// //

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - Welcome, guest user!

A simple tip for rattle-free riding!

Friday, October 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

October
31
2014

As most of you know, I am very meticulous about bike maintenance. My attention to detail in this area ensure that my bikes run as smoothly, safely, reliably and quietly as possible.

Bike noise is extremely distracting, and it will detract from the enjoyment of your ride and those stuck riding with you. No one wants to hear your bike clicking/popping/creaking with every pedal stroke for 4+ hours.

Believe me, I know how tricky bike noises can be to track down, but it’s important to locate and and correct these problems: that noise could very well be alerting you to a potential safety issue. Do not ignore it.

This article focuses on eliminating a common benign, yet highly annoying, noise: valve stem rattle.

One day a few months ago I was on my usual Saturday morning club ride. My bike was purring like a kitten, and running beautifully. At one point in the ride we turned onto a very rough chip seal road, which–not unexpectedly–produced some rattling. Because the road was so rough, I didn’t think anything of the rattle, and simply tuned the noise out…

I was riding next to my buddy Paul Lewis on that rough road, and at one point Paul said, “That rattling is coming from your valve stems hitting the rims. You can silence that with a little electrical tape.”

Wow. So simple and so obvious, and yet it had never occurred to me to do that. As someone who hates bike noise, this little tip that Paul causally threw out to me was solid gold–and it really works! Now even on the roughest roads my bike is as quiet as a church mouse.

Here’s how to do it in three easy steps.

Step 1: Mark the valve stem where it emerges from the wheel.

Step 1: Mark the valve stem where it emerges from the wheel.

Step 1: Mark the valve stem where it emerges from the wheel.

 

Step 2: Deflate the tube and remove the valve stem from the wheel; wrap a small amount (2 turns) of black electrical tape around the valve stem centered over the mark you made in Step 1.

Step 2: Deflate the tube and remove the valve stem from the wheel; wrap a small amount (2 turns) of black electrical tape around the valve stem centered over the mark you made in Step 1.

Step 2: Deflate the tube and remove the valve stem from the wheel; wrap a small amount (2 turns) of black electrical tape around the valve stem centered over the mark you made in Step 1.

 

Step 3: Carefully push the valve stem through the stem hole in the rim (it will be a tight fit), air up the tube and enjoy rattle-free riding!

Step 3: Carefully push the valve stem through the stem hole in the rim (it will be a tight fit), air up the tube and enjoy rattle-free riding!

Step 3: Carefully push the valve stem through the stem hole in the rim (it will be a tight fit), air up the tube and enjoy rattle-free riding!

 

Enjoy, and thanks again for the great tip, Paul!

John Stone Fitness Comments

7 Responses to “A simple tip for rattle-free riding!”
  1. That’s too funny that you wrote chose this topic for today’s blog. I’ve been trying different things the last few weeks to eliminate this problem, and just last night took out my tubes and put electrical tape on them to quite the problem once and for all. The key is definitely not using too much tape or you won’t be able to push the valve back through without ripping up the tape. A couple of companies are just now starting to come out with rubber housings at the point the valve stem comes out, but it is still very limited in application among wheel makers. I’m sure in the next couple of years it will be standard, and we will no longer have to use electrical tape on $3,000 wheelsets!!!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • No kidding! It does seem silly that we have to resort to kludgy measures on high-end equipment.

      Thomas Deaner, the head wrench over at Brick City Bicycles in Ocala, replied to my article on Facebook with his approach–another great solution:

      “We use the clear frame protectors, I use a small screwdriver to punch a hole that is smaller than the valve stem from the back side. With the tire on and inflated just force the protector over the stem and stick it to the rim.”

      I think I saw somewhere that Zipp sells branded stickers for this purpose, too.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  2. Thanks for the mention in your Famous Blog. I feel honored…I am an admitted bike freak and keep my machines clean and tuned….And Always photo ready! I would say on par with a John Stone bike…..Don’t be that guy/girl who’s road bike looks like you just went MTB riding. Great article.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...

You must be logged in to post a comment. Not yet a member? Registration is fast and free!