The Frugal Man’s Patch Kit

Because of all the punctures I’ve had to patch, I came up with a use for the beyond-use tubes I have lying around…. I made them into new patches! Turns out you can use strips of the butyl rubber from old inner tubes to patch other inner tubes quite reliably. The extra stretch compared to regular patches may also be a bonus for high-pressure tubes, or for tubes in really wide tires. At the current price of $2.50 for a patch kit with 10 patches  and two tubes of rubber cement, that’s $.25 every time I patch. However, the glue usually lasts longer than the ten patches, and so I can use about 10-15 more strips of inner tube as patches, halving the cost to ~$.12 per patch.

Complete inner tube first-aid kit

However, if I were to buy just the glue and inner tubes, the price would drop further. Rubber glue is ~$2 for a large tube, and a whole inner tube is $3.00 at my LBS, meaning I could patch about 50 tubes  for $5 dollars. I estimate each inner tube would make 100 patches, so the real cost is in the glue…. maybe I can buy the rubber cement by the jar?

1/2 tube left; just enough for 5 patches!

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