Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit

22 Feb

Unless your bicycle tires are made of solid rubber you are going to get a flat tire—maybe not this month, nor even this year, but you will get a flat. When I get a flat while out on a ride I use a self-adhesive tube patch so I can get back on the bike as soon as possible. These self adhesive patches are easy to apply: just roughen the tube a bit with sandpaper, wipe off the dust, then apply the patch. I’ve used these patches several times while on the road and they have always gotten me home safely. However, these patches do not hold nearly as well as those that use a vulcanizing solvent. Therefore, once I get home I always replace a self-adhesive patch with a Park Tool Vulcanizing Patch.

Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit

Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit

The Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit has four 25mm round patches, two 25mmx35mm oval patches, self-vulcanizing fluid, and sandpaper—all stored in a plastic box that measures 2.75″x1.5″x.75″. The instructions for use are printed on the inside of the box. To use these patches you need to roughen up tube with the included sandpaper and wipe off the dust. Then spread a thin layer of the self-vulcanizing fluid around the area you want to repair and allow it to dry before you apply the patch. Once the patch comes in contact with the self-vulcanizing fluid it will bond to the tube at the molecular level—this patch is permanent and good for the life of the tube.

The Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit retails for under $3 and is available at just about every bike shop in the United States. If you visit the sporting goods section at Walmart or Target you will see products similar to this one—and some of them actually work. However, the only patches I use are the ones from Park Tool.


Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Bicycle Repair, Product Reviews


Tags: , , , ,

29 responses to “Park Tool VP-1 Vulcanizing Patch Kit

  1. Mountainstroh

    February 22, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    I take the easy way out and keep a spare tile with me, HOWEVER, I have had more than one in a ride before, (can you sayb3flats within 3miles) so there is always a patch kit for backup. I will be looking for this one!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      I always carry one spare tube as well, but have had multiple flats on rides before. However, in the past few years I seldom get a flat myself because I use tires with a Kevlar belt — but I end up fixing the tires for other cyclists I find on the road (it is amazing how many people will leave home without a tube, patch kit or tire levers).

  2. lehorse

    February 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    I carry a spare tube too (and self adhesives for additional flats), I always say to myself I will fix it when I get home but I never do.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      If the inner tube has more than 2,000 miles on it I just throw it out anyway — at that point I figure I’ve already got my moneys worth out of it.

      • Irish Katie

        February 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        Nooooo….save them….cut them up and make rubber bands….or they can be used to hold plant stakes in place better … or other stuffs I am sure! LOL…sorry … I am a recycle freak!

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          February 23, 2013 at 6:36 PM

          Katie — I should have been clearer. When I said “throw them out” I meant “recycle”. There are so many cool things to do with used inner tubes. I cut them up and use them to hold tools in my saddle bags and put them under nearly everything I attach to my bike. I need to write an article sometime on the wonderful things you can do with these old tubes!

      • timscyclingblog

        February 26, 2013 at 5:29 AM

        Wow, I only replace a tube when the valve has gone or it has too many patches and is not reparable. That maybe 2000 miles for you, I haven’t kept tabs, but I expect it is a lot more for me in my mainly road cycling.

  3. anniebikes

    February 22, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I love those instant patches and have used them for years, literally. They hold up well for me, as well as the glue-type patches. I can’t be bothered to replace them with the stronger ones. However, if the flat happens near home or in a location where I’m not in a hurry, I apply the better kind.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      What works for one doesn’t always work for others. I prefer to replace the self-adhesive patches when I get home because I’ve had them fail on me in the past and I would rather fix a tire in my garage than on the side of the road.

  4. snosler

    February 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    See, this is why I run ,,, I donl;t have to carry stuff with me in case my tire busts 🙂 BTW, Nominated you for an award today … I’ve never done this before so hopefully I “played” by the rules! Come by and see 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Thank you so much for the award! It was sincerely appreciated! A year or two ago someone gave me the “Kreativ Blogger Award” and I wrote an article about it (, but since then I really don’t know what to say about awards (I guess I am not that creative after all).

    • timscyclingblog

      February 26, 2013 at 5:31 AM

      See you in twenty years when your knees have gone 🙂

  5. Cycling Dayton

    February 22, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Is it just me or are 23mm tubes really impossible to patch? I used to try and found it just wasn’t worth the effort. Now I carry 3 spare tube ALWAYS! I ride a fair number of miles every day so I need plenty of backup/security. I’d really prefer to patch the tubes rather than throwing them out. Any thoughts on this?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      You are certainly not the only person to have trouble with patching 23mm tubes! On tubes that small I can’t get self-adhesive patches to stick, but I’ve not had trouble with with vulcanized patches (maybe I am just lucky).

    • DummyDiva

      February 25, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      get bigger tires. (-:

  6. patchr

    February 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    I should preface this with I like your reviews in general but come on. A patch kit being superior because it’s from Park?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      Have you ever bought a patch kit from Walmart? The self-vulcanizing fluid might be the same, but the patches definitely are not. I am sure there are several brands just as good as the one from Park, but this is one In know and trust. And for the record, Park Tool Company has NEVER sent me product to review — I have reviewed a lot of their products and have paid full price for every one of them.

    • timscyclingblog

      February 26, 2013 at 5:33 AM

      Agreed, I own this and they aren’t any better than ones I bought for 99p in Wilkinsons. No crayon or chalk either.

      • All Seasons Cyclist

        February 26, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        I hadn’t thought about the chalk — I do miss that in the package.

  7. Shonnie

    February 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Thanks for sharing this info. 😀

  8. Cherry

    February 22, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I believe I have the same kit. If I get a flat on the road, I’ll probably replace it with a new tube. Isn’t it tough to find the pinhole?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 22, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      I always carry a spare tube, but sometimes the pinhole is easy to find so I’d rather put a patch on than unroll a new tube. Most of the time (but certainly not always) I can find the puncture from the outside of the tire. If the pinhole is hard to find I certainly will put on a new tube and look for the hole when I get home — sometimes I have to inflate the tire and then hold it under water to find the leak.

  9. Irish Katie

    February 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Like most, I carry a spare tube…but I also carry a patch kit (and the plastic tire levers). And whilst I did do a patch in one of the many free bike clinics in the area…I have never done one on the road myself.

  10. TdF

    February 25, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    “…maybe not this month, nor even this year, but you will get a flat…” last week everyday! 7/7 and one day twice, without the “old school” patch kit…no way to get home 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      WOW! I’ve never had a week that bad!

    • timscyclingblog

      February 26, 2013 at 5:36 AM

      Sounds like you need to check your tyres and maybe even replace them.

  11. mycentury

    April 3, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    I never used to patch my tubes for the longest time, yet I always brought the punctured tube back home (don’t quite understand how some cyclists discard tubes at the roadside). One day my wife asked why I had so many old tubes hanging in the garage…it dawned on me that perhaps I should try patching them. To my surprise and delight, a patched tube is just as good as a new tube…even better when you consider the money it saves you. I’ve become a big fan of the VP-1 kit since then.

    BTW, curiously down here in Florida, you get the most flats when the roads are spotlessly clean…as it turns out the street sweeper leaves the tiniest of wires which no matter what kind of tire/tube combo you use, they find I way to puncture your tube….ditto for tubless…I see them getting just as many flats as clinchers.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      April 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Funny you should mention those little wires! A few years ago I was getting a couple flats a week from wire that I was barely able to even see and I didn’t know how I was getting them. Then one day I was riding on the road to the country landfill and saw a dump truck pass me — it was full of shavings from a local machine shop — those shavings from the metal lathe are extremely sharp and were able to puncture through a Kevlar belted tire AND an inner tube filled with Slime!


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