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Old 09-03-10, 02:28 PM   #1
Diamond
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Presta vs Schrader Tubes

Iíve often seem comments on the advantages of 26 inch tires for touring. The claim is that, unlike 700c tires, 26 inch tires can be found in small shops (hardware stores) throughout the world. What I havenít seen is a discussion of what tubes to put in those tires. For high end cycling presta is clearly the standard but what about the rest of the world. If you toured in Thailand, Honduras, Botswana, etc would you be able to find presta tubes?

I donít see myself headed to any of these exotic destinations anytime soon (maybe someday) but Iím curious.

Thanks, Scott
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Old 09-03-10, 04:03 PM   #2
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If you have Presta valve rim holes they can be enlarged with a file to fit Schrader valves if that is all that is available.
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Old 09-03-10, 04:55 PM   #3
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If you have Presta valve rim holes they can be enlarged with a file to fit Schrader valves if that is all that is available.
yes, they can be filed/drilled out. but that's not necessarily a good idea in all cases. I would definitely avoid doing this with narrow rims.
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Old 09-03-10, 05:46 PM   #4
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If you are really, really, REALLY worried about tube availability, use shrader sized holes in the rims and carry some filler washers for the presta valves. FWIW I prefer Presta over Schrader.

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Old 09-03-10, 05:47 PM   #5
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If the world is your oyster, you had better start considering Woods valves.
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Old 09-03-10, 05:55 PM   #6
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If the world is your oyster, you had better start considering Woods valves.
those fit schrader holes, and you can fill them up using a presta pump
all you need if you want to be really sure about tube availability is a rim drilled for schrader and a pump that fits both presta and schrader
you can use an adaptor if you want to use presta tubes
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Old 09-03-10, 06:50 PM   #7
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If the world is your oyster, you had better start considering Woods valves.
I have some of those too on my Raleigh Tourist (rod brake roadster) and had some on my Raleigh Superbe. However outside of India or China I suspect they may be a bit hard to source.

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Old 09-03-10, 07:34 PM   #8
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I prefer shrader valves just for the fact that most petrol station Air pumps fit............. handy if you got a slow leek and dont have time to fix on those pissing down rain days.

Thats just my opinion.

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Old 09-04-10, 06:15 AM   #9
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I carry a 25 cent adapter that takes care of that problem. IMHO either tube style is fine, couple of tours I was on I did not need a spare tube even though I was carrying one. We had a couple of flats but just fixed them on the spot. I spend my money on good quality tubes and tires and try to watch where I ride.

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Old 09-04-10, 06:37 AM   #10
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I prefer presta and built up a touring bike with 26 inch wheels a couple months ago. I bought Salsa Gordo rims. I wanted shrader sized holes so that if I was stranded in shrader land, I would be able to buy tubes. But I could only find presta rims at that time. I drilled the rims for shrader sized tubes when I built the wheels. I put the adapter in the hole for presta valves before I put on the adhesive backed rim tape, that way the adapters don't fall out. I used the metal adapters from Wheels Mfg, they call them Presta Valve Stem Savers.
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Old 09-04-10, 08:17 AM   #11
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Like many here, I've used both on several tours. Both have some advantages, both have some disadvantages. I've personally only had an issue with presta valves once and that was in 1983.

Touring from Denver to Kansas City on a bike with presta valves, I found myself riding through Kansas where goatheads were blowing across the street. I ended up walking 6 miles with two flat tires, fully loaded, into town to a gas station. We had a time trying to get fix-a-flat in a presta tube! BUT that was in 1983! Gladly things are much better today!

I wouldn't have any hesitations riding into the deepest part of the world with either setup now. My .02

Jerry H
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Old 09-04-10, 08:30 AM   #12
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I use presta tubes on a schrader rim without the washer thingy.

Last edited by Erick L; 09-04-10 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:41 AM   #13
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I have a friend that toured all over South East Asia and when I met her while touring South America she looked at my bike and said she'd never use presta valves again. I didn't understand that until a week or so later when while blowing up my tire the bike fell over and the presta valve pin thingy snapped off. Ooops. That's why presta valves suck when you're in a continent where you can't fire 700cc wheels or tubes with presta valves. I ruined three tubes that way in all my thousands of km touring.

That being said who cares if you carry schrader or presta. Now I'm just a little more careful when I blow up the tires with the hand pump and there's no problem.
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Old 09-04-10, 12:08 PM   #14
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Presta valves have no spring closing the valve so you dont fight it with every hand pump stroke,
Air pressure differential is all that is really required, the nut on the end keeps it closed.
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Old 09-04-10, 04:06 PM   #15
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those fit schrader holes, and you can fill them up using a presta pump
all you need if you want to be really sure about tube availability is a rim drilled for schrader and a pump that fits both presta and schrader
you can use an adaptor if you want to use presta tubes
You cannot use a quick connect pump (just about every one now available) to fill a Woods valve. There isn't enough of a tip on the valve to form an airtight seal. You need a pump with a hose that uses an old style screw on fitting for a Presta/Woods valve.

If you cannot find such a pump, one work around is to use a presta-shrader adaptor and then a shrader extender that you can get at an auto supply store. This will work with a quick connect shrader pump. You can also get presta extender that will work with your quick connect presta pump.

Last year I was part of a ride along the Hudson River Greenway that included the Governor's wife. I came along as a resident wrench. The bike she was riding was a utility bike from Holland. It had Woods valves. No flats but I was prepared.
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Old 09-04-10, 04:16 PM   #16
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I see. If you think you might encounter woods/dunlop valves you could also carry an adaptor like the black one here: http://www.bikemotion.nl/upload/prod...t%20BFP-90.JPG

I carry both schrader to presta and presta to schrader adapters, which you could use together to extend the presta part of the dunlop valve.
The thing is that, with two/three adapters that cost only a few cents and your pump of choice+a rim drilled for schrader you can handle any valve you'll ever encounter.
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Old 09-04-10, 04:38 PM   #17
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You cannot use a quick connect pump (just about every one now available) to fill a Woods valve. There isn't enough of a tip on the valve to form an airtight seal.
My Zefal Presta frame pump worked fine to pump up the tires on my boat trailer that came with Woods valves. Worked much better than the hand pump that was supplied with the trailer.
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