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I had a flat tire and replaced the tube. I just didn't realize that the tube was a thorn-proof tube when I bought it. It was the only spare one I had, so I used it anyway. Just now I replaced it with a regular tube. I figure I can keep this thorn proof one around just in case I get another flat.

The problem is, I can't get all the air out of the thorn proof tube to store it in the closet. It's schrader valve. I push the pin in and air comes out, but there is still a lot in there. I'm trying to fold it up like a tube of toothpaste while pushing the pin, and it's not working so well. I could cut it and patch it, but then I may as well throw it out and buy a new tube. Is there maybe some way to get my bike pump to work in reverse or otherwise completely deflate this thing?

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I've seen anti-flat motorcycle tubes with double air chamber, so that when the outer chamber got flat, the inner one would keep some air to keep it rolling. Would this tube be that type? – heltonbiker Jun 16 '12 at 15:21
up vote 4 down vote accepted

According to Yehuda Moon (google it), you can take a properly-sized ball bearing (or even a pebble) and put it inside the valve cap, then screw the cap halfway so that the ball/pebble will keep the valve open.

Then, you roll the tube like toothpaste, and when you finish you remove the cap and the pebble to avoid the natural elasticity of the tube to suck back some air.

Hope this helps

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omg genius way to hold the pin down! I used a pebble from the sidewalk that was just the right size. – Apreche Jun 21 '12 at 2:13

Yes, if you have a Schraeder valve then the core can be easily removed with a simple tool (available for a couple of dollars at any car parts place and some bike shops).

If it's a Presta, OTOH, the core is not usually removable, but it's quite easy to keep the pin depressed.

To get the air out of the tube, first fold it in half with the valve near (but not at) one folded end. Then roll up the tube from the other end, possibly making use of a piece of pipe or such to roll it around. Or use a can of soup or such as a "steamroller" to press out the air.

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Actually, presta valves with removable cores are becoming more and more common.… – jimirings Jun 16 '12 at 14:13
Usually it works nice to roll it around the non-valve folded end in case there isn't any rolling device around, too. – heltonbiker Jun 16 '12 at 16:14

Wedge the pointy end of the cap a Bic pen (the part that is intended to clip to your shirt pocket) into the valve when you try to roll it up. That'll wedge it open. Just pull the pen cap out when you've got it rolled up nice and neat and you'll be set.

EDIT: I originally mistyped my answer to say that you should wedge the pointy end of a pen into the valve. It's the pointy end of the cap that you want to wedge into it. Sorry about that.

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Vacuum cleaner with an adapter down to Schrader size? Pumps usually have valves to avoid pulling in air. You do not need a hard vacuum, just a minor one.

A little gross, but if you do not mind, you could use the vacuum device god gave you. Use a valve tool, remove the valve stem, and then just suck the air out? Probably taste icky, but I would not imagine it would be dangerous. (Taste of the air, vs anything else).

A valve stem tool can be faked with a pair of narrow tweezers. The valve stem itself has the pin in the center of a rectangular piece. You just grasp two sides and twist to unscrew. Here is one on Amazon for $0.39! (Haha! And $7 in shipping! Talk about adding insult to injury...)

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With a schrader valve, you can buy a "valve stem remover" at most auto parts houses or big box stores auto department. They're inexpensive. It just slips right over the valve stem with the two "forked" prongs slipping in the recessed area of the stem to unscrew the valve stem. These are also handy to make sure the valve stem is snugged up on a schrader valve afte you've inflated the tire. If you remove the valve stem, this would make it easy to roll or fold the tube to remove all possible air. These valve stem removers used to be threaded on their large end, not sure if they are now days, but you could thread the tool onto the proper sized bolt ( thread size and desired length of bolt ), to make it easier to use.

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