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What's The Point Of Presta

By Dee - Posted on 23 January 2017

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Seriously, why do we have to put up with presta valves on MTB rims? My new rims came with presta valves and I was reluctant to drill brand new rims out to fit schraders. So I got adapters to use the air at the servo and my home air compressor inflater. What a fricken pita!

Twelve months on and warranty cares now zero, I carefully drilled them out to fit some nice new schrader valves. Life is much happier. Using the valve caps that have the core removal tool built-in lets me add stans anytime.

Keep It Simple Stupid

You could ask whats the point in schrader.

Most MTB tubes and (all?) tubless valves are presta.
The weakest point of a rim is often the valve hole, so a smaller hole, even by a little can make a big difference, especially since Pi.r2, and the fact many MTB rims are still quite narrow. Nothing like drilling out a hole 1/3rd the rim width to get a valve in.

Tubeless schrader valves definitely exist, I bought some to do my conversion.

The weaker rim due to a larger valve hole is theoretically logical but in practice I have never seen or heard of a rim suffering a failure because it was drilled out for schrader.

When I drilled my rim, the amount of material removed was very minimal, no where near 1/3 of the rim width, unless you used the wrong size bit. More like half a millimeter or so.

Schrader valves are more convenient and robust. Presta seem like hand-me-downs from roadies and their skinny rims which have no place on an MTB.

Schrader valves are for cars and department store bikes. They get shit in them unless you have a cap and unless you're in the 90's and have a dice shape, they look terrible.
If like a lot of guys here you have a road bike as well, it makes sense to have Presta on both bikes.

Schraeder are for car tyres. They have no place on bike tyres unless you're into shitty department store bikes, in which case feel free to go the full hubbard.

Get a track pump and stop annoying the neighbours with your noisy compressor Sticking out tongueEye-wink

There is a screw down adapter that turns a presta into a schraeder - got a few of em very handy for inflating UST tyres using a compressor and car tyre inflator. Looks like this

@Hawkeye - I have compressor that is very quiet and available from bunnings/supacheap like this

Note: There was one time that it made a huge noise when BLACKFLASH was using it and the tyre blew off the rim showering me and my garage with STANS. The noise of BLACKFLASH screaming was far louder than the compressor though.

@Pete B always have a cap on so never get shit in them, plus added bonus the cap has the valve core extractor built in Laughing out loud Only have/need one bike right now, so no road bike (going against the n+1 rule) therefore all my bikes are schrader Sticking out tongue

@hawkeye what makes them shitty? The look? Really? Function over form any day for me. I have a track pump for the early morning daily commute top ups. My dog hates the air flow from the compressor but the neighbours wouldn't ever hear it under my house in the bunker.

@GiantNut I tried the adapter thingy but the routine of taking off the cap, getting the adapter, opening the valve, screwing on the adapter all whilst wearing gloves gets tired pretty quick. Much prefer to undo cap and inflate. Easy done with gloves and not having to be gentle else bend the pretty little presta valve is another win.

I guess the point of difference is I'm riding a commute everyday and need convenience, robustness, simplicity. For those requirements, presta is second fiddle and will no longer be part of my ride, no matter how less pretty it makes me Sticking out tongue

"Although Presta valves have been made with removable cores, demand is so small that they are uncommon."

Presta is soooo Euro and Schraeder is sooo USA

It's cool to hate on the Yanks.
Mean while Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys only have cycling to be considered cool. Give them the valve war at least

Double head track pump solves all your woes

True, Schrader is also know as the American Valve.

Get a floor pump with like a Topeak Joe Blow Smarthead and it doesn't matter. One hole will accept either. Used to be pro car valve but prefer schrader now. It honestly doesn't matter, but my spare tube is always Schrader so it can fit into either if one of the group needs a spare.

Oh and for those playing along at home but can't figure out if they have Presta or Schrader, just remember you can make the word CAR from sChRAder, so CAR=Schrader!

Meh, different things invented by different people.

I used to hate the Frenchies when a mate got a flat I had to pull bits out of my pump head before I could do anything useful. Now with awesome pumps like bizman it is a non issue.

I did hate my Lezyne pump screwing out the Presta valves, it went in the recycling bin, absolute garbage that thing.

Despite having pumps that can do either I still prefer to drop in to the servo and use the digital automatic inflator.

Helps that the servo is 50m from my house Laughing out loud

So I had to put a tube in my tyre due to a small slash that wouldn't seal and the valve is presta. Was going to try and run some stans in the tube for fun but the valve does not come out??

What kind of a stupid idea is that?

Hmmm. Most Presta valves are removable.

Here is a video showing someone removing it. If you want the easy way to remove the valve just use a Lezyne floor pump! (F@#king Lezyne pumps).

That is a cool little trick, nice one.

The one on the tube I used does not have the little flats though Sad

try your needle nose pliers and grip where the flat spots should be.

It's ideological. Eye-wink

For some (and I may or may not be among them, depending on how many morons I've had try to shave the hair off my elbow with their wing mirror on a given day) the *entire point* of Presta valves is that they are NOT car tyre valves.

besides which, I've never found a Schraeder valve tube that didn't leak like a sieve. Not sure if its the valve or the generally poorer quality tubes found at the K-mart end of the market typial of Schraeder valved tubes.

As for ease of use and reliability, I'm with @PeteB further up. I have them on all my bikes. Good luck getting a Scraeder to fit a 50mm deep aero road rim.

Yours in hubbardry


Good idea Scratchy, will give that a try.

Hawkeye, for narrow rims I understand the attraction but for me that's not something I'll ever use and I've never had a schrader valve fail, even on a cheapie. Have seen the result a presta valve struck by something whilst out on a ride, bent the top section right over. Flimsy design.

There are some drivers who don't care much for cyclists and they are very scary for sure, which is why I stay off-road as much as possible. But to then not want to use the same valves as they use is a bit.. um... childish. The majority of schrader valves used on all sorts of vehicles go about their business without harming anyone. Some of them are even on some pretty cool wheels like drag cars, rally cars, formula one cars, show cars, classic cars, motor bikes, trail bikes, big cruiser bikes and of course my bike Smiling

Looks like you'll have to agree to disagree, but remember, all the pro's use presta so they must be the best. ;-P

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