When you ride a bicycle it will come to a point that you’ll need to inflate your tires. Soon, I’ll be going over how to change a flat, different types of pumps and what makes a tire tubeless, tubular or standard. For today we will be starting very basic and figuring out which valve you have and why you need to know.
A schrader valve is the commonly used valve in the U.S for automotive tires and most bikes under $1,000. The valve has a spring inside of it that opens and closes the valve core. The valve core is what keeps air from leaking out of your tire. On a schrader valve it is very important to have a valve cap (plastic top) to cover the valve to keep dirt out, if not the valve could stay open or jam shut.A presta valve is found on higher pressure bicycle tires or higher end wheels. This valve is much smaller in diameter and has a top nut that controls the valve core. You need to screw open this nut to let air into and then screw close to shut off the valve. Due to the fact the valve does not use a spring to control the valve core it is able to hold higher pressure in the tubes, leak less and also not need a valve cap.
Depending on your application both valves work great and are easy to use. The presta valve involves a softer touch to open and close that valve so you don’t damage the valve core but I have faith in you! We will go over pumping up the tires more in depth next week.
A video on differences between valves with Carlton Reid