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Wheel Tube Question

Old 07-20-08, 08:10 AM
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CASON534
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Wheel Tube Question

I have been out of biking for years, or just never had a light weight bike. I have a Trek 6500 and it has these tire tubes with the strange valve cores, LOL!!!!! What is the reason for these type of tubes? Is it light weight only? If so would it be wrong to drill rim to except heavy duty slimed tubes. I am 265 and using bike for exercise after hip replacement.

Thanks
John
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Old 07-20-08, 10:14 AM
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Strange tire valves? Oh, you must mean Schrader valves. Don't know what people see in those.
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Old 07-20-08, 10:35 AM
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There are two types of valve stems:
Schraeder-which is the automotive standard,

and
Presta-which is used on road bikes. The Presta is slimmer.

Your question is a good one. There are some rims that are so narrow, the rim can not be drilled larger to the schraeder size. The rim would be weakened by such a large hole..

You are going to have to get a new pump that accepts presta valves.
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Old 07-20-08, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CASON534 View Post
I have been out of biking for years, or just never had a light weight bike. I have a Trek 6500 and it has these tire tubes with the strange valve cores, LOL!!!!! What is the reason for these type of tubes? Is it light weight only? If so would it be wrong to drill rim to except heavy duty slimed tubes. I am 265 and using bike for exercise after hip replacement.

Thanks
John
They're called Presta valves...although one customer called them "Pester valves"...and I understand why, considering how much confusion they cause.

I also have some fun with customers when they ask for the "standard valve", meaning Schrader. Since we're in a bike shop, and Presta valves are commonly found on only bicycles...what's the standard? I've also heard them called "new valves" or "European valves", but they've been in common usage in the US for at least 40 years.

Regarding your drilling question, the answer is...maybe. Without seeing the rim or knowing whether it also comes in a Schrader-drilled version, I can't say that drilling it won't compromise your rim strength...and at 265 lbs, that is a serious consideration. Slime tubes are available in a Presta pre-Slimed version in many sizes and wouldn't require drilling.

Regarding your choice of Slime tubes...no comment.
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Old 07-20-08, 05:15 PM
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You can get a little adapter so you can fill presta valves using a Schreader air chuck for about a buck or less...otherwise most of the better pumps have some provision to work on either style.

Presta valves have another advantage for high pressure tires: They act as a check valve, so you don't lose that 5-10 psi that happens when you take a schreader chuck off the valve.

You will get grief around here for using Slime. There is no avoiding the goathead stickers where I live, so slime is a part of biking for me.....actually a LBS custom packages some industrial tire sealant that seems to work a little better so I use that...same idea though.

Some presta valves come apart so you can slime the tube. You can slime ones that don't if you are careful:

1)Take the tube out of the wheel

2) The top of the threaded pin in a presta valve is mushroomed or otherwise mangled to keep the little nut part on. If you clean this up with a file or a dremel tool, you can take the nut off....MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE STEM POINTED DOWN SO YOU DON'T DROP THE PIN INTO THE TUBE!

3)If you hold the valve stem between two fingers like a cigerette, you can use your thumb (through the tube) to keep the pin from going into the tube while you slime it. This is why you need the tube out of the wheel.

4) If you screw up and let the pin fall into the tube, you can patiently work it back into the valve stem by feel.

5) After you put the nut part back on, pinch the end of the screw-pin part with a pair of vice grips to mangle the threads so the nut can't come off and drop the pin into the tube.

Sounds complicated....honestly it took me more time to type this (and I type pretty good!) than to do it would have...I use a dremel tool though. Not really sure how long a file would take.

Last edited by kevbo; 07-20-08 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 07-20-08, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
There are two types of valve stems:
Schraeder-which is the automotive standard,

and
Presta-which is used on road bikes. The Presta is slimmer.
There's also a Dunlop valve, which I rarely ever see here in the US.

You are going to have to get a new pump that accepts presta valves.
If it's a bike pump made in the last twenty years, it might not need to be replaced with a whole new pump. Even if it's not a double head or a "Smart head", it probably can be changed to Presta compatibility by unscrewing the cap on the end and flipping the the internals the other direction.
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