3 Settembre 2022

Types of bicycle valves

When we have to replace an inner tube it is always necessary to pay attention to what we are going to buy. In fact, there are two types of valves on the market:

  • Schrader
  • Presta

Any type of pump currently on the market, both compact and workshop, is compatible with both types of valves, just turn the pump connection. But pay attention to the bicycle rims. In fact, the valves have two different external diameters. The Presta valve is 6 mm while the Schrader is 8 mm, a situation that does not make it compatible with rims with a 6.5 mm valve hole.

The Schrader valve

The Schrader valve consists of an externally threaded brass cylinder in which the valve core is placed, bound by a pin and a spring. All valves of this type are standard and need the classic black plastic cap screwed to the threaded part. The hood is in fact very important to prevent dirt and water from entering.

How do you inflate an inner tube with a Schrader valve?

We will have to find the pump connection that fits this type of valve. Just unscrew the present cap and screw the pump to the threaded valve, taking care to activate the internal pin that holds the air.

The Presta valve

The presta valve is the most commonly used in both racing and mtb bicycles. They come in different lengths to be used on medium and high profile rims.

The operation of this type of valve is very simple as the air itself present inside the air chamber pushes the valve located inside the threaded cylinder, causing it to block. A screw mechanism also gives greater safety to the valve itself.

To inflate the Presta valve we will use the specific pump connection. Before attaching it to the valve, the screw mechanism present must be loosened.

Better the Presta or Schrader valve?

There is no winner as both types work very well. The Presta will tend to lose more air in the pump release phase, while the Schrader is the one that keeps it better. On the other hand, the Presta is more versatile as it can be mounted on high and medium profile rims thanks also to adapters.

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