Bicycle Valve Types...

When you go to a bike shop to get a replacement inner tube, one of the first things the sales person will ask is "Schrader or Presta?". When I started riding, I didn't know there was more than one type, so here's a quick explanation of the different types.

Bicycle Valve TypesSchrader
This is most common on mountain bikes, and is the most common valve type around. This what most people will have on their bikes. You just screw/press on your pump and start pumping. Very straightforward, and very easy to get replacements.

Not as common, but becoming more popular as cycling gains popularity. They're generally fitter to higher end bikes or road bikes. This is a much slimmer adapter that works in a very different way.

You need to unscrew the top of the valve BEFORE you attach your pump or you won't get anywhere. Click HERE for a more detailed explanation.


Q. Which valve type should I get?
A. It doesn't matter, they're both absolutely fine. Just use whatever your bike comes with.

Q. Is a Presta valve more likely to break?
A. Not really. It may look flimsier, but you have to try pretty hard to break the valve. However, you do have to treat it with respect. I run them on all my bikes with zero issues.

Q. Can I use presta valves on my wheels or vice verse?
A. It depends on the valve hole on your wheels. If you have schrader, most likely yes you can. If you currently have presta, but want to run Schrader, you need to check first. The hole where the valve pokes through may not be big enough. Take you bike down to the Local Bike Shop and ask for some advice if you're not sure.

Q. Can I use my old schrader pump with presta valves?
A. It depends on your pump. Many pumps are dual valve these days. If you've only got that old pump you use for your football, I'd say probably not.

Q. Might I have another valve type?
A. I doubt it. Those two valve types pretty much account for 99% of the market.

Q. What brand should I buy?
A. There are LOTS of good brands out there. However, if you want some suggestions, Continental (I use these and rarely have issues) or Specialized get my money. They both make excellent inner tubes, so it's up to you.

Q. Where should I buy them?
A. Any of the shops below are excellent. Shop around for the best price, but if you've found this article useful, clicking on the links below and buying something will help to keep this site running

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