I first remember hearing hate for presta valve caps in the video where Lance Armstrong changes a bike tire. He says:

See that little black thing? Don't put that back on when you're done... ever.

I thought it was just a joke, until someone commented on a thread of mine (on a bike forum) and said that the valve caps are super lame.

Personally, I always leave my valve caps on because it keeps dirt off of the valve, and in turn out of my pumps. Now, when I made that argument on the forum the other member commented saying

I totally get the keeping dirt out. Coolness [of taking them off] far outweighs the logic of those little bastards. They have gone the way of wheel reflectors and dork discs. Any bling will be negated by presta valve caps installed.

Can someone please describe to me why there is so much hatred for these little things? I get that they kind of resemble a guy's genitalia, but I feel like it's not really that big of a deal.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 3
    Voting to close due to being completely opinion based. But is that a lock-nut I see on that valve?
    – andy256
    Nov 10, 2014 at 7:31
  • 1
    @andy256 no convinced - I think there might be factual answers to "does the dirt really get in?"
    – Móż
    Nov 10, 2014 at 7:59
  • 1
    Cycing snobs, i.e. the one who have a rather romantic than logical approach to cycling dismiss vavle caps for 2 reasons: 1) they add weight (I know it's totaly insignificant, but still), and 2) they are bulky and look awful. (see Rule #60 velominati.com/the-rules ) I personally don't use caps on my mountain bike because I don't like how they look like. And i've never had a problem with dirty valves (which actually surprises me a bit.
    – Slovakov
    Nov 10, 2014 at 9:28
  • 2
    I have seen Presta valves where the end of the inner piece got bent over -- wouldn't have happened with a cap. And the cap helps prevent the lock nut from working loose. I see no reason to NOT use the caps, and I think the look neater than without. At the very least the caps can do no harm. Nov 10, 2014 at 12:33
  • 4
    AS an MTB rider who happens to love muddy rides: When mud is deep enough to get to your valves and by chance you suffer a puncture, not having to clean the valve before pumping is good enough reason for me to prefer leaving the caps on.
    – Jahaziel
    Nov 10, 2014 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


As far as I've heard the reason for not having the cap on is because without it changing the tube is somewhat faster.

  • Why? You need the nut there anyway, to keep the stem from disappearing when you press the chuck on (especially roadside, with a frame pump). The cap is just a little more effort. Nov 11, 2014 at 11:55
  • I think the same rule apply to the nut as well.
    – Kotte
    Nov 11, 2014 at 11:59
  • 1
    What good is changing the tube if you can't inflate it? Nov 11, 2014 at 12:11
  • 1
    I usually just press the stem from the tire side using my thumb. Never had any trouble with the stem disappearing myself. And just to point out, this is just what I've read/been told. Also, the rules state that you should not use the cap nor the nut: velominati.com/the-rules/#60
    – Kotte
    Nov 11, 2014 at 12:29
  • 2
    Forget those stupid rules -- they're half tongue-in-cheek anyway. Nov 11, 2014 at 12:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.