This is an old rub with me. I recently pulled the valve out of an innertube trying to extricate the pump chuck.
Of all the chucks I've tried, I've not found one I like. The Silca - type simple push on types seem like they fit too tightly when new (too hard to remove) and not tight enough when old. I've tried various "universal" Presta/Schreader chucks that don't work well for either type. My recent Topeak Joe Blow universal chuck broke. I didn't like it before it broke. We have another WrenchForce (?) pump that works OK but I'm not thrilled with that one either. I seem to recall a Specialized pump chuck with a Schreader on one side & Presta on the other that grabbed the valve by flipping a lever one way or the other. It seemed to work pretty well.
Does anyone know of a pump with a Presta chuck that works well & doesn't break?
I've got a specialized floor pump I've used for over a year now and no problems with pulling stems out. I can't tell you what model it is off-hand (I'm at work" but it ran me about $35 or so. It's the model that comes in all the primary colors - mine is red. But my son's is yellow. They also have black and (I think) blue. I believe Specialzied still makes them. At least there are still several sitting on display at my LBS.
All color pumps have the same black head with a red flip lever to lock the head to the stem.
I too have had more than my unfair share of valve-stem tube leaks having wrestled the chuck off the presta stems.
Part of my solution is something I stumbled on by accident when I purchased a set of MAVIC aero wheels back in the late 90's. The wheels came with smooth brass presta valve extenders that were quite well thought out in that they used a chamfered base and donut gasket to form an air-tight seal on the valve stem. I've since been buying Wheels Manufacturing's extenders -- which have neither -- and add both after the fact. The Wheels Mfg extenders are a bit different than the MAVIC models, but work just as well.
The other 1/2 of my solution was switching from my old and trust Silca track pump to a Blackburn model with a niftly little twist to seal, dual headed schrader / presta chuck. The clamping action of the twist head combined with the extenders on my deep-section wheels is as slick as can be: the chuck comes off with a nice "pop" when I release the chuck's twist head. On the lower profile MAVIC CXP33 and OpenPro rims with the stock threaded presta values, the chuck is also pretty easy to pull off.
In combination, going to the Blackburn floor pump and the Wheels Mfg valve extenders has eliminated my self-induced tube failures that came from wrestling the brass chuck from my Silca pump off the stems.
The silca reversible chuck has a bit of a hidden "feature". The chuck cover also squeezes the rubber washer. So I loosen the end of the chuck, push it on the valve, then tighten the chuck compressing the washer. This seems to lengthen the life of the washer. I also spit in the end of the rubber washer which is a bit of "lube" which also lengthens the washer life.
TandemGeek - I can sort of envision what you are talking about. The way wheel manufacturers put a valve hole in the rim looks to be full employment for tube manufacturers. It looks like they just drill a hole through the rim & leave a nice sharp edge right where the valve pokes through. A perfect tool to remove valve stems. It would help to find a drawn metal ferrule to cover that sharp edge & protect the tube.
Stokessed - I never thought about unscrewing the end of the Silca chuck to uncompress the rubber donut inside. I'll try this the next time I use a Silca chuck. The spit sounds like a good trick too.
Iro Rob Roy, Colnago Competition, LHT, Kona Sutra flat bar, Torelli cyclocross, Vanco Cyclocross Fixed Gear Conversion
The Silca presta only pump head is wonderful, and it can be easily rebuilt with a dollar rubber washer. You should consider giving it another try, all pump heads have their issues, and Silca's seems to have the least of any head I've tried, and I've tried a lot of them.
You know, I was thinking about this the other day. I have an old pump on my old 10-speed bike that gave me the idea. It came with a short hose that stored in the handle. To use the pump, you pulled the hose out of the handle, moved it to the other end of the pump, screwed it in to the business end of the pump, screwed the other end to the valve stem, and pumped away.
Why couldn't one make a similar hose with a screw-on adapter for a presta or schraeder valve on one end (two models, or an adapter), and a standard schraeder-sized fitting on the other end. Screw it on to your tube's valve stem, fit the other end to your pump's standard outlet, and pump away.
Between uses the hose could be stored in your seatbag with your patch kit, multi-tool, and spare tube.
1973 Chiappini w/ Campy New Record, 2004 Kestrel Talon w/ Campy Chorus, 2006 Santana Team Niobium
I ordered and installed a replacement Topeak Dual Head on two different pumps. This is a different head than the Topeak Smarthead which is on my main pump. A wonderful thing about the dual head is that it actually lets go when you flip the lever after pumping yet it grabs airtight while pumping. I have cut my hand more than once pulling hard to get a pump head off and then when it comes off hitting my hand agains a rear sprocket - arrgh! (In fact, we just got back from bicycling in Alaska where I did that very thing and cut my thumb which managed to get infected - thankfully I had some oral antibiotic with me)
BloomingCyclist - that looks like the chuck I have used on a Specialized pump that worked pretty well.
I had a Topeak Joe Blow (top of their line) pump that had some other type of chuck that didn't work very well & then broke. I noticed that they had the type of chuck you display on some of their less expensive pumps.
I generally ascribe to the simpler is better theory but the Silca all brass chuck can be too hard to extract. Why do pump makers think that cyclists are too dumb or to know or too lazy do deal with the difference between Schreader & Presta? Usually, tools that try to do all things do none of them well.