Valve core maintenance is integral to basic bike maintenance if you’re running a tubeless tire setup. Many cyclists often overlook this task, especially when topping up the sealant.
How to remove the Presta valve core with tool
The easiest way is to use the valve core removal tool.
These days, the valve core removal tool comes in various designs, but the way it works stays the same. The simplest form of the removal tool is a small, black piece of plastic with two holes; closed and open-ended. It usually costs around $1 to $2.
The tool grabs on the tiny flat section of the Presta valve core, allowing you to turn it counterclockwise to loosen it.
How to remove the Presta valve core without a tool
You can use a needle-nose plier if you don’t have a valve core removal tool.
Gently grip the valve core with the tip and turn it counterclockwise. Be careful not to use too much force to prevent ruining the threads.
Should I clean or replace the valve core?
Over time, the tire sealant clogs up around the spring-loaded pin inside the valve. This causes the pin to get stuck, making it hard to inflate or deflate the tire. Sometimes, the tire sealant completely blocks off the airway, making inflating impossible.
Replace the valve core if you’re unable to remove the clogged sealant. A valve core costs around $2/piece and can be considered a consumable bike part.
Valve core FAQ
Why would I need to remove the Presta valve core?
You may need to remove it to replace a damaged core, install a valve extender, or use a sealant in tubeless tire setups.
How do I know if my Presta valve has a removable core?
Removable Presta valve cores have small flats on the threaded part that can be gripped by a valve core removal tool or an adjustable wrench.
How tight should I screw in the Presta valve core after reinstalling it?
Tighten the valve core until it is snug but not overly tight. Over-tightening may damage the valve core or make it difficult to remove in the future.
Can I remove a Presta valve core while the tire is still inflated?
No, you should always deflate the tire completely before attempting to remove the valve core to avoid damaging the valve or causing a sudden release of air pressure.
How do I reinstall the Presta valve core after removal?
After completing the necessary task, such as adding sealant or installing a valve extender, carefully thread the valve core back into the valve stem and tighten it using the valve core removal tool.
Can I use a Schrader valve core removal tool to remove a Presta valve core?
No, Schrader and Presta valve cores have different designs and require specific tools for removal. Using a Schrader valve core removal tool on a Presta valve may damage the valve.
Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.
He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.