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  1. #1
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Presta valves are driving me NUTS!

    What am I doing wrong! I have a topeak air guage with dual modes (Schrader/Presta) and with an adapter I can check the pressure and add air with not much effort in the Schrader mode.

    If I use the Presta setting, I can get the guage on an d check pressure, but it takes me forever to get the darn thing off the valve. I though the guage was just bad.

    Last night I got a new tire pump, and when I finished pumping the tire, and released the lever, I thought I was going to bend a rim getting it off the valve.

    I hate having to rely on having an adapter handy all the time.

    Am I missing a secret here?

    BTW, do they make a chuck for presta valves that I can put on my regular compressor? I use quick dissconects.
    Gary F.


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  2. #2
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Spray a little aerosol silicone lube in the head.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  3. #3
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    You are definitely missing the secret, which is; Drill your rims to 11/32 for schrader valves. Be sure to shake all the grit out of the rim before reinstalling a tire. bk

  4. #4
    Soma Lover
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    Quote Originally Posted by gforeman View Post
    I can get the guage on and check pressure
    Sounds to me like your pushing it too far onto the valve. The valve should stay closed until the pressure from the pump exceeds the pressure in the tire. Sometimes the valve sticks, especially on generic tubes, so I often let a few psi out to unstick it before attaching the pump head.

  5. #5
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cachehiker View Post
    Sounds to me like your pushing it too far onto the valve. The valve should stay closed until the pressure from the pump exceeds the pressure in the tire. Sometimes the valve sticks, especially on generic tubes, so I often let a few psi out to unstick it before attaching the pump head.

    Then as far as the pump goes, yes, I'm doing it wrong. I pressed the nozzle on until the pump actually received air from the tire, making the guage show the pressure on the pump. I didn't realize it did not have to depress the valve.

    Still not sure how to keep the Topeak guage from stickin on the valve.

    Gary F.


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  6. #6
    Soul rider
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    I know it doesnt do you any good on the trail/road, but a good floor pump is something that makes life soooo much easier sooo often. Get one with a psi gauge built in, there are many out there and its a great thing to have. I myself, like prestas much more than schraders. I find myself checking and filling the tires before each ride because, its so nice to be on a properly inflated tire and its so fast and easy with a floor pump.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gforeman View Post
    BTW, do they make a chuck for presta valves that I can put on my regular compressor? I use quick dissconects.
    The only one that I've seen was a professional quality one that was hyper expensive.

    I made my own by cutting the schrader head off of a stock tire inflator (with pressure gauge) and installing a Silca presta head with a small hose clamp. It works fine, but I don't normally keep my air compressor pressure as high as I like to pump my bike tires.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    I have a Blackburn AirTower 4
    Gary F.


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  9. #9
    Soul rider
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    Are you using a hand pump/seperate gauge out on the road often? I like your Blackburn AirTower 4 more than my floor pump. Mine has the gauge mounted down right above the base... Kind of hard to see sometimes. I didnt even think about the position of the gauge until I got the pump home and aired up a set of tires in a dimly lit hallway...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Billy Bones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    . . . made my own by cutting the schrader head off of a stock tire inflator (with pressure gauge) and installing a Silca presta head with a small hose clamp. . . .
    Retro'! Man, that's inspired. Thanks. I'm going out to the shop to trick one out right now, maybe with a "Y" to accommodate a Schraeder/Presta twin. So simple. Thanks again.

    Hey 'Gforeman, just remember Cachehiker's advice to "burp" the Presta valve after you loosen the ferrule.

  11. #11
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    Air Compressor set to 110psi.

    My farmer DNA prohibits me sitting around fighting a floor pump when there is an easier way.
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
    Air Compressor set to 110psi.

    My farmer DNA prohibits me sitting around fighting a floor pump when there is an easier way.
    Ding! I love having the dual regulator on my compressor. The main regulator shuts the pump off at 110psi, and has a tap for a hose. Then it goes into the regulator which I can use to cut the pressure down for other things (paint sprayer, filling other tires, etc). I love it!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckwes View Post
    Air Compressor set to 110psi.
    That's about what mine is set at too. That's fine if I decide to inflate my road bike tire right after the compressor has topped off the tank. Most of the time, however, 100 psi is about all that I can get reliably.

  14. #14
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    You are definitely missing the secret, which is; Drill your rims to 11/32 for schrader valves. Be sure to shake all the grit out of the rim before reinstalling a tire. bk

    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

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    <<You are definitely missing the secret, which is; Drill your rims to 11/32 for schrader valves. Be sure to shake all the grit out of the rim before reinstalling a tire. bk>>

    This is the dumbest thing I have read here!

  16. #16
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pista View Post
    <<You are definitely missing the secret, which is; Drill your rims to 11/32 for schrader valves. Be sure to shake all the grit out of the rim before reinstalling a tire. bk>>

    This is the dumbest thing I have read here!
    I think it may have been sarcasm..
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  17. #17
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
    I think it may have been sarcasm..
    Not a chance. My Mavic rims are pre-drilled for schrader valves but they did come with little adapters for for presta valves.

    To be honest, I never understood the cyclists purist fascination with presta valves. They cause more complaints than any other bike feature.


    Make your life easier....drill the rims.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  18. #18
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    I have to wonder how much some people who post on these forums actually cycle. Presta valves come on bikes that benefit from them. You don't need them on comfort bikes, hybrids or mountain bikes because the pressures aren't so high that you can't manage with automobile schraeder valves. You absolutely do need them on high pressure road bike tires. They are very simple to use. If you are having problems, you just haven't figured it out by yourself. Ask someone who knows to show you how.

    Sometimes, on pumps with a head that locks onto the valve (the ones that have a little lever), the rubber in the pump head is compressed too much, making it difficult to remove it from the valve. If that's the case, try to untighten the plastic screwcap so that it's compressed a little less. Cheap tubes often have difficult valves. Get better tubes. Good technique also helps. Put two fingers under the pump head, one on each side (like a V with your fingers, around a spoke and under the valve). Put your other hand above just to catch your other hand as it comes up (to avoid any scrapes). Then just push up. If it doesn't come off fairly easily (with a bit of pressure), something is wrong.

    Schraeders are for kids and people on bikes, Prestas are for cyclists. By the way, I very highly recommend using only Michelin tubes that don't have a thread on the valve body. These threads are useless since you neither need the cap on the valve or the valve nut. The smooth valve body is easier to deal with and it doesn't gradually chew up the rubber in the head of your pump.
    Last edited by Longfemur; 07-02-08 at 09:02 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    Ask someone who knows to show you how.
    The exact reason for my post. They are new to me. By using the other posters advice, I don't push the pumps head down until it compresses the valve. I simply slip it on, clamp it, and start pumping. Once the pressure in the hose excedes the pressure in the tire, it compresses the valve and feeds air in. Releasing the pump is then easy.

    The guage on the other hand is still sometimes a pain, but it's getting better with time. Maybe a little lube will help. Can someone reccomend a good accurate Presta guage?
    Gary F.


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  20. #20
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gforeman View Post
    Can someone reccomend a good accurate Presta guage?

    I use the one thats built into my pump.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    You don't need them on comfort bikes, hybrids or mountain bikes because the pressures aren't so high that you can't manage with automobile schraeder valves. You absolutely do need them on high pressure road bike tires.
    BALOGNA!!!

    Go outside and check out your air conditioning compressor. It's designed to work at 200 psi line pressure and not to leak any of the coolent. Then come back and report to us what kind of valve it uses.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Not a chance. My Mavic rims are pre-drilled for schrader valves but they did come with little adapters for for presta valves.

    To be honest, I never understood the cyclists purist fascination with presta valves. They cause more complaints than any other bike feature.
    Presta valves do require a smaller hole in the rim. I'm thinking that can be an advantage under some circumstances.

    Regarding ease of inflation, I think shrader and presta valve tubes are in a dead heat if you're pumping them up with anything but an air compressor. If you own a compressor, schrader valve tubes are at a huge advantage.

  23. #23
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    miamijim,

    I think you missed the point of the OP. He isn't having problems with getting the tubes in/out of the rim; he's having problems getting the pump and/or gauge off the valves. I find this fairly often. The rubber inserts on the pumps or gauges is just plain tight. A little silicone helps. My LBS told me that they are making the threads a little heavier than they used to. (I don't quite get that, but it fits with what's happening.)

    Otherwise you're quite right.

  24. #24
    Farmer tan f4rrest's Avatar
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    Here's how i use my 120psi shop compressor to pump presta tubes:

    step 1: Screw a $1 presta-to-schraeder converter onto your presta valve.
    step 2: Attach your schraeder chuck to the schraeder side of the $1 converter.
    step 3: fill with 120 psi air from your compressor and detatch. Cheap and easy. The converter can double as a stem cap too, it's tiny.


  25. #25
    Commie
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    i have the Topeak mountain morph pump which i paid an arm n leg for!, well ok 39 bucks isnt a whole lot, but more then i should have in hindsight.

    i have never been able to apply air via the presta adapter, end up using Schrader valve instead

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