how to deflate a tire

How to Deflate a Tire – Bicycle Maintenance and FAQs [2022]

How to deflate a tire – Whether you’re a keen mountain biker or use a road bike to get to and from work, learning how to maintain your bike is completely necessary. In particular, it is important to understand how to deflate your bike’s tires. 

If you aren’t sure how to do so, don’t worry! Below, you’ll find an info-packed guide on how to deflate your tires. We include everything, from the different types of valves to the recommended air pressure of tires depending on the type of bike. Check it out! 

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click on them, at no additional cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

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Why Should You Deflate A Bike Tire? 

First, it is necessary to understand why exactly you should deflate a bike tire, to ensure that you’re doing the appropriate thing. 

The most common reason why people need to deflate their bike tires is to reach an appropriate air pressure. Every tire has a maximum capacity for air pressure that should not be surpassed. 

Going over the maximum pressure can be very dangerous, particularly for people who cycle on the roads. Tires that have been pumped full of too much air are likely to burst when under pressure, especially in the summer. 

As such, if you have overpumped your bike tires, you will need to deflate them somewhat to reach a safer tire pressure. However, there are a number of other reasons that you might need to deflate your bike tires.

Sometimes, if you need to transport your bike to an event of some kind, it may be easier to do so with deflated tires. Similarly, if you need to change the inner or outer tires, or you need to remove the wheel, deflating the tires may be necessary. 

Keep your tires under optimal pressure with this Smart Pressure Tire Gauge

how to deflate a tire pressure gauge

Valve Types 

There is just one more thing we need to clarify before we get into how to deflate a bike tire. There are a number of different valve types on bike wheels, and these will determine how exactly you deflate your tires. 

There are 3 particularly common valve types. Below, we’ve listed each one with a brief description so that you understand which valve your bike tires have. This step is necessary, as you will need to know your valve types before being able to deflate your tires. 

Presta Valve

Also known as a French valve, Presta valves are a little bit slimmer and lengthier than the other two types discussed here. They tend to be used on top-quality road bikes.

They are secured with a cap, which means that they have a cap or ring that you push down on when you want to remove air from the tire. 

Schrader Valve (American Valve)

This type of valve is generally a bit shorter and thicker than the others here. It is recognizable by its rubber cap that secures the valve. Like Presta valves, Schrader valves are secured by a cap. You’ll generally find these valves on cars, motorbikes, or mountain bikes. 

Woods Valve 

Finally, it is also worth mentioning Woods Valves, also known as the English valve. This type of valve looks similar to Schrader valves. However, they tend to be quite a bit bigger.

They work a lot like Presta valves, however, they are two-piece. This means that if you take away the top bit, air will leave the tire in an uncontrolled manner. These valves are only found on bikes. 

It’s always handy to have Mini Bike Pump & Glueless Puncture Repair Kit with you at all times

how to deflate a tire mini bike pump

3 Ways To Deflate A Bike Tire 

how to deflate a tire gear fix and adjustment

Finally, we can get into how to deflate a bike tire. Depending on the type of valve you have, check out the appropriate step-by-step guide below. 

Deflating A Bike Tire – Presta Valve 

1. Remove the cap from the top of the valve. 

2. Unscrew the brass cap. 

3. Hold down the valve stem using a metal object. Make sure that the brass cap is loose enough before you do this. 

4. Hold down the brass cap until your tire is deflated to your desired level. 

5. When you’re done, tighten the brass cap and place the valve cap back on. 

Deflating A Bike Tire – Schrader Valve

1. Open the valve by taking off (or disconnecting) the rubber cap. 

2. Allow air to escape from the tube valve by pressing down the needle in the centre. You can use a metal object to do this. 

3. Continue pushing down on the needle until the tire has reached the desired air pressure. 

4. When you’ve finished, close the valve cap. 

Deflating A Bike Tire – Woods Valve  

You can deflate tired with Woods valves the same way as you would a Presta valve, as they have very similar mechanisms. However, due to the fact that Woods valves come in two pieces, once you take away the top bit, air well begin to come out of the tire. 

This makes deflation much quicker and easier, as you don’t need to press down on the valve stem. However, once you take off the top bit, you cannot stop the air from coming out until that piece is returned. As such, it is much more difficult to precisely control the air pressure. 

Carry out your own tire repairation with this Valve Core Remover Tool Kit for Bicycles

how to deflate a tire valve core remover tool

Frequently Asked Questions

Will A Bike Tire Deflate Without A Cap? 

Generally, no. Bicycle tires should not lose air if the caps are missing. The primary function of valve caps is to keep first and dust out of the valves, rather than holding in the air.

However, as discussed above, in the case of Woods valves, if the top piece is removed, the tire will begin to deflate. 

How Long Does It Take To Deflate A Tire? 

This depends on the size of the tire and the air pressure of that tire. Generally, totally deflating a tire shouldn’t take any longer than a few minutes. If you want to speed up the process, you can remove the inner valve completely. 

What Is Good Tire Pressure? 

This is an excellent question. Generally, there will be a maximum PSI written on the side of your bike tire. Always make sure that the air pressure doesn’t exceed this value. If it does exceed the value, it can be very unsafe to ride. 

For road bikes, higher air pressure is expected. This is because it lets them roll smoother and faster. Typically, a normal PSI for a road bike is somewhere between 80 and 130.

For mountain bikes, lower air pressure is necessary for shock absorption. In these cases, a psi between 30 and 50 is recommended. 

Hybrid bike tires tend to require a PSI between 50 to 70. Childrens’ bikes tend to have the lowest recommended air pressure. This is generally around 20 to 40 PSI. However, it is important to understand that these are very general recommendations rather than strict rules.


There are a number of different reasons that mean you may need to deflate your bike tires. However, if your bike’s tires have been over-inflated, riding it can be very unsafe. We hope that our guide to deflating bike tires has helped you get on the road again! 

How to Deflate a Tire – Bicycle Maintenance and FAQs [2022]