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Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area?
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I run Vittoria tubes on my race wheels and they are not threaded for a jam nut. I use a crack pipe to inflate both tubes and have never been able to properly seat a pump head using threads. So... I end up holding (pressing) the crack pipe up into the valve stem to get a seal and pumping by sitting onto my pump handle. It's not difficult to do but I keep bursting latex tubes because the pressure I'm putting on the valve stem weakens the tube (it's super fragile in the area believe me).

Anyone have any suggestions? I've lost probably 5 tubes in the last few years.
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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I've had this happen several times with my disc. A couple were in T1 on race morning:( All with Vittoria latex tubes.

Two options have helped for mine. The Zipp Hiro2 pump head goes on with a lot less force required to push it down the valve stem. The length of the Vittoria stem makes it tight for access. I have also just let the air out of the tube so I could push the crack pipe on without pushing the valve stem down into the inflated tube and burst it.

On my Zipp I switched to the short valve Michelin. This tube held up a long time. Downside is Non-RVC which finally caught up to me in a long distance TT last week where sealant may have saved me.
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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Why are you using a crack pipe?
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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Disc wheel cover on rear and found that clamping my existing pump head down on the front tire (FLO60 with valve extender) wasn't really making that good of a seal-very hit and miss. Today I burst my rear tube. I have a KCNC pump head but that was finicky too. Never quite got it to work despite trying many time. Possibly the o-rings in it are shot, but I seem to remember having a hard time fitting it to my pump hose as well.

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Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Twitter
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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I would think you could use a thread cutter to put threads on the valve stem and then use the it off an old tube. The stem is brass so I don't think the stem would be substantially more likely to break, though it would be a little weaker.

You might PM Josh at Silca. This is totally up his alley these days.
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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Not a bad idea for my rear wheel which runs a [covered] aluminum rim. I don't think it is probably a good idea to run a jam nut on a carbon wheel though and I imagine that's why the latex tubes don't have the threads.

I may get laughed off the forum for this, but here's what I came up with this morning. If I get a flat I'd need to strip all the tape off of course, but I do short course so if I flat my day is over anyway.



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Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Twitter
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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I used a dremel to open my cover a bit more so I didn't have to use a crack pipe. SOOOOOOOO much easier. It took me like 2 minutes, assuming you have the tool. You could also probably sand it it down too but it would take longer. I just got sick of the hassle with the crack pipe.

My Blog - Twitter - JonnyO Coaching - EGO p/b Sammys Bike Tri Team
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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Timtek wrote:
Not a bad idea for my rear wheel which runs a [covered] aluminum rim. I don't think it is probably a good idea to run a jam nut on a carbon wheel though and I imagine that's why the latex tubes don't have the threads.

I may get laughed off the forum for this, but here's what I came up with this morning. If I get a flat I'd need to strip all the tape off of course, but I do short course so if I flat my day is over anyway.


For your front wheel with the valve extender you can use a valve stem but and an externally threaded extender such as Stans, Schwable or Silca. Silca makes the tubeless extender kit with an aero rubber grommet for tightening the valve stem nut against on a carbon rim or carbon fairing. Not much different result than your duct tape solution, but cleaner. Same issue for flatting and tube replacement as you'll need an extra tube/extender set up.
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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This is what friends are for.

Jim Escobar
FIST & Retul Certified Fitter
ProTriFit - St. Augustine, FL
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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Latex is less fragile than Butyl (just try hitting some old tubes with a hammer). Its weakness is that it is not good at filling spaces that are bigger than it because it stretches in one spot instead of uniformly, which creates a weak point. Are you using the smaller or larger size Vittoria tube? If you are using the smaller ones, try the larger ones. I'll bet that solves it. (The theory being that there is a bit of extra space inside at the valve constriction, and the latex is stretching to fill the space, making it weak in that spot.)
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [lanierb] [ In reply to ]
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ProTriFit wrote:
This is what friends are for.

Aggh. I used to find unsuspecting helpers in transition at 5am to assist with inflating tires, but I can't even ask anymore. People are so busy at that hour and most want to find the port-a-loo after the drive to the race venue.

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If you are using the smaller ones, try the larger ones. I'll bet that solves it. (The theory being that there is a bit of extra space inside at the valve constriction, and the latex is stretching to fill the space, making it weak in that spot.)
You're correct, I have been using the 19/24c ones. My thought being that since I was running 23c tires, that was correct. So no drawbacks from running the 25c ones?

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Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Twitter
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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Another vote for the Silca Hiro locking crack pipe.
Yes, its about $100 I think, but you can leave it on your pump and use for all wheels, not just discs. Good investment for disc wheel owners.
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Re: Tips for inflating latex tube and protecting valve area? [Timtek] [ In reply to ]
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Timtek wrote:
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If you are using the smaller ones, try the larger ones. I'll bet that solves it. (The theory being that there is a bit of extra space inside at the valve constriction, and the latex is stretching to fill the space, making it weak in that spot.)

You're correct, I have been using the 19/24c ones. My thought being that since I was running 23c tires, that was correct. So no drawbacks from running the 25c ones?
I've not had any problems, and in my experience it will solve your problem. I think that especially on modern wide rims, even if you're running 23s they can actually be up to 26-27 wide inflated, which is a little too big for the smaller latex tubes. For butyl it doesn't matter, but latex is sensitive to that. Obviously the fit will be tighter so you want to be a little careful installing, so that the tube is straight and isn't folded over anywhere.
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