Presta Valve Bike Pump
Table of Contents
What Is A Presta Valve Bike Pump?
This is a type of positive-displacement air pump whose small and lightweight design is specifically designed for inflating bike tires. Its functioning entails connection an adapter or the pump valve with the valve used on a bicycle’s tires to allow pumping of air into the tube.
The most common bike pump uses a hand-operated piston which draws air into the piston cylinder from the outside during the upstroke and displaces the same volume of air into the bicycle tire during the down-stroke. The modern bike pumps have an air pressure gauge which guides the user by indicating the initial pressure and tracking the level during inflation.
The basic operation of a bicycle pump is to compress air; the air that is drawn into the cylinder during an upstroke is then pushed into the bike tyre in the down-stroke through a valve which is designed to open under the force of air pressure. During an upstroke, this tyre valve is designed to shut automatically to prevent leaks.
The bike pumps valve is disconnected from the tire without any air loss and a presta valve cap is replaced on the valve to avoid any leaks.
Presta vs Schrader Valve Pump
You need to differentiate between the most common bike valves in the market:
What is a Presta Valve?
This is the most common valve type on inner tubes and tubulars you will find on road bikes. It is slimmer and lighter and has a lock nut on top of the valve. The innovative designed eliminates chances of any leak even without the Presta valve caps unless the valve it is pressed down.
In case a biker forgets to re-screw or the cap falls off, there won’t be any air leak.
How to Inflate a Tire with Presta Valve Pump
Presta valves are common on high end and road bikes. They are narrower and while this protects the strength of your bike’s rims, you will also find it harder to use these valves. To inflate a tire with a Presta valve follow these steps:
1. Find the valve and remove the cap if any.
2. Check the valve’s condition. Hold it down and see if it releases a short hiss of air a sign that it is not stuck.
3. Unlock the acorn nut and place it safely.
4. Connect the pump head either by pressing or screwing it on.
5. For higher efficiency, fully close and open your bike pump with each stroke. For floor pumps, use your arms and body to push the last volume of air into the tires.
6. Once you have reached the desired air pressure, carefully disconnect the hose from the valve and quickly close the nut and replace the valve cap.
What Is A Presta Valve Adapter?
A flat tyre emergency grounds you and leaves you feeling helpless especially when you don’t have a portable bike pump with you. However, things can get more complicated if you have an inflater that is not compatible with your Presta valve tubes. These tubes are the most common on road bikes but you will still find some pumps that only work perfectly with Schrader valves.
There might be advantages of using such a pump especially if the pump is also easy to use with your car tires and older bikes. However, you will find your pump useless in case of a road bike but luckily; you can now use a Presta valve adaptor to solve the problem. This easy looking attachment comes in handy when you have an emergency and the only available pump is not compatible with your Presta valves. This saves you the cost of buying another inflater which is an expensive option. In case you have an emergency, you can now fill up your hoops at the local gas station if there is no hand pump available as long as you have this attachment.
This adapter is a cheap yet very handy tool for every biker. The adapters available in the market come in a bunch of shapes and sizes making them suitable for use with different tyre inflators.
How To Use A Presta Valve Adapter?
These valves are ideal for inflating tyre fast which is what speed bikers want.. They can be used with a simple and portable inflator with a pump head and no need for a hose. A Presta valve adaptor comes in handy when the only available hand pump works with Schrader valves. With this attachment, you can even inflate your bike tires at a local gas station.
To use the Presta valve adaptor:
- Rotate tire (to 12 o’clock position) for the pump to comfortably reach the valve head.
- Remove the valve cap and loosen the valve’s locknut. This is done counterclockwise until you can let air by depressing the locknut.
- Install the adapter slowly and carefully by threading in a clockwise motion onto the valve stem’s threads. This attachment instantly turns your Presta valve to a Schrader valve.
- Use a traditional air pump to start inflation by connection the valve into the adapter. When you reach recommended psi, remove the air pump followed by the adapter. Tighten the locknut and replace the valve cap safely into place.
Have a removable core, are thicker and not suitable for use with road bikes. They are best suited for MTB rims, are tougher, more reliable and easier to use. To use you just need to remove the cap, apply the pump head and start pumping. You can check pressure using a standard car tire gauge. They are however not adaptable to high pressure and you will find it harder to inflate due to the spring inside the core.
How to Inflate a Tire with Schrader Valve Pump
Schrader are larger than Presta valves and are more common on car tires. They have an inner spring to close the valve. To inflate tires with a Schrader valve:
1. Check the Schrader valve carefully and remove the valve cap if any.
2. Air can be released by pressing down on the valve stem.
3. Connect the pump by screwing or pressing on the pump head.
4. For each stroke, make sure you fully open and close the pump for maximum efficiency.
5. Once you are done, quickly pull the connector off to minimize air loss and replace the cap.