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Air leaking from stem of latex tube.

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Air leaking from stem of latex tube.

Old 05-25-20, 05:38 PM
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masi61
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Air leaking from stem of latex tube.

Twice now I have had to scrap a Vittoria latex inner tube due to air bubble escaping from the base of the valve stem. My Lezyne digital pressure gauge is used to verify my tire pressure before each ride. To get the pressure gauge to register it has been necessary to push the gauge down onto the Presta valve, which pushes it inward a bit. If I push just a little so as not to cause the valve to go in toward the interior of the rim, the gauge doesnít take a reliable reading.

I have become quite the proponent of latex inner tubes these past 2 years. Getting an accurate tire pressure reading before a ride is important. But the Vittoria latex tubesí valves are developing leaks and then become unrepairable.

Could anyone make make a suggestion on how I might avoid this scenario? It is getting rather expensive. I would rather not abandon latex tubes because I love the ride. Is there another brand of latex road tube that perhaps has a more sturdy valve? Or is there any way to repair a bad valve stem on a latex tube? I tried once punching an undersized hole in a Rema Tip Top patch and it was an epic fail.

I also like my Lezyne tire gauge as well. I wish they were a bit more sensitive and that you didnít have to push down so hard on it to take a valid psi reading.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:47 PM
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Doesn't your pump have a gauge? My experience is the tube will lose some air overnight so pump is required before each ride. You could also look for tubes with a threaded stem and let the nut stabilize the tube when you are messing with it.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:54 PM
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Do you lose air a lot to have to measure all the time? My main bikes are tubeless and I maybe adjust pressure every 2-3 weeks, but that may also be due to temperature changes. The tubed bikes, my wife's, daughter's and my commuter also only require air every blue moon. All Schrader, though.

Does the same happen with other gages?
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Old 05-25-20, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
You could also look for tubes with a threaded stem and let the nut stabilize the tube when you are messing with it.
This. Many people seem to dislike the stem nuts but with 150k miles of riding I've found that I have far fewer tears at the stem by lightly snugging up the nut. Keeps the valve from wiggling around and getting pushed into the rim creating premature tears when you pump up the tire. Seeing how latex needs to be pumped every day they wear out fast.
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Old 05-26-20, 04:36 AM
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I’m not aware of any latex inner tubes with stem nuts. I may try Challenge or Michelin latex tubes to see if their valve stem holds up any better. I like the idea of stabilizing the valve with the stem nut. It makes me wander if you could slide some rubber tubing (that is a snug fit) over the stem to stabilize it for the non-threaded valve stems.
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Old 05-26-20, 07:49 AM
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For what it's worth, you can get a Schwalbe SW20 butyl tube that weighs 65g for a 700 x 18-26mm tire. They make "extra light" tubes in other sizes too, including the SV14 that will fit a 26x2.1" tire and weighs just 108g.

I'm not sure if anyone has done a real study (not a flawed steel drum test...) on latex versus butyl tubes, but I suspect the extra light ones cannot be too different from each other in that neither contributes significantly to rolling resistance compared to the much heavier and stiffer tire.

Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Getting an accurate tire pressure reading before a ride is important.
I don't agree with this.

Last edited by FastJake; 05-26-20 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
For what it's worth, you can get a Schwalbe SW20 butyl tube that weighs 65g for a 700 x 18-26mm tire. They make "extra light" tubes in other sizes too, including the SV14 that will fit a 26x2.1" tire and weighs just 108g.

I'm not sure if anyone has done a real study (not a flawed steel drum test...) on latex versus butyl tubes, but I suspect the extra light ones cannot be too different from each other in that neither contributes significantly to rolling resistance compared to the much heavier and stiffer tire.
This. I use the Schwalbe SV20 as well and prefer over Latex since I don't have to pump it up every day and it has a threaded stem. Here's an article comparing Continental's super lightweight butyl against a latex tube's rolling resistance if interested. https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...eless-clincher
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Old 05-26-20, 08:24 AM
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I also believe that latex tubes are an idea whose time has come and gone. For their very minor perceived benefits you pay a big price in dollars, durability and convenience.

Another thing I think is a waste of time is measuring bike tire pressure using a separate gauge. There is a bit of "Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle" in doing so. Bike tubes, particularly road tubes, have such a small air volume that every time you use the gauge, the measurement itself changes the tire pressure. Use the gauge on your floor pump.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:51 AM
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I have had good luck with Michelin latex inner tubes. My last pair outlasted 2 sets of tires
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Old 05-26-20, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
For what it's worth, you can get a Schwalbe SW20 butyl tube that weighs 65g for a 700 x 18-26mm tire. They make "extra light" tubes in other sizes too, including the SV14 that will fit a 26x2.1" tire and weighs just 108g.

I'm not sure if anyone has done a real study (not a flawed steel drum test...) on latex versus butyl tubes, but I suspect the extra light ones cannot be too different from each other in that neither contributes significantly to rolling resistance compared to the much heavier and stiffer tire.



I don't agree with this.
Everyone has their priorities. For me and running the latex tubes which lose about 10 psi overnight, I prefer to get an accurate pressure reading off of a pressure gauge (not just the one on the pump) before each ride. OK - I have learned quite a bit about where the latex tubes tires perform their best for my ride conditions, tires and my body weight so I could get by without the gauge but I really think it is pretty great to have that exact reading prior to leaving my house on my ride.
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Old 05-26-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Everyone has their priorities. For me and running the latex tubes which lose about 10 psi overnight, I prefer to get an accurate pressure reading off of a pressure gauge (not just the one on the pump) before each ride. OK - I have learned quite a bit about where the latex tubes tires perform their best for my ride conditions, tires and my body weight so I could get by without the gauge but I really think it is pretty great to have that exact reading prior to leaving my house on my ride.
It's about measurement capability, not priorities. Any decent floor pump has markers every 5 PSI and enough space between them to determine whether you're on a mark or between two marks. Meaning, you can accurately estimate pressure to at least the nearest 2.5 PSI but likely closer. And I am quite sure you could not tell the difference in a blind test between 80 PSI and 82.5 PSI... If you go for a long ride, you will lose that much pressure by the end anyway, if you lose "10psi overnight" with latex tubes.

If you don't trust the accuracy of the floor pump you can check it against your digital gauge. But test it on something like a car tire that won't lose a couple PSI every time you check it... I have a floor pump that's off by about 5 PSI, so I just keep that in mind when using it.

The exception is wide MTB and fat bike tires that might run at 5-10 PSI, where 0.5 to 1 PSI can really make a difference. For those, there are gauges that go from ~ 0-15 PSI and have increments of 0.5 PSI or less.
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