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

Responses: 39

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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

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, an invention who's time has past

Prestas were invented when wheel rim material was weaker than it is now and they used those skinny little tires. That was 100 years ago. In 20 years all rims will be tubeless with bolt in schrader valves. But there will be some people who still insist Prestas are better. It's time has past. Let it go. A schrader valve will hold the same pressure, is easier to fill, the valve is removable for replacement or to fill with slime, and the valves don't as easily tear away from the tubes as with presta valves. (Larger diameter, more contact area with the tube.) The only reason to run a presta is if you have skinny little rims that don't have enough room for a schrader. Other than that one reason, there is not a single advantage to prestas.
—Guest Just Like To Ride

No pref

I've had trouble with both and it seems to be bad tubes. I would not drill out a rim, because it might not be made for it. That to me is the design difference, a smaller hole in a narrow rim.
—Guest Ronald H

Presta rules

What kind of ham-fisted monkeys are you people that you're breaking presta valves? I've been riding on them for 25~ years, road and mountain and have found them to be much more reliable and easier to handle. Lern2Ride.
—Guest SuperChimp

Schrader is for suckers

Have you ever tried finding good road tubes with a Schrader valve? Good wheels? A CO2 cartridge or decent portable pump? As long as all the good stuff is made for presta (and presta is way easier to use, no need to keep track of those stupid plastic caps, better air retention, easier to let a bit of air out, etc...), that's what I'll use. Schrader valves are a good indication of a department store bike, or a rider who hasn't changed a flat by the side of the road, but is convinced being able to fill up at a gas station is the most important trait of a bike. Oh yeah, adapters cost $1. You can just leave it at your favorite gas station and it'll always be there for you.
—Guest Tony Smoke

Presta

They make little adapters that screw on presta valves that turns it into a Schrader valve. They cost like $2 and they work at the gas station.
—Guest Guestdude

Presta Valves

Presta valves look cool on high end bikes. The threaded metal stem with the machined nut just looks cool. Other then that no big deal.
—Guest Grindel

Presta

I don't know what the big deal is. I had always used schraeder but my new MTB has Presta. At first I found it slightly more fiddly when filling them but you get the hang of it. I also find that Presta hold air better and I like the nut that holds the valve stem in place on the rim, which makes it easier to fill when flat. I have never found them more fragile. Harden up guys!
—Guest Wayne M

Nightmare - to say the least

Presta – What a nightmare? I had a mountain bike for 10 years with Schrader valves and for 10 years never had any issues with ripped valve stems or flats and I rode a lot. Bought a new bike and upgraded the rims to higher end rims which needless to say came with presta holes. The two initial tubes (installed by the bike shop) went flat on the first ride. When I took out the tire I noticed that both were ripped at the valve stem. I buy new tubes put them on and end up having to walk my bike less than half way through the ride because of the same reason. I’ve gone through about 5-6 tubes. My son with Schrader valves enjoys every single ride. I don’t. I am drilling the holes for Schrader and will never consider presta. I think these things were invented in France. Good ol’ USA Schrader is way to go. Just think, High end cars use Schrader…
—Guest Rider

Presta

I've been using Schader valve tubes on my bike as long as i can remember but when i stepped my game up to a "real" bike that uses presta only there was no going back. First off if you're not smart enough to inflate a presta tube without breaking it you need to slow down and watch what you're doing before you claim they are any weaker than a schrader because user error isn't the tubes fault. Second the presta uses a metal valve stem that doesn't get torn up by the rims which was at least 50 percent of the flats i got using any Schader tube. Third they don't leak pressure when they sit. There's three reasons presta is better. Oh yeah you can buy a plastic adapter for 1 dollar that'll let you inflate at the gas station.
—Guest Justin

Presta.

I do it because the pros do it, end of story. Do they even make schraeder CO2 fillers? There's a reason high end wheels have presta valves, but I'm not an engineer so I couldn't tell you.
—Guest Oliver

Presta and Woods valves are nightmares

Every bike I ever bought (mountain bikes) came with one of these stupid valves that I can't pump in a gas station, and not even at home, having a car pump (Schrader). It's a nightmare to pump them even with an adapter... barely being able to... I just bought a bike yesterday second hand, and today I noticed the back tire was almost flat... the Presta cap wasn't fully screwed, but I was screwed, not having an adapter or a pump...
—Guest Manuel.Romania

No problems with presta

I just brought a bike with one schrader and one presta. This is my first presta, so of course I had to go buy a new pump, which isn't a big deal, I wanted to get one with a hose and doesn't make me feel like I'm going to rip the valves off everytime I fill. In the dark, I managed to find that the presta has a valve cap that won't fall off, very handy... I didn't have any trouble at all unscrewing it and attaching the pump, not knowing anything previously about the valve, in the dark. The presta valve also gave me much less resistance than the schrader. I think I may be replacing my schrader soon
—Guest Bryce

Presta Stinks

I hate Presta valves because they are so little. You waste a bunch of your time just trying to fit the pump on the valve heads.
—jcperez1981

I hate Presta and I'm not alone

Presta, how do i hate thee? Let me count the ways. I commute and ride for pleasure so a Schraeder valve is the easiest, most practical solution. No fear of breaking a stem. Getting the pump to work the first time not the fifth. Racers can have the Presta. It stinks.
—Guest Guest larder

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

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