Monday, August 31

Working on my core

Saturday evening, I had a few minutes before I needed to head out the door for the evening, so I thought I'd be smart and get my bike ready for a ride the next morning.

The first time I've touched the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 since washing the Breck Epic off of it.

Lube, air... that's all.

Go to put air in the front tire with the compressor.  Air flow is slow.  It's been like that.  My presta valve needs maintained.


Yeth.  Sealants, trying to do their job and seal holes, can gunk up the works.  The internals of a presta valve are quite simple, but so easily gunked.

When you remove the valve core, you have this:

If you run tubeless wheels and haven't ever taken out your valve core or didn't know it could even come out or don't have a valve core removal tool or tiny crescent wrench, equip yourself and learn this process.  It takes the same amount of mechanical skill that is required to flick a light switch.

Anyways, to get to the heart of the problem, you need to tear it down further.

You need to get a pair of pliers on the squished part, grab the easy to lose part with another set of pliers, and turn the recalcitrant bit off the top.  It doesn't want to come off, but it will.

Once apart, you'll see all the sealant on the shitty part and inside the tubish part.  Pick, poke, stab, rub... whatever it takes.  Get rid of it. Once everything is gunk free, reassemble and check to see if the easy to lose part will back off the threaded, formally shitty part too easily.  If so, give it a little squish with your pliers and check it again.  Repeat until the easy to lose part doesn't come off in your fingers.

Of course, you could just throw all this away and replace it for $2.

Why bother doing all this (aside from no longer getting frustrated trying to air up your tires for a ride)?

If you happen to burp a tire or get a puncture that you either intend to plug or do the shaky wheel dance trying to get your sealant to do it's job, you want to get as much air in there as fast as possible.  Reducing your air flow drastically with a gunked up valve is frustrating and stupid, like watching a Republican Primary Debate.

Of course, all this maintenance is easier said than done.  I refer to the one piece as the "easy to lose part" because as I was rebuilding the front valve core, I dropped it.  I did the "whole stand still in my tracks, listen, and track the movement across the floor" thing. I eventually found it after some crawling around on the floor and squinting at a bug's eye level.

Also of course, when I decided to do the rear valve core while I was at it, I told myself, "Be careful this time, moron."


It shot off even further across the room.  I stopped, listened, tried to gauge the tone and pitch of the noises made as it bounced off things of varying density and proximity.  Fuck me.

The Pie yelled down the stairs, "Are you ready yet?"

How do I even explain this? I came downstairs to perform two tasks that should have only required three to four minutes tops.  I'm now going into "hard target search" mode.

What followed was minutes of frustration, a throwing in of the towel (the trail had gone cold), the dismantling of the valve core of a very old tube I've been using as a rubber band supply, and then a few more "just a minute" moments until I had everything back together.

This all took about a half an hour, so I suggest you give yourself some time if you decide it's time to do some valve core maintenance.  Yeth, had I walked across the bike room, dug into my household toolbox, grabbed my tiny channel locks... I could have avoided most of these issues.

But they were all the way on the other side of the room.

And I was le tired.


Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...




Anonymous said...

I can find the recalcitrant. Please respond fast before I lose the easy to lose part.

Mike said...

Repairing/maintaining parts when possible is always better than throwing them away and buying new ones.

Good jooooooooorrrahhhab!!

Anonymous said...

I run tubless with a tub filled with stans... no more flats. Can hit anything...