How to Let Air out of a Tire – A Detailed Guide

Just like many other machines, bike is specialized equipment that is made of different parts. Amongst the many parts of a bike are tires which are the only part that comes in contact with the ground. To have an easier biking time it is important to understand how bike tires operate. One of the things that you need to know about a bike is how to let air out of a tire. This can be very tricky especially if you are not well conversant with the tire. Therefore, it is important to have information about the tools, procedure and methods of removing air from your bike tire.

Why You May Want to Remove Air from Bike Tire

There are several instances when you may want to remove air from your bike tire. This includes:

1. Over inflation

There are instances when you over-inflate your bike. When using either a hand pump or an unregulated pump at a gas station, you can have your bike over inflated. Over inflation is a dangerous thing not only because it can cause a tire burst but also, leads to poor handling. Also, an over inflated tire is rough on the road as it bounces over rocks giving rough impulses that make the ride uncomfortable.  Therefore, you need to deflate the tire a little so as to get to the right tire pressure. By so doing, you will not only make your bike safe but also, comfortable to ride again.

2. Changing a tire

Another instance when you need to remove air from your bicycle tire is when you need to change the wheel.  The process of changing a bicycle wheel involves total deflation so that the tire can be easily removed from the rim. Therefore, it is important to learn how to let air out of a tire.

3. Installing a new tube

On the other hand, you need to remove air from a tire in order to install a new tube. The procedure is more or less the same as that of installing a new tire on your bike.

4. Puncture repair

During bike ownership, you will be faced with occasions when your tire will develop a puncture. The process of repairing a puncture on a bike tube involves the process of inflation and deflation. To identify where the puncture is, you first inflate the tube before dipping it in a bowl of water. In time, you will be able to see bubbles in the area where there is a puncture. It is at this stage that you deflate the tube before repairing the puncture.

Tools Needed

  • Valve remover.
  • Screw driver.
  • Pen cap.
  • Pliers.

How to Let Air Out of a Tire on the Different Types of Valves

There are three ways of deflating a bike tire. However, the methods followed depend on the type of valve installed on the bike. Below, we are going to look at the main methods of removing air from your bike tire.

Different type of valves

1. Schrader valve

The Schrader valve is also known as the American valve or a car valve. It mainly consists of a valve stem that is surrounded by a threaded core. When compared to other types of valves, Schrader valves are shorter and wider and are found on cars, affordable motor bikes and some mountain bikes. To open the Schrader valve, begin by removing the rubber cap on top before proceeding to remove air from the valve. You can use a simple tool such as a pen cap, small metal or your fingernail to push down the springy valve stem. You should hold down the stem until you expel the right amount of air from the tire. And to completely deflate the tire, hold it down till you can no longer hear a hissing sound from the valve.

2. Presta Valve

The Presta valve is also referred to as a French valve or a Sclaverand valve. The Presta valve is normally longer and narrower than the Schrader valve and is mostly found on the more expensive road bikes.  Unlike the Schrader valve that is surrounded by a valve core, the Presta valve has an external valve stem that is protected by a cap. To open this valve, begin by removing a dust cap that is located on the top of the valve before proceeding to unscrew a small brass cap on the valve stem. To ensure that you have loosened this cap enough, you should press on the stem and if you hear a small hiss then, you have loosened this cap enough. If you want to deflate a tire with a Presta valve, you need to open the brass cap first before pressing on the valve stem located on the valve body.

3. Woods valve

A woods valve, popular in Asia and Europe, is also referred to as an English valve or a Dunlop valve. This valve is as large as a Schrader valve but employs the same operation mechanism as a Presta valve. To deflate a tube with this valve, you need to follow steps similar to those of the Presta valve.

The Importance of Learning How to Let Air Out of a Tire

There are many benefits of learning how to let air out of a tire. This includes:

1. Convenience

One of the benefits of learning basic skills in biking is that you are able to solve issues by yourself. This brings a lot of convenience for riders especially when they are alone on a biking trail. When it comes to removing air from a bike tire, you will need this skill when changing a tire, repairing a puncture and regulating the amount of air in a tire.

2. Protects your tire

Another benefit of learning how to let air out of a tire is that you are able to protect your tire from a burst. Sometimes, you may inflate your tire in the cold but when you hit a biking train, you find that it is too hot and the tire pressure increases. If you have no knowledge of how to let air out of the tire, the tire could burst.

3. Saves time

Another importance of knowing how to let air out of a bike tire is that you are able to save time. For example, if you are on a trail, you could change a tube or repair a puncture by yourself. This will save a lot of time when compared to pushing the bike back home only to spend more time looking for a bike repair service.

4. Cuts on cost

Last but not least, if you are well conversant with removing air from a bike tire, you are able to save a lot of money since you will neither have to make a trip to the repair shop or pay for the service.


In your biking experience, there comes a time when you need to learn how to remove air from your bike tire. From the skill, you can save a lot of time and troubles in finding the right bike repair service. The good news is that, learning how to let air out of a tire is a simple and straight forward process.

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