How to Deflate a Bike Tire

As a biker, you should know how to deflate a bike tire as there are several situations where you’ll need to do this. In this article, we’ll discuss a step-by-step process that will help you understand how to deflate a bike tire correctly.

We’ll also cover why and when you need to perform this action, along with different types of valves so you’ll know how to deflate your bike tire regardless of which valve your bike comes with. So, let’s get started.

Why Should You Deflate Your Bike Tire?

There are several reasons why you should deflate your bike tire and the most common one is over-pumping. All types of tires come with a safe pressure capacity rating, usually labeled on the side of the tire.

A tire burst can happen if you go over the pressure capacity rating, especially if you have a road bicycle. if you have over-pumped the tire mistakenly, then deflating it will help you adjust the pressure to eliminate the risk of a tire burst.

When Should You Deflate Your Bike Tire?

The following are some of the most common circumstances when you need to deflate one or both of your bike tires.

  • When the tire is over-inflated and you need to adjust the PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) pressure inside the tire in order to keep it from bursting.
  • When you need to take your bike to rough terrain. It’ll help you reduce the bounce while riding to make the experience more comfortable.
  • When you have to change your bike tires.
  • When there’s a puncture in one of the tires and your need to repair it.

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Tools Needed to Deflate Bike Tire

There are different tools that you can use to deflate the bike tire, including the following.

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Pin cap

If you need to deflate a bike tire in an emergency and you don’t have any of these tools at hand, you can use your fingernail for the same purpose. You might need to put some effort while using your fingernail, but it’ll get the job done.

Workbench showing handheld tools like pliers, and screwdrivers

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Understanding Different Bike Valves

Before getting into the details of deflating a bike tire, it’s important to understand different types of bike valves, which include the following.

Presta Valve

The Presta valve, also known as the French valve, is a long and narrow type of valve. It controls the airflow into and out of the inner tube. If you have a Presta valve installed in your bike tires, you’ll need to loosen the small ring attached to the valve’s top to deflate the tire.

Schrader Valve

The Schrader is one of the most commonly used types of bike valves. It’s commonly used in mountain bikes and allows airflow only in a single direction. It comes with a needle that you need to press to deflate the tire.

Wood Valve

The wood valve, also called the Dunlop valve, is specially designed for bicycles. It consists of two parts, including the top ring-like cap, and the inner cap. You need to unthread the top cap to deflate the tire.

How to Deflate Bike Tire

If you’re wondering how to deflate a bike tire, use the steps listed below.

  1. Unscrew the dust cap installed on the top of the bike valve using your hand. If there’s no dust cap, move to the next step.
  2. If you have a Presta valve, loosen the top ring and press it down. The tire will start deflating.
  3. Press the small metal cylinder (needle) inside the Schrader valve to deflate it. Use a screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, or your fingernail to press the valve needle.
  4. If you have a wood/Dunlop valve, unscrew the top metal ring and remove it from the valve to deflate the tire.
How to deflate bike tire (Presta valve)

Folding Bike Tire Tube

Folding a bike tire tube correctly will allow you to store it in a small space. The right way to fold a bike tire tube is to remove all the air out of it and add a dust cap to the valve.

After that, place the entire tube on a flat surface in a way that the valve is in the center and facing upwards vertically. Now start folding the tube from both ends until they reach the valve and then store it in a small plastic zipper bag.

How Long Does It Take to Deflate a Bike Tire

Generally, a tire will take 30 seconds to one minute to deflate, depending on the tire size and the pressure inside.

The bigger the tire and higher the pressure, the longer it’ll take to deflate completely.

Tips to Deflate Your Bike Tire Correctly

  • Always check what type of bike valve you have before starting the deflating process.
  • Use the right technique to deflate the tire based on the bike valve
  • Always use a pointy tool to press the needle. A wider tool can damage the upper layer of the valve.

Final Words

Deflating a bike tire is a quick and easy process that you can complete within a couple of minutes. Make sure that you identify the type of bike valve you have before you start the deflating process. It’ll allow you to use the right technique to deflate the tire correctly.