There have been many instances where you had to pump air into your bike tire and inflate it, but what do you do when you have to deflate your tire?
This sounds like a simple task, but you must know how to do it properly and safely. You don’t want to damage the tire while you’re deflating it.
Look no further as we will teach you how to let the air out of your bike tire, depending on the type of valve your bike has.
- Why Should You Deflate a Bike Tire?
- Most Common Valve Types
- How To Deflate A Bike Tire?
- Tools to Help You Deflate a Bike Tire
- How Long Does It Take for Bike Tires to Deflate?
- How to Store Your Deflated Bike Tire?
Why Should You Deflate a Bike Tire?
Let us address the elephant in the room. You may ask why you need to deflate your bike tire in the first place.
Here are the most common situations when you should deflate your bike tires.
If You Over-inflate The Tire
Sometimes after inflating your bike tire, you realize that you overinflated it. This is a common mistake beginners make, but nothing to be ashamed of. As soon as you know you’ve over-inflated, you need to deflate some, or you could be involved in an accident.
Over-inflated tires can lead to bumpy rides, and your bike will be harder to control. There’s also a risk of blowing out your tires! Yes, your tires can blow out mid-ride if you over-inflate them, so always check that they’re sufficiently inflated.
This is especially dangerous when you take your bike out on a sunny day. This is because the heat will cause the tire to expand and blow. This is why knowing how to deflate your tire is essential.
When You Fix a Puncture
A tire puncture is common, especially if you’re driving on rocky roads. If you know how to let the air out of the tire and change it yourself, you don’t have to panic in such situations. You don’t have to worry about taking your bike to a mechanic and paying for maintenance. The maintenance cost adds up to a considerable amount over time, and it’ll save you a lot of time and money!
When You Change Tires or Tubes
Changing your bike tire and tube requires that you deflate them completely. If you’ve been biking for a while and notice that the tires and tubes are worn out, you should change them immediately to avoid accidents.
If You Transport Your Bike
Let’s say you’re taking a road trip by car, but you also want to take your bike with you. The idea sounds great until you realize that your bike is too big and bulky for the car. Well, this could be your chance. You could let the air out of the tires to reduce the size of your bike to fit it in your car.
Related reading: Where Can I Pump my Bike Tires for Free?
Most Common Valve Types
Before attempting to deflate your tire, you have to know which type the valve of your bike falls under. Let us look at the most common valve types.
When it comes to valve types, there are mainly three common ones: Schrader, Presta, and Woods.
Schrader valves are the most common type and are widely seen in mountain bikes. They have a distinct wide stem and are capable of holding high pressure with the help of a rubber cap securing the top. They are a favorite option among bikers as they are cheap and easy to operate. They can be a hassle as they need a larger hole in a wheel rim and lose air when the pump is removed.
Presta valves are lightweight and thin. They are an easy choice for high-end road bikers as they usually do not get clogged with dirt, and air pressure can easily be adjusted. They can easily be deflated by pressing down the top ring. The issue with these valves is that the shaft is prone to breaking, and the core pin and nut may break while the tire is inflated.
Woods valves, also known as English valves, are more commonly used in Asian countries and only used in bikes. Wood valves are cheap to buy and have sturdy valve stem. Being the same size as a Schrader valve, they can be used interchangeably. However, they come in two pieces, so removing the top makes air get out at an uncontrollable rate.
How To Deflate A Bike Tire?
Now that you know the types of valves you may see in a bike let’s see how we can deflate tires with one of the three valve types.
Each valve has its own technique for letting air out. Check your tire to see what kind of valve you’ve. The three types of valves are the Schrader valve, the Presta valve, and the Woods valve.
Each of the above valves releases air differently. So you need to know which valve your bike has. Once you figure that out, the rest is easy. Here’s how to deflate these valves.
How To Let Air Out Of A Schrader Valve?
To release air from a Schrader valve, you must first remove the cap that seals it. The stem of the Schrader valve is threaded like a screw, so you simply twist off the cap and push it in with a pointed end. Screwdrivers, toothpicks, needle nose pliers, valve removers – they all work well.
Because the cap is designed to prevent dust and dirt from entering the valve, it’s securely sealed, and the air will only come out very slowly if you don’t push on the valve. If you want to release only a tiny amount of air, press the valve until the desired amount is left. If you’re going to release all the air, press until the hissing sound stops.
How To Let Air Out Of Presta Valve?
Bleeding a tire with a Presta valve is also reasonably straightforward. You must first remove the outer cap that secures the valve to do this. Then you unscrew the brass cap and press on the center of the valve with a metal object. If you don’t have a tool to help you with this, you can also use your fingernails and push out the desired amount of air. Then screw everything back on, and you’re ready to go!
Related reading: How to inflate a bike tire without a pump?
How To Let Air Out Of A Woods Valve?
A Woods valve works much like a Presta valve. You’ve to remove the top cap to let the air out of the tire.
Before you do that, you’ve to remember that the tire will deflate very quickly when you take the cap off. So keep an eye on it if you only want to deflate a little.
You must be careful when removing air from a Woods valve as it may be easy to maneuver. Still, you do not have control over the amount of air released. This means you can easily depressurize the tire if you try to reduce the pressure. Using a pressure gauge to keep track of the optimum tire pressure might be a good thing to do.
Related reading: How to Put Air in Bike Tires at Gas Station?
Tools to Help You Deflate a Bike Tire
Deflating a bicycle tire is pretty simple in itself, but some tools will make your life even easier. It’s best to get metal objects with a pointed end, such as screwdrivers, pin caps, valve removers, and needle-nose pliers.
But if you don’t have these on hand, don’t worry. You can also use your fingernails or a toothpick.
How Long Does It Take for Bike Tires to Deflate?
How long your bike tire takes to deflate depends on the amount of air and the type of valve. Road bikes usually ride best at 90-120 PSI, while mountain bikes need a value of 35-60 PSI. So it shouldn’t take too long to deflate completely.
And if you have a Schrader or Presta valve and push the valve down properly, the air should come out quickly. And if you have a Woods valve, the air will be out in no time!
How to Store Your Deflated Bike Tire?
The best way to store your tire after deflating it’s to fold it. Keep folding it back and forth on itself until the size of the tire is compact. Make sure the tire’s valve is on top and facing up, so it doesn’t touch the rest of the tube.
To store it, secure it with a soft string; don’t use a rubber band as it may stick over time. Wrap it in a piece of cloth or a sock and store it with your other bike gear.
There are many scenarios where you might have to deflate your bike tire, whether changing your tire due to a puncture, overpumping your tire, or even taking your bike on a trip.
It may seem daunting initially, but it gets smooth once you get familiar with the three types of valves and the procedures. With the help of this guide, we hope you now know how to let the air out of your bike tire, whether it has a Schrader, Presta, or Woods.