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Style Council opinions please: Valve Stem Caps.(20 posts)

Style Council opinions please: Valve Stem Caps.128
Mar 10, 2003 12:11 PM
I'm no slave to fashion (an indentured servant, maybe), but I do want my style points. I would not, however, tolerate form over function, but to each their own.

Does one need valve stem caps for a good reason or is it ok to ride capless? Are caps just a sign of insecurity?? Would I be less cool?

I know the mtb crew get much stoked mojo with dice caps and skulls but is there some roadie wisdom here? Do roadies get any mojo from going capless or just bad looks?

Thanks in advance,

Unsure but Hip
Valve cap 101MR_GRUMPY
Mar 10, 2003 1:12 PM
Valve caps on road bikes are allowed if (1) You are on a Huffy. (2) You are on a 5900, with a full kit, on a bike path at 12 MPH.
Valve caps on a MTN bike are allowed if (1) You are on a Huffy. (2) You are on a dual suspension DH bike on a bike path at 12 MPH.
fair weather rider?cyclopathic
Mar 10, 2003 4:28 PM
I guess you never had to deal with valves clogged by ice or well baked mud. 8-)
Still not a problem...PT
Mar 10, 2003 4:40 PM
30+ years of all weather commuting/mountain biking/racing -- solely with presta valves -- never with a cap -- never a problem - neither dust nor snow nor rain nor ice nor mud can keep me from opening my appointed valves.

They're just something else to litter the world with when they're lost while changing a flat...

don't need 'em necessarily but I've got skulls & 8-balls :)lonefrontranger
Mar 10, 2003 2:19 PM
I've got skulls on the road bike and 8-balls on the 'crosser. Eminently stylish, IMO.

Besides just being silly fun, there is actually a method to my madness. I race a LOT of criteriums and stage races every year, and so my clincher wheels (trainers) get tossed in any number of wheel pits / wheel trucks along the way. The clinchers I use happen to be black Mavic Cosmos, which are not only common as rats, but also look remarkably similar to any thousands of plain black box section clincher wheels that get tossed into the pit or truck with them. Most of the time the neutral support folks just throw you any sort of wheels they have that fit your description, and you don't necessarily get the wheels YOU put in - it all get sorted out post-race (eventually). Since my stuff is also all Campag 10, it would be a pretty sorry situation for me and the recipient were they to fall into the wrong hands. Hence the valve caps; it simply makes for quicker ID in a big pile of similar looking wheels.

However, if you aren't doing Trick Topz (tm), then word in the fashion rags is that all the best Presta valves are going topless this season.
re: Style Council opinions please: Valve Stem Caps.No_sprint
Mar 10, 2003 2:20 PM
The only cool valve caps are the chrome 3D naked lady valve caps similar to the *mud flap girls*. They add that necessary "Monaco money" class to any Colnago, Bayliss and especially Sachs and Rivendell.

No problem, just like to help out,

Sure, Classy and Hip
Mar 10, 2003 3:45 PM

I use these in the winter for my commutes on the theory that while riding in the dark, the more blinky flashing things I have on my bike the better.

They are $4.99 for the pair from radioshack. Schrader valve, so I use a couple of valve stem converters to screw them onto.
Not a style issue. Its a weight issue. And all that weight isFez
Mar 10, 2003 4:23 PM
on the wheels. :)
For that reason, I only use ...AllUpHill
Mar 10, 2003 6:15 PM
carbon-fibre valve caps with titanium threading. Sure, it's expensive but when you need to accelerate to 12 mph as you turn onto the bike path, can you really afford the harshness of aluminum or the weight of steel?
You can't be serious.look271
Mar 10, 2003 6:22 PM
How much does a cap weigh? About as much as say, a flea's poop? C'mon, that can't make a difference. That being said, I prefer to go topless........
Mar 10, 2003 6:05 PM
Actually, I think that they are there for the purpose of protecting the tube when it's all rolled up....either in the box or in your seatbag. I always use them on the MTB, but not on the road bike unless it's crappy weather.
re: Style Council opinions please: Valve Stem Caps.gybeho
Mar 10, 2003 6:10 PM
Schrader adapter on the rear, topless on the front for me.
Another reason to use valve capssuperdog
Mar 10, 2003 6:42 PM
I never used to use valve caps until I realized that most of the air that leaks from my tires on a daily basis leaks from the valve stem. Before I used valve stem caps I lost a few PSI per day. After I started using valve stem caps I lost a few psi per week.

It's really not that big of a deal but I'm always rushed for time to get on the bike and get going. Now I don't have to spend time pumping the tires up before I ride; except on weekends.
Mar 10, 2003 6:56 PM
how does the cap make a difference? the cap is hardly air tight.

just make sure you screw the valve stem shut after pumping.
huh? what?superdog
Mar 11, 2003 12:27 PM
Apparently, the cap is air tight.
Mar 11, 2003 2:47 PM
that it is air tight for you, since caps are just plastic threads inside. no seals or anything.

but hey, if it works for you, great!
I vote NAY.High Gear
Mar 10, 2003 7:12 PM
I've been capless most of my riding carer (13 YEARS) ,and never had a problem with a valve. I ride all year-round and sometimes in bad conditions. I can't see any reason for using them other than being in the way of getting your tyres up to pressure before going out.
How about as a reminder?Mel Erickson
Mar 11, 2003 8:58 AM
To make sure you screwed the valve stem shut. You can't put a cap on without screwing the valve stem shut. Silly reason but the best I can come up with. That, and protecting from mud and ice, which has never been a problem for me since I cycle so fast the centrifugal force generated by my whirring wheels keeps them sparkly clean ;-)
A segue I can't resist: A short 'wow. i'm an idiot' story:128
Mar 11, 2003 10:07 AM
Might not be a bad reminder as you indicate, but I think 'the cap' can work against you too. To wit and as the story ends: "Hmm. The tube is still full of air. What an idiot."

Once upon a time it was three weeks ago. Then, the temperature briefly hit 40F. Immediatley after that, I began my pre-ride routine: Turn on Kraftwerk...pump tires...etc. Quarter mile into the ride, heading down the road during ice, sand and pothole season, I realize I am free, I am finally going, and that I am slowly losing rear tire pressure. Wow, I thought, my first time. This definately sucks. But hey, will add to my roadie credials. So I came about, poised my weight over front wheel and ambled home. Would not be denied my ride. I would fix the flat. "This is what it's all about! I'm wrenching, man! really in to things here!!" Twenty minute later, beads of sweat forming: This is insane! Snapped a tire lever. The tire is smaller than the rim, and it's in the rim and I can't get it out of the rim! Finally got it out. Finally got it in. Then, the creeping realization as I glanced at the old tube: still looks firm from the puncture test..hmm. Did you you check that the nut was screwed down on the valve? No. Did the cap press down on it juuust enough to let air out. Maybe. Do you think I could have just inflated the tube instead of replaced it? Ahyup. What an idiot. Three weeks later, tube still holding. A gentle reminder...
A segue I can't resist: A short 'wow. i'm an idiot' story:jromack
Mar 11, 2003 1:03 PM
But I thought the cap was "air tight"

Guess not