Threaded Vs Non-threaded Tubes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Methodical, May 25, 2015.

  1. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    What is the benefit or non benefit of threaded vs non-threaded tubes?

    I just had my 1st flat on my rode bike (been 3 years - lucky, but that will probably change now) and fortunately I had a tube with the valve extender on it that I think came with the wheels (52mm wheels). I thought about buying more extenders for tubes I purchased before I got the 52mm wheels, but found that the extenders cost the same or more than 80mm tubes, plus I found a limitation that I don't really care for; I can't let the air out of the tube without having to remove the extender, so I turned my attention to just buying a few 80mm valve tubes instead. Now, as I have been searching for a quality tube, I found that there are threaded and non-threaded tubes (didn't know about the non-threaded tubes). Again, I ask what is the benefit or non benefit of threaded vs non-threaded tubes?

    Just an FYI. I removed the nut from the threaded tubes (Bontrager) because they always seem to come loose and I was told that the screw could actually pull on the tube and maybe cause a tear at the stem. I never noticed any rattling though.

    I'd appreciate any input?

    Thanks...Al
     
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  2. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    Tubes come from very few sources and are basically all the same. Threads or non-threaded really makes no difference to me. I'd honesly prefer to have them non-threaded but I'll take whatever the shop has on hand.

    It's funny, I've got 4 bikes that I've made sure that every single part on the bike was exactly what I wanted on the bike, but never have I ever gave a seconds thought about what tube I was using.

    Those rings on threaded stems are a waste. Only time you should use them is if you have a tubeless MTB tire and your holding the valve stem in place. Otherwise toss them.
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    The stem can SOMETIMES disappear into the rim/tire as you try to fit the pump head for inflation.
    Short stem, high profile rim, wide tires can make this a possibility.
    It's usually more of a nuisance than an actual problem, but a threaded stem and a stem nut will prevent it from happening.

    That " screw could actually pull on the tube and maybe cause a tear at the stem." is a so-so thing.
    The mechanics of it is that the rubber closest to the base of the stem is reinforced, tapered from maybe 4 mm thick down to the average tube thickness.
    If the reinforced area is wider than the internal width of the rim, then screwing the stem nut down hard will indeed pull and bend at the joint between stem and tube.
    But you need to consider that, on a road bike, you have a fair amount of air pressure trying to push the reinforced patch into the rim anyhow.
    On short(-ish) threaded stems I prefer to use the stem nut for ease of inflation.
    Long stems, a thumb applying pressure from outside the tire will sort it out.
    Also, I often run Presta valves in Schr├Ąder drilled rims, so w/o the nut there's a impractically wide gap where stuff can make its way into the rim unless there's either a stem nut or a valve adapter to block it off.
    But I won't crank down crazy hard.
    I do it up finger tight and inflate.
    Usually, at riding pressure, I can put a few turns more onto the stem nut at nothing more than token resistance.
    Meaning the initial tightening had no influence at all on stem/tube joint integrity.
    IMO, the most common cause of valve stem tears are tire sliding/squirming on rim due to low tire pressure.
     
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  4. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Threaded stems wear out the rubber washer quicker, but the pump nozzle pretty much never pops off when pumping up the tyre.

    Vice versa for threadless: the rubber washers last a lot longer, but the floor pump nozzle often pops off, so it often has to be hooked on with some sort of clip. This ain't a problem with hand-held pumps
     
  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    What 531Aussie said.

    Chuck seals last much longer with smooth Presta stems. I tighten up the grip pressure knurled nut on the Silca floor pump if I'm running through a batch of smooth stems for the season to prevent blow off.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Then there is semi threaded where it's smooth initially then threaded.. I like the semi threaded because most of my mini pumps thread on anyways. And therein lies a clue, if you have a mini pump with a thread on head (connected to a hose) you'll need the threaded valve tube or semi threaded tube; if you have a press on head you'll want a smooth or semi threaded valve tube. I think I see a pattern here that a semi threaded valve will work with both types of pumps. Most good mini pump manufacturers offer replacement gaskets for about a buck or two, but even a press on head pump being used on a threaded valve the gasket will last 5 to 10 years
     
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  7. Methodical

    Methodical Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I was just curious as I never paid any attention to the different types of tubes. I was going to buy the Continental tubes from Amazon, but decided to support the LBS where I purchase my ride as they have always given great service to me. I just got the Bontrager 80mm tubes - threaded. I figured the Bonts survive this long that they must be ok. Plus, they were cheaper than just one extender.
     
    steve likes this.
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