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Old 10-19-12, 11:31 AM   #1
TexLex100
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Challenging tire to inflate!

Hey folks..

Before every time I ride my bike, I like to inflate my bike as y'all have recommended. There is a bike store nearby that leaves a floor pump outside the store for anyone to use, so I do. No problem with the rear tire. The front one, however, is problematic. The piece that should lock with the presta valve doesn't seem to lock properly and the air seems to be leaking out, and the pressure indicator keeps going up and down, never reaching the 80 or so psi.

So, I tried the topeak morph pump with gauge which I bought per your recommendation. Found it equally hard to pump the front tire, the stem resistance is just too much, and I was afraid that I would break the pump.

So, is this likely to be an issue with the tire? Should I consider changing the inside tire?... it may be a good opportunity to practice this activity in the comfort of home before I have to do out out in the wild :-)

I also wonder if the topeak morph pump was a good buy or whether I should consider exchanging it for another brand.

Cheers.
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Old 10-19-12, 11:40 AM   #2
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It sounds like you're having two different problems, depending on the pump being used. Is that right? With the floor pump it sounds like the pump is working, but the air just isn't getting into the tire, like it's leaking out at the pump's chuck. With the Topeak it sounds like the chuck's seal is OK, but you're finding too much resistance, like the presta valve is sticking or something. Is that accurate? Just trying to get a better handle on the issue(s).
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Old 10-19-12, 11:54 AM   #3
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I'd change the tube on the offending wheel. There are variations in manufacturing that can make annoying differences. I've had a similar situaiton where two tubes made by the same company performed differently. One was easy to pump. The pump head grabed right on and everything was fine. With the other, the pump head never got a tight or complete seal and the air leaked out as quick as I put it in.
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Old 10-19-12, 11:57 AM   #4
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Yes Craig, this is exactly the case. Many thanks.

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Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
It sounds like you're having two different problems, depending on the pump being used. Is that right? With the floor pump it sounds like the pump is working, but the air just isn't getting into the tire, like it's leaking out at the pump's chuck. With the Topeak it sounds like the chuck's seal is OK, but you're finding too much resistance, like the presta valve is sticking or something. Is that accurate? Just trying to get a better handle on the issue(s).
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Old 10-19-12, 11:57 AM   #5
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My first thought was that the presta valve is sticking or you are not releasing it far enough before trying to pump up the tyre. And I am presuming it is Presta valves. I have had Schraeder valves that do not seal properly or the valve is not being depressed far enough when the pump is fitted.
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Old 10-19-12, 12:00 PM   #6
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Thanks NOS. Looks like the same issue I am facing. Thanks for the advice.

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I'd change the tube on the offending wheel. There are variations in manufacturing that can make annoying differences. I've had a similar situaiton where two tubes made by the same company performed differently. One was easy to pump. The pump head grabed right on and everything was fine. With the other, the pump head never got a tight or complete seal and the air leaked out as quick as I put it in.
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Old 10-19-12, 12:03 PM   #7
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I am using the trick I read about Stapfam of leaking a bit of air before pumping air in, to make sure the presta valve is not stuck, so I wonder if this is the case.

Maybe changing the tire would solve it. I expect I would post another thread soon with the title "HELP, I can't return the tube back into the tire"

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My first thought was that the presta valve is sticking or you are not releasing it far enough before trying to pump up the tyre. And I am presuming it is Presta valves. I have had Schraeder valves that do not seal properly or the valve is not being depressed far enough when the pump is fitted.
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Old 10-19-12, 02:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TexLex100 View Post

Maybe changing the tire would solve it. I expect I would post another thread soon with the title "HELP, I can't return the tube back into the tire"
Make sure you change the tube, not the tire.
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Old 10-19-12, 03:17 PM   #9
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Roger that. Change inner tube, not outer tire. Will get the hang of those terminologies one of those days Cheers.

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Make sure you change the tube, not the tire.
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Old 10-19-12, 03:42 PM   #10
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One thing you might check is that the entire tip of the presta may be one of those srew off types.. I carry a pump but a buddy insisted that I use his CO2 on a ride while others waited for us.

So I used the CO2 with a screw on type adaptor. All went well but when I unscrewed the adaptor, it unscrewed the entire top of the valve stem. (1/4 inch long pc) INSTANT DEFLATION

You might check to see if you have this type.

There are different types and lengths of tubes, threaded, non threaded and different lenghts. When you get a new tube, make sure it is long enough to protrude your rim properly depending on your rim depth.
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Old 10-20-12, 04:32 AM   #11
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^^^ +1
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Old 10-20-12, 09:08 AM   #12
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If your bike is like a road bike, it will have the presta valve. Therefore, it might have a lock washer that holds the valve in place with the rim. Some riders don't use that lock washer. But most good inner tube makers include the lock washer as part of the tube.

Sometimes the pump head won't go far enough onto the presta valve. But if you remove the lock washer, it gets the required distance. After inflation, I replace that lock washer back onto the valve and tightened onto the rim.

When inflating at home, I always push down on the presta valve to let out some air to clear out any debris that may be stuck in the presta valve. Then I will know that during inflation, the tire will get air in.

Technique: for big guys, there is no technique. They just push down on the pump handle to inflate. But for me, its different. I rely on leg power more than arm power. And because of that, its better. Once you get to around 70 lbs of pressure on the gauge, the resistance is greater. That's when you need to keep the elbows locked in and use the body weight to push down on the handle, at the same time bending the knees as if you're doing squats with free weights. Its not a slow motion pumping action. Its a deliberate quick motion downward. Like a quick snap.

Same goes for Topeak Road morph. Taller guys won't be able to do this easily. They still use arm power to muscle their way thru this.
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Old 10-20-12, 09:36 AM   #13
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I often challenge my tires to inflate. Their typical response to look stupidly at me and not inflate. They are less cooperative than a cat.
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