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Presta vs Schrader tubes

Are there advantages of having Presta inner tube valves?

I won a like new road bike two years ago. I had never seen Presta valves before. Now, I need to replace the inner tubes.

I have 700 x 25 tires. A web search shows that tubes with Schrader (like a car) valves exist.

My pump can inflate both tube styles. I can go to the corner gas station and pump up tubes with Schrader valves.

10 Replies

AMaliar, June 17, 2023 at 11:46 am

Presta valves hold more air effectively and don’t degrade as much as its counterpart (Schrader.) They also hold higher pressure and you can install extendable adapters to accommodate different types of tires and rims plus presta valves are slightly lighter which is why they’re used on road bikes.


direwolf, June 17, 2023 at 2:42 pm

If your bike came with Presta valves the holes in the rims are probably not big enough to accommodate Schrader valves. As mentioned above, there are screw-on adapters for Presta valves that will facilitate Schrader pump heads, such as those found at your gas station. The adapters are cheap and, of course, you’ll only need one.




HelenP, June 17, 2023 at 7:36 pm

I’ve read that the narrower Presta valves began because the Schrader values take a relatively big hole out of very skinny road bike tubes — affecting the tubes’ integrity. Wider tubes are ok with Schrader.


LawnchairMan, June 18, 2023 at 10:23 am

I assume you mean rims when you say tubes. You are correct that Schrader valves would affect narrow rims more than Presta’s.

As direwolf points out, Bruce’s rims will determine the type of valves he needs. I hadn’t thought of that.

My two cents here is that I doubt that gas station air pumps would deliver enough pressure for road bikes. The last one I used only went up to 40 lbs. That’s good for cars, but not road bikes. I put 95 lbs in my front and 105 in the back.

This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by LawnchairMan.


direwolf, June 18, 2023 at 2:46 pm

Maybe that’s why Bruce needs new tubes – pinch flats due to underinflation.


Rob Fuller, June 18, 2023 at 3:43 pm

In wondering if your concern is during the ride? No worries because most hand pumps (if I recall correctly) fit universally to both. If concerned there are available small brass screw-on fittings for Presta valves to make them compatible to Shrader-only pumps.
I carry one in my seat bag but have not used it in years.


HelenP, June 18, 2023 at 8:32 pm

Thanks for the clarification about the rim, LawnchairMan. I’m still pretty new, having read much more than I’ve experienced.


Curtis Moore, June 18, 2023 at 9:18 pm

Your problem is that Shrader valves will not fit through the holes in the rims that are built for Presta valves.

Also, be careful with gas station air pumps. Not only do you have to pay for most of them, they deliver air very quickly and can blow your tubes if you don’t stop soon enough. Car tires and bike tires are two different animals.


LawnchairMan, June 18, 2023 at 9:38 pm

I think you have come a long way in a short time. My cycling knowledge increased dramatically when I joined a bike club, but I’m still no expert and am still learning.

For example, it’s been several years since I got air from a gas station, so I did some research after my last posting. I found that common gas station air pressure is between 80 and 100 psi. That is much higher than I’d experienced and should be enough to get a rider home. Of course I can’t remember flatting near a gas station over the last 15 years, but it’s good info to know.

Hope to see all y’all in Iowa. If you see a carbon recumbent with a Nevada plate that says “SCOTT” say hi.


tcoffman, June 19, 2023 at 12:12 pm

I converted to tubeless this year. Wish me luck. Look for the really cool blue presta valves the guy fixing his flat has. :)


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