Presta valves are usually seen on higher-end bikes with narrower rims. There is a common misconception that Presta valves are better for the higher pressures used in high-performance bicycle tires.

Presta Valve (Left) vs Schrader Valve (Right)

What are Schrader Valves?
Schrader valves end up on lower pressure tires, like mountain bikes. These are similar to the valves used in automotive tires and can be easily filled up at your local gas station in the case of an emergency (we recommend carrying a bicycle-specific floor/portable pump). Schrader valves are more robust, universally used, and have an easily removable core.

What are Presta Valves?
Presta valves have a slimmer stem. They are usually found on higher pressure tubes, like on Road Bikes. To inflate or deflate a tube which has a Presta Valve, the top section must be unscrewed, which allows the valve core to be free to move and to open/close. Presta valves are easier to pump than Schrader because they have no valve spring to overcome. The small diameter of the Presta valve requires a smaller hole in the rim, which becomes important in high-end bicycle rims.

A detailed guide on Bicycle Tubes!

There you go! It’s not one over the other. Just depends on the application.

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About the Author

Rohan Kini

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING I love riding my bike. Whether it's a simple commute, a high-intensity road race, a jaw-grinding brevet, fixie rides thru packed Indian city or a kick-ass technical single track – I love it all. Apart from riding bicycles, I love being all geeky and know everything there is to know about bicycles, technology, bike fit, and service. I started BUMSONTHESADDLE to share this passion for cycling. DISCIPLINE: Partial towards MOUNTAIN BIKING but love it all CURRENT BIKE(S): Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized Tarmac, Pure Cycles Original DREAM BIKE: S-Works Epic HT & S-Work Roubaix OTHER PASSIONS: Technology, Photography, Baking, Travel, and Reading

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