Hey Presta!

After a couple of weeks of laziness and bus travel I got on my bike again on Monday morning. Phew! How did I get so unfit so quickly! Or am I just getting old? And have I put on that much weight in a mere 2 weeks.

Thinks bubble.
Maybe the tyres are a bit flat.

So I ask my desk buddy at work and he says the extra friction from having more surface area on the road could be causing all those symptoms and mentions there’s a foot pump in Reception. He offers to pump it for me, but hey I know how to pump up a bike tyre. Or I thought I did. Oof this foot pump’s a bit hard to pump. Not sure any air’s going in. Cycle home on what feels like a lead bicycle. And at home I discover what a Presta valve is! (not Piezo, as my son calls it!). You take off the little plastic cap and underneath there’s a skinny looking valve with a pin sticking out. And a tiny little nut you have to slacken off. So that’s why the foot pump at work didn’t work! I had no idea!

The bike’s all pumped up now and ready to roll now, but one word of warning about Presta valves. You push the pin thing swiftly once and a little woosh of air comes out to let you know the valve works. You push it a little bit longer and your tyre is completely flat in seconds. These are high-pressure sports valves & work best with very hard tyres. But I don’t have a clue why Raleigh chose to put them on a classic step-through bike. Not a clue!

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