I can't pump my bike tire because the valve of the inner tube has been pushed inside, where its not visible anymore. Is there a possible way for me to fix this or should I buy a new inner tube?enter image description here

  • Are you sure your inner tube wasn’t stolen: bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/36433/11160
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 1:47
  • So the shaft of the core has dropped inward - is it a removable core? That could give you more space to get the shaft out.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 2:43
  • That appears to be a Presta where the thumbscrew has been removed from the inner shaft. If you can manage to somehow press/shake the inner shaft back out and then install a replacement thumbscrew then you might rescue the valve/tube. But if the inner shaft is broken off or you can't get it to peek out, for whatever reason, the tube is toast. Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 4:27

3 Answers 3


Thanks for the photo! This makes it clearer that your valve body didn’t fall into the wheel rim, rather your presta valve internal valve shaft either fell off or fell into the tube body.

Presta valve with labels for both parts

Unlike the photo above, it looks like you have a one piece valve so the core isn’t normally removable (you can’t unscrew the part of the valve pictured above with the words unscrew here) — but if you were to unscrew the thumbscrew too far the inner valve shaft itself could fall into the inside of the tube.

You’ll need a new thumbscrew at minimum but it might be very hard to get the thin internal valve shaft back up into the valve body properly. Unlike a tube with a replaceable core, I don’t think you can replace the core if you can’t rethread the valve shaft from inside.

In many ways, it’ll be easier to just replace the whole inner. They are cheap for a reason.

  • 1
    Your diagram is deceiving. There are 4 separate pieces visible in the picture: The main stem (gold), the removable valve seat (silver), the thumbscrew (silver), and the valve shaft (gold). The valve pictured by the OP does not have a removable seat, but rather the main stem and seat are formed together as a single piece. Missing in the OP's image are the thumbscrew and the valve shaft. Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 20:24
  • Yes. I’ve been scouring the net for a better photo. And trying to come up with better terminology for what’s going on.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 20:25
  • 1
    Yep - I called the little push pin a "shaft" above which seems to fit.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 20:29
  • Thanks. I changed the answer to use the term “valve shaft” which I like.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 20:31

If it’s simply that your inner tube valve pushed in, then you most likely don’t need a new tube. You can just partially pull back the tire where the valve opening is and stick the valve back through. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to do this without peeling the tube back. It just takes some massaging - it helps if you have experience being a midwife or animal husbandry.

That said, it’s always good to have a spare tube. When the valve gets sucked in like that, it often gets crimped at the valve base and leaks and that can’t get patched easily. Inner tubes are cheap so it’s good to always have a backup.

Especially with presta valves, it’s good to use the locknut provided. Don’t tighten it too much (especially when the tire is inflated) or it’ll be very hard to take off with bare hands when you get a flat. But that locknut is designed to prevent the valve falling into the rim well.


If this ever occurs, make sure to remove the inner tube out of the tire and wheel. Next, locate the inner shale valve (long copper screw) by touching the inner tube and feeling where it is. After, reinsert it into the main body. Finally, it may be difficult at first to locate and attempt to insert it however if I can do it so can you! Don’t waste your money on buying a new inner tube. This issue can be fix within minutes. Thank you!

  • 2
    Unfortunately, the valve in the photo is broken. Something will have to be replaced, whether that's the entire inner tube or just the valve core.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 5:43
  • @MaplePanda agreed - the acorn nut seems to have snapped of or unthreadded, dropping the central stem of the valve into the tube. If OP got the stem back into the valve, its still got nothing left to hold the stem in place other than air pressure. Non-removable core as per picture - so that one is now good for garden ties and rubber bands.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 11:10

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