Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Presto! Presta

I wish it was as simple as Presto! when using a Presta valve. When it comes to bike valves - I can't stand Presta valves.  Who invented these confounded contraptions anyway?  What is wrong with Schrader valves?

Cofounded contraption
 Oh yeah, they tell you that on high pressure road bike wheels that the valve stem hole needs to be smaller to help with keeping the rim strong.  Does 2 mm. make that much difference in strength?  Other people argue that using a Presta valve saves weight versus using a Schrader valve.  Does a couple of grams affect your performance that much?  With the kind of non-competitive riding I do, I can't see it making that much of a difference.

On my Proctor Townsend which I ride in the basement, I've taken to threading on those brass adapters to convert Presta to Schrader and this has made me happy.  Plus I'm not using up compressed air cylinders which are the only things I have found that work consistently well in pumping up Presta valves.

As a volunteer bike mechanic at "BikeWorks", I've seen a few cases where the cyclist has drilled out the Presta hole and replaced the tube with a Schrader equipped tube.  Not that I think it would weaken the rim but I can't see myself drilling out my valve stem holes - what if I screwed it up and ruined a fine rim?

Brass adapter


  1. I guess the trick would be to try it with a so-so rim first.

    I find both valves work ok for me but was irked this summer to get a flat while running errands and discover I was carrying around a spare schrader tube while the rim was presta.

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  2. That totally sucks when that happens - especially if you have more than one bike and have a mixture of Presta/Schrader valves