How to stop Tubular Valve extentions from leaking

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It amazes me how many people will trust some stranger to glue their tubulars on for them.   It’s not that hard once you get your technique down – you should try it.  Given how important of a job this is, there’s a lot of trust you’re putting into whoever is doing this for you.  Maybe I’m overly cautious, but I want to know 100% that it’s done right and enough glue has been used.  If you’ve never seen someone roll a tubular at 50k/hr, you should try to imagine it.   There’s lots of articles out there on how to glue on tubulars so I won’t go through it now (maybe in the future).

One tip that most people won’t tell you about tubular installation is about the valve extenders.   When you put a metal valve extender onto a metal presta valve it won’t be an airtight seal.  This means that when you pump it up, you’ll sometimes have to pump like mad to put more air in than is leaking out of the valve extender.  The way to fix this is by wrapping a small piece of plumbers tape around the presta valve threads before screwing the extender on (before gluing the tire onto the rim).  This will seal the air leak and make for easy pumping.  Also make sure that the presta valve is screwed all the way out and tightened so that it doesn’t slowly screw back in while it’s inside the valve extender.   If this happens, you’ll have no choice but to take the tire off.

On a related topic, see this tip on stretching your tubulars.

Now, I’m going out for a ride to enjoy the new Zipp 404’s tubulars that I just bought!