Introduction – How to Fix a Damaged Presta Valve
If you own a bicycle, one of the things you must know is how to re-inflate the tires whenever they lose pressure. In that case, you will need to know how to work a tire valve. While many bicycles use Schrader valves, others use Presta valves.
A Presta valve is located in the inner tube of a bicycle. It is common among road bicycles, but you can also see them on mountain bicycles.
The part of the valve that extends outside consists of the valve stem and the valve core. There is a nut that keeps the core in the stem. There is also a lock nut that fixes the stem to the tube, and some also have caps to protect the tips.
To inflate or deflate your tire, you should unscrew the nut. This will allow airflow either into the tire or out of the tire. By inserting a pump into the valve, you can easily inflate it. When you reach the desired pressure, remove the pump and tighten the screw.
As simple as this procedure seems, many bicycle owners get it wrong and damage the Presta valve in their attempts to inflate their bicycles. There are many other reasons a Presta valve can be damaged.
Unfortunately, many people get confused when damage happens and may not know how to fix it or what to do next. So, how do you fix them?
How to Fix a Broken Presta Valve
This video gives a good overview of what to do if your Presta valve is broken or leaking (Credit to BikeBlogger):
Here are the steps to follow in order to fix your Presta valve:
- Examine the Cause
The first step is to thoroughly examine what went wrong with the Presta valve and evaluate the damage. This will guide you in deciding whether you can fix it, continue using it the way it is, or get a new one. Knowing the cause of the damage will also help you to avoid recurrence in the future.
A possible problem your Presta valve can have is either in the stem or the core. It could be that your valve stem is bent or your core is damaged.
- Remove the Valve Core
If your valve core is removable, then remove it by unscrewing it from the stem. You can do that with your hand. However, if you find it too difficult to use a hand to unscrew the valve core, you can use a valve core remover tool.
- Examine the Valve Core for Dirt and Damage
Check if your valve core is fine or if anything is noticeably wrong with it. If there is dirt, you can brush it away. If it is bent, you can carefully try to straighten it. However, if it is broken, you may have to replace the valve core.
- Replace the Valve Core
If you can fix the valve core, this is ideal. Any more significant damage and you should throw it away and replace it with a new one. Put the new valve core back into the stem and tighten it.
- Replace the Stem if it is Broken
If the whole stem is broken, unscrew it and get a replacement stem or a new valve entirely, and fix the new one in its position. Ensure you can easily inflate your tires with the new setup.