Is there a need to know how to deflate a bike tire?
Experienced cyclists understand that part of proper bike maintenance is taking care of the tires. If the tires are not in good working condition, then the bicycle is as good as useless. One of the ways of taking care of your bike tires is by deflating them. Sounds easier than inflating them, right?
Unfortunately, it can often be a tougher chore. If not done correctly, deflating your bike tires can be a daunting task. Today I’ll give you an in-depth guide on how to deflate a bike tire.
But before we get into the steps, let’s take a look at the importance of taking the air out of your bike tires.
Why deflate a bike tire?
Many cyclists do not put much thought into it, but taking the air out of your bike tires can be helpful on some occasions.
This is the most common reason to deflate a bike tire. While pumping your bike tire, you are required to pay attention to its Pounds Per Square Inch(PSI).
Over-pumping can have some not so good effects when you’re out and about on your bicycle. It can cause your tires to burst. Also, bike tires with too much air in them are rough on the road, especially on uneven terrain. They tend to bounce, making your rides uncomfortable. If this happens, you will have to deflate them using the correct procedure.
- Changing the bike tires
Another occasion when you would have to deflate your bike tires is when you are changing them. You take air out of the wheels because even the smallest amount of air inside can make the removal process difficult.
- Changing the tubes
Changing your bike tires involves removing the old tubes and installing new ones, which is difficult to do when they are full of air.
- Repairing a puncture
Every cyclist dreads getting a puncture while out riding. Unfortunately, you’ll get a flat tire once in a while, so it’s a good idea to be prepared in case you have a puncture.
One of the ways to do so is to learn how to inflate and deflate the tires. While repairing the puncture, you will need to inflate the tire first to identify where the puncture is, then deflate it to remove the tube and replace it with a new one.
Tools for Deflating a Tire
There are specific tools that you need to deflate a tire. the best tools to take the air out of your tire include;
We will look at how you can use these tools later in the guide.
Types of Bike Valves
Typically, bicycle tires have valves that control the amount of air that goes in and out of the tires. There are three types of bike valves including;
- Schrader valves, better known as American valves
- Presta valves, better known as French valves.
- Woods valves, better known as English valves.
Let’s take a look at how to deflate bike tires each type of valve.
#1. How to deflate A Bike tire with a Schrader valve
Also known as an American or a car valve, this type of valve is mostly found in cars, motorbikes, and mountain bikes. Compared to the other two valves, taking air out a Schrader valve is trickier, but not impossible.
Schrader valves consist of a valve stem that is surrounded by a threaded core, and they are shorter and wider compared to the other two valves.
To take the air out of a tire with a Schrader valve, you’ll first have to remove the cap on top of the valve.
The purpose of the cap is to prevent any dust from getting into the valve. Then proceed to expel air out of the tire by pushing down the valve stem using something with a point like a screwdriver, pin cap, toothpick, or a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Push down the valve stem until you are sure that you have expelled the right amount of air. If you want to deflate the tire completely, continue pushing down the stem until you can’t hear any hissing sound coming from the tire.
#2. How to deflate A Bike Tire with a Presta Valve
Better known as a French or a Sclaverand valve, this is a common type of valve in bikes. It’s a bit narrower and longer than a Schrader valve. A Presta valve consists of an outer valve stem that is protected by an external cap.
To deflate a tire with a Presta valve, you will first have to remove the external cap, then unscrew the brass cap on top of the valve stem. Then press the middle of the valve stem until you feel that you have expelled the right amount of air, then you can screw back the brass cap. If you want to deflate the tire completely, continue pressing the middle of the stem until the hissing sound of air coming out of the tire stops.
It’s important to remember to immediately put back the protective cap back on to avoid losing it, and to prevent any dust from entering the valve stem.
#3. How to deflate A Bike Tire with a Woods valve
Better known as an English or a Dunlop valve, a woods valve is as big as a Schrader valve. However, like the Presta valve, it has an outer valve stem with two caps, an inner one and an outer one. So, to release out of a tire with a woods valve, follow the same procedure as that of the Presta valve.
*Check out How to Put Air in Bicycle Tires
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the fastest way to deflate a bike tire?
There are different methods for how to deflate tires quickly. One of the safest ways to do so is by using a valve remover, a valve stem tool, or a pair of needle-nose pliers to unscrew the needle in the valve stem, which ultimately opens up the stem.
How long does it take to deflate a tire?
This depends on several factors like the type of tires you have, whether you want to partially or entirely deflate the tires, the weather outside, so it can take a few minutes to hours to take the air out of a bike tire.
How do you deflate a tire without tools?
There are so many ways on how to take the air out of a tire without the appropriate tools. Anything with a sharp point works well, as long as you can press down the middle of the valve stem. You can use a toothpick, a penknife if they are available.
At what PSI will a tire explode?
There is no specific answer to this, as like mentioned before, the correct PSI of your bike tires depends on the tire itself. Check the side of the tire to get the right pressure. Remember, too much pressure will make your tires wobble or even explode and you can get seriously injured. Too little and you’ll not be able to ride comfortably.
Learning how to deflate a bike tire is a helpful skill; you’ll be able to fix your bicycle yourself and cut down on the costs of taking your bike to a mechanic for repair. You’ll also avoid inconveniences during your time out cycling.