Information on Valves for Bike Tires

Information on Valves for Bike Tires
Bicycle tire valves vary slightly among various riding styles. The basic design, however, is similar among all standard bike tires: The valve connects directly to the inner tube and is separate from the bike tire itself.


A tire valve uses a one-way flow system, operated by a metal pin, to allow air into an inner tube or tire without letting trapped air escape.


Most performance bicycle tires contain two main valve designs: Schrader and Presta, or the french valve. A third type, the Dunlop valve, is rarely seen in the United States, but may be found on bikes in Europe and Asia.

Schrader Benefits

The Schrader valve incorporates a heavy stem with an internal pin system. It is a robust design that handles large amounts of air, making it ideal for mountain bike tires.

Presta Benefits

The Presta, or french valve, is thin and fragile with an external, lockable pin. It is mainly used for performance road tires, where light weight and high air pressures are important.

Dunlop Considerations

Dunlop valves have a similar design to the Presta valve and can be inflated using a Presta pump. However, the valve seal is maintained with a rubber gasket, which can become cracked with age, rendering the valve useless.


Presta valves can be found on performance mountain bike tubes, but Schrader valves are not often seen on road bikes.

Article Written By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson earned his Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from The Ohio University. He has been a professional writer since 2008, specializing in outdoors content and instruction. Johnson's poetry has appeared in such publications as "Sphere" and "17 1/2 Magazine."

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