Sometimes your tires need a litle air. And that’s when you will begin to wonder what kind of pump you should use to accomplish the job. In this article, we’ll discuss the two types of tire valves and the tools you’ll need to fill them up.
Schrader valves, which you may recognize from normal automobile tires, are one of the common types of valves you’ll discover. After more than a century of service, the Schrader valve has become an American household name, thanks to its diameter of 1/4 inch and its central pin.
Schrader valves are included on all of our Classics, Step Throughs, Cruisers, and Balance bikes. One of the advantages of Schrader valves is their abundance, so you can easily purchase more air where you need it. Have you seen the gas station? Yup. Has the old basketball pump been repaired? If it has a detachable needle, then absolutely. That old shed’s foot pump? Yup. And, as is typical of current pumps, both schrader and presta types are offered. After filling up, you will want to have a Schrader pump ready for a boost.
What are the implications of presta valves, then? Around the 1920s, the Presta valve was designed in France, which has a narrower diameter than the Schrader valve, allowing for thinner, lighter, and stronger wheels. You’ll see presta valves on our racing bikes, including our Road and Track Series, because of this.
Schrader valves drop off in pressure more quickly than Presta valves, and thus they’re less likely to hold the correct PSI for longer, meaning you’ll have to refill your tires more often on long rides and races. That’s why we included them on our Urban Commuter series, as they are quite helpful when you are leaving home a bit late and still need to fill your tires before you can ride to work.
As also, a knurled nut secures the pin above the valve rather of putting it below the valve like on other types of valves. You can easily blow up your tires by loosening the nut and then pinning the pin into the tire. Afterward, use your presta pump and pump up your tires!
If you’re at a friend’s house and they only have one pump and it’s the wrong type, what do you do? Just put a presta/schrader adapter on your bike and you’re done. You never have to worry about getting the proper size again because it is always ready when you need it. You may also place one on your valve, for easy storage, and for added convenience.
You may also DIY an adapter out of your valve caps if you’re looking to convert from presta to schrader. A tailor-made connector is more of a polished option, but it’ll still provide you with the air you need to travel home.
Don’t become stressed when you’re searching for pumps. Select the pump that matches your tires. If you purchase a pump that can both scoop and flush, you’ll be ready for anything your friends ride in on.