Bike Tire Inflator Hack

Today it rained it’s pants off.  The Fatbike Odyssey 2013 race was cancelled due to massive amounts of rain and potentially dangerous flooding, but the race was rescheduled to March 3.  So I sat around the office and was generally bored and in a grumpy mood. I thought I would take the day to tinker.

I tinkered. I solved. I am sharing.  This is so silly and simple it barely warrants a post about it. Quick easy pics and text.  If this was a book, it would have little pop up pictures and a coloring area for your enjoyment.

I have a cheap Walmart pistol grip tire inflator with guage.  (no, the cheap Walmart product isn’t the problem…well it is, but that’s not my point here. I shall continue).  The tire gauge is is designed for Schrader valve stems, and all my bike are Presta valves.  I’ve been struggling with my compressor for my tubeless tires without a reputable way to fill up the tires. The problem is the tire inflator has a safety check valve in the end, and if the Schrader valve stem doesn’t depress the check valve when inflating tires, the inflator closes the valve and will not let any air come out.

I’ve been told I would have to cut apart an old bike pump chuck and cut the hose on the tire inflator and use a barb and hose clamp to peice together to get the gauge to work on Presta valve stems.  I didn’t want to demolish an old garage pump (read = my wife’s tire pump, I’m not thrashing mine), and I spent all my weekend spending money on a 30 pack of PBR and fire crackers for the fatbike race so I really did not want to buy an actual Presta Inflator from the bike shop.

The Solution was to simple, just remove the safety air check valve.  I don’t know why it took me a year to figure this out. Steps: take two wrenchs, unscrew the air chuck end, remove the check valve, apply some teflon tape, reassemble, add a brass Shrader>Presta adapter.  Pump up tires

Simple pictures below for those who hate to read

 Cheap $15-$17 air compressor tire inflator with guage – for Shrader Valve
Air chuck end, with spring catch for Schrader Valve.

Tools: 12 & 13 open end wrench.

Wrench opertion

Remove the safety air check valve.

Reassemble with Teflon tape.

Add a brass Schrader > Presta Valve adapter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s