Today I’ll share my thoughts on a recent experience of mine.
As I shared in a prior post, I’ve been running tubeless tires for about 5 years. In that time, I’ve had very few problems. Recently I bought a new mountain bike which came set up with a tubeless tire system. Part of that system were some new, light weight aluminum valve stems. These are great for light weight, but not so much for durability.
In a two week period (within the first month of ownership) I ended breaking both valve stems, one week apart, which nearly ended my rides before I started. I couldn’t even blame it on a rock along the trail; the stems both cracked and broke when I was pulling the head of my tire pump off the stem. I wasn’t even pulling very hard, just a normal tug and both stems cracked.
Luckily for me, I had two spare valve stems on hand, both made of brass. I was able to break the bead on the tire, push out the broken stems, and press into place the new brass stems, and be up and running within five minutes. And since swapping in the brass stems I’ve had no troubles. The brass is much more durable.
You may have better luck than me with aluminum valve stems, but based on my experience with them, I’ll be sticking with the brass. The few grams lost in weight aren’t worth the reduced durability.
Stick with the brass.