You Can Have YourTube!

Defective tube

Defective tube

There’s never a more frustrating flat than that caused by a defective tube. Look at the above photo. See the small break near the base of the valve. That’s not caused by the tube being improperly seated. It’s not because you put the tube in wrong. It’s not because the rim valve hole is rough.

It’s a defective tube. I’ve seen a fair number of them, not restricted to any one brand. These flats can be hard to find because they start with a small break, but quickly deteriorate until the tube loses air quickly. If it happens with a new tube, you can be sure it’s a defect.

What do you do? Complain? I’ve contacted the distributor and both times I received free tubes. I’m not recommending you do this all the time. My reason for contacting the distributor is not so I can get my money’s worth, but to let them know there’s a problem.

I never saw flats like this until about five years ago. Now I see them occasionally. Molding a brass stem into a butyl tube is a complex thermal and contamination problem. I suspect it’s a flawed process. Who knows?

Just be aware of it and always carry a spare tube, or two.

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