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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Answer me this:

Take two bikes of the same model, one year apart. Older bike came with rims drilled for Presta valves. Newer bike came with Schrader. Any idea why they would make the switch from one year to another? I have to go buy new tubes now...

And since we're on the subject, why do Presta valves typically ride on the more expensive wheels? I've always wanted to know.
 

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Old man on a bike
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Same rims? Maybe they're trying to appeal to the dh crowd? I think you can pretty much thank road bikes for presta on mountain bikes (and personally works for me, one pump for either bike).
 

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Happy when not-last.
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They're both the same, but different.
They both have a small plate that presses against the bottom of the 'tube' making up the valve. The pin in the middle connects to this, allowing you to press it open.

Schrader relies mainly on the pressure of the air to keep it the valve plate closed.

Presta allows the same action, but also lets you pull the valve closed by screwing the nut down. Ever brake the top off a presta? Presto! You now have, in essence, a (thin) schrader.

Presta is more secure, but if you forget to tighten the nut, a passing ... anything can tap it and let out pressure.
 

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Ridin' dirty!
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Presta uses a smaller diameter hole which doesn't weaken the rim as much as a large diameter Schrader valve especially if you have a narrow XC rim.
 

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Presta is also easier when changing a tire quickly such as for a road / mtn race. You can partially inflate it with your mouth versus having to hook the pump up to it and you lock it in place with the little metal screw on thingy (lol don't know what it is exactly called). I also believe you can adjust the rate at which the air releases by adjusting how far you unscrew the vavle tip.

And a tip is only 99 cents at most bike shops I have been to.
 

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Prestas:
My fingers are too big for the little nut around the outside of the valve. Especially when I need a quick change.
The twisties on the end break off after a while, usually when I hand pump.
The adapter is a pain.
If somehow I am without a pump and need air, no one has ever heard of presta or an adapter.

What do I have on my bike? Prestas.
 
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