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  1. #1
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Tear at Valve Stem Base - Repairable?

    Yesterday, in my haste to leave for work on time, I smacked my bike into my wife's bike behind it. All of the air came rushing out of the rear tire within a matter of seconds. Today I changed the tube, and examined the bad one. As I suspected, I must have struck the other bike with the valve stem, because the result was a tear right where the stem meets the tube. It is about 40% around the base and the stem is Shraeder.

    Obviously the glueless patches I have won't fix this, but is there any way to fix this so I have at least an emergency spare tube? I was thinking perhaps with the glue from glue-on patches?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    buy a new tube. I don't think there's any fool proof way to fix this.

  3. #3
    One Tough Cookie. Black Bud's Avatar
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    A valve stem tear cannot be repaired.
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work!!

    My discussion board, another resource for the "utility" and commuter cyclist: "Two Wheeled Commuter: The Everyday Cyclist"

  4. #4
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcrawford111 View Post
    .. because the result was a tear right where the stem meets the tube. It is about 40% around the base and the stem is Shraeder.

    ... but is there any way to fix this so I have at least an emergency spare tube? .
    There are a few things working against a successful patch job:

    1) the damage is a rip, not a hole or puncture. The damaged area will tend to continue it's tearing path in the future.

    2) the surface is irregular and hard to ensure a quality bond.

    3) the joint between the stem and tube is a relatively high stress area, especially during pumping.

    Basically, any repair job would be unreliable and not worth the effort. A new tube would provide peace of mind well in excess of the savings of patching the old tube.

    However, don't throw that old tube away. You can cut it up and make tire boots from the tube, use it around the workshop and home if you need rubber pieces to protect items, integrate it into arts and crafts... One lady in my area actually makes wallets and purses from old bicycle tires and tubes!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    tubes are cheap........

  6. #6
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpic View Post
    tubes are cheap........
    +1

    $5.00 at my shop. Cheaper at big box shops and online.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  7. #7
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    save a few valve bodies though..........

  8. #8
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    I've never managed to mend a tube with a leak at the valve stem base. Why not buy a few spare tubes and carry a new one as a spare?

  9. #9
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I'd love to go against the crowd, here, but ... I can't.

    Buy a new one

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcrawford111 View Post
    Yesterday, in my haste to leave for work on time, I smacked my bike into my wife's bike behind it. All of the air came rushing out of the rear tire within a matter of seconds. Today I changed the tube, and examined the bad one. As I suspected, I must have struck the other bike with the valve stem, because the result was a tear right where the stem meets the tube. It is about 40% around the base and the stem is Shraeder.

    Obviously the glueless patches I have won't fix this, but is there any way to fix this so I have at least an emergency spare tube? I was thinking perhaps with the glue from glue-on patches?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
    You think you can repair it foolproofly for a labour cost of less than $3? If not, buy a new tube.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    price point. 5 tubes for $10.00
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  12. #12
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpic View Post
    save a few valve bodies though..........
    For what, may I ask?

    Thanks for the responses... I will buy a new tube. It isn't really about the cost - I just hate to throw something away if I can repair it.

  13. #13
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    A repair is possible.
    You just cut the valve closely out, use another tube which has irreparable damage distant from the valve, cut out the calve with some tube attached so you have about 2.5 cm (approx. 1 inch) overlap, apply the cement , let it dry, and then press it on.
    I havenít done so, I am not recommending it, price wise it costs similar as a new tube (due to the amount rubber cement needed). I think it's risky, since the tube might fail - but this would be my answer in the wilderness survival final exam, if the question came up.

  14. #14
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    add to my above post:
    I actually would try to not patch the new valve with the overlap on, but rather insert it in the hole cut (from the old discarded valve) and therby try to glue the overlap to the inside of the tube.
    PS: further costs added to the above repair is the amount of solvent needed to clean your fingers and the mess thereafter.
    Last edited by saturnhr; 06-09-08 at 06:23 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnhr View Post
    A repair is possible.
    You just cut the valve closely out, use another tube which has irreparable damage distant from the valve.....

    These days I'd buy a new tube. That bit I quoted is what dad did once when I was a kid...seemed to work out OK. Money was pretty tight.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcrawford111 View Post
    For what, may I ask?

    On occasion just the valve body will fail. You're always gonna generate bad tubes; might as well keep a few valves out of them in case one fails; that way you save 5$ on a new tube.

    And if they are Schrader; they'll work on the car too............

  17. #17
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    repair

    I tried to make a valve stem tear repair just now by using a big patch w/ an X cut into it for the valve and some rubber cement. Miserable fail. Time to buy a new tube.

  18. #18
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnhr View Post
    A repair is possible.
    You just cut the valve closely out, use another tube which has irreparable damage distant from the valve, cut out the calve with some tube attached so you have about 2.5 cm (approx. 1 inch) overlap, apply the cement , let it dry, and then press it on.
    I havenít done so, I am not recommending it, price wise it costs similar as a new tube (due to the amount rubber cement needed). I think it's risky, since the tube might fail - but this would be my answer in the wilderness survival final exam, if the question came up.
    Interesting, I was going to say that a repair is almost always possible, but how much time/money/effort/waste would it cost? I hadn't gone as far as to figure out a way to fix it. Your idea would almost certainly work. I wouldn't use it though, unless, as you say, you're stuck somewhere with a long walk home.

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