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While Presta valves are the most popular valves out there, they can be a little bit tricky to work with. One issue many people stumble across is trying to work out whether their Presta valve has a removable core or not. After all, a removable core means that adding sealant through the valve is a whole lot easier. Let our experts give you the answers that you need.
So, how do you tell whether a Presta valve has a removable core? Well, if you look at the valve, you may notice that there are two flat sides on the narrowest part. If there are two flat sides, this means that the core can be removed. If there are no flat sides on the valve, then it is highly unlikely that you can remove the core. There would be no way to attach a tool.
Let our experts explain in a little more depth how to tell whether a Presta valve has a removable core. They will also be able to give you a bit of information on removing the core, if you need to do so.
How Do You Tell if a Presta Valve Has a Removable Core?
Not all Presta valves will have a removable core. Thankfully, working out whether your Presta valve has a removable core should be very simple.
Perhaps the simplest way is to determine whether you have tubeless or tubed bicycle wheels. If you have tubeless, then the Presta valve will always have a removable core. If you have tubed bicycle wheels, then a removable core is not really necessary. As a result, most Presta valves won’t have a removable core. It would just be an added expense for the producer.
If you really want to know for sure, then there is a way to tell by looking at the Presta valve.
If you look near the bottom of the Presta valve, you will notice that it is much narrower than it is at the top. The part you are looking for will be the narrow area below where the valve lock nut sits. If the core is removable, then the sides of this piece will be flat. This is where you will attach the tool that will allow you to remove the Presta valve core. If it is not flat, then there is no way to remove the core, and this means the core is not removable.
Should You Remove the Core from a Presta Valve?
If you can avoid removing the core from a Presta valve, you should.
As many Presta valve users are aware, these are incredibly weak valves. The break incredibly easily. The only reason why better options are not used as much is due to how extensive Presta valve use is. This means that if you remove the core from a Presta valve, you are running the risk of irreversible damage. Therefore, if you do remove the core, make sure that you are incredibly careful handling the Presta Valve. You will run into serious issues if you do not.
The only time you should ever be removing the core from your Presta valve is if you wish to add sealant to the bicycle wheel. This will help to extend the lifespan of the tube in the event of a puncture.
How Do You Remove the Core From a Presta Valve?
It is surprisingly simple to remove the core from a Presta valve. However, do make sure that you are careful here. Presta valves are incredibly easy to damage. If you break the core, then it will be just as expensive to replace the core as it would be to purchase a whole tube.
You will need a pair of pliers for this job. Any will do. Just make sure that they have flat sides and can open wide enough to get around the Presta valve. Yes. There are specific tools to remove the core from Presta valves, but if you are doing this as a ‘one off’ job, then they are going to be a little bit too costly. It would be better to just pull out a normal pair of pliers. You just need to be a little bit more careful.
To begin with, you will need to remove the valve cap from the valve.
Locate the area with the flat sides. This will be in the area where the valve cap sat. As we said before, if the valve does not have these flat sides, then you will not be able to remove the core.
Wrap the pliers around these flat sides and just twist. Do it carefully to make sure that you do not wear down the thread. If you do that, then the Presta valve will be ‘dead’ and needs to be replaced. If the core has never been removed, or it has been a while, then it may be a little bit tight. As long as you take things slowly, it should come off eventually.
Once you have done whatever you need to do with the valve, you can just twist the core back into position. Make sure it is nice and tight, otherwise the air will leak out.
Can you add sealant if the core cannot be removed from the Presta valve?
Yes. There are some sealants on the market that have been specifically designed to flow through Presta valves that do not have a removable core. It is a slower and more cumbersome process, but it certainly is going to be possible.
Can a Presta valve core be replaced if it is broken?
Yes. It should be a simple job. However, most people find that it isn’t worth it. If a Presta valve core has been damaged, then it may be better just to replace the tube. If you want to replace the core, then you will need to find replacement cores. Most people will remove cores from old tubes, but you can also purchase valve cores individually. However, the latter can be quite an expensive option.