There are times where your bike tire just simply isn’t repairable.
The conventional wisdom states that you should be changing your bike tires every 1,000 to 3,000 miles. So if you’ve been riding your bike for longer than this on the same tires then the chances are that you’ll need to get them changed completely.
Puncture repair kits are effective for simple repairs here and there, but if you find that your tires are balding and subject to repeated bursting, then you’ll want to save yourself money on these repair kits.
However, changing a tire can seem like a daunting task. Some bikers leave this up to the professionals, although you can be looking for a hefty charge on top of the cost of your new tires.
It is very easy to deflate and repair a tire quite easily by yourself.
But why would you want to deflate a tire to replace it? What tools might you need to remove the air completely from your rubber tire? What types of valves let out the tires on your wheels and how are they operated to let out the air quickly and efficiently?
Well, don’t worry, cycling fans, because after you’ve read our quick guide to deflating a tire, then you’ll be an expert in tire changing. So what are you waiting for? Grab your bike and let’s get to work!
Why Would You Deflate A Tire?
You might not need to deflate your tire just to repair it. One of the more common reasons for letting the air out on your tires is due to over-pumping. This is when you’ve been a bit keen with your bicycle pump and filled it too full of air.
If you aren’t paying attention to the pound per square inch of pressure on your particular set of tires, the chances are that you might have overinflated them.
At first, this won’t cause you a problem, but with the inner tubing of your bike stretched a lot thinner than normal, you will soon be experiencing a lot more punctures than usual
Over pumped tires tend to explode a lot easier. Also, riding a bike with hard, inflated tires isn’t the most pleasant experience on your seat. You’ll be able to feel every lump and bump in the road on a hard pumped tire.
Also, bike tires are much easier to store when they’re deflated also, so if you have less storage space for your bike, letting out the air and folding them away will be a good way of saving yourself space.
What Types Of Bike Valve Are There?
When coming to grips with your tires, you’ll notice that the air is controlled using a valve that comes out of the inner tube and through the outer casing of the tire. Getting to grips with the various styles of valves might be tricky, especially if it is a type that you’re not used to using.
There are two commonly used types of valves, that being Presta and Schrader tires. Schrader valves are an American brand, whereas Presta is a French style. You can also get Woods valves, which are manufactured in Germany.
You can also get Schrader valves on motor vehicles.
Now we’ll have a look at how to deflate a tire effectively and quickly, before going into these different styles of valve more in-depth, you’ll have a better understanding of how to operate them during deflation.
How To Deflate A Tire
First will start with one of the more common types of valves: the Presta.
To deflate a Presta valve, all you have to do is rotate the small nodule located at the top of the valve so that it is open.
When the air valve is open, then press down onto it with your finger. As soon as you do this you should hear air escaping from it. It’s that easy!
However, be careful when doing this, as the harder you push down then the more rapidly the air will deflate. If you’re looking to get rid of some excess air from your tire, then you’ll want to press the gauge slowly.
When the tire has been deflated to the level you desire, then turn the nodule anticlockwise to seal it shut again. Make sure the valve is tightly in its original position so air doesn’t escape while you’re riding it.
The Schrader valve is a bit trickier to operate than the Presta, but it is still a relatively straightforward process that requires only a few additional tools.
The Schraders come with a safety cap on the top that stops the air from getting out. All you need to do is unscrew this cap gently. On the exposed valve, you will see a pin in the middle of the circle. To allow the air to escape, simply press this pin in the center and you should hear the air hissing out.
Pushing the pin inside might be a bit fiddly, especially if your fingernails are very short. However, there are a few tricks you can use to complete this task.
Take a pointed object such as a screwdriver, a pencil or even a toothpick and use the narrower end to push the pin down.
The longer you press down, then the more air that will escape. Pushing the valve down harder will also make the air escape a lot quicker. So if you want to let out less than a gallon of air, then we recommend using your tool or your finger to press down slowly or in increments.
Remember to replace the safety cap once you're finished to avoid air being pushed out of your tire while you ride.
Wood valves have smaller parts that can be removed to let the air out and are usually only good if you are deflating a tire completely.
To deflate a Woods valve, unscrew the safety cap and take out the middle section. This will allow the air to come out of your tire.