I HATE Presta valves!

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Jerz Fox, May 27, 2003.

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  1. Jerz Fox

    Jerz Fox Guest

    I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on the tubes! (Yes, I know
    they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims). I've never had any luck with inflating
    Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you have to unscrew. Anyone have the secret
    of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?

    I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.

    Diana B., LPN Diva Nurse

    The JerZ Fox

    Money doesn't buy happiness. Poverty doesn't buy anything.
     
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  2. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >[email protected] (JerZ Fox)

    wrote:>I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on
    >the tubes! (Yes, I know they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims).
    >
    >I've never had any luck with inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you
    >have to unscrew. Anyone have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?
    >
    >I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.

    One trick you might try is to loosen the collet on the valve head a bit before locking it in
    place. Lock it down and then tighten the collet. Inflate, unlock, loosen the collet again, and
    then remove it.

    As for the rest: only go downhill with a tailwind on streets with no intersections. That should
    solve all your problems. No need to thank me. <g>

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  3. Jerz Fox

    Jerz Fox Guest

    The collet being the little cap? You have to speak English with me; remember, you're dealing with a
    hopeless klutz.

    >One trick you might try is to loosen the collet on the valve head a bit before locking it in
    >place. Lock it down and then tighten the collet. Inflate, unlock, loosen the collet again, and
    >then remove it.
    >
    I should be so lucky!

    >As for the rest: only go downhill with a tailwind on streets with no intersections. That should
    >solve all your problems. No need to thank me. <g>
    >
    >Regards, Bob Hunt
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >Subject: Re: I HATE Presta valves! Path:
    >lobby!ngtf-m01.news.aol.com!audrey-m2.news.aol.com!not-for-mail Lines: 23 X-Admin: [email protected]
    >From: [email protected] (Hunrobe) Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.misc Date: 27 May 2003 12:37:25 GMT
    >References: <[email protected]> Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
    >Message-ID: <[email protected]>
    >

    Diana B., LPN Diva Nurse

    The JerZ Fox

    Money doesn't buy happiness. Poverty doesn't buy anything.
     
  4. JerZ Fox <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on the tubes! (Yes, I
    : know they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims). I've never had any luck with
    : inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you have to unscrew. Anyone
    : have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?

    : I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.

    The trick to inflating presta tubes is to first unscrew the 'nut' then press it to break the seal -
    some air will escape. Put the pump head on the valve stem and pump away. You should be able to hear
    the actual valve clicking as the air from the pump pushes it open and shut with each stroke. It is
    vitally important that the pump head makes a good seal with the stem. Most pumps allow you to
    adjust the fit.

    I've found with my favourite pump that it seals better if I screw the nut on the valve stem back a
    few turns.

    I love hills, headwinds, all turns, even rain when I'm on my bike, because I'm on my bike, but I
    hate Schrader valves on anything but cars.

    Cheerz, Lynzz Time flies like and arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
     
  5. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    [email protected] (JerZ Fox) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on the tubes! (Yes, I
    > know they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims). I've never had any luck with
    > inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you have to unscrew. Anyone
    > have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?
    >
    > I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.

    My local bike shop sells an adaptor valve that you can put on the Presta valve so that you can then
    inflate it like a normal valve. (can use air machines at gas stations)

    You might try asking at your LBS if they have such thing.
     
  6. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    > [email protected]

    wrote:

    >The collet being the little cap? You have >to speak English with me; remember, you're dealing with
    >a hopeless klutz.

    >Diana B., LPN Diva Nurse

    The collet is the twisty cap on the pump valve head. It's purpose is to tighten the o-ring around
    the valve stem. You're a medical type so think of the collet in terms of an air splint. Inflate
    (tighten) an air splint and it works pretty darn good in immobilizing fractures but if you tried
    to put it on or take it off the broken limb while it's inflated (tightened) it would be an
    enormous PIA.

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  7. >I've never had any luck with inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you
    >have to unscrew. Anyone have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?

    I'll try. First, the parts of the valve. There's a plastic cap on the end of the valve stem.
    According to Sheldon this isn't necessary other than to protect a folded tubular (or tube, I guess)
    from being punctured by the end of the valve core shaft. It also keeps dirt off the actual valve
    cap, which is the little knurled nut that screws in to hold the valve closed or out to allow the
    valve to open under pressure.

    (I've seen and used Continental tubes where the fit of the plastic cap was tight enough to unscrew
    the valve core, which is a separate part on these tubes. I have yet to figure out why, it's the only
    brand of Presta valve I've ever seen with this "feature".)

    If you're using clincher tires, the valve stem is usually threaded to accept a locknut. The locknut
    is there to keep the stem from disappearing into the rim so you can get a pump on it. Tubular tires
    usually have smooth stems without lockrings, you don't want a tubular locked to the rim if you roll
    the tire off, and besides the valve can't drop down as it's supported by the casing.

    So you have clincher tires and you're ready to pump. Take off the plastic cap and set it aside, even
    if you can't find it later it isn't a critical part. The yellow ones are easier to spot later. If
    its dark and raining, which it usually is, you can stick it in a pocket or something.

    Unscrew the real valve cap (the knurled nut on the valve core shaft). It can't come off, but you
    don't need to screw it all the way to the end of the shaft, close, though. If there's any pressure
    in the tube push the valve stem in to break the seal, you should feel a slight resistance until the
    valve breaks free of its seat. Air will escape, let it pop back. The more air you let out here the
    more pumping is required later.

    Now prepare to apply the pump. If a floor pump, I like the valve at the bottom of the wheel,
    pointing up. If a frame pump, I like it at the top pointing down. This is so you can remain
    standing, in this hypothetical rain storm.

    Be sure the valve stem is perpendicular to the rim.

    Practice at home with the pump you actually intend to use. This is because the pump chuck (the part
    that fits on the valve shaft) usually has a locking lever that engages the collet (the part of the
    chuck that grabs the valve stem). Most of these are locked when the lever is up, but some are locked
    when the lever is down, know beforehand which kind you have.

    With the lever in the unlocked position slide the chuck on to the valve stem until it bottoms out.
    If it doesn't slide on easily it's very likely in the locked position. Do this carefully, because
    it's possible to bend the valve core shaft. Now engage the locking lever.

    You are ready to pump. In the case of the floor pump, pump away until the handy gauge (whose
    calibration error is known to you) registers the appropriate pressure. Unlock the pump chuck and
    pull straight off the valve, don't wiggle it. Clost the valve cap (the knurled nut on the valve core
    shaft) until it is finger tight. Replace the plastic cap, or not, as it strikes your fancy.

    With a frame pump, the steps are almost the same except in this case you are the pump support. The
    idea is not to allow any forces that move the valve stem around. You do this by holding the air end
    of the pump in a fixed position with one hand and moving only the piston, not the pump body, with
    the other hand. This is much easier to accomplish in fewer strokes with a full sized frame pump than
    with a minipump. You won't usually have a gauge here, or if you do you won't be able to read it in
    the dark and the rain, so get useed to what a properly inflated tire feels like ahead of time.
    Alternatively, stop pumping when you get tired, so to speak.

    To remove the frame pump, unlock the lever and give the business end a bang with your fist such that
    the chuck pops off along the axis of the valve stem. Close the valve cap and try to rember where you
    put the plastic thingy.

    A note on gas station air pumps: Their pressure gauges are notoriously slow to react and frequently
    unreliable. It is easily possible to blow a tube out with them, so don't use them unless you have
    your own pressure gauge on hand, and then use them in short shots only. If you have your own pump
    stay away from them, they are only for emergencies and not for regular use.

    A note on Presta to Schrader adaptors: No reason not to carry one, you may need it if your own
    pump dies.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  8. On Tue, 27 May 2003 12:54:30 +0000, JerZ Fox wrote:

    > The collet being the little cap? You have to speak English with me; remember, you're dealing with
    > a hopeless klutz.

    Don't feel bad. I don't know what a collet is either.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The _`\(,_ | common welfare was my
    business; charity, mercy, forbearance, (_)/ (_) | and benevolence, were, all, my business. The
    dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
    --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
     
  9. [email protected] (JerZ Fox) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on the tubes! (Yes, I
    > know they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims). I've never had any luck with
    > inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you have to unscrew. Anyone
    > have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?
    >

    Sheldon Brown's excellent glossary has a nicely illustrated explanation - pictures of the valve
    closed and open, and with the schraeder adapter installed.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_p.html

    He may also have something about pumping presta's in one
    of his articles, e.g. installing tires / tubes or somesuch.

    Or it could be in the FAQ.

    (a Topeak Road Morph, which has a hose rather than attaching directly to the valve, may reduce
    the likelihood of bending the valve while pumping. As with most pumping, the key is not to get
    too excited in the process).
     
  10. Dave Pushee

    Dave Pushee Guest

    Eric wrote a clear and nearly complete note about how-to inflate presta valves, but left out one
    pitfall everyone has to experience once.

    Make sure that the pump head is designed for use with presta valves. If it is set up to deal with
    schrader valves (automobile type), it will have a piece inside designed to depress the valve stem.
    Using the wrong pump head can bend or break the presta valve stem (but it only happens in the rain).

    The schrader valve stem needs to be physically pushed down by the pump in order to allow the air to
    flow in. With the presta valve, the air pressure in the pump opens the valve.
     
  11. Finally, someone mentioned that a Presta valve needs a pump with a fitting of a different size and
    configuration than what is used for a Schraeder valve. Many good pumps made for bicycles have either
    two heads, one for each type or a reversible inner part that can be shifted. I thought this was
    worth repeating at the top of a short message, so it would be noted.

    Steve McDonald
     
  12. [email protected] (JerZ Fox) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.

    left turns? no big deal.

    Then again, I'm in London, and right turns are a real pain....

    -Luigi
     
  13. On Tue, 27 May 2003 08:25:02 -0400, JerZ Fox wrote:

    > I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on the tubes! (Yes, I
    > know they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims). I've never had any luck with
    > inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you have to unscrew. Anyone
    > have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?

    unscrew nut, then tap w/finger to 'break seal' before hooking up pump

    >
    > I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.
     
  14. On Tue, 27 May 2003 13:25:34 -0400, Tanya Quinn wrote:

    >
    > My local bike shop sells an adaptor valve that you can put on the Presta valve so that you can
    > then inflate it like a normal valve. (can use air machines at gas stations)
    >
    > You might try asking at your LBS if they have such thing.

    sure they will but in 32 yrs i have never had a flat anywhhere near a gas station
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Tue, 27 May 2003 13:25:34 -0400, Tanya Quinn wrote:
    >
    >
    > >
    > > My local bike shop sells an adaptor valve that you can put on the Presta valve so that you can
    > > then inflate it like a normal valve. (can use air machines at gas stations)
    > >
    > > You might try asking at your LBS if they have such thing.
    >
    > sure they will but in 32 yrs i have never had a flat anywhhere near a gas station

    Never tried it but I heard that gas station inflators can blow out your tires because they're
    expecting to fill something big.
     
  16. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Wed, 28 May 2003 18:44:05 -0400, <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >sure they will but in 32 yrs i have never had a flat anywhhere near a gas station

    I had one within 20 yards of the bicycle shop where I'd just purchased a Zefal frame pump.
    --
    zk
     
  17. On Wed, 28 May 2003 21:07:08 -0700, Leonard Migliore <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Never tried it but I heard that gas station inflators can blow out your tires because they're
    >expecting to fill something big.

    On the contrary, they inflate to about half to a third of the pressure you need. They're mostly used
    to top off car tires, at least here, not to fill them from empty. It's not like anyone *ever*
    repairs their own flat car tyres..

    Jasper
     
  18. Leonard Migliore <[email protected]> writes:

    > In article <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > On Tue, 27 May 2003 13:25:34 -0400, Tanya Quinn wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > >
    > > > My local bike shop sells an adaptor valve that you can put on the Presta valve so that you can
    > > > then inflate it like a normal valve. (can use air machines at gas stations)
    > > >
    > > > You might try asking at your LBS if they have such thing.
    > >
    > > sure they will but in 32 yrs i have never had a flat anywhhere near a gas station
    >
    > Never tried it but I heard that gas station inflators can blow out your tires because they're
    > expecting to fill something big.

    You can blow out your tires with a foot pump, if you'r patient. The thing with gas station inflators
    is that it happens faster, so if your not on your guard shit may happen.

    Usually you should be save with MTB tires because of the volume, and perhaps also with racing tires
    because of the pressure - so that leaves, well...

    --
    __o | Øyvind Røtvold _`\(, | http://www.darkside.no/olr/index.html (_)/(_) | ... biciclare
    necesse est ...
     
  19. In article <[email protected]>, Jasper Janssen <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Wed, 28 May 2003 21:07:08 -0700, Leonard Migliore <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Never tried it but I heard that gas station inflators can blow out your tires because they're
    > >expecting to fill something big.
    >
    > On the contrary, they inflate to about half to a third of the pressure you need. They're mostly
    > used to top off car tires, at least here, not to fill them from empty. It's not like anyone *ever*
    > repairs their own flat car tyres..

    It's not the volume of the tire that's the problem, it's the pressure. Since gas station air pumps
    have reservoir tanks and electric compressors, they can pretty much generate as much air as
    necessary. But cars only require about 30-60 psi, and if your roadie tire needs 120 and the pump can
    only output 90, you're going to be unhappy.

    That said, gas station pumps are fast, so you can't be inattentive.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  20. Hi Diana,

    The secret is to go out and buy a floor pump. You are right, presta valves are difficult to use -
    with a hand pump. A floor pump makes it all the difference. I got the one made by "Silca" because 9
    times out of 10 when you go in a bike shop and ask to use theirs, that's what they are using. Best
    $20 (or so) you can spend.

    Doug

    [email protected] (JerZ Fox) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I LOVE my new Trek 2200 WSD road bike, but, oh, those damn Presta valves on the tubes! (Yes, I
    > know they're necessary because of the skinny tires and rims). I've never had any luck with
    > inflating Prestas -- must have something to do with the little cap you have to unscrew. Anyone
    > have the secret of Prestas for a mechanically challenged klutz like myself?
    >
    > I also hate uphills, headwinds, and left turns, but that's another story.
    >
    >
    >
    > Diana B., LPN Diva Nurse
    >
    > The JerZ Fox
    >
    > Money doesn't buy happiness. Poverty doesn't buy anything.
     
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