? Silca Presta pump head - techniques?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Michael, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    How do you pump your tyres up using a Silca Track pump?

    Sounds ridiculous, I know.

    But I can't believe how much trouble I have using the pump *quickly*. If I tighten the pump head
    sufficiently to maintain a seal at 110 psi then I have all sorts of trouble unscrewing it once I've
    finished. I have experimented with different amounts of tightening, but if I tighten it any less
    then it won't maintain a seal. Surely it's not meant to be this difficult !?!

    Anyone got any tricks for avoiding fighting with their pump?
     
    Tags:


  2. In article <[email protected]>,
    Michael <[email protected]> wrote:
    >How do you pump your tyres up using a Silca Track pump?
    >
    >Sounds ridiculous, I know.
    >
    >But I can't believe how much trouble I have using the pump *quickly*. If I tighten the pump head
    >sufficiently to maintain a seal at 110 psi then I have all sorts of trouble unscrewing it once I've
    >finished. I have experimented with different amounts of tightening, but if I tighten it any less
    >then it won't maintain a seal. Surely it's not meant to be this difficult !?!
    >
    >Anyone got any tricks for avoiding fighting with their pump?

    As far as I know, Silca only made one good pump head, the #24 "bell" chuck, which is presta-only.
    From your description, I'm guessing you don't have it. I have tried some of their other creations
    and they all stink to some degree. Perhaps your local bike shop can order you the #24 head. In the
    US, biketoolsetc.com sells it for $5 (P/N SI-24) and the replacement gasket for $1 (P/N SI-24.1).
    The gasket can use replacement every year or two if you use it a lot.

    --Paul
     
  3. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Michael who? writes:

    > How do you pump your tyres up using a Silca Track pump?

    > Sounds ridiculous, I know.

    > But I can't believe how much trouble I have using the pump *quickly*. If I tighten the pump head
    > sufficiently to maintain a seal at 110 psi then I have all sorts of trouble unscrewing it once
    > I've finished. I have experimented with different amounts of tightening, but if I tighten it any
    > less then it won't maintain a seal. Surely it's not meant to be this difficult !?!

    http://www.cbike.com/pumps_silca.htm

    If you have the valve chuck listed at the bottom of this page, you should have no trouble.
    Remember, always break the valve free after loosening the retaining nut on the valve plunger by
    letting out a tiny amount of air. If you don't do this, pressure buildup in the hose will exceed
    the gauge and ruin it.

    This valve chuck comes with a rubber gasket that can be replaced. Get some spares when you get he
    pump head.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected]
     
  4. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Michael wrote:
    > But I can't believe how much trouble I have using the pump *quickly*. If I tighten the pump head
    > sufficiently to maintain a seal at 110 psi then I have all sorts of trouble unscrewing it once
    > I've finished. I have experimented with different amounts of tightening, but if I tighten it any
    > less then it won't maintain a seal. Surely it's not meant to be this difficult !?!

    If you have the head without lever, it is disengaged by pulling sharply, not unscrewing. Quite some
    force is meant to be used.

    Try degreasing the washer (and valves) to make it grip better so it doesn't have to be so tight.

    ~PB
     
  5. Eric Holeman

    Eric Holeman Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >http://www.cbike.com/pumps_silca.htm If you have the valve chuck listed at the bottom of this page,
    >you should have no trouble.

    Seconded, thirded, whatever. The reversible chuck that comes with some versions of the pump should
    be chucked.

    >This valve chuck comes with a rubber gasket that can be replaced. Get some spares when you get he
    >pump head.

    The above-referenced web page mutters something about replacing the pump head "when needed,"
    implying that they wear out. They don't, of course, but the rubber gasket in the head can, though I
    suspect you have to pump a lot of tires for this to happen. I'm still on my first, after 4 years or
    so on the bell chuck (and 10 or 12 years on the pump.)
    --
    ---
    Eric Holeman Chicago Illinois USA
     
  6. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 01:14:02 -0000, "Pete Biggs"
    <ptangerine{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:

    >If you have the head without lever, it is disengaged by pulling sharply, not unscrewing. Quite some
    >force is meant to be used.

    Push the chuck with both thumbs.
     
  7. Eflayer2

    Eflayer2 Guest

    At some point, even after listening to all the raves about Silca pumps, I dumped mine. I giant
    unpredictable pain forever. I like my Joe Blow Pro much better.

    [email protected] (Michael) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > How do you pump your tyres up using a Silca Track pump?
    >
    > Sounds ridiculous, I know.
    >
    > But I can't believe how much trouble I have using the pump *quickly*. If I tighten the pump head
    > sufficiently to maintain a seal at 110 psi then I have all sorts of trouble unscrewing it once
    > I've finished. I have experimented with different amounts of tightening, but if I tighten it any
    > less then it won't maintain a seal. Surely it's not meant to be this difficult !?!
    >
    > Anyone got any tricks for avoiding fighting with their pump?
     
  8. Michael

    Michael Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <ptangerine{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > If you have the head without lever, it is disengaged by pulling sharply, not unscrewing. Quite
    > some force is meant to be used.

    Well I didn't realise that!

    Is that really the case? I don't want to sound too skeptical (I have taken on board lots of your
    advice in the past) but wouldn't pulling the rubber across the thread on the valve stem destroy the
    gasket pretty quickly?

    Having said that it is the method I have resorted to the past few times ;-)

    Can anyone else confirm this is the method they employ?

    Thanks everyone for their responses. Suppose I'll just keep ripping the head off. And try degreasing
    my valve stems as well (as per another poster's advice).
     
  9. Dick Durbin

    Dick Durbin Guest

    [email protected] (eflayer2) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > At some point, even after listening to all the raves about Silca pumps, I dumped mine. I giant
    > unpredictable pain forever. I like my Joe Blow Pro much better.

    Ah, one more person who realizes that the emperor has no clothes.

    Dick Durbin
     
  10. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Michael who? writes:

    >> If you have the head without lever, it is disengaged by pulling sharply, not unscrewing. Quite
    >> some force is meant to be used.

    > Well I didn't realise that!

    > Is that really the case? I don't want to sound too skeptical (I have taken on board lots of your
    > advice in the past) but wouldn't pulling the rubber across the thread on the valve stem destroy
    > the gasket pretty quickly?

    That's the way it works except that you don't screw the grommet cover on any tighter than is
    necessary for it to hold air. As the rubber wears, and it does that mighty slowly, you can tighten
    the cap as needed. I modified my pump head to have a pressure release so that it can be pulled off
    with no pressure. This makes it a tiny bit easier on the rubber. My pump head grommet is about 10
    years old and I have spares waiting for their turn.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected]
     
  11. In article <BK5%[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    > I modified my pump head to have a pressure release so that it can be pulled off with no pressure.
    > This makes it a tiny bit easier on the rubber.

    Jobst, could you provide more detail on this? I'm intrigued.

    It seems like the hole in the new grommet must be the same size it has been since the days of smooth-
    sided valve stems. Nowadays valve stems are almost all threaded, and slightly fatter to boot, so the
    chuck and stem are locked in a death grip when the tire's inflated. I've lost track of how many
    tubes I've ruined trying to push the chuck off the valve stem when it's under pressure. I ream out
    the grommet with a tapered hand reamer, and that helps some, but it sounds like your solution would
    be preferable.

    Jeff Travis
     
  12. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Jeffrey W. Travis writes:

    >> I modified my pump head to have a pressure release so that it can be pulled off with no pressure.
    >> This makes it a tiny bit easier on the rubber.

    > Jobst, could you provide more detail on this? I'm intrigued.

    > It seems like the hole in the new grommet must be the same size it has been since the days of smooth-
    > sided valve stems. Nowadays valve stems are almost all threaded, and slightly fatter to boot, so
    > the chuck and stem are locked in a death grip when the tire's inflated.

    Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time now
    and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.

    > I've lost track of how many tubes I've ruined trying to push the chuck off the valve stem when
    > it's under pressure. I ream out the grommet with a tapered hand reamer, and that helps some, but
    > it sounds like your solution would be preferable.

    What's this "push the chuck" action. These are easily pulled off with a small tug. That's what the
    knurling around the body of the chuck is for. How can you ruin a valve stem that way? I get the
    impression we aren't talking about the same pump head and valve stems.

    http://www.cbike.com/pumps_silca.htm

    Bottom of the page.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected]
     
  13. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Michael wrote:

    >> If you have the head without lever, it is disengaged by pulling sharply, not unscrewing. Quite
    >> some force is meant to be used.
    >
    > Well I didn't realise that!
    >
    > Is that really the case?

    I believe so. That's really the main advantage of using this head - it's quick to use.

    > wouldn't pulling the rubber across the thread on the valve stem destroy the gasket pretty quickly?

    Not that quickly. However, despite readjustement and replacement gasket, I got fed up with my Silca
    head leaking and sometimes being too loose, sometimes too tight (valves seem to vary slightly) so I
    replaced it with a Topeak Smarthead (with hose). The stiff lever makes it slower to put on & off but
    it's totally reliable. Ironically, I thought of the degreasing* trick just after I had agreed to
    give the Silca away. It then worked better than ever. Doh!

    * rinse in biodegradable chain cleaner

    ~PB
     
  14. Michelin Aircomp UL 700-23 have smooth valve stems, the only tubes I use. The Silca Presta pump head
    does glide on easier. -tom

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:KF6%[email protected]...
    >
    > Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time now
    > and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.
     
  15. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    "Tom Nakashima" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Michelin Aircomp UL 700-23 have smooth valve stems, the only tubes I use. The Silca Presta pump
    > head does glide on easier. -tom
    >
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message news:KF6%[email protected]...
    > >
    > > Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time
    > > now and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.
    > >

    Dear Tom,

    Here's the best picture that I could find of your smooth valve stems:

    http://www.xxcycle.com/cgi-bin/shop.pl?SCREEN=detail&REF=2417

    It looks as if the smooth valve stems are shown on the box, too, but I found no internet pictures
    big enough to make it clear.

    ***

    My, that's an odd color (says a fellow whose black tubes contain green Slime sealant):

    http://cycleus.webmichelin.com/tires/tubeaircomp.htm

    Even the Michelin site above doesn't mention the smooth valve stems or why they're used. Is there
    any advantage, other than not tearing at pump seals?

    ***

    The first review in the link below even complains about the unthreaded valve stems, confirming your
    description:

    http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Tube/product_80181.shtml

    Out of curiosity, what do you like and dislike about these tubes, apart from their green color?

    Carl Fogel
     
  16. Jim Beam

    Jim Beam Guest

    i second that. their easier action & better seal for the valve head is the reason i use michelins
    exclusively. great tubes.

    Tom Nakashima wrote:
    > Michelin Aircomp UL 700-23 have smooth valve stems, the only tubes I use. The Silca Presta pump
    > head does glide on easier. -tom
    >
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message news:KF6%[email protected]...
    >
    >>Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time now
    >>and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.
    >>
    >
     
  17. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
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    I love the security and adjustability of the Silca Presta Chuck.
    I use it as my Schrader to Presta adapter. I gave up on the Silca pump due it's guage and internal workings.
    I use a Zefal Husky floor pump with the Schrader head.
    To inflate I open the Presta nut, release some of the built-up back pressure on the valve, securely push the Silca head on the valve, clip the Zefal Hushky head on the exposed end of the Silca head, inflate to desired pressure, unclip the Zefal head from the Silca, and slide the Silca head from the valve.
    It may sound more complicated than it is in reality. I have very positive results with this method. I have replaced only one rubber Silca head "washer" in over 12 years of use.
     
  18. In article <KF6%[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Jeffrey W. Travis writes:
    >
    > >> I modified my pump head to have a pressure release so that it can be pulled off with no
    > >> pressure. This makes it a tiny bit easier on the rubber.
    >
    > > Jobst, could you provide more detail on this? I'm intrigued.
    >
    > > It seems like the hole in the new grommet must be the same size it has been since the days of
    > > smooth-sided valve stems. Nowadays valve stems are almost all threaded, and slightly fatter to
    > > boot, so the chuck and stem are locked in a death grip when the tire's inflated.
    >
    > Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time now
    > and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.

    Many tubulars used to have smooth stems, for one thing.

    > > I've lost track of how many tubes I've ruined trying to push the chuck off the valve stem when
    > > it's under pressure. I ream out the grommet with a tapered hand reamer, and that helps some, but
    > > it sounds like your solution would be preferable.
    >
    > What's this "push the chuck" action. These are easily pulled off with a small tug. That's what the
    > knurling around the body of the chuck is for. How can you ruin a valve stem that way?

    Not ruin the valve stem, but partially ripping it out from the tube. So the tube is ruined.

    The grip of the chuck on threaded valve stems is too tight to pull it off after the tube has been
    brought up to pressure. The only way I can get it off is to push really hard with both thumbs on the
    end of the bell. Do this enough times and eventually the valve stem partially tears out of the tube.

    > I get the impression we aren't talking about the same pump head and valve stems.

    We are. I can't think of a better way to describe it.

    Nonetheless, the motivation for my original post was to see if you would be willing to provide
    further details of your pump head modification for pressure release that you mentioned earlier.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  19. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Jeff Travis writes:

    >>>> I modified my pump head to have a pressure release so that it can be pulled off with no
    >>>> pressure. This makes it a tiny bit easier on the rubber.

    >>> Jobst, could you provide more detail on this? I'm intrigued.

    >>> It seems like the hole in the new grommet must be the same size it has been since the days of
    >>> smooth-sided valve stems. Nowadays valve stems are almost all threaded, and slightly fatter to
    >>> boot, so the chuck and stem are locked in a death grip when the tire's inflated.

    >> Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time
    >> now and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.

    > Many tubulars used to have smooth stems, for one thing.

    I rode tubulars for a long time, none which had glued in stems, and therefore, had threaded shafts,
    necessary to clamp a latex, light weight tube onto the stem (or the converse). Only slugs had smooth
    stems. As it happens, these stems can be used to fix a butyl tube whose stem separates. I always
    carry on in my patch kit.

    >>> I've lost track of how many tubes I've ruined trying to push the chuck off the valve stem when
    >>> it's under pressure. I ream out the grommet with a tapered hand reamer, and that helps some, but
    >>> it sounds like your solution would be preferable.

    >> What's this "push the chuck" action. These are easily pulled off with a small tug. That's what
    >> the knurling around the body of the chuck is for. How can you ruin a valve stem that way?

    > Not ruin the valve stem, but partially ripping it out from the tube. So the tube is ruined.

    As I said, there is something I don't see here. I've been pulling my Silca pump head off stems
    for many years now and have never had a failure. None of the riders who use my pump have had
    any problems.

    > The grip of the chuck on threaded valve stems is too tight to pull it off after the tube has been
    > brought up to pressure. The only way I can get it off is to push really hard with both thumbs on
    > the end of the bell. Do this enough times and eventually the valve stem partially tears out of
    > the tube.

    >> I get the impression we aren't talking about the same pump head and valve stems.

    > We are. I can't think of a better way to describe it.

    > Nonetheless, the motivation for my original post was to see if you would be willing to provide
    > further details of your pump head modification for pressure release that you mentioned earlier.

    Well there is a problem there. Silca used to have a pump head that was a bit larger in body so I
    bored a hole in the side and faced the inside to be flat instead of curved. By putting a brass push
    button with a half depth O-ring groove in its mushroom stem. I have a release button on the side of
    the chuck. The thing is designed to have a minimal stroke of about 1mm. The O-ring groove is almost
    at the end of the button stem.

    I'm sure I could come up with another way of doing this with the current Silca pump chuck. I have
    more than one pump and only my usual one has this feature.

    I did this to reduce wear on the grommet but it also eases removal so that the chuck comes off as
    easy as it goes on. If you have a gauge on your pump, be sure to free up the valve before putting
    the chuck on and pumping because otherwise the gauge will be ruined as pressure goes over 200psi at
    the stuck valve. I have a few such gauges lying around from dorks who used the pump.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected]
     
  20. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > "Tom Nakashima" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >>Michelin Aircomp UL 700-23 have smooth valve stems, the only tubes I use. The Silca Presta pump
    >>head does glide on easier.

    >><[email protected]> wrote in message news:KF6%[email protected]...
    >>>Huh? When did we have smooth valve stems? I've been using tubes with Presta valves a long time
    >>>now and only the oddest French tubes (that I avoided) had smooth stems.

    Carl Fogel wrote:
    > Here's the best picture that I could find of your smooth valve stems: http://www.xxcycle.com/cgi-
    > bin/shop.pl?SCREEN=detail&REF=2417 It looks as if the smooth valve stems are shown on the box,
    > too, but I found no internet pictures big enough to make it clear.
    -snip-
    > http://cycleus.webmichelin.com/tires/tubeaircomp.htm Even the Michelin site above doesn't mention
    > the smooth valve stems or why they're used. Is there any advantage, other than not tearing at
    > pump seals? The first review in the link below even complains about the unthreaded valve stems,
    > confirming your description: http://www.mtbreview.com/reviews/Tube/product_80181.shtml
    -snip-

    Here is a page of valves, including smooth Michelin presta valve stems. You can click through to a
    high resolution image to see detail. http://www.yellowjersey.org/nuvalve.html

    And since the valve rings are vestigal ( except maybe for mountain bikes with fat tires) I wouldn't
    ask "why smooth valves" so much as "why not".

    If you are experiencing valve threads "tearing at pump seals", loosen the cap. It needn't be
    that tight.
    --
    Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
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