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  1. #1
    Keep on climbing
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    Deflating a tire with a busted valve stem

    Subject heading pretty much says it all. My tire has a presta valve; if I unscrew the top and push it down, nothing happens. My pump won't put any / much air in. I just want to replace the tube, but there's no way I can fit tire levers in there until the tube is deflated. What other options are there for deflating tires? I'd rather not stick a knife through the tire and pop it as the tire itself only has a few hundred miles on it. Can I cut the valve stem? Would that deflate the tire?
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Jam a sharp piece of wire between the stem and the rim hole or cut the stem off using small bolt cutters
    or a hacksaw blade.

    Enjoy

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Try a pin through the sidewall - that shouldnt do any damage to the fabric of the tire.

  4. #4
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Are you using a sealant in the tire?

    Check your tube for a removable valve. If you are lucky enough to have one, just unscrew it.

    Air pressure keeps the valve seal pushing toward the end of the valve. Try the blunt end of very stiff wire or maybe a finishing nail to push the seal back in toward the end of the valve connected to the tube.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  5. #5
    CTW Streetfighter Pilots Rolla1990's Avatar
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    A pair of diagonal cutters through the valve stem should work... That's how I deflate car tires at work.

  6. #6
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Presta valves are metal.
    Car valves (Schrader) are rubber.

    Enjoy

  7. #7
    Keep on climbing
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoRacer
    Are you using a sealant in the tire?

    Check your tube for a removable valve. If you are lucky enough to have one, just unscrew it.

    Air pressure keeps the valve seal pushing toward the end of the valve. Try the blunt end of very stiff wire or maybe a finishing nail to push the seal back in toward the end of the valve connected to the tube.
    I'm not really sure what's in the tire. There's no sealant per se, but the bike was ridden through about a 100 foot stretch of "flooded" road. It didn't look that deep , so I just rode through, but it wound up being two or three inches of standing water. I have a feeling that's what killed the valve stem; I won't be surprised if it's awfully wet inside when I get this tire off. The front wheel seems to have survived fine.

    No removable valve on the tube.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  8. #8
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinF
    Subject heading pretty much says it all. My tire has a presta valve; if I unscrew the top and push it down, nothing happens. My pump won't put any / much air in. I just want to replace the tube, but there's no way I can fit tire levers in there until the tube is deflated. What other options are there for deflating tires? I'd rather not stick a knife through the tire and pop it as the tire itself only has a few hundred miles on it. Can I cut the valve stem? Would that deflate the tire?
    This is one of the great applications for asian medicine, specifically, acupuncture!

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  9. #9
    Skybird JLauren's Avatar
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    If you decide to snip off the valve stem, be sure keep one hand on it so it doesn't go through your shop window or into the face of that guy looking over your shoulder.
    You are what you eat... and I eat a lot of fruit and nuts.

  10. #10
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    if you cant remove the valve, you need to puncture the tube, if your competant in wheel buildind/truing, unscrew a spoke and stab the tube through the spoke nipple. or try and get somthing sharp down the side of the valve and into the rubber.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinF
    Subject heading pretty much says it all. My tire has a presta valve; if I unscrew the top and push it down, nothing happens. My pump won't put any / much air in. I just want to replace the tube, but there's no way I can fit tire levers in there until the tube is deflated. What other options are there for deflating tires? I'd rather not stick a knife through the tire and pop it as the tire itself only has a few hundred miles on it. Can I cut the valve stem? Would that deflate the tire?
    How far do you unscrew it? All the way?

    Also what happens with "nothing happens" when you push? Does the valve-stem go down 4-5mm so that the screw-head is flush with the tip? Or it doesn't get pushed in at all? If it doesn't push in at all, I say push harder.

  12. #12
    Keep on climbing
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    I wound up being able to pop the tire by squeezing a needle through the valve hole. Problem fixed.

    Thanks all.
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  13. #13
    The duda man Knudsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b
    Presta valves are metal.
    Car valves (Schrader) are rubber.

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