Out of the many differences between a road bike and a mountain bike, one of the more prominent ones is the valve on each kind of bike. Mountain bikes usually have standard care valves, also known as Schrader valves. Road bikes, on the other hand, have Presta core valves. In fact, most modern bikes of all sorts have Presta valves. This is why bicyclists are looking to familiarize themselves with this newer, narrower, and more favored valve. Let’s start with learning how to remove the Presta valve core.
First of all, how would you know your Presta valve core is removable? On closer inspection, you might notice a wide threaded area that’s attached to the lock ring and a narrower area where there’s the valve lock nut (this is where the cap threads too).
If the Presta valve core on your bike has two flat edges – it’s removable. The flat sides are indicative that a tool can get onto it.
How to Remove Presta Valve Core
While you might still find a Schrader valve here and there, Presta valves have quickly replaced them on many modern bikes including mountain bikes.
Why? Presta valves are narrower and thus require narrower holes in their rims. This is of particular importance because the valve hole is actually the weakest part of the rim.
Removing Presta valve core has been made easy particularly with the use of their official tool. However, not many people have the tool handy in case they need to remove the valve core.
Presta valves come in a variety of lengths for an equal variety in lengths of tubes. For deep rims, you would have to buy tubes that have valves long enough. A short valve on a tube is as good as nothing if your rims are deep.
For example, you don’t necessarily plan on removing a valve attached to the tube of your bike. Let’s say the rim snapped right off the valve while you were filling your tires. What now?
You could get a brand new valve remover that would only work on Presta valves and rarely (if ever) use them, you could alternatively just buy another tube, or you could make do with what you have for Presta core removal.
We’ll be talking about two ways on how to remove the Presta valve core – with tools and without.
How to Remove Presta Valve Core without Tool
For Presta valve removal, it’s important to understand that there’s a trademarked tool designated specifically for Presta valve removals. However, not everyone has easy access to the tool which is why alternative methods are necessary.
Let’s say you’re using sealant on your bike and need to remove the valve, but don’t have the official Presta valve removal tool – what now? You use a cheap spoke wrench instead!
Bicycle spoke wrenches are essentially ‘wheels’ with varying dimensions or slots that attach to different screws and nuts. While not necessarily intended to be used for Presta valve core removal, they make for an easy and efficient solution.
- Go over the various slots and find the one that fits best around the Presta valve. Usually, this is the 11 slot.
- Unthread the valve by moving the spoke wheel in a counter-clockwise manner.
- The valve core pops right off.
- You can just as easily attach the core back on by moving the spoke clockwise into place.
How to Remove Presta Valve Core with Tool
To learn how to remove a Presta valve core, the easiest thing to do would be to get the presta valve official removal tool.
This tool either comes as a set when you first buy your bike, or you would have to order one separately. To recall, the Presta valve core is attached to the tube of the bike that allows air to pump into and out of the bicycle’s tires easily.
While it isn’t uncommon for bicyclists to make do with whatever they have when removing the Presta valve, an official tool designated and designed for this particular purpose has its obvious benefits.
- The best thing to do before removing a Presta valve core is to air out the tires. Your tires would have deflated on their own if you removed the valve, but cycling enthusiasts and experts would recommend that you deflate it in step one.
- Rotate the valve core counter-clockwise to deflate the tire.
- Twist the valve core clockwise after the air has deflated to tighten it back.
- Detach the round lock nut under the Presta valve core. However, if you’re bicycle doesn’t have a round lock nut then you don’t need to detach anything just yet.
- Attach the Presta valve removing tool onto the valve core. Make sure the tool fits with the valve core easily.
- Twist the valve core and voila!
More on Presta Valves
Presta valves are becoming more and more popular with bicycling enthusiasts wanting to learn more and more about them.
One of the first questions that they might ask is, ‘How to remove a Presta valve core?’ This is because the Schrader valves used in mountain bikes and several other off-road bikes were made to be easily removable – a Presta valve is not.
Nevertheless, learning how to remove the valve core from the bike tire is something every cyclist should know. Presta valves aren’t made to be removed, but they just as easily can be. Your only other option would have been to buy a new tube if it didn’t.
A Presta valve holds several advantages over other valves:
You’ll notice every bike these days having a Presta valve – narrow, strong, and durable bike valves that attach onto the tube and make inflating or deflating tires easier.
Other kinds of valves found on bikes tend to be easily and readily removable, while Presta valves are not. However, the need to remove one might arise in which case cyclists should know what to do.
There are two ways to go about it, either with a spoke wheel or a Presta valve official removing tool. In either case, learning how to remove the Presta valve core is incredibly easy!