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Valve extenders and tire inflation difficulties

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Valve extenders and tire inflation difficulties

Old 05-13-15, 11:30 PM
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TrojanHorse
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Valve extenders and tire inflation difficulties

So what's the trick? It worked great for a month or so and now... my pump maxes out and no air goes into the tire. It's easy to tell when it's working correctly.

I removed the extender and fiddled with the valve stem. It was loose and sensitive to finger pressure. Put the valve extender back on and attempted to pump - no joy.

Is there a trick? Maybe I just need a better pump? Sometimes it works after a lot of dorking around but seriously - I want to pump and go.
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Old 05-13-15, 11:53 PM
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The (higher) pressure inside the tire is pushing against the valve and thus keeping you from pumping air in.

Use a toothpick (or something similarly long and thin) to get to the valve thru the extender. Let some air out of the tire to lower the pressure. This will allow your pump to overcome the air pressure inside the tire.
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Old 05-14-15, 12:26 AM
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Hm, I'll give that a shot. You'd think that if the pump is putting out 160+ a little air would squeak into that 100 psi tube though.
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Old 05-14-15, 12:48 AM
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Yeah, have had that happen to me as well. For the life of me, I couldn't figure why it shouldn't work when it doesn't, when it works fine most of the time.

Just gave up thinking about it - made me sleep better at night
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Old 05-14-15, 06:17 AM
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Well . . . the extenders I've seen, you're supposed to remove the valve core from the stem, then you screw the extender into the hole where the core was, then screw the core into the hole at the other end of the extender. Is there another kind of extender? I don't get the part about sticking a toothpick down into the extender to "get to the valve through the extender".
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Old 05-14-15, 06:20 AM
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Depends on the extender.

Some are just a "cap" that fits over the existing valve. Others have a removable core, you remove the core, install the extender and then install the core in the extension.

Zipps are very nice and have rubber o-rings seals for a leak free installation.
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Old 05-14-15, 08:46 AM
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Just buy the correct tube/valve length for the rim?
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Old 05-14-15, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
Well . . . the extenders I've seen, you're supposed to remove the valve core from the stem, then you screw the extender into the hole where the core was, then screw the core into the hole at the other end of the extender. Is there another kind of extender? I don't get the part about sticking a toothpick down into the extender to "get to the valve through the extender".
For the ones I have, you just open the valve and leave it open and screw the extender over it, so the tooth pick trick should (hopefully) work.

Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Just buy the correct tube/valve length for the rim?
Yeah, but I have a suitcase full of 52mm tubes I need to use up and since I swap wheels fairly regularly and don't want to swap the tubes in my seat pack... ya ya, excuses, I know. Reminds me of the time I passed a guy with a flat - I offered him a tube and he asked me if it was 80mm. Nope! It's nice to be compatible with the rest of the cycling public.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Yeah, but I have a suitcase full of 52mm tubes I need to use up and since I swap wheels fairly regularly and don't want to swap the tubes in my seat pack... ya ya, excuses, I know. Reminds me of the time I passed a guy with a flat - I offered him a tube and he asked me if it was 80mm. Nope! It's nice to be compatible with the rest of the cycling public.
And you guys are the reason it's getting harder for me to find tubes in stores with <50mm stems.
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Old 05-14-15, 03:03 PM
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OK, totally deflated my front and still couldn't get any air in there. And now I have a totally deflated front (full disclosure, it went flat overnight, so I get to change it anyway)
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Old 05-14-15, 03:05 PM
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Next time, at the Bike shop, Get long Stem tubes so you dont need Extenders.. they, as I said, can Leak.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:18 PM
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Or buy a set of valve extenders for 11 bucks -- like these.
Amazon.com : Schwalbe SV Presta Valve Extension 31 mm RVC (pair) : Bike Tubes : Sports & Outdoors

Even without valve extenders I can't just attach a pump and start adding air to my Presta valved tubes unless I "burp" them first--seems to be the nature of the beast that they kinda get stuck in the closed position. Therefore I believe you will never be happy with your present setup; and need to switch to the kind of extender where the valve core is exposed for "burping".
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Old 05-14-15, 05:25 PM
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Ditch the 'extenders.' Buy longer valve stemmed tubes.
Problem solved.
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Old 05-14-15, 07:27 PM
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[QUOTE=TrojanHorse;17804718 Reminds me of the time I passed a guy with a flat - I offered him a tube and he asked me if it was 80mm. Nope! It's nice to be compatible with the rest of the cycling public. [/QUOTE]

That won't ever happen to me. I use 80mm tubes on my deep dish wheels, but I also carry two Shimano valve extenders in case I have to depend on the kindness of strangers like you!
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Old 05-15-15, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
Well . . . the extenders I've seen, you're supposed to remove the valve core from the stem, then you screw the extender into the hole where the core was, then screw the core into the hole at the other end of the extender.
There are tubes with removable valve cores (mostly the branded ones), and there are those that are not (i.e. cheap Taiwan-made tubes). Where I'm at the LBSes here stock mostly the latter, and I'm too cheap to buy the branded ones (doesn't make much of a performance difference IME).

As for the latter type, the extender is basically just a pipe/tube that threads onto the the valve stem.

Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Just buy the correct tube/valve length for the rim?
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Next time, ... Get long Stem tubes so you dont need Extenders..
Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Ditch the 'extenders.' Buy longer valve stemmed tubes. Problem solved.
Not that easy when the LBSes around don't stock tubes with stems longer than 42 mm due to lack of demand (few cyclists here have wheels deeper than 50 mm). Those that do have the branded ones (see above).

My Mavic Cosmic Carbones WTS came with tubes 42 mm long (non-removable core) and a valve extender - yes, just one extender.
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Old 05-15-15, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
OK, totally deflated my front and still couldn't get any air in there. And now I have a totally deflated front (full disclosure, it went flat overnight, so I get to change it anyway)
Check the rubber grommet inside the pump head that it doesn't get mangled. It might be blocking the hole and thus not allowing air to get into the tube.

Remove the extender and insert into the pump head and see what happens when you pump.
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Old 05-16-15, 12:09 PM
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Well, I removed the tire today to fix the flat, removed the valve extender (which I was unable to do with my bare hands, could be a problem in the future) and discovered that the tube valve had vibrated it's way shut again, so no amount of pumping was ever going to get air in there. The toothpick trick would have revealed that was a problem, to be sure.

I'll probably shop for some longer stemmed tubes and just keep the valve extenders in my bag for roadside repairs and multiple wheel-set compatibility. That's probably the easiest solution in the long run.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 05-16-15, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Well, I removed the tire today to fix the flat, removed the valve extender (which I was unable to do with my bare hands, could be a problem in the future) and discovered that the tube valve had vibrated it's way shut again, so no amount of pumping was ever going to get air in there. The toothpick trick would have revealed that was a problem, to be sure.

I'll probably shop for some longer stemmed tubes and just keep the valve extenders in my bag for roadside repairs and multiple wheel-set compatibility. That's probably the easiest solution in the long run.

Thanks for the tips!
I learnt the way to prevent tube valves from vibrating shut is to twist open the tube valve all the way, then add about one-quarter twist again. The tube valve won't vibrate shut if you do that before putting on the valve extender. It is a trick taught to me by an old mechanic I know.
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Old 05-16-15, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
I learnt the way to prevent tube valves from vibrating shut is to twist open the tube valve all the way, then add about one-quarter twist again. The tube valve won't vibrate shut if you do that before putting on the valve extender. It is a trick taught to me by an old mechanic I know.
That's also a damn good idea. Thanks!
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