Presta Valves

Hey core77 cyclists, I’ve got a question for you. Why are Presta tire valves a thing? They are so fussy. :biking_woman:

I think the biggest advantages to Presta and what led to their mass adoption is the ability to cut a smaller hole in wheels, making the wheel stronger, as well as less weight than a Schrader valve which IMO only would really make sense on really high performing wheels but there are a ton of weight weenies out there and now with more adoption of carbon frames I think more people are challenging themselves to go lower and lower weight.

I feel like they’re easier to fill, too. They’re not fussy if your pump is set up for Presta’s. If you’re trying to use an adapter and a gas station pump you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Presta valves (some, not all, but the ones I buy) can have a removable core. This makes putting in a latex sealant an easy task which is something I do when I get a flat out in the world (warning - not all flats can be fixed with sealant). There are sealants for Schrader valves, but they are bulky, pressurized, more difficult to use and more expensive.

Also, presta valves are a simpler mechanism and in theory are less prone to failure, but I really don’t think that should be a driver.

And in the end, all the cool kids use presta valves. Schraders are fugly. :slight_smile:

Maybe I just need to get a better pump. Mine has one of those sliding collars for Presta valves and I feel like it is always popping off mid inflation… most likely user error.

The Cadillac of pumps.

I’d imagine also that when skinny tubes were first made that the curvature of rubber was too great to permit good bonding of the valve to the tube.

One way to think about Schrader is that its just Presta, with an additional protective cylinder surrounding the valve.

The best portable pumps have a screw-on head, with a short hose connecting to the pump mechanism. Lezyne makes good ones.

And throw away the caps! Unless you have a fancy removable core valve, or a Belgian Challenge latex tube. Then you want to show off your valve caps. DT Swiss has ano red caps which save me literally seconds on the hill.

Seconding the Silca pump. Will be the very last pump you purchase the rest of your life.

And yes, the cool kids run Presta whether there’s an advantage or not.

I believe way back when, it was a pressure thing, too, correct? Back when sew-ups were the norm and you’d put 130+psi in your tires.

Really love what Silca has been doing the past few years. If I wasn’t so embarrassed to ask for gifts, and it wasn’t really coming out of my own wallet, I’d ask for the Y-wrench set for Father’s Day.

so after moving last year and just getting lazy I got back on my bike yesterday for a short leisurely ride (very leisurely, I’m not into long rides) and man am I hurting today… I went for another short ride today and I could barely sit down on the bike :weary:

Those ‘sit bones’ relative to saddle shape always take some breaking-in. If I go three weeks without riding (which sadly happens often) it gets that bruised feeling.

Pain is weakness leaving the body! Most of the time

I just need to keep at it… I’ll never be hardcore, just a little leisurely health cycle (mask on) in the neighborhood. We live in this weird little part of Portland with almost no street traffic and windy roads so it is nice to doodle around.

Being that you live in the #2 cycling city (ahem, Minneapolis being #1 of course…) in the country, you should probably ride more!

For sure. I don’t feel very confident in traffic… but nothing is going to help that except riding in traffic more I suppose. I also have a hipster bike which probably doesn’t help. An old refurbished single speed (not a fixie) Raleigh.

A lot of kid bikes use Schrader valves, which is often a challenge due to the smaller diameter of their wheels. It can be fussy to get the pump seated on the valve stem well enough to keep it from blowing off. Islabikes was notable for making all their kids bikes rims drilled for Presta.

If you can invent a better inflation system, the world would beat a path to your door. I don’t think even the removable valve cores are optimal for sealant. Stuff gets into the stem, it messes with the psi readings, and sometimes doesn’t close properly.

I thought it might be because it is stated in “The Rules”. :wink: https://www.velominati.com/
Rules about pumps (rule #30), but not valves that I can tell. lol
I actually have always liked them and they do seem easier to fill. My first experience with them was on an early 80’s Nashbar racer which had tubulars and I hated those damn tubulars. First blow-out, I went to the local bike store and got clinchers! Can someone explain benefits of tubulars? Weight?

Tubular tires or “sew-ups” as they’re also called benefit from super high PSI capacity (130+), and high-speed cornering ability. With the advent of tubeless tires, however, I’m not sure how they compare.

Racing teams used to “age” them in wine cellars in the old days to get some kind of improved performance and longevity.

Tubeless is still apparently inferior to tubulars in cyclocross, partly for snob appeal (tubulars, like cyclocross and fries with mayo, are big in Belgium) and partly because you can run really low pressures and not pinch flat. This makes for corners-on-rails ability in muddy grass. Tubeless will be nearly as good but can’t be run at quite as low psi because they will ‘burp’.

(disclaimer - I haven’t raced in years and ride exclusively tubeless now)