I replaced my very first tube ever after my tire went flat yesterday. I successfully installing a new tube, inflated it, and left it overnight.

This evening the tire was still fully inflated, but after a little riding the tire rapidly deflated again. The new tube has a large tear right at the valve (and after inspecting the old tube, that is also where the tear is.

Inspecting the wheel shows this is what the valve hole looks like:


Was this the cause of the puncture, and would replacing the rim tape resolve this issue? Or is that normally how it looks?

The issue is I don't have a reference of what this part of the rim tape should look like.

  • 1
    That looks pretty normal for rim tape. Check the metal around the hole to be sure it's smooth, with no jagged edges. Then use more care when installing the tube. If it's tearing near the valve then it's not correctly installed or the tire is being run seriously underinflated. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 0:26
  • Hi Daniel. Not jagged at all, its entirely possible it was just installed improperly (it was my first day). Unfortunately I am all out of tubes today to try again.
    – Resorath
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 0:38
  • See bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/8939/… Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 0:41

3 Answers 3


One way to get tears around the valve stem is by not supporting the pump head and stem while you're pumping up the tire with a frame pump (the kind where you are pushing on the stem as you pump up the tire, like in the photo below).

Notice the way the person's left hand is holding the pump and the rim. The idea is to stabilize the head of the pump so that no stress is placed on the valve stem.

Pumping up a tire with a frame pump


Be careful when removing the pump hose from the stem. I've had the hose pull too hard on the stem and it caused a leak- the stem partially ripped out of the tube. Be sure to hold onto the stem, anchor it, when pulling the pump hose off.


Rim strips are not expensive, so if you have doubts, get a fresh rim strip. What they call "rim tape" in this "how to install a rim strip" video is actually what most refer to as a rim strip; rim tape is different.

In any case, since you've had two tubes fail in the same location, I'd suggest that you not see if a third one will do the same.

Regarding a pump for use out on the road, I'd recommend something with a hose, like a Lezyne or a Topeak Road Morph.

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