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Readers Respond: Schrader vs. Presta Valves -- Which is better? Which do you use?

Responses: 19

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Schrader valves are used in the most common type of bicycle inner tubes. Presta valves are used on higher-end bikes and bike tires that require higher air pressure. Which do you use most frequently. Is one preferable to the other? Share your thinking, or find out what others say. Share Your Reason

All about the rim

I use presta because my rims thin out at the top. When using traditional, wider MTB rims, I'll always try and use schraeder. No difference between how they hold air. I do like that Prestas have a locking nut, which I find makes it a bit easier to change tires on a road bike.
—Guest James

schrader please

I have been riding both types of valve on all types of bikes for more than 20 years. At this point, when I get a new bike, it isnt long before I drill out the rims for schraeder. I havent had many issues with presta; but they are more fragile, and do eventually break. When they brake on the road, its a needless hassle. We have 11 bikes in my household that I maintain, and I keep 3 floor pumps that accomodate both types of valves, and still find schraeder easier. Presta does allow for easier deflation, and allows for deep v rims. Presta also offers more high end tube options, but none of those outweigh the durability and otherwise universal acceptance of schraeder.
—Guest Bill

Presta....

I grew up using Schrader valves, but when I started riding road bikes about six months ago I knew I would have to adapt. I bought a pump that has both options on one head (schwinn pump dual valve style) and haven't had any problems. As some of you also mentioned I like the way the stem locks in place with a nut as to ensure as little wiggle room as possible... and I like how the release system works. It seems "simple" and "professional" in my opinion. I haven't yet figured out how to get slime in the presta tube... If you do your online research, it is not recommended to air up your road bike tires at a gas station pump, as they air up extremely quickly and can cause problems. In my experience here in California the Gas Station air pumps put out a ridiculous amount of pressure.... HOWEVER the Pressure Gauges tend to stop at 80 PSI... my tire requires 100 PSI. #rambling
—Guest Adrian Boisclair

Presta...SUCKS!

Presta is by far the worst invention ever. This valve doesn't have anything that is useful. This stupid invention is a waste of time, annoying to handle, and doesn't facilitate anything. Whoever invented this valve needs to be banned from inventing anything else. What an idiot
—Guest Bello

Presta v Schraeder

I ride Presta on my road bike and Schraeder on my MTB- Schraeders are easier to inflate but do take more pressure at the valve to attach the pump- on narrow road rims I couldn't see how Schraeders could be used given that the larger hole would severely weaken the rim. New floor pumps have combination heads for either type- you shouldn't use a gas station tire pump for bicycle tires as the pressure can be way off, inflation is too fast and hard, and without the right adapter you can't use a Schraeder pump head to inflate Presta's. For those who wrote about Schraeders gunking or rusting up, that's why all tubes have valve caps. They are important and useful and should be used to protect the valves at all times. Overall I have never had serious problems with either type- they're just different for differing applications.
—Guest Ken V

Presta - and I thought it was just me

I have a upper grade Marin City Bike with Presta valves. I'm considering drilling them out for Schraders, too. I bought a special gizmo that I can use on my air compressor. I'm into the gizmo and fittings about $35 and it still is not worth the effort. I have not found one redeeming quality in a Presta.
—steelshooter308

Presta the Money Eater

Point blank, Presta valves blow. If you have money, you can buy a new tube with the weak valve every week when you ride. Riding MTB I've had new HD tubes that I had to replace just because of that damn valve. My new setup has Schrader valves and holds up strong. MTB-wise, Schrader all the way.
—Guest Onix

Presta are demons

I have have had quite a bit of trouble with the Prestas. At first I thought it was just me manhandling them too aggressively, but then even after really being cautious, I still have had problems with the fragile valves breaking.
—Guest ljm

Good god I'm glad to read this

I despise Presta valves with the burning hatred of a thousand suns. I'm enormously gratified to see I'm not alone.
—Guest jaohlma

Presta Valves Blow!

There is no benefit that I can see besides centering and using the locknut to hold it in place that doesn't get outweighed by its unlimited amount of hassles compared to the good ole' Schrader.
—Guest Guest McGuest

SCHRAEDER all the way

Much more durable and heavy duty than Prestas, Schraeder valves are hardcore. That is why they use it on cars, truck, motorcycles, airplanes etc..
—Guest Joebud

Schrader - No contest

Schraders are strong, reliable and easy to use. Prestas are the dumbest sports invention ever! Prestas are fragile, weak, unreliable and they are pointlessly complicated. Schraders you put air in the tire and go, Prestas you have to fight to get air in, you have to use adapters and special pumps and it often takes several tries before you can even get any air in. Schraders you can smash with a hammer and they will still work. Prestas if you are anything but ultra careful with the cheap plastic end of your pump they will snap in half. The only advantages Presta has is if you are a bicycle store owner, because you make so much more replacing tubes because Prestas break so frequently.
—Guest Qam1

Schrader vs. Presta - Presta wins!

Schrader valves are cheaper and more readily available, being sold in most big-box stores but Presta valves are superior in every other way. Easier to mount and center on the rim; easier to inflate, as the pump nozzle can be placed on the stem with less force, and inflation proceeds quickly. Also, rims drilled with big Schrader holes weaken the rim at its most critical point, especially on 27x 1 1/4 or 700x 32 or 35 rims, causing them to be endlessly out of true. Mounting Schrader can be a challenge, as the hole is barely large enough to fit the valve stem, and the sharp edge of the rim easily abrades or tears the stem, thus destroying the tube. Finally, Schrader clog with sand or oil, causing them either to leak or rust shut; whereas Presta are easily freed for action.
—Guest Lark

Presta is the devil!

By 2011, the industry has to come up with something less fragile an easy to work with.
—Guest Ty Webb

Anything but Presta

Whoever invented this stupid Presta valve is an utter moron and deserves to be shot.
—Guest Tom Martin

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Schrader vs. Presta Valves -- Which is better? Which do you use?

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