patch Bike Tire?

Yes, you can use any material that’s capable of sealing punctures. Duct tape is a popular choice when it comes to patching bicycle tires.

It’s durable and able to seal small holes effectively while giving enough time for the tire glue or patches to set in place.  At least you won’t be stranded on the side of the road.

Does it Worth Patching A Bike Tire?

Yes, it is worth your effort to patch a bike tire.

You should prioritize how much time and money you’re willing to spend on fixing the puncture as well as how long the bicycle ride will be before deciding if patching or replacing the tube are better options.

Can You Use Gorilla Glue for Patching Bike Tire?

Yes, you can use Gorilla Glue or any other contact adhesive to patch bike tires.

Does Flex Seal Work on Bike Tires?

Flex Seal is a rubberized, flexible liquid that can be used to repair the puncture hole in bike tires. Flex seal works well on tire leaks and will often make them disappear completely if applied correctly.