There are two major bicycle rim designs; these are the Presta and the Schrader. Notably, their most visible difference is in the size of their valve holes. Technically, Schrader rims have wider holes than Presta rims. So, can you use a Presta tube on a Schrader rim?
You can use a Presta tube on a Schrader rim for emergency fixes. Therefore, you need to position the valve stem properly on the rim to avoid getting pinch flats. On the other hand, you can convert a Schrader to a Presta using a rubber or metallic grommet to reduce the hole on the rim to fit a Presta valve.
Basically, the hole on a Schrader rim is wider than what is needed for a Presta tube. So you may even suffer tire bursts if you use a Presta tube on a Schrader rim without caution.
How Can you Use A Presta Tube On A Schrader Rim Safely?
For emergency fixes, there is little that you can do; all that matters is getting home in one piece. All the same, if you wish to use the Presta as your default tube in a Schrader rim, then you need to play safe.
When swapping a Schrader tube with a Presta, the main concern is the space left around the spout in the broader Schrader rims. Technically, the tube’s stem lies on the edges of the larger hole and could easily get cut.
Again the other threat you may face is tube hernias. This could easily lead to blowout due to the extra space left by a Presta tube on a Schrader rim.
For an ideal Presta tube for your mountain bike, you can go for the Continental New 2 Pack Presta Valve MTB Bike Inner Tubes. They are of high quality, and you get two tubes for the price of one.
So, how can you use a Presta Tube on a Schrader Rim without risking tire blowouts?
Use The Valve Nut For Emergencies
For an emergency, make sure you fasten the Presta valve with the locknut while the stem is correctly positioned. Then, inflate to moderately low pressure so that you avoid chances of your tube developing hernias. This way, you have a low probability of suffering a tube blowout.
All the same, this practice is not advisable for long-term use. Technically, the tube and the tire move on tend to move on the rim. As a result, the valve-hole edges may cut the tube at the stem.
Use A Grommet
On the other hand, you can use a Schrader – Presta rim adapter, also known as a valve grommet. Notably, there are rubber and metal grommets, and their work is to reduce the valve hole to fit a Presta nozzle snuggly.
There are rubber and metallic grommets that you can use on your bike. All the same, some cyclist noted that rubber works better than metal.
One of the bikers said that metal grommets interfered with the rim tape, leading to flats.
So, if you aren’t sure where to start, you would better go for a rubber grommet such as the Sunlite Rim Grommets, which is light in weight and long-lasting.
What The Difference Between Presta And Schrader Valves
The Schrader valve happens to be the most popular since it is found on motor vehicles and most bicycle tubes. They are larger in diameter, and they also happen to be shorter than the Presta.
Also, the Schrader has a pin at the center with a spring valve that controls air movement. You have to depress the pin to inflate or deflate the tube.
You will mostly find this valve on bicycles on bikes that operate at lower air pressures, such as the MTB or the cruiser bikes.
Notably, the Schrader valve has a threadlike outer wall that can accommodate a cap or a pump head. Also, the outer part of the valve is made of rubber that helps to keep the valve in position on the rim.
An example of a high-quality Schrader inner tube is the BWSHLF Mountain Bike Inner Tube. The tube is made of high-quality rubber, and it’s easy to install.
On the other hand, Presta valves are slender, just like their rims are. Mostly, you will find these valves on the tires of high-end bike brands.
Formerly, most racing bikes used Presta nozzles since cyclists could inflate tires with simple pumps. Notably, Presta valves are easier to pump because they don’t have any valve springs to overcome.
In structure, Presta valves are slimmer than the Schrader, and they are also longer. Again, these valves are entirely metallic and slightly taper towards the top. It is also common to find some valves that have threads all the way.
An example of a high-quality Schrader inner tube is the Sunlite Street Fit 360 Presta Valve Bike Inner Tube. The brand has tubes that fit 700c × 28-35mm, making it ideal for mountain, road, cruiser, or any other bike. Also, this tube features a 48mm valve.
Do You Need A Special Pump For A Presta Valve – How Do You Use It?
So, you now have your Presta tube on, but which pump will work with the new valve? Do you need a special pump to get the job done?
Notably, to inflate a tire that features a Presta valve, you don’t have to look for any special pump. With your ordinary pump, you are good to go.
If you don’t have a pump, you can consider going for the BV Bicycle Ergonomic Bike Floor Pump, which has a gauge and a smart valve head. Actually, the pump is automatically reversible to work as a Presta and a Schrader valves.
Although you can use your ordinary pump, you need to get a Presta to Schrader valve adapter. Technically, the adapter converts a Presta valve to a Schrader, which allows you to use a conventional pump for inflation.
First, you will need to remove the nozzle cap if it’s present and then loosen the valve locknut. Afterward, install the adapter by threading it on the valve stem’s threads.
Then, use your ordinary pump to inflate the tire to the recommended air pressure. Once you are through, remove the adapter and finger tighten the locknut.
Consequently, the air inside the tube keeps the valve shut. The locknut on the valve stem keeps the valve tightly closed. For air to flow in either direction, you have to unscrew the nut.
A Presta to Schrader valve adapter, such as the Bike Bits Brass Presta Valve Adapter, is easy to install and of outstanding quality. Actually, you may leave the adapter on it without any cause for alarm.
Therefore, you don’t need a special pump to inflate your Presta bike tube.
Also Read: Can you put 28mm tires on my road bike?
At times, you may get into a not-so-pleasant situation with your bike tire. Desperate situations warrant drastic measures.
In case you go out of town biking with your buddies, and you get a tube blowout, that’s one situation where you may have to swap inner bike tubes.
But can you use a Presta tube on a Schrader rim? Yes, you can.
For emergency cases, fit the Presta tube with the stem well in place and fasten the locknut. Remember to inflate the tire to moderately low pressure. Thus, you will prevent possible blowouts.
When you want the change to be permanent, you can use a grommet to reduce the diameter on the Schrader rim.
In addition to
Inflate the Presta tube with an ordinary pump; you will need to get a Presta to Schrader valve adapter.