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Inflating Tires(6 posts)

Inflating TiresBroom Wagon
Jul 26, 2001 5:52 AM
This has happended twice to me within that past 2 months . . . I have a Silca floor pump with the older style but larger brass chuck. When inflating the tires, I have to push the chuck practically down the valve stem until the chuck contacts the rim in order to get a good seal. When removing the chuck, I've managed to partially tear the valve stem from the tube--two times so far, and thereby, having to replace the tube. At first,I figured it was a worn out washer in the chuck so I replaced it. However, I just can't seem to get a good seal when inflating the tires without pushing the chuck all of the down, even with a new washer. This of course means having to pull the chuck that much harder when removing. Any ideas?

Also, I figure that most people probably throw out the end caps on the valve stems but how about the round nut that screws on the valve? Do you use those?

Silca pumpsCima Coppi
Jul 26, 2001 6:05 AM
My old Silca floor pump had the same chuck you are describing, and I had fairly good luck with it. I have two inexpensive suggestions for you.

1. Get a replacement rubber gasket for your current chuck. Your current gasket may not seal well enough thus you are having to push it all the way on to the valve stem.

2. Replace your chuck with the newer designed presta/schrader chuck. I have this on my newer Silca Floor Pump, and I find it to work well.

I have never broken a valve stem with either, but you should try this. Don't replace the pump, as the silca floor pumps are one of the best. You can get these parts through Excel for reasonable prices.

Good luck.

re: Inflating Tiresmackgoo
Jul 26, 2001 6:21 AM
One thing I've learned is when you open the presta valve, push it in by hand first to get the pin of it's seat. They seem to really get locked in and it takes a lot of pressure to get it off the seat to start inflating the tire, way more pressure than what is in the tire to begin with. Just make sure the chuck is past the threads on the stem.
Jul 26, 2001 7:08 AM
the Silca, that is, and get a Topeak Joe Blow Pro. I just got one a few weeks ago and I'll never go back. Seemingly half the strokes and effort as my Zefal which broke, no problems with Rolf wheels (I used to let all the air out first so I could push the valve stem up from the tire side for it to catch in the chuck, but no need to do this now), the chuck is the exact same for both Presta and Schrader (you don't flip sides; it is the exact same one and only and has a sensor built inside t odetect which), it is so good you may not even need the awesome locking lever (I didn't use it my first time and it still worked fine, the pressure dial is very easy to read and located near the top of the barrel, the pump is built solid and it got a 9/10 rating from Cycling Plus. And the chuck comes off easy too: no blood from cut on index finger after tugging to get the chuck off and finger bangs into spokes (I can't believe I'm the only one this has ever regularly happened to).

I can understand you may not want to chuck the chuck, so to speak, but in the large scheme of things, a new pump is a minor expense and will ensure that your workout takes place on the bike, not pumping up the tires.
re: Inflating TiresWhatever
Jul 26, 2001 9:39 AM
I used a Silca track pump with the reversable would usually stay on with gravity assist (rotate the wheel so the stem at the bottom). But I usually just found it easier to hold the head on with my left hand and top off the tire by pumping with the right. Since I top off the tires before every ride (this should be SOP for you if it isn't) I was only putting five to ten strokes in each tire...inflating one from scratch was a bit of a pain in the @ss but you don't do that as often. I also always broke the pressure seal on the stem by letting a little air out before I put the pump head on. In fifteen years of regular riding, I never had a stem fail where it is bonded to the tube.

I just overhauled the pump with a new leather washer and a Topeak locking pump head. This thing has a death-grip on the stem, and you really have to pull hard on the stem to get it off (yes, I unlock it before trying). It is nice to be able to pump with two hands, but I have had two stem failures in two months. I am thinking about going back to the stock Silca head.

Before getting the Topeak, I also had one stem failure that I attributed to a sharp edge on the stem hole inside the rim. I bought a bunch of little o-rings at the hardware store (they are really cheap...25 cents each) and now have a small one pressed onto the stem at the very base...kind of like a grommet. I figure that it gives a little extra protection for the tube-stem joint, so at least it is not being stretched over a hard corner when you are pulling on it.

Also, while at the LBS yesterday (buying tubes, actually) I asked a couple of the employees what their experience was with this tube-stem failure...they all said that they thought that is just where tubes wore out (given that you can patch the punctures forever). I guess times have changed and they grew up with locking pump heads.
re: Inflating Tirestirider
Jul 26, 2001 7:42 PM
Oh my God... nobody knows how to use the Silca brass chuck? I've been using these since the seventies and once you know the trick you'll never go back to disposable pumps like the Blackburns, Topeaks etc. First loosen the knurled compression ring on the head of the brass chuck, press onto the valve stem and then tighten the ring to compress the washer onto the stem... then pump away hands free. You can completely rebuild the Silca Super Pista and then pass it on to your grandkids when you're too old to ride. I've used the same one for decades.