How to Patch a Punctured Tire

Just as tubes get holes, tires do, too. Usually this happens from a large piece of glass or wire that sticks in your tire, or it could be from riding over sharp rocks and pot holes.

The good news is that you can patch tires just like tubes! As long as the tire just has a small hole and not a large rip, you can fix it with a patch.

You’ll need a patch kit, and I recommend a nice patch kit with glue. Glueless patches will not work well in this situation.

  • Patch kit (patches, sand paper, glue)

Let’s get started:

1. First you have to find the hole.

This is pretty simple, because you’ll probably see the hole from the outside. Once you locate it, just find the hole on the inside of the tire.

2. Clean the tire.

You need a clean surface to work with, so wipe out the inside of the tire using a wet rag. Use a light soap if necessary, such as Dawn dish soap. Then let it dry.

3. Prep the tire.

Press the tire down flat and use sand paper or a metal scraper to scuff the area around the hole. Make sure to scuff an area slightly larger than your patch. Then wipe off any dust.

4. Use the glue.

Coat the scuffed area with a layer of rubber cement, making sure to have the glue a bit wider than the patch. Then let it dry for a few minutes. (It will go from clear to cloudy looking.)

5. Apply the patch.

Grab your patch and peel the foil off the sticky side (take care not to touch the sticky side.) Then fasten it onto the tire, covering the hole.

6. Get a good seal.

Press down on the patch firmly to ensure a good seal. Press from the center out to the sides to remove any air bubbles. (Hold it in place a few seconds, too.)

In this case we don’t need an air-tight seal, we just need a smooth surface for the tube to press against.

7. Peel off and go.

Now you can peel the plastic layer off the back of the patch, and the patch should stay in place on the tire.

The tire should be all set now, so put it back on, inflate the tube, and ride!

(Just watch to make sure the hole does not get any wider.)