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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 04-23-07, 02:58 PM   #1
bbonnn
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Presta head broke off - how long can I ride this way?

Howdy. So, I broke my first Presta head today. The tube was about 6 months old, and after inflating it, as I was screwing the inner cap back on, the screw-on head snapped off. From reading the forums, it seems like this happens every so often.

My tire is pleasantly full, and I have a rather long commute home tonight. I was just wondering if I need to get a new tube at the LBS immediately before I go home, or if I can continue to ride with broken-headed tube and use it for a while. Unfortunately, I haven't tried inflating or deflating it, because I wanted to get an expert opinion before I meddled around with it - it's a long walk if I screw something up horribly, heh heh.

Also, what should I do when I change the tube - what's the best way to deflate the tire when the head is broken off? I don't want to try deflating it right now because I need to get home, but I'm assuming you can use a pen or something to press the metal piece that opens the valve. Is this what's typically done when this happens?

Urrgh. So frustrating. Thanks for helping, everyone.
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Old 04-23-07, 03:24 PM   #2
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I would get a new tube before the ride if possible, you don't have to install it, but if you don't have one on hand Murphy's law will certainly kick in and you'll end up walking.

If it doesn't blow on it's own you should be able to deflate it with some sort of thin implement when you get home. e.g. a pen, nail, awl. But I wouldn't press your luck any further, if you do make it home on the tube, change it out with a new one. Buy 2 so you have a spare to carry.

If faced with a similar situation that's what I'd do.
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Old 04-23-07, 04:07 PM   #3
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I agree with modernjess. It'll get you home probably, but get two to carry a spare and swap it out immediately.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:48 PM   #4
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Had this happen recently on our front tire on our tandem.
After a couple weeks usage with broken valvestem, tire needed some air. Pumped it up with floor pump to 120 lbs, removed pump head and "Whoooooosh!' all air rushed out. Put in anew tube.
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Old 04-23-07, 06:11 PM   #5
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good chance the valve will stay in place for until you try to inflate it--air pressure will hold it in place. you can test this out by riding around with the can unscrewed, which most of us have done accidentally at one time or another.

however, sooner or later you'll reach some pressure threshhold, and the results may not be pretty. you can use whatever to push it in; the stem will fall through and the tube will be useless, unless it has a replaceable core (unlikely on a clincher).
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Old 04-23-07, 06:45 PM   #6
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All righty. That's what I'll do - ride the thing home and replace the tube when I get there. I have lots of tubes at home, but I just carry a patch kit when I'm commuting - part of the Stuff Being Carried Around Reduction Program I've enrolled myself in.

Thanks for the advice. If, by tomorrow, I have an amusing story about a flat tire on a busy highway overpass, I'll most certainly come here to share it, and we can laugh, laugh, laugh.
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