A close look at the new ConvertAir valve end highlights the flaws we’ve come to accept from Presta valves. ConvertAir seemed like a solution looking for a problem when I first spotted it. I mean, who in the right mind would rather return to Schrader valves? But upon closer inspection, it seems the ConvertAir might keep all the best elements of the smaller valve, while adding only the positive aspects of the larger Schrader.
ConvertAir Schrader end replacement for Presta valve core
While most performance oriented cyclists have accepted the light & efficient locking benefits of the Presta valve, it’s pretty safe to say everyone has accidentally bent or broken a valve tip. And now with tubeless, we’ve all had a Presta valve clog with sealant.
Well, the RideAir Innovations team who created the easy-to-use, portable air pressure cylinder that fits in a bottle cage (and is also sold under SKS branding, too), they seem to have a bone to pick with the Presta valve.
They want to make the lives of regular cyclists easier by ditching the fragile Presta core, in favor of their ConvertAir, an external Schrader extension that puts the valve core on top of the small diameter valve. This isn’t the typical brass Schrader adapter that requires you to thread it on & off (and sometimes accidentally unscrew the Presta core.)
Instead the ConvertAir gives you complete press-to-fill or release air Schrader valve functionality, and tool-free removal to add sealant or seat a new tubeless tire. It essentially is just a completely functional short, conventional Schrader valve that threads on snugly overtop of your removable core Presta valve tube or tubeless valve – the body of Presta and the head of a Schrader.
Of course you can’t use a Schrader valve tube in most applications because modern rims are drilled only for the smaller valve, and
no very limited bike application tubeless Schrader valves exist. You wouldn’t really want a complete Schrader anyway, because it is even more a pain to remove its core for improved airflow or adding sealant.
But it also improves airflow, because now the valve sits on top in the wider Schrader extension body, and the narrower Presta valve is no longer obstructed by an internal valve core. And since the valve core never really goes into the same place where tubeless sealant touches, its is much less likely to be clogged by sealant.
Really, I started thinking this was a silly gadget. And now, the more I think & write about this, and I see why RideAir Innovations developed (& patented) this thing. So now I want to try it out (and don’t even get me started about how it would mean I could bring back my Skull Valve Caps or my old Buzztronics Sparx light up valve caps!)
ConvertAir Pricing & Availability
At just $12 for a pair, there’s also not much reason not to give it a test. They say each 23mm long ConvertAir weighs just 5g, and when you subtract the 1.5g from removing the Presta core, it adds a net of just 3.5g per wheel. And of course if can be moved from tube to tube with a conventional setup, or stay long-term on your tubeless valves.