Good Question–Should I Patch My Tubes When Fixing a Flat on the Side of the Road?

Failed Patches
Failed Patches (Photo credit: Editor B)

The age old question of whether you should patch your tubes or not. This debate has raged on since bicycles were invented and the war between the haves and have nots was initiated. Seriously though, those who want to save money, and those who don’t mind spending it will argue this until the end of days.
I’m probably the worst person to ask about this because I don’t mind patching tubes, but I do like the new-tube-in-a-box smell. I tell people, it depends on the situation. Out on the road, doing road-side triage, I prefer the new tube. A patched tube has been compromised, and I want to make sure the tube I put back into the tire has no holes in it. Of course, this doesn’t mean you will get just one flat on a ride as it is possible to get multiple flats on one ride which thereby ruins everything.
I save patching tubes for tubes at home, because I don’t have to sit out in the hot sun/torrential downpour/blizzard to go through the process. Even then, I have a closet full of tubes waiting eagerly to get patched.
Regardless of what you do, it is a good skill to know, patching tubes, and it will be addressed soon in a post as you are probably tired of learning about bike parts.