How to inflate a bicycle wheel with a nipple

Download with a compressor

Can a compressor, not a hand pump, be used for two-wheeled vehicles? How to inflate a bicycle nipple with a car pump? In the case of the Schroeder valve, this is very simple: all structural components and adapters are unified and fit any vehicle, regardless of the number of wheels. Other nipple types require adapters of the correct size.

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In countries that attach great importance to the development of bicycle transport. in Germany, Holland, Scandinavia. there are public service points for inflating bicycle wheels equipped with compressors of less power than automobile ones. The main thing is. take into account the small volume of the bike tubes and the recommended air pressure, so as not to overdo it and damage the wheel.

Using the hand pump

How to inflate a bicycle nipple using a hand pump? The main thing. decide on the type of connection. Most modern hand or foot pumps are equipped with heads designed for two main types. American and French, Schreder or Presta. Most often, you just need to turn the head to the desired position, open, if necessary, the locking lever, slide the adapter onto the nipple and lower the lever, fixing the pump on the wheel.

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It is important not to lose the protective cap of the valve, which protects the working body of the connector from dirt and dust. The Presta valve is especially susceptible to contamination, which can easily fail due to the smaller diameter of the air passage and the lack of a spring.

Schrader valve

This invention of the American August Schroeder (there are readings: Schrader or Schrader) was patented in 1893 in the United States. Therefore, this valve is otherwise called American, but more often it is called simply automobile. the vast majority of wheels of modern cars and motorcycles are equipped with such a device.

It is also used in many refrigeration and climatic installations where refrigerant top-up is required and in other systems as a bleeding point for excessive air pressure or process fluids.

The design of the Schroeder nipple consists of a tube into which the working unit is screwed. the core, which is a poppet valve that closes the air outlet from the chamber under the influence of a spring. By adjusting the height of the protruding stem of the valve, the air pressure in the chamber can be controlled. The spool is screwed in with a special tool, which is often used as a protective cap. metal cover with a plastic seal inside. A new word in such a system. built-in pressure control sensors.

Presta valve

This pneumatic device is sometimes called French. Presta flapped tires are more commonly used on wheels with narrower rims used on racing, road or hybrid bikes. The diameter of the hole in the rim of this type of wheel is 6 mm, which avoids critical weakening of strength. Therefore, you should not adapt cameras with a car valve for sports bicycles. This is technically possible, but will require an increase in the hole to 8 mm.

The design of the Presta type bicycle nipple differs from the American Schroeder valve in the presence of a locknut that secures the spool and the absence of a spring that closes the valve. In order to bleed air, you need to unscrew the protective cap and simply press the top of the valve. there is no need to unscrew the middle working element, like with an automobile nipple. The valve closes under the pressure of the air from the tire. This makes it easy to fill the chamber with air, even with a hand pump with a small displacement.

Origin of the term

The word “nipple” is derived from the English nipple (nipple) and denotes a special kind of tube, usually equipped with a valve, to connect to a pipeline, or. in the case of a bicycle or car wheel. with a rubber tube or tire. In English, this design part is now called valve. valve. The bicycle nipple is also a special nut that secures the spoke and wheel rim.

The Dunlop nipple, sometimes referred to as the English, or Woods valve, after the inventor who made his improvements, is a design that has been used on bicycles for a very long time, especially on everyday bikes in the lower price range. Today tires with such a valve are a rarity. modern models have long been equipped with an automotive valve bearing the name of its inventor, August Schroeder. Later, a special bicycle nipple for racing and road cars appeared, lighter than an automobile one, called the Presta valve.

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Bicycle nipple: types and device. How to inflate a bicycle nipple

The expression “reinvent the wheel” in Russian has a negative connotation and means doing unnecessary work that complicates life. A modern bike is a complex high-tech product, its construction contains many details that make Honor a human fantasy and engineering talent.

Dunlop nipple

The inlet in the rim where this obsolete valve is glued into the chamber is 8mm in diameter. By design, it is a metal tube with an external thread and a diameter slightly smaller than the hole in the rim, into which a thinner metal fitting is inserted. spool with two holes. The top is the inlet through which air from the pump enters. It is protected from dirt by a special screw cap. Another hole in the fitting, the outlet, is located on the side and is closed with a piece of thin rubber tube. the nipple itself, which plays the role of a one-way valve. The union is fixed to the inlet tube with a round nut.

In order to inflate such a tire, you need an adapter for a bicycle nipple with an outlet diameter of 3 mm, or a standard retro hose that is screwed onto the spool. A modern pump with a Presta nipple adapter is also suitable.

First tire

In 1887, veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop, a Scotsman who lived in Ireland, watched his young son ride a tricycle with metal wheels on a cobblestone street. He came up with the idea to reduce the unmerciful shaking he experienced by fitting an elastic tube, pumped with air, to the wheels. The first version of a wheel with a tire was made of wood, with gut glued to the disk (either cow’s or pig’s. his profession had an effect). In the future, the option from a rubber tube turned out to be more successful.

To inflate a pneumatic tire, he invented a special adapter with a thin rubber tube that held the air in the tire, acting as a check valve or one-way valve. The design of this temporary connection to the pump was broadly applied to the manufacture of bicycle tires, run by a small factory run by an inventive veterinarian with his brother. Dunlop’s bicycle nipple, along with the rubber tire idea, has been used by automakers, making his surname famous among motorists.

How to inflate a bicycle wheel with a French nipple (Presta, FV) car pump?

In the article on the correct assembly of a tubeless bicycle wheel, I mentioned that there are Presta (FV, French) and Schrader (AV, regular car) nipples. Below is a picture of these nipples for clarity.

After this article, several people asked me in the mail and telegrams: “How to inflate a wheel with a Presta nipple (FV, French), if there is a pump only for a car nipple?”

Do not despair, there are options and very affordable.

First, let’s talk about a modern pump. Usually they are adapted for both types of nipples, but not everyone knows about it. Check if you can unscrew the cap on the holding valve, remove the sealing rubber and unfold the plastic adapter, which means that you can pump both FV and AV nipples with such a pump. I took a photo below for clarity, what needs to be unscrewed and turned over.

Those. on most modern pumps, you need to unscrew the cap on the valve, unfold the adapter and unfold the sealing rubber. Screw the retaining valve back on. Unscrew slightly the valve on the wheel nipple so that you can press it, put on the pump holder and swing it. I draw your attention to the fact that you need to unfold not only the plastic adapter, but also the sealing rubber band, otherwise it will not fit into place.

If the pump is old and only for a car nipple, then in general everything is even simpler. Remove the valve holder from the hose, and put the hose itself on the nipple. At the same time, do not forget to unscrew the nipple slightly so that you can press on it. And most likely you will need a small clamp to keep air out.

The adapter is screwed on one side of the French nipple, on the other side the valve-holder of the automobile pump is put on. Do not forget to unscrew the nipple a little

Hopefully now you can pump up your wheels with Presta nipples. networks.

Types of bicycle cameras

Questions. answers

How to install tubeless rim tape that won’t leak | Syd Fixes Bikes

Maxxis Flyweight

Bicycle camera for professionals. Extremely lightweight butyl tube on the market today with a wall thickness of just 0.45mm. It has been specially designed to reduce the weight of the wheel as much as possible. An ultra light flipper is also included with the Maxxis Flyweight camera, which will also save you a few extra grams. Available sizes only with Presta nipples 700 x 18 / 25C and 26 x 1.90 / 2.125.

Types of bicycle nipples

  • Automotive (Shredder);
  • Dunlop;
  • Presta.
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How to pump up a bicycle wheel with a hand pump: an algorithm of actions

Road bikes and some hybrid bikes are equipped with Presta thin nipple wheels. Such tires require the utmost care in handling, as well as a special low-volume pump, or an adapter for pumping bicycle wheels.


The nipple is a part through which air is pumped into the chamber with the help of a pump. Design nipples are of two types:

  • Rubberized. Less comfortable and less reliable than metal ones, therefore they are used mainly in cheap cameras. Such a nipple has a much higher risk of damage against the edges of the hole in the rim, and also a high probability of separation if it is inaccurately inflated.
  • Metal with thread. These nipples provide the highest reliability due to the fact that they have a locking nut that prevents the nipple from sinking and displacing during inflation. Accordingly, cameras with such a nipple are slightly more expensive (Schwalbe, Continental, Schwalbe, etc.).

Now let’s look at the main types of a bicycle camera nipple, which are divided into:

Maxxis downhill

The most reliable, so to speak, “bulletproof” bicycle camera, the use of which is focused primarily on the most extreme and terrain conditions by downhiller riders. The wall thickness of the chamber is 1.5 mm, weight is 465 grams, which maximizes the confident and stable movement during downhill descent. The Maxxis Downhill can also be used with reduced pressure. It is not even necessary to talk about resistance to breakdowns here, since this camera simply has no equal!

Bicycle nipple: types and device. Bicycle nipple adapter:

Bicycle parts have undergone a lot of changes over a long period. The wheels are bigger, the frames are more difficult to manufacture, and the drivetrain is no longer the same as it was twenty years ago. The only part that has remained unchanged from year to year for quite some time is the bicycle nipple. In order not to be mistaken in choosing a chamber, it is important to know not only the size, but also to have an understanding of the types of valves.

A bit of history

The retired Dunlop was called the bicycle nipple. They used a rubber tube as a check valve, and the thread diameter was much smaller than the automotive versions. To inflate a chamber with such a nipple, either a bicycle pump was needed, or you had to remove the nozzle from a car pump and hold the tube with your hands. There are no cameras on sale with bicycle nipples of this type for a long time, so you will hardly have to face the problem of pumping Dunlop.

But the increasingly popular Presta variant is also smaller than an automotive nipple, while also noticeably more fragile. It is impossible to pump a wheel with such a valve with an ordinary car pump. Either an adapter or a bicycle pump is required. Almost all modern bicycle pumps are made with dual use in mind. with both Presta and auto-nipple. To do this, in the pump, the nut is unscrewed in the place where the nipple tube enters, and the inner plastic bushing is turned over. The lock nut is screwed back and the pump is ready for operation.

The automotive bicycle nipple is used in the most popular mid-range models. They are wider than Presta, heavier, but more unpretentious. To inflate the auto-nipple, you can use a regular car pump and even weak autocompressors connected to the on-board power supply of the car.

Advice: Do not inflate the bicycle wheels with stationary compressors powered by the mains. The chamber volume in the bicycle is small, and the pressure generated by the compressors is very high. The slightest delay and the cycle tube can burst.

A few words about the integral component. the caps on the nipple. At Dunlop, plastic caps sealed the nipple from dirt and slightly trapped air through the rubber tube. In the automotive version, the nipple caps are slightly more functional. In addition to protecting against contamination, they also serve as a special key for unscrewing the check valve / spool. They are used to replace the spool or in cases where the valve is screwed in too tightly and the pump cannot “push through” it.

How To Inflate A Bicycle Tyre

Presta caps protect against dirt and mechanical stress. Nipples of this type do not tolerate rough influences and, if handled incorrectly, can even be broken by Velonansos.

Another trend in the use of caps has become the decoration of the bicycle. And here the designers have already developed, presenting a wide assortment that allows you to choose interesting and decorative solutions. But upon closer examination, the division into two types becomes obvious: Decorative caps, which give a spectacular appearance to the bike, and illuminated. in addition to the aesthetic component, they also make the bike more noticeable in the dark.

Bicycle tires with Dunlop tubes often cause problems for their owners when inflating, due to the lack of suitable pumps. This article discusses the designs of Dunlop nipples and how to pump bicycle tire chambers through them using bicycle and car pumps.

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Homemade tubeless

In theory, with proper sealing, any mid-range tire can be turned into a tubeless tire, and better with a Kevlar cord. Insulate the rim with several layers of reinforced tape or, at worst, tape. The bicycle nipple can be cut out of an unnecessary tube. It is important that it has a compression nut, as a rubber pad will need to be placed under it. If you do not mind the rim, you can fill the nipple hole on the rim with high-quality construction sealant from both sides. After that, put on the tire, pour about 100-150 ml of bicycle liquid sealant into it and you can try to pump.

As practice shows, such self-made systems sooner or later still begin to let air in or the tire breaks off on hard tracks, so think carefully if you are ready to take such risks for the sake of saving.

Pump-nipple adapters

Inflating a bicycle tube with a Dunlop nipple using a hand pump or an autocompressor designed for chambers with a so-called Schrader-type “car nipple” is a certain difficulty. This service is often in demand by cyclists when driving on roads (highways), along which there are auto repair shops equipped with compressors.

  • Gas are growing every day, and the car’s appetite only increases.
  • You would be happy to cut costs, but how can you do without a car these days?!?

Existing types of pneumatic valves for bicycle tires

There are three main types of such valves: Dunlop, Presta and Shrader. Their names differ slightly depending on the manufacturer, therefore, several names are often given on the packages. The prevalence of each type varies by country, manufacturer, and bike type and age.

The movable part of the valve is located in a tube fastened to the bicycle tire tube, passed through a hole in the wheel rim, the length of which must be the same for this type. Typical tube lengths are about 25 mm (for simple steel wheels and only for Dunlop valves) and 32 mm (for aluminum disc wheels and usually for Presta or Schrader valves).

In everyday life (exclusively domestic!), The name of any bicycle pneumatic valve by the term “nipple” has taken root. In general, in technology, a nipple is called a tube that tightly connects two pipelines, or goes from a pipeline to a fitting. Since the valve body of the bicycle tire is really a tube with an external thread, the name “nipple” for this device is quite justified.

This device is known by the following names:

  • DV. Dunlop valve (named after its first inventor JohnBoydDunlop);
  • NV. Normal valve;
  • Bicycle valve;
  • Blitz valve;
  • Alligator valve;
  • Wood (Wood) valve (named after inventor C.H. Woods);
  • German valve;
  • English valve;
  • Dutch valve.

Main technical characteristics of the valve:

  • Wheel rim hole ø 8.5 mm;
  • Thread according to DIN 7756, external VG 8 × 32;
  • Maximum pressure 6 bar.

The Dunlop nipple is the most common in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. It is used mainly in city and touring bicycles, and until the 1980s this type of valve dominated almost all types of bicycles, including Soviet-made models. It is named after its inventor John Boyd Dunlop, founder of the tire company of the same name.

It is characteristic that the movable part of the valve is inserted into a stationary tube and secured therein with a union nut. It can be removed quickly and without tools for replacement, but it can also easily be stolen. The union nut must be loosened to release the air.

Nipple mechanics

There are no fundamental differences between bicycle nipple devices. They represent a metal tube containing a conventional valve (spool) that opens when air pressure from outside and closes when air presses on it from inside the wheel. over, the higher the pressure in the wheel, the tighter the valve is closed. The spool has a different shape and may not fundamentally differ even for nipples of the same standard.

Presta bike nipples are 6mm thick while Schrader and Dunlop are 8mm thick. This means that the FV can be easily installed in a regular rim, any rim for the Presta standard can be converted to a car nipple in a matter of minutes using a drill.

Nipples can be of different lengths: from 33 to 80 mm. This range of sizes is due to the wide variety of rims and rim heights, especially on road wheelsets. AV nipples can be male-threaded only for the cap or the entire length of the tube up to the chamber. The latter type is more popular, since it can be firmly fixed on the rim with a special nut, which prevents it from skewing even when driving at low pressure. Because of their fragility, Presta bicycle nipples are always equipped with this type of nut.

Nipples are made of brass, but there are also models of steel on very cheap cameras. Buying them is highly discouraged.