How To Remove Presta Valve Cores [With Video Guide]

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One of the key benefits of the Presta valve over other varieties is that it is serviceable, and you can completely remove the core.

Learning how to remove Presta valve cores comes in handy when it comes to bike maintenance and comes with many benefits. 

At BikeTips, we get asked some amazing questions from our readers and subscribers, and how to remove Presta valve cores is one that comes up all the time. In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • What Is A Presta Valve?
  • Why Might You Need To Remove Presta Valve Cores?
  • What Tools Are Required To Remove Presta Valve Cores?
  • How To Remove Presta Valve Cores in 6 Steps
  • Robbie’s Video Guide: How To Replace Presta Valve Cores

Let’s dive in!

How To Remove Presta Valve Cores: Title Image

What Is A Presta Valve?

A Presta valve is a valve type used on either inner tubes or tubeless systems. Nowadays, it’s the most common valve type used on most varieties of bikes, including road and mountain bikes.

The Presta valve was originally invented as an alternative to the Schrader valve. It’s also known as the French valve, or some people will refer to it as a high-pressure valve. They comprise a stem, core, lockring, and cap.

They are more serviceable than alternative valve types, such as Schrader and Dunlop valves, because they can be broken down and split into separate pieces.

A Presta valve without a cap on a carbon aero wheel.

Why Might You Need To Remove a Presta Valve Core?

Cleaning And Maintenance

Although this is more on tubeless systems than anything else, it’s important to understand that valve cores can be removed and cleaned.

If you find that the tire isn’t pumping up properly or you can hear that the valve is releasing air, then your Presta valve could need cleaning or the core may need replacing.

To Insert Sealant 

Presta valves are commonly used on tubeless systems. One way of inserting the sealant mess free is to remove the valve core and insert it through the valve’s stem.

What Tools Are Required To Remove A Presta Valve?

A Presta valve removal tool and a track pump.

When it comes to removing a Presta valve core, not many tools are required. Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • Valve Core Remover
  • Pump
  • Rag (Optional)

If you want to make it easier for yourself, using a bike stand is a great way to go. You will only need around 10 minutes to complete this task.

How To Remove Presta Valve Cores in 6 Steps

Step #1. Preparation

A aero road bike in a wall stand.

The first step is to get yourself prepared. If you are attempting this on the roadside, ensure you are somewhere safe.  

If you are going to be doing this in a stand, insert the bike now. Have your tools ready and a safe place to keep the core and other parts when you remove them so you don’t lose track of them. 

Step #2. Deflate The Tire

A Presta valve being used to deflate air out of a tire.

Next, you are going to need to deflate the tire.

We do this to release the pressure, making it safer to remove the core. Start by unscrewing the cap on top if you have one, and put it to the side. 

You will then need to unscrew the top of the valve by turning it anti-clockwise until it sits a few millimeters taller than its starting point. The air will now release when you press down on the valve, and you will hear hissing. Hold this down until all air is gone. 

Step #3. Remove The Presta Valve Core

Removing a valve core from a Presta valve.

Now we need to remove the valve core itself.

Take your valve removal tool and place it in the center of the valve. You will need to put it on the oval section, which sits in the middle of the valve. 

Once on, turn the valve removal tool anti-clockwise. It will take a few turns, and then you will feel it come loose. Once loose enough, you will be able to pull the valve core out. If you are using a tubeless system, you might need to wiggle it a bit to release it.

Once removed, either put it somewhere safe, or, if you plan to completely remove the valve, throw it away so it doesn’t get mixed in with the good valves you might have spare. 

Step #4. Clean The System (Optional)

Cleaning the valve core of a Presta valve.

If you are using a tubeless system, it’s a good idea to clean the valve occasionally. Using a small screwdriver or even one of your hex keys, put it into the hole where the valve sits and clear out any old sealant or dirt that might be in there. 

Then go to the valve core itself and clean it with a rag. At this point, it’s a good idea to inspect the valve to ensure it’s in working condition and the rubber seal hasn’t perished or broken. 

Step #5. Insert The New Valve Core

A Presta valve core installed and being tightened on a carbon fiber aero rim.

Next, we need to insert the new valve core.

Just like you took it out, you are going to want to screw the valve in but this time clockwise. We recommend doing this using your fingers initially so you don’t cross-thread it.

Once it’s at a point you can’t go any further, use your valve core removal tool to screw the valve moderately tight. Overtightening risks damaging the valve.

Step #6. Pump The Tire Back Up

A track pump adapter on a Presta valve.

Finally, we need to pump the tire back up. Check to ensure the valve is in the higher open position still, then attach the pump. Once attached, pump to the recommended PSI.

Now, close the valve to ensure it doesn’t leak, and then replace the dust cap. It’s worth just putting your ear up to the valve to make sure you can’t hear any hissing or air leaking.

Robbie’s Video Guide: How To Replace Presta Valve Cores

Check out the BikeTips YouTube Channel here for walk-through bike maintenance guides and more!

Now You Know How To Remove Presta Valve Cores…

The ability to remove a Presta valve core is a skill worth learning, especially when it comes to running tubeless tires.

Presta valves can often clog up, leaving you in a situation where not even your pump can save you – so having this skill locked down can help you out of a tricky spot and reduce the number of replacements you need to buy!

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Robbie has traveled the globe as an endurance athlete and bikepacker, breaking world records and competing in international ultra-cycling events such as the BikingMan series and the Transcontinental Race. He's also worked as an ambassador for some of the industry's leading names, including Shimano and Ritchey. If Robbie's not on a bike, he's either fixing them or out walking with his dog!

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