28. How to Use a Presta Valve Adapter

Learn how to use a presta valve adapter to inflate your tire using a regular air pump.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Use a Presta Valve Adapter
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This video is available on DVD


  • 01:08 - Many hand-held air pumps have a built-in presta valve adapter.
  • 01:21 - PSI = Pounds per Square Inch.

The two most common valve types these days are Presta valves and Schrader valves. Schrader valves are most commonly found on bikes with wide rims and are the same style you'll find on most automobiles. They use an internal spring to allow inflation while keeping the valve closed. You can inflate this style easily with any regular air pump.

Presta valves are a lot narrower and are commonly found on higher end bikes with narrow rims. They are a little trickier to inflate as they use a manual locknut to open the valve for inflation. To inflate a Presta valve you'll need a regular air pump and a special adapter. These can be purchased for about a dollar at your local bike shop. In this tutorial, we'll learn how to use the adapter to inflate your tire.

The first step is to remove the cap and then loosen the valve's locknut all the way counter-clockwise. Notice that you can now let air out by depressing the locknut.

Now install the adapter by carefully threading it clockwise onto the valve stem's threads. The adapter effectively converts your Presta valve to a Schrader valve so that you can use a traditional air pump to inflate it. Attach your air pump and inflate the tire to the recommended pressure. This is written on your sidewall and is usually marked with a 'PSI' rating (pounds per square inch).

Once the tire is fully inflated, remove the air pump, remove the adapter, and finger tighten the locknut. Then replace the cap. There is another locknut at the bottom of the valve stem. This should be finger-tightened once the tire is inflated.


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Discuss this topic in the Tire & Tube Forums

02/02 Tubeless going flat

Hey guys,

My tubeless tire keeps going flat. The air comes out near the rim/valve as you can see here:

[Image: 20170202_102556.jpg]

I have tried to tighten the valve screw and turn the wheel around so the latex would cover the inside, but without much success.... Read more >>

12/04 What kind of valve is this (on a kids bike)?

Top of valve looks like Shrader but is smaller (5mm).

Core unscrews easily using nut shown.

Is this an alternate Presta version valve, so if I'm using a pump / compressor with car / Shrader attachment, would I just need a Presta to Shrader adaptor?   Tnx

[Image: 0B5qUFCCYd3cTMC01aXpKWDRlc1k]

[Image: view?usp=drivesdk]


10/14 Is it tires

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Now the MB is maybe 8lbs heavier and has dirt tires, is it mostly the tires or both extra weight and tires. I mean its only about 8lbs. Its 26X1.95 mb and 27X1.25 road tires.

Any old timers still out there to chime in. :-))... Read more >>

03/19 3 flats in a row/hole next to Presta valve

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03/16 Tire & wheel sizes & matches

Will a 30, 32 or 40mm tire run OK on a 35mm rim?  Both 700c
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Bud...

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10/23 Tubes Keep Bursting?

My tubes keep bursting (either deflating rapidly soon after inflation ,or after a few hours, or overnight). I inflate them to maximum pressure and they always seem to burst on the inner side, closest to the rim. So am I just getting cheap tubes or is something else doing this? The holes seem to occur on the "seam". There's nothing sharp in the tyre and no sharp edges on the rim tape. The spoke nipples aren't sticking through the tape either. I have a theory that I am inflating tubes too rapidly with my air compressor and this could be overstraining the tubes, especially when they are cold 10 C... Read more >>

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Which Stan's No Tubes kit should I get to go tubeless?
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I think I want the Flow Kit but I'm not sure...

[Image: 2nvs56h.jpg]...

07/07 Deflating tires so the wheels will fit on?

That Deelite bike I saved from the crusher has 27.25 X 1.25 inch wheels on it plus fenders I was able to clean up and save the fendets. But to get the wheel on and off you have to deflate the tires to get the axel into into dropouts and reinflate. Is this common on some bikes? I have never run into it before.  
Below is the $15 bike I rescued from a Thrift store and refurbished. It was missing the brakes, brake cables and brake stops.. Now it ready to roll.

07/05 Air leak from valve stem with tubeless setup

I have a mountain bike with Mavic tubeless ready wheels. I went to change the tires and the front wheel is leaking air from the stem (see pics). A bike repair guy told me to replace the stem but it still leaks in the same spot. I cleaned the old sealant from around the stem. I shook the tire to encourage the sealant to plug the leaks and it just came oozing out. I waited overnight to see if maybe the sealant just needed some time to take hold.. still leaking.

Any ideas of what I can do to fix it?

Imgur album...

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Can someone tell me the difference between 700 x 23c slick and semi-slick tyres? I see some racing bikes with small tread and I see some with no tread at all.

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Hi guys

I have just fitted a 700 x 23c tyre to a rather wide rim with an inner width of 18mm. Can anyone tell me the possible issues I may encounter with such a combination?

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04/10 Favorite tire spot

Hi all, long time.

I know there's a few threads about where to get best tire buys online, but I am wondering what anyone is using recently. I'd like to stay away from Amazon, preferably a place that takes PayPal. The tires I'm looking for are old style Schwinn sized, 27" 1-1/8, I think. Thanks in advance.

Steve...

03/12 ETRTO 590 (aka 650a, 26 x 1 3/8) tires

Recently I have been looking for a narrower ETRTO 590 tire. In the USA, I wasn't able to find anything except 37/38 wide. I wanted something a bit narrower, and still have relatively high pressure capability. I have been using 90 psi Kenda 37-590 tires. 

I ordered Schwalbe 25-590 wheel chair tire and tube - a bit skinnier than what I want, and 85 psi MIN, 145 psi MAX. I may still try it out on the front of my Miyata 310.

More recently, I found that in Europe, Schwalbe offers a 28/32-590 rated at 85 psi - just what I was looking for. Schwalbe USA said "...we don’t m... Read more >>

03/09 Rookie tire mistake.

I learned a lesson today about tires. I went to get road tires for my Trek 831 MT Track.
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