It sounds foolish, but I have too often torn the valve loose from the inner tube by rotating the wheel so that the valve is pressed against a closed wheel lock. Wheel locks are common in the Netherlands and Germany, and I live just near the border. The rotation of the wheel is usually caused by pushing the bike while still locked, but also by gravity while removing the bike from the upper level of a double decker bike rack.
Are there any precautions I can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening? I would prefer solutions that work well with Presta valves at about 6 bar / 85 psi.
If you forget to check, the probability of locking between the spokes is 1/N, where N is number of spokes (~30), but the chance of pushing against the valve is more like 1/2N, as you probably stop as soon as you feel a resistance, which is roughly equally likely to be a spoke or the valve. The chance of ruining the tube is less again, as you may be lucky enough not to press hard enough; although that is hard to estimate, I know from experience that it is annoyingly high. Losing a tube every 600 (30×2×10) times you locked it would be bad enough.
The following occur to me:
Do not close the wheel lock between a spoke and the valve — but if you are absent-minded, as I am, (or in a hurry) you will still be at risk of doing it now and then.
Open the wheel lock before moving the bike — also a problem if you are absent-minded, and barely practical with the double decker rack.
Do not use wheel locks — but round here you encounter them a lot.
Somehow reinforce or pad the area round the valve — sounds implausible to me.
Who can suggest more or identify the best?
(Somewhat) related questions
- Bicycle's inner-tube got puncture right next to the valve, How to patch it there? — But I want to avoid the puncture.
- How To Prevent Holes Around The Inner-tube Valve? — But that is about punctures caused by the hole in the rim – the answers might reduce the vulnerability, but do not consider extra force from the lock.
- Presta Valve Keeps Ripping From Tube — This is about how valves can tear rather than avoiding this particular cause, which could just possibly be their problem, though the most popular answer (as I write) covers more likely reasons.