Tubes Inner tube rotating on rim?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by BigPotato, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. BigPotato

    BigPotato New Member

    I've noticed that after 10 or 20 miles the valve stem will start to point at a angle, indicating that the inner tube valve stem is no longer centered on the valve stem hole in the rim. It would appear that the inner tube is rotating in the same plane as the wheel rotation. I've taken the tire off several times and realigned the inner tube, but after a few rides the stem is at an angle again. Although the problem is most pronounced on my front wheel I can see a similar effect on the rear as well. If I just leave it the angle gets more and more pronounced and I'm afraid there is undue stress on the stem and tube.

    Both front and rear are Serfas Drifter Survivor 26x2" tires, with Mr. Tuffy liners and thorn resistant tubes, inflated to 40 psi.

    Anyone have any idea what could be causing this and any possible solutions?


  2. fetor56

    fetor56 Guest

    Unusual problem & if left unchecked would cause even bigger problems....something sounds wrong with your rims(please post pics)
    I'm assuming u have rim-tape between the rim & tyre?
  3. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    The tape over the spoke ends is the only thing missing from your description.

    It's a puzzler, that's for sure.

    5 layers of electric tape does 3 things. Reinforces the rubber gasket, prevents that gasket from movement, AND when you poke a screwdriver through at the valve hole, insert the valve, that tape also makes a cushion between the valve and the metal opening.
  4. will_start

    will_start Member

    your problem sounds interesting,
    i would call/call into a bike shop and ask.
    wait or search long enough:whistling:, u may/prolly will get the answer here,
    but a bike shop can explain solutions
    in person.

    I have had some good advice/diagnosis with my bike
    at bike shops.:gossip:
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  5. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    It must have to do with the speeds we maintain, doing things to wheels, tires and tubes that they aren't intended to do.

    But it should be an apples versus apples equation, B P is using the same tire/tube as me, but mine stays stable.

    The only other things I consistently do are
    1. ) use 12 gauge alloy wheel on back and
    2. ) zip tie all my spokes on both wheels, which reduces loosening and breakage.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    former bike shop owner
    let's see -- either tire is sliping causing tube to follow
    but -- thinking it's the tube
    usually this happens because of low pressure in tires
    can you raise pressure 5 lbs ??

    or you can put in some small ridge ways under spoke protector strip
    the tuble will not -- should not slip over a very small high spot

  7. dan48cc

    dan48cc New Member

    i run my tyres at 35psi as i had the same problem. i found that any lower and they rotate (due to under inflation) and any higher they do the same. i have no idea why. also when your pulling the tube yr combo on and off the rim are you using a lubricant or tools. i always remove my just by hand. using a lubricant would cause the whole tyre and tube to move. which sounds like it i the problem. and using the wrong tools can stretch the tyre's beading causeing it to not properly seat and do the same thing... hope it helps ya out.PS.. i have a different tyre and tube setup to you
  8. BigPotato

    BigPotato New Member

    Thanks for all the responses. Here's some more info:

    1) The front rim is an old, fairly heavy Giant MB rim. The rear is a brand new Velocity rim with heavy gauge spokes from GEBE. Both rims appear to be true and undamaged.

    2) On the most problematic wheel (the front), I have plastic rim tape (came with the wheel) and a couple of layers of electrical tape over that.

    3) I usually drive at around 25 mph, but can hit much higher speeds down hills.

    4) There are lots of speed bumps on my commute, which I hit at full speed.

    5) No suspension on bike.

    6) I'm heavy: 250 lbs

    7) I haven't needed to use any lubricant when installing/removing the tube and tire, and I only use plastic tire irons to avoid damage.

    From everyone's responses, it looks like I need to increase the friction between the tube and the tire/rim. Both the liner and the electrical tape are smooth and quite slippery, so I suspect that they have conspired to lower the friction below a critical point.

    As an experiment I'm going to remove the liner and see what happens. While not a permanent solution, it will at least give some more data.

    Thanks again everyone.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  9. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Fronts usually aren't the flat-prone tires, what I usually do on my builds is $10 thick thorn proof on back and $7 slimer on front. I slow down for speed bumps, if I can't manuver around them.

    But its the back that is getting all the stress, so I make sure I put a tire liner back there.

    However, somebody recommended a used motorcycle tube as a liner, and that is a "look out for" item for me I might experiment with.

    Yeah, pull the liner out of the front, and get as exact on pressure as you can, then keep the fingers crossed.

    Post results here later, so we all will know the answer.

    Thanks !
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    putting my money right there

    putting my money right there

    electrical tape is very slippery

    plus also still falling back on the -- low pressure

    ride that thing
  11. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Someone asked about this on a mountain bike mechanic's forum I'm a member of. Here was one mechanic's reply:

  12. BigPotato

    BigPotato New Member


    Preliminary results after about 25 miles or riding seem to show that the problem is solved, or at least significantly reduced.

    Contrary to troubleshooting best practices, I decided to make two changes at the same time. I removed the electrical tape around both rims and also bumped the pressure up to 50 psi. I figure that the existing single layer of good standard rim tape will be sufficient for puncture resistance, though time will tell on this one. Bumping up the pressure has had the effect of improving my speed without affecting comfort too adversely.

    I'll give it a few more rides before I make a final conclusion, but so far so good.

    Thanks for all the help on this.
  13. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    Glad you reported back on this....

    So I'm going to look for an elec. tape substitute, maybe I can find industrial sized medical/hospital tape, which would have a texture to it.

    Anything that makes them better is a good thing.
  14. BigPotato

    BigPotato New Member

    Spoke too soon

    Looks like I'm still experiencing the problem, but I think I have a clue about what is going on. This weekend I didn't drive far, 10 miles or so, but the problem resurfaced even with no electrical tape and the higher pressure. One thing that is different is that the driving involved several steep downhill sections with very heavy braking. The slip of the inner tube is always in the same direction and could be explained if the tire and tube were slipping on the rim under braking. I rarely use my rear brakes so that could also explain why the problem is primarily on the front.

    I might try and mark the rim and tire in order to prove that it is the tire slipping on the rim.
  15. Victor Vance

    Victor Vance Member

    I have the same problem with my 26"x2" tyres, its getting annoying as my bike is ued to it limits and i dont want a un expected puncture at the speeds i do.
  16. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Big P
    haven't known or seen anyone with the tire and tube slipping like yours !!
    it's a different world that we live in today
    maybe something about how those THINGS are made ??

    do you want to stop slippage once and for all ??

    after your tires are ((re-mounted))
    or everything nice and straight
    put a little quality 3-M caulking on just a few places securing wheel to rim
    it will be no problem when you wish to remove

    a couple of pieces of covered popsicle stick attached to inside of rim also
    keeps tube from sliding
    if you want more information how this works PM me

  17. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    With a Staton friction drive, my old Wally-World cruiser had the plastic rim 'tape' (it was really an elastic band) and I would see this shifting of tire/tube regularly. And, I had the devil of a time keeping air int he tires.

    On the new bike, I put cloth rim tape on the rim, instead of plastic. I figure that it has enough texture to help keep the tube from shifting... And, it seems to be helping. I haven't noticed any tire/tube shifting, and the tires are holding air much better. I can go 2-3 weeks without needing to add air now.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  18. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I just got back from a 20 mile test on a new bike...used calipers to check my new rim-taping idea, and can report ZERO movement of the stem.

    I'm not giving up the 5 layers of electric over the rubber gasket, I've taken off enough tires to see that part works.

    But I went to the Dollar Store and bought white medical tape (the kind to hold gauze) and put ONE layer over the electric (starting and stopping at the hole so I wouldn't have to poke a hole through it).

    That textured medical tape may do the trick, as opposed to buying that expensive rim tape from the bike shop.
  19. BigPotato

    BigPotato New Member

    I've got a spare roll of the thick (and expensive) Velox fabric rim tape, I'll try that on my front wheel and report back with my findings. Right now I'm having to deflate the tire and realign it every few days. It takes just a few minutes, but it's annoying enough to spur me on to find a solution.
  20. I'm having the same problem. I first started having the problem when I got a pair of Continental Town and Country 1.9" tires. I also use the Velocity rims from GEBE. When I was using a Sun rim on the back wheel, I had no problems, but when I went to the Velocity, slippage started occurring on the back as well. I haven't been able to find any rim locks that are small enough for a bicycle rim, so I'll try a little sand paper to "rough" up the contact points along the rim, (between the tire bead and the rim), and maintain max tire pressure. It's a pain...that much I do know! Sure wish I could find some bicycle rim locks.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2011