Getting a flat tire while out on a bike ride can really put a damper on your day. Carrying a spare inner tube and a patch kit is always a good idea for roadside repairs.
But what if you find yourself without the special glues made for patching bike tires?
Are there any common household glues that can work in a pinch?
Here are 5 bike tire patch glue substitutes to try if you get a flat and don’t have patch glue on hand.
1. Rubber Cement
Rubber cement is made from rubber suspended in a volatile solvent and is a readily available multi-purpose adhesive.
It creates a flexible, durable bond while still allowing some movement.
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This makes it a decent emergency substitute for patching bike tires.
Apply a thin layer to both the patch and the inner tube, let dry slightly, then press together firmly. It may not hold up as well as bike-specific glues over the long term, but rubber cement can get you home in a bind.
2. Gorilla Glue
The popular Gorilla Glue is known for its incredible strength and bonding power.
Though not specifically designed for rubber and tires, it can work to patch a bike tube in emergency situations.
Make sure the surfaces are clean and rough them up a bit with sandpaper. Apply a small amount of Gorilla Glue to the patch and tube. Clamp together tightly until the glue cures.
Keep in mind that this glue expands as it dries, so apply sparingly.
Liquid sealants like Slime are made to seal small punctures in bike tubes and tires.
The sealant will act as a flexible adhesive to hold the patch in place. However, this may not be the most long-lasting solution.
Also Read: Does A Small Hole Necessitate A New Tire
Apply the sealant directly to a hole or puncture on the inner tube and then cover it with a patch.
Allow the sealant to dry before installing the tube back on the tire.
4. Tire Repair Cement
Though not specifically formulated for bike inner tubes, standard automotive tire repair cements can work.
Brands like Fix-A-Flat For Bikes and Stop & Go are essentially rubber contact cements.
Also Read: Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Bike Tire?
Clean the area thoroughly and rough up the surface before applying a thin layer to both the patch and tube. Allow to partially dry and press together.
The repair may not endure high pressures or last over the long run, but tire cement can patch a leak well enough to get rolling again.
5. Silicone or Caulk Glue
In a true emergency, you may be able to use silicone sealant or household caulking to temporarily patch a tube. This would not be recommended for a permanent repair.
But applying a small dab of silicone or caulk to a puncture or tear, letting it set up, and then putting a patch over it could get it done.
The flexibility of silicone helps it adhere to rubber tubing.
Again, this glue substitute would only be advisable for short-term, get-you-home fixes.
Can You Patch a Bike Tube with Duct Tape?
In a pinch, wrapping duct tape around a punctured area of a bike tube can temporarily stop air from leaking out.
For it to hold, you need to use quite a few layers of tape to cover a decent area.
It’s obviously not a permanent solution, but duct tape can actually patch the tube if you get a flat. Just be sure to replace the tube and do a proper patch repair as soon as you can.
Can You Patch a Bike Tire with Super Glue?
Super glue (cyanoacrylate) works well on certain materials but not so much on flexible rubber and plastics.
It can form a decent quick bond but will usually fail quickly once the bike tube is inflated and starts flexing during a ride.
So while you could get a temporary seal at first, it likely won’t last long.
Super glue is not a substitute you want to rely on for patching bike tubes.
In summary, while bike-specific patch glues are always best, there are a few alternative adhesives that can work in a pinch for emergency flats.
Rubber cement, Gorilla Glue, tire sealants, automotive tire repair cement, and silicone can temporarily patch tubes well enough to limp home. Duct tape may even get you by for a short while.
But for a reliable, long-lasting repair, use proper patch glue made for bike inner tubes.
With the right materials and some practice, repairing flats is quite simple. Just be prepared when riding and carry a spare tube, patch kit, and tire levers.