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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-04-09, 05:54 PM   #1
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Do the tubes you pick matter?

I have two slow leakers, and I think I need to replace them. Does it matter what I use, so long as its the right size for my tires/wheels? I have Mavic MA-40 rims, if that matters.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:05 PM   #2
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The stems can be different. Roadies mostly use the presta valve (long skinny copper valve) whereas lots of recreational type mtb's/hybrids use schraedar valves (big fat rubber like valves like those on automobiles.

Plus the length of the prestas can be different. Standard should fit easily into a box type rim. If you have deep set rims like the Deep V's, the short stems don't work. You will need an extender and they are tough to work with on a daily basis. or on teh road flat repair.

I simply patchmy tubes now. I used to be a weenie that thought lite is faster till I learned different. I don't toss mine till the third patch. Iuse vulcanizing patches from REI, Sport Chalet etc. More patches for a coupel of bucks. At the LBS, 4 patches for $3!

Plus if I use standard length stems, I use the brands from the Sport Cahalet type stores. $3 or pay $5 at the LBS. Some snobs say the shop tubes are faster, I find them to be the same brands at times!
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Old 08-04-09, 06:06 PM   #3
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Mavic MA 40's are box type rims, so you should be fine with just about anything from anywhere as long as they are presta valves.

BTW, longer stems ar usually higher in price so why use them unless you need them.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:15 PM   #4
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Thanks. I did see the three length's, and saw the longer the valve the more expensive, but wasn't sure if it matter. The valves on there now are REALLY LONG, but I can't say as I understand why. They just came that way.

How do you find the leak? Tire in some water, look for bubbles?
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Old 08-04-09, 06:25 PM   #5
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I just fill it with air then run it by my lips. I have sensitive lips!

If the leak is real small, I put water in the sink and do the leak test for bubbles!
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Old 08-04-09, 06:34 PM   #6
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Personal experience:
Forte tubes (house brand from Peformance Bike) have been less than satisfactory. The stem on the presta valve has broken 3 or 4 times. I haven't had that problem with any other tube. For the extra buck or two, I buy Michelin or Kenda tubes -- light and durable (no problems).
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Old 08-04-09, 06:38 PM   #7
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Thanks. I did see the three length's, and saw the longer the valve the more expensive, but wasn't sure if it matter. The valves on there now are REALLY LONG, but I can't say as I understand why. They just came that way.
The very long valves are for the deep rim profiles like ZIPP 808, etc that you often see on Triathlon or Time Trial bikes.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:40 PM   #8
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Personal experience:
Forte tubes (house brand from Peformance Bike) have been less than satisfactory. The stem on the presta valve has broken 3 or 4 times. I haven't had that problem with any other tube. For the extra buck or two, I buy Michelin or Kenda tubes -- light and durable (no problems).

I got the same review from anotehr rider. I watched him do a roadside repair and I can see why the stem broke. I intentionally went out and bought FORTE tubes as an experiment. NO PROBLEMS at all. But I do use the nut to stabilize the stem and make sure to install the pump head stright on, road or floor pump.

I know way too many riders that say screw the nut but then report broken valve stems. But I am very carful no matter what tubes I use. That's part of workmanship IMO.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:44 PM   #9
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As far as teh FORTE problem? I s it onthe road or at ahome?

One thing I do with every tube and a floor pump. I place the stem at 12 o'clock so that when I install the pump head, it hangs down straight and no chance of damaging the valve or stem.

On the road, I widen my leg stance, rest my elbow onto my knee and use it as a brace to stabilize my pumping movements while gripping the head with palm and fingers around the rim to make sure the stem is not yanked around causeing damage.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:52 PM   #10
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As for Forte tubes, I use them and have not had any issues and I never use the nut.

As for patching, I finally replaced the rear tube in my wife's bike after the 9th puncture (she doesn't dodge very well) but leave the patching till we get back from a ride.

One other thing is tube weight. I'm not talking wieght-weenie type, I'm talking thorn-resistant type. The Forte thorn-resistant tubes weigh about 1/2 lb. each so they make a noticeable difference in the ride but my commuter hasn't flatted since I put them in last year.

And as noted above, careful inflation is a must.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:53 PM   #11
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As far as teh FORTE problem? I s it onthe road or at ahome?

One thing I do with every tube and a floor pump. I place the stem at 12 o'clock so that when I install the pump head, it hangs down straight and no chance of damaging the valve or stem.

On the road, I widen my leg stance, rest my elbow onto my knee and use it as a brace to stabilize my pumping movements while gripping the head with palm and fingers around the rim to make sure the stem is not yanked around causeing damage.
Ya, I've found using my knee as a brace during pumping movements makes her happier too!
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Old 08-04-09, 06:54 PM   #12
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I got the same review from anotehr rider. I watched him do a roadside repair and I can see why the stem broke. I intentionally went out and bought FORTE tubes as an experiment. NO PROBLEMS at all. But I do use the nut to stabilize the stem and make sure to install the pump head stright on, road or floor pump.

I know way too many riders that say screw the nut but then report broken valve stems. But I am very carful no matter what tubes I use. That's part of workmanship IMO.
Thanks for your experience. Considering I am mechanically inclined, can you explain to me why I had a problem with 3 or 4 forte tubes (no stem nut) consecutively and never had problem with any other brand (smooth stem therefore no nut)? I'm confident I didn't do anything different from brand to brand when installing the pump head on the stem.
Perhaps it was a bad batch of tubes??

(I don't use stem nuts because it saves rotational weight -- inertia)

Last edited by Bone Head; 08-04-09 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:13 PM   #13
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Considering I am mechanically inclined, can you explain to me why I had a problem with 3 or 4 forte tubes (no stem nut) consecutively and never had problem with any other brand (smooth stem therefore no nut)?

(I don't use stem nuts because it saves rotational weight -- inertia)
Well that's cool and I'm mechanically inclined too. That's why I understand that parts need to be stabilized to minimize damage! I've never had that problem with ANY tube!

As far as roatainal weight, I don't keep them on the stem, I carry them them in the seat bag.

The mechanically inclined wheelbuilders at the shop said the rim failed after 40 miles cause it was a bad batch of rims. I tore it down and rebuilt it with 20,000 mile snow. Same rim!

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Old 08-04-09, 07:22 PM   #14
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Thanks for your experience. Considering I am mechanically inclined, can you explain to me why I had a problem with 3 or 4 forte tubes (no stem nut) consecutively and never had problem with any other brand (smooth stem therefore no nut)? I'm confident I didn't do anything different from brand to brand when installing the pump head on the stem.
Perhaps it was a bad batch of tubes??

(I don't use stem nuts because it saves rotational weight -- inertia)
Perhaps stems that are not intended for using a stem nut, are made differently, from ones where a stem nut is intended, as for using or not using the nut when it's intended, if the only reason for not doing so is rotational weight, that's a pretty poor excuse, the stem nut weighs maybe 2g tops. I always found that when the nut was included I used it, when it wasn't, I didn't worry about it. Now if they could only make a valve cap that I didn't lose all the time.....
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Old 08-04-09, 07:46 PM   #15
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Ride with vavle caps!..Dude, if I rode with valve caps, my Deep V's would be too heavy to climb!

Actually I use them too. I keep them on to protect the STEM from gathering debris. Debris that might damage the o-rings in my pump heads! Everthing is there for a reason or the mfg'er wouldn't waste them time or money to put them there!
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Old 08-04-09, 08:29 PM   #16
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I'm with Beanz on this one. I've used Forte tubes with the nut and have had no problems. I usually fill them with the stem at 6, though, for the same reason. I also keep the cap on to keep gunk out of the stems and although the plastic threads on the caps always strip, I haven't lost one yet.

I also keep a 5/8 plastic leg tip over the head of my frame pump (a Topeak Road Morph) to keep debris out of the pump. I picked up that idea from BF poster Wanderer.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:34 PM   #17
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I buy my tubes from PricePoint, 5 for $10 and never have any issues with them.

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I'm with Beanz on this one. I've used Forte tubes with the nut and have had no problems. I usually fill them with the stem at 6, though, for the same reason. I also keep the cap on to keep gunk out of the stems and although the plastic threads on the caps always strip, I haven't lost one yet.

I also keep a 5/8 plastic leg tip over the head of my frame pump (a Topeak Road Morph) to keep debris out of the pump. I picked up that idea from BF poster Wanderer.
Funny, I got caught in a torrential downpour the other day and my Road Morph was filled to the brim with water.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:39 PM   #18
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Good idea Zoste and Wanderer!...My Blackburn frame pumps come with a small rubber cover
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Old 08-04-09, 08:46 PM   #19
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Good idea Zoste and Wanderer!...My Blackburn frame pumps come with a small rubber cover
Are they ribbed for their protection
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Old 08-04-09, 08:54 PM   #20
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In rainbow colors or glow in the dark!
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Old 08-04-09, 08:55 PM   #21
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Old 08-05-09, 06:41 AM   #22
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(I don't use stem nuts because it saves rotational weight -- inertia)
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.... as for using or not using the nut when it's intended, if the only reason for not doing so is rotational weight, that's a pretty poor excuse, the stem nut weighs maybe 2g tops.
Obviously my feeble attempt at humor failed.


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I'm with Beanz on this one. I've used Forte tubes with the nut and have had no problems. I usually fill them with the stem at 6, though, for the same reason. I also keep the cap on to keep gunk out of the stems and although the plastic threads on the caps always strip, I haven't lost one yet.
Again, that was the only brand where I had a problem with the plunger on the valve braking off. BTW, each time it was at home with the floor pump. I guess I must have something against forte tubes...
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Old 08-05-09, 07:03 AM   #23
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...Again, that was the only brand where I had a problem with the plunger on the valve braking off. BTW, each time it was at home with the floor pump. I guess I must have something against forte tubes...
And just how long have you has this deep seated inner loathing of house brands? When you were a child did your mother force you to eat Anne Page peanut butter while all the cool kids ate Jif or Peter Pan?

Seriously...how far do you unscrew the stem-nut? You only need to undo it about a quarter turn. Any farther and you risk bending the valve stem, or possibly (on Forte's or other cheap tubes) breaking it.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:42 AM   #24
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Seriously...how far do you unscrew the stem-nut? You only need to undo it about a quarter turn. Any farther and you risk bending the valve stem, or possibly (on Forte's or other cheap tubes) breaking it.
Good thought and I agree with you that backing out the valve lock nut all the way is not a good idea. Half way out is adequate to inflate the tube and minimize the chance of bending or breaking the plunger. Since the only tubes I currently have are Michelin A1 Aircomp, I can only speak about those. To back out the valve lock nut all the way is 11 full turns. 1/4 turn does not permit enough travel to unseat the valve and allow airflow. I don't recall how many turns the forte tubes needed.
I have no doubt that you had no issue with that brand. As I said, perhaps it was just a bad run of tubes that got thru QA. I purchased all 4 tubes at the local Performance retail store at the same time (had to use up some team points ) I have nothing against the house brand, but I'd rather go with the product I'm confident won't leave me stranded.

My apologies to the OP for this getting so far out in the weeds.......
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Old 08-05-09, 03:23 PM   #25
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Thanks for all the help. No worries about getting into the weeds, it happens.
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