Pumping the tyres on a Dutch bike is the same as pumping tyres on any other bike, with the notable difference that generally speaking, Dutch bikes use Wood’s Valves.
Wood valves are the same diameter as Presta Valves – which are fitted to most UK road bikes and many mountain bikes. So if you’re having trouble pumping your tyres, please make sure you’re using your pump in the Presta Setting.
The reason the Dutch use Woods Valves is that they can maintain a high pressure without loosing air. You can also replace the valve inner if you have a faulty one or the valve wears out without having to replace the entire tube.
With UK bikes – or those purchased from mainstream UK brands you’re more likely to come across either Schrader Valves or Presta Valves.
The Schrader Valves are often referred to as ‘car valves’ as they’re pretty much identical.You can see one above on the left and the Presta Valve is the one you’ll usually associate with road racing bikes. All you have to do with the Presta Valve is to screw back the little valve opener on the top and attach your pump and away you go.
Now back to your Dutch Bike and those pesky Wood’s Valves or ‘Dunlop valves’ as they’re often called.
Well, all you need to remember is that the Wood’s Valve is the same diameter as the PRESTA Valve so you’ll need to have your pump set up to pump a Presta Valve.
Most modern pumps will come with either two nozzles on the top (one for Presta and one for Schrader) or with a small adapter. The Adapter is simply screwed on over your Woods or Presta Valve and your pump will now fit your valve and away you go.
At the Dutch Bike Shop, we think it’s easier to use an adapter as it makes for a much better seal and it’s easy to do.
These adapters are readily available in most good bike shops and they retail for around £1.99. or, if you wish, search on Ebay and you’ll find them for sale there also.
The above picture is of the valve adapter.
So to recap on how to pump your Dutch Bike’s tyres:
- Make sure the pump your using is set to a Presta Setting
- Or, if not, simply screw on an adapter over the valve and use your bike pump in the Schrader setting (car type valve setting)
If you haven’t pumped your tyres for a while, you’ll probably need to give it a good blast on the pump to open the valve.
Have a look at our video and you can see a live demonstration.