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Presta valve air check

Old 06-12-11, 07:37 AM
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GaryPitts
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Presta valve air check

I now have my first bike with Presta valves. LBS gave me a Presta to Schrader adapter. Today I go to check pressures for the first time and I guess I'm missing something because when I try to check the pressure with my regular Schrader pressure gauge, nothing happens. I unscrew the pressure stem, screw on the adapter fully, put the gauge on and press firmly, but absolutely nothing happens. No air escapes. Nothing. Do I need a different gauge or what's the trick? Thanks!
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Old 06-12-11, 07:53 AM
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Yeah.

I just use the gauge that's on my floor pump. I stick on the chuck and give it one pump to open the Presta valve. If you're using high pressure tires they usually lose enough air overnight to require an additional pump or two to bring them back up to full pressure.

Separate hand held gauges do exist but what's the point? The very act of checking causes them to lose a little air pressure.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:01 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't have a gauge on my air supply. I have a compressor with a standard schrader attachment for filling car tires. I'm just trying to figure out why when I put the gauge on the adapter and press down hard nothing happens. It's almost like i haven't unscrewed the Presta stem, but I have.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GaryPitts View Post
Unfortunately, I don't have a gauge on my air supply. I have a compressor with a standard schrader attachment for filling car tires.
I guess it's time you spent the money for a good floor pump.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
I guess it's time you spent the money for a good floor pump.
+1....some pumps have th smarthead. So you slip it on whether it's presta or shraeder. No messing with flipping rubber bushings inside the head. Also a cycling air gauge will work but they seem to be almost as expensive as a decent pump now.

I was thinking maybe you turn the presta core while applying the adaptor (I have). Then opening it while removing the adaptor. But if air is going in, then that is not the case.
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Old 06-12-11, 05:48 PM
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Those adapters are available in a couple different sizes because the presta valves with removable cores need a longer one. If the adapter you have is too long you won`t be able to use a pressure gage AND you won`t be able to use a compressor to fill it.

Try the compressor. If that doesn`t reach the valve stem either - go back to your LBS and get the shorter version.
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Old 06-12-11, 06:44 PM
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Thanks, Burton. I'll check that out. They've already guilted me into getting a Presta pump with gauge, so it's on the way I also ordered a CO2 filler for emergencies. I think that'll get me going. I would have like to use the compressor and with the right adapters it sounds like I can still do that, but the pump may be just as easy and that's fine, too. I can't wait until I have my first flat and have to go through that routine. I know, it's a right of passage I've done it before, but it's been 40 years. Thanks for the reply!
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Old 06-12-11, 07:06 PM
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The Accu-Gage works very nicely on Presta valves. Not expensive. Doesn't seem to lose air.
http://www.ghmeiser.com/bicycle.htm
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Old 06-12-11, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Those adapters are available in a couple different sizes because the presta valves with removable cores need a longer one. If the adapter you have is too long you won`t be able to use a pressure gage AND you won`t be able to use a compressor to fill it.

Try the compressor. If that doesn`t reach the valve stem either - go back to your LBS and get the shorter version.
I don't think that this is quite correct, since you only need greater differential air pressure to fill a presta valve, there isn't a spring in the valve like a schrader valve. The schrader valve would need to have the air stem pressed in to fill or release air from the tire. So it should work with a compressor but may not work work with a gauge.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryPitts View Post
Thanks, Burton. I'll check that out. They've already guilted me into getting a Presta pump with gauge, so it's on the way I also ordered a CO2 filler for emergencies. I think that'll get me going. I would have like to use the compressor and with the right adapters it sounds like I can still do that, but the pump may be just as easy and that's fine, too. I can't wait until I have my first flat and have to go through that routine. I know, it's a right of passage I've done it before, but it's been 40 years. Thanks for the reply!
You don't have to wait for your first flat. You should pump up the tires before every ride to prevent pinch flats.
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Old 06-13-11, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
You don't have to wait for your first flat. You should pump up the tires before every ride to prevent pinch flats.
Yeah, I'm talking about the whole patch the tube on the road thing though
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Old 06-13-11, 08:08 AM
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Today I go to check pressures for the first time and I guess I'm missing something because when I try to check the pressure with my regular Schrader pressure gauge, nothing happens. I unscrew the pressure stem, screw on the adapter fully, put the gauge on and press firmly, but absolutely nothing happens. No air escapes. Nothing. Do I need a different gauge or what's the trick? Thanks!
IF the gage, is for your Auto tires,it is not functional at higher pressures bicycle tires operate

You may be able to find a Presta gage, thru your local bike shop,
of a proper type.
NB after you open the little nut at the top of the stem , it is still seated by the pressure
of the air inside the tube being higher than than the 1 atmosphere worth of air around you.
tap on the end of the stem to un seat it momentarily, they stick shut ,a bit.
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Old 06-14-11, 10:56 AM
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Gary I'm assuming you are going to B.P. in Hermitage as your LBS. If so let me recommend the slightly more expensive ($50ish) Bontrager floor pump with metal valve instead of the one with plastic valve. The plastic one failed in less than a year of daily use.

I used to use a car pump when I first started too. The motor burned up at the high pressure required for a bike.
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Old 06-14-11, 01:20 PM
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MOAB in the Boro is my LBS as my kids live in the Boro and I'm that way a good bit and never over toward Hermitage. Both are the same distance from me. I ordered the pump off Amazon though and got this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001MK3GFS
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