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Vintage Tubular Clogged Valve

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Vintage Tubular Clogged Valve

Old 05-05-20, 01:12 AM
  #1  
PapaGanoosh
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Vintage Tubular Clogged Valve

I was given a set of nice vintage tubular wheels with shimano 600 hubs which I plan to use for a beater bike build. I tried to pump the wheels and to my surprise after inflating one and letting some air out, white glue like liquid came out, which I believe to be tire sealant. Regardless, it pumped fine but when I tried pumping the other wheel I couldn't for the life of me get any air into the tire (yes, the presta valve was unscrewed). Even the normal twisting motion on the presta valve didn't feel quite smooth. Is there any way to unclog the presta valve so I can still use the tire or is this tire basically toast?
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Old 05-05-20, 02:22 AM
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Were you using a floor pump or compressor?
A compressor will give a much more robust blast and could blow the sealant into the tube.

Also, some presta valves had a removable core as noted by two flats just under the screw top of the valve.

A shot of citrus degreaser or a good soak in same. Rig up a small cup to bathe the valve assembly in for a couple hours.

A hairdryer or heat gun on low setting may soften the sealant and a compressor with a proper presta valve head
may provide enough oomph to get air into the tube.

Next level to try is a flame( hand torch or even a simple lighter ) and a very careful application, followed by a compressor fill.

Good luck,
rusty
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Old 05-05-20, 03:03 AM
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You should be able to remove the valve core and stick something in the hole to unclog it. I've never seen a tubular tire with presta valves that couldn't be removed, and if yours has sealant in it I'm sure the previous owner removed it to squirt it in.

You can use a chain tool or spoke wrench to unscrew it. I personally carry a multi-tool that has both along with a small 2oz bottle of Stan's sealant when I'm riding my bikes with tubulars. You can fix a flat quicker than changing a tube on a clincher tire with it. Use half (1oz) of sealant.



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Old 05-05-20, 07:27 AM
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There are plenty of vintage tubulars that didn't have removable valve cores, but as @Lazyass notes, the presence of sealant suggests that yours may be removable. If so, remove it, soak in household ammonia solution to dissolve the latex, and clear the valve. Or, simply replace the valve with a known, clean valve. These can be purchased separately, or salvaged from discarded inner tubes.

If the valve core turns out to be not removable, that may be a problem. You can try manually clearing the valve with wire or some such. I'd recommend against using ammonia in this case unless you are certain that the inner tube is not latex. Squirting ammonia into a latex inner tube will ruin it. Finally, if this is a decent quality tire in decent condition, it may be worth the effort to replace the inner tube. Tire Alert in Florida offers this service.
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Old 05-05-20, 07:50 PM
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I use sealant inside tubes and experience the same now and then. As mentioned just remove the valve core and clean out any dried sealant. This is assuming that you've burped the presta valves prior to pumping.
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Old 05-06-20, 04:49 PM
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Appreciate all the info guys. I took a look at the valve and it doesn't have the the flats around the threading which is common for removable valve cores. I did some research on the tires (Vittoria Rally) and it seems to confirm that they don't have removable cores. I'll try your suggestion JohnDThompson in regards to the wire first and see if I can get it to work that way. Info online also seems to show that the tires are made from Cotton 220 TPI, so I guess if the wire doesn't work I'll try the soak in a little bit of ammonia as a last resort.
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Old 05-08-20, 10:30 AM
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Yeah, they don't have removable cores, but are Rallys are ~$20 on sale, so not a big loss.

Basic Tufo tires are an option for inexpensive, sturdy, hold air, but not great ride quality.

For a beater or a garage queen, butyl tubes are a better option (which Rally has) than latex IMO, to avoid having to pump the tires every day or two.


Cool trick about the chain tool- Lazyass.
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Old 05-08-20, 04:47 PM
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Can you remove the valve core with a pair of pliers?
Or how did the sealant get in there?
I was going to buy these but if you can't get sealant on they ain't worth it.
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Old 05-08-20, 09:11 PM
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Get nicer tires. You'll be better off.

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Old 05-08-20, 09:33 PM
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If your tire does not have a removable valve core you can try this.

Use a small pliers or locking pliers and unscrew that brass cap at the top of your valve. Be careful the valve core doesn't fall into the tube. Tie a length of strong thin thread around the valve core. Push the valve core into the tire as far as you can. Then you can use something to clean as much of the valve area as you can get to. Use the thread to pull the valve core back out to its original location and screw the brass end back on.

Btw, that's the method a lot of people use to put sealant into a tubular tire that does not have a removable valve core.

Good luck and cheers.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
If your tire does not have a removable valve core you can try this.

Use a small pliers or locking pliers and unscrew that brass cap at the top of your valve. Be careful the valve core doesn't fall into the tube. Tie a length of strong thin thread around the valve core. Push the valve core into the tire as far as you can. Then you can use something to clean as much of the valve area as you can get to. Use the thread to pull the valve core back out to its original location and screw the brass end back on.

Btw, that's the method a lot of people use to put sealant into a tubular tire that does not have a removable valve core.

Good luck and cheers.
Thought about suggesting this but I normally do it with tubes by pinching the dropped valve core through the inner tube. Didn't think that approach would have worked on a tubular but the string hack solves it👍
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