Help - Constant splitting tubes at valve shaft !!

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by giantxtc, 30 Nov 2011.

  1. giantxtc

    giantxtc New Member

    I really hope someone can help me find a solution to this problem because it is driving me mad!!

    For some time now, I have been painfully enduring a chronic problem with inner tubes splitting right at the base of the valve shaft. I must have gone through about 10 inner tubes now in the last 100 miles, each and every one on the rear rim, rubber splitting at the same point, at the base of the inner tube valve. I ride a Giant XTC MTB on Mavic XM 317 rims with regular 2.1 tyres and have tried various brands of inner tube.

    I use a mini hand pump to inflate and I take EXTREME care whilst doing so nowadays as I am so paranoid over this problem. Tonight I rode home 3 miles and went through TWO inner tubes. At ten quid, this is quickly becoming MORE expensive than using public transport to boot LOL.

    I've never come across a problem like this before. I've had bikes all my life and usually can figure out such niggles but this one has me stumped.

    I have tried :
    Lowering the tyre pressure
    Increasing the tyre pressure
    Various brands of inner tube
    Various hand pumps (not used a track pump but I really don't think this is the issue)
    I've padded the inner tube around the area (with old inner tube segments) but still it splits.

    Someone....please tell me you know the answer to this one.....
  2. You seem to have tried my 3 guesses, brand (specialized was bad for me), technique (ensuring the pump head goes on and of square) and damage. Try getting hold of a track pump (maybe a lend) as well as it being easier to get to the correct pressure, for a hand pump there may be movement as you pump up a track pump avoids that.
  3. jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    Something to do with the area around the valve hole? Agreed that a track pump will be more stable. Are you using locking nuts on the valves? Otherwise does seem odd
  4. HovR

    HovR Über Member

    Have you taken the tire/tube off the rim and checked around the suspect area for any sharp metal burs or other objects?

    Also, a tenner sounds awful expensive if you mean per tube. I use eBay brandless tubes. Normally around £5 for two, and I haven't noticed any difference between them and the branded tubes. Alternatively Halfords tubes are £5 for one, and they also seem pretty good.
  5. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    Check for rough edges around the valve hole as HovR suggests. If ok, make a rubber washer from an old tube and put it on the valve stem before inserting the valve through the rim. This cured a similar problem I was having on my tourer.
  6. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    yeah i was plagued by this for a few years appeared that my tyre was gradually slipping around the rim putting the valve askew, and eventually the stretched bit where the valve meets the tube would split.

    1st solution was buying a better pump... but wasn't a 100% cure. Then I stopped buying cheap wilko inner tubes... and not had the problem since. but you've tried different tubes so that's covered. If it is your tyre slipping around the rim and taking the inner tube with it, give the section of your tyres which meet the rim a good clean to remove any grease (?) or a build up of that grey dust that builds up... maybe?
  7. OP

    giantxtc New Member

    Yes I thought about this too but as mentioned in original post, I have chopped up old inner tubes and made little "washer" shaped pads to go over the new tube valve, but it still splits.
    I have checked around the edge of the hole yes, and it seems perfectly normal. In fact I have rode this bike for over 4 years and for most of that time I had no problems. then suddenly it started only on the rear and now I just can't see whats causing it.
    Sorry should have been clearer there. I meant tenner for the two tubes I went through this evening (5 each). I don't really feel the money is the main concern, that's not why I commute by bike. The hassle factor is by far the most annoying. But i just rubs salt in the wounds I suppose to know youve spent a tenner on inner tubes in one day when the round trip by bus is £2.60 LOL
    I would totally be convinced by the track pump theory ... IF this problem had been around since the start. But I had 4 years of fairly trouble free cycling and this has started a few weeks ago with no change to pump so I really doubt this is the problem. However your suggestion is valid and as a process of elimination I'll try it..

    Seriously guys, I am even considering changing rims it's so annoying and infuriating. What about the rim liner? Could that be a potential cause? It's very soft blue nylon type material, no sharpies at all.

    Baffled !!
  8. OP

    giantxtc New Member

    Hmm you know what that sounds like a very feasible suggestion. The tyres themselves do seem extremely loose for the rims. And the split is always perpendicular to the direction of rotation which would concur with your theory.

    Ok new road tyres it is. Anyone recommend a good set of skinny road tyres (say approx 1 - 1.25") to stick on?

    Thanks to all for your suggestions.
  9. byegad

    byegad Legendary Member

    NE England
    If it's an aero section tube with a deep central well in the rim you have a bubble of tube form either side of the valve, this will burst sometimes on the move, other times when parked. I ad this on a Dahon Matrix-V. You could try to fill the well either side of the valve. My solution was to buy new wheels!
  10. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    replace the rim tape with velox. as noone has mentioned it, are the tubes the right size for the tyre?
    DWiggy likes this.
  11. What valves are you using? (apologies if this has been mentioned and I missed it but I'm not reading it all again)
  12. OP

    giantxtc New Member

  13. OP

    giantxtc New Member

    Tubes are right size for tyre yes.
  14. OP

    giantxtc New Member

    So are you saying that some wheels will simply damage tubes? Thing is I rode this bike for 4 years without a hitch. Then since getting a regular puncture one time, all susequent tubes have failed at the base of the presta valve stem, splitting the rubber right at the bottom.
  15. I put it to you that you are failing to seat the valve, and /or using the useless screw on valve lock rings which come with the inner tubes and which must be thrown away. It's highly unlikely that your tyres are spinning on the rim but the strong possibility remains that there is a burr on the inside edge of the rim 'ole remains.
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