I have the all too familiar problem of being unable to pump up my tyre :(

It's not a problem with the pump (because it works on the other wheel) so I guess there must be something wrong with the schrader valve. I've done all wiggly woggly poking efforts to get it to release air, tightening, untightening the pump head etc. to no avail (I just keep pressurising the pump instead of the tyre). However the valve doesn't "look" damaged (the pin is in place, straight, not obviously damaged).

Is there any other possible fix to this that I haven't tried? Some clever tip or trick? Or should I just give it up and buy a new inner tyre?

  • 5
    If you push the pin on the valve on the tire (with a small screwdriver or key), does air go out?
    – Batman
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 0:35
  • 2
    Got any practical jokers who might have squirted glue in your valve ? Could be excess sealant jambed up the core? A Core Removal tool might be helpful if you have one, but a new tube is relatively cheap, so replace it for the quick fix.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 4:40

5 Answers 5


Sounds like the valve has stuck shut, this can happen if the rubber seal at the base of the valve swells up. If the valve core is replaceable just get the appropriate valve tool and a replacement core, both are really cheap.

Otherwise its likely to require a replacement tube.


I had a Slime bike tube that leaked into the Schrader valve and really gummed up everything to where no air would release. After removing the valve, no air was escaping so a solid clog for sure in the valve or tube. I replaced the valve with a cheap kit from Wal-Mart ($2.96) and still no success until I attacked the problem by inflating and blowing the "clog" in the other direction and that worked allowing me to deflate the tube.

  • Could try with higher pressure I guess, see if it blows something in...
    – rogerdpack
    Commented Jan 22 at 17:40

It is very hard to remove an inflated tube, so you need to let the air out. Since the valve isn't working you need to do it another way

  • Puncture the inner tube with something sharp. Go through the tread not the sidewall. You might be surprised how hard this is to do. Use something small so to minimise the hole in your tyre.

  • Bolt cutters - snip the entire valve stem off close to the rim. This will deform the valve stem to squash it back to round before pulling through the rim. Also mind out for a loud PSSSHHT of air.

If the tube is flat already just lever the tyre off the rim like normal.

If the tyre is End Of Life, just cut the whole thing off with a sharp knife. Take care to not cut your rim or rimtape, and then lever the bead wires off like normal.


If you don't have a Schrader valve removal tool, you can use a pair of long nose pliers, a pair of tweezers, or a split pin to do the job.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to bicycles. This seems to be more of a comment on another answer than a complete answer to the question. Your answer should still make sense if the other answers are deleted.
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 9 at 9:09

I have the same problem with Schrader valves. I have replaced the core. The valve still will not let air out, and has a lot of resistance letting air in. The pin in the new Schrader valve is mobile when screwed into the valve stem. The actual air seal in the valve STEM must be stuck somehow. A bit of air did go in, but what an effort it was. Very very stiff. Now the tire is round, sausage shaped, not flat anymore. I've sprayed lubricant into the valve, put the core back three times, pumped the pin up and down, up and down... whatever is inside will not come loose. I know I can just get a new inner tube, but I'm still frustrated. The bicycle stood for 18 months till I found time to fix it.

  • 1
    Probably the tube contained "sealant". And you did further damage with the spray lube. Get a new tube. Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 11:27
  • New inner tubes cost only a couplefew pounds/euros/dollars. I don't understand why you'd put so much effort into a malfunctioning valve. Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 19:05
  • @DavidRicherby I'm the same - its a principle to not simply replace something when it can be repaired. Ideally the repair would be free and use things I already own, like saving the core from other tubes that got written off. This poster may have tubeless though, and a valve for tubeless seems to cost more than a tube with a valve ("progress" ?)
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 8:27
  • 1
    @caroline you have some useful points in here that do address OP's question, but they're a bit hidden. May I rewrite the answer to focus more on answering OP's question? Right now it is more of a "me too" reply. You can learn more about Stackexchange's format by reading the tour and bicycles.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer This might get deleted as "not an answer" as it stands and has already attracted some downvotes.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 8:29

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