There’s no denying that there’s a huge amount to learn when it comes to cycling. There are so many different types of bikes, and they are designed for different types of riding. Then don’t even get us started on components and accessories.
A question we often get asked by some of our amazing readers and subscribers is how to use a Presta Valve adapter. Although it might seem like a simple task, it’s easy for anyone to get it wrong.
In this article, were going to be telling you:
- What Is A Presta Valve Adapter?
- Why Should You Always Carry A Presta Valve Adapter
- Identifying The Different Valve Types
- Step By Step Guide On Using A Presta Valve Adapter
- Video Guide
What Is A Presta Valve Adapter?
A Presta valve adapter is a small tool that very few cyclists carry, but there are times when you will find it incredibly useful. It’s designed to help you pump up your tires and has the ability to switch a Presta valve to a Schrader valve.
Why Should You Always Carry A Presta Valve Adapter?
There are many reasons why you might want to carry a Presta Valve Adapter, and we can personally say one has saved us a few times. Here’s why we think it’s handy to keep one in your tools and spares kit.
The main purpose of a Presta valve adapter is to make your pump compatible with different types of valves.
That means you don’t need multiple pumps for different inner tube types. Although many modern pumps can do both, old pumps require these adapters.
More Tube Options
If you are away bikepacking or touring and regularly need to replace spares, you can often find yourself in situations where you need to adapt.
Sometimes you can end up in a bike shop, and they only have inner tubes with Presta valves. Having an adapter in this situation is an excellent backup.
You Can Use Car Pumps
Although we don’t recommend using car foot pumps or garage electric pumps, having the Presta valve adapter is going to give you the ability to do this. I personally have had to when my pump broke once.
Identifying The Different Valve Types
Understanding the difference between a Presta and a Schrader valve is important. This is because you’re converting from one to the other.
A Schrader valve is what you will commonly see on a car wheel. It’s a wide circular piece with a small pin in the center. They were very common on bicycles years ago but not so much in common times.
A Presta valve is a small circular valve with a screw fitment on the top. It’s the most common type of valve you will see on a bike in modern times and is much better because parts can be serviced and replaced.
Step By Step Guide On Using A Presta Valve Adapter
Here’s our guide on how to use a Presta valve adapter. Whenever working on your bike, we recommend being in a safe place and out of the way of anyone else.
Step One: Remove Cap
The first step is to remove the cap. Most valves will have a small cap that is either clear or black.
To do this, you will need to screw it anti-clockwise, then when you’re done, put it in a safe place. You might find you don’t have one, which isn’t an issue.
Step Two: Unscrew Valve
Next, you are going to need to unscrew the top of the valve. Again going anti-clockwise, and when it hits the top, it will stop turning. It’s a good habit to push the valve down now. If there’s air in the tire, it should hiss.
Step Three: Screw On Adapter
Next, you will need to screw the adapter on. You will want to screw the small end onto the valve shaft. We recommend going tight but not too tight, as this can end up pulling the internal valve out later.
Step Four: Screw Pump It Up
Now you must attach the pump and start pumping up the tire to the correct PSI. Using a track pump will make it much easier compared to using a hand pump. Once complete, remove the pump.
Step Five: Clear Up
Once you have air in your tire, you will need to remove the adapter, screw the Presta valve back up, and finally return the cap. Then you are done!
Using a Presta Valve Adapter Video Guide
A Final Note
A Presta Valve adapter is a very useful tool when it comes to using bike pumps. We highly recommend keeping one in your tools and spares.
We hope you enjoyed our article and now feel confident enough to use a Presta valve adapter.
Robbie Ferri has spent years working in a bike shop, has worked with industry leading brands on product creation, has been a semi pro athlete, and is a fully qualified strength and conditioning coach. He has broken World Records, bikepacked all over the World and raced ultra distance at a top-level.