I want to get into biking into the local forest preserve, so I want to inflate my Uncle's old bike. The front tire has the core but has likely been missing the cap and the portion that you push in to release air for years. I would like to repair it to take it but I do not know if it is likely been clogged and/or damaged and if it be easier to replace the entire valve/tire/bike. I wasn't able to pump the bike since the pump I had in my house for years was for the other type of valve if that is important.

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    Aside - there are little spin-on adapters that can be used to pump up a Presta-equipped tube with a Schrader/car pump. They're simple, light, small, and worth carrying on any presta-equipped bike even if you also carry the right pump. I managed to be carrying the wrong pump one day, and if I had the adapter I could have saved a 2 hour walk.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


If the bike has been sitting for a while, it might be quicker and easier to replace the whole tube inside the tyre.

The missing cap is not that important - it keeps dirt out to minimise the chance of a clog later, but the missing valve core is what holds the air inside the tube. You can buy new cores for presta tubes, but rubber deteriorates, and you have no idea if the tube is good.

A new tube should be about the same price as a pack of cores anyway, so its not much of a saving either way.

Perhaps buy two tubes, one to fit, and one to carry as the Spare. You'll need a couple tyre levers and an air pump to swap the tube, and maybe a spanner for the axle nuts if it has them.


The part you’re missing is called valve core and they can actually be bought separately. If the tube is old, it might be worth it to replace the whole tube anyway.

There are three types of valves on bicycles. If your pump is for Schrader valve (the same as cars), you need an adapter that is also available in bike shops. If it is for Dunlop valve, it fits Presta too.

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