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Should Mountain Bikes Go Back to Schrader Valves? Jones Bikes Says Yes

Unless you're still running narrow, wooden rims?

Jones Spec. Schrader Valve Stem MTB
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For as long as I can remember, nicer bikes have run Presta valves. They just do. But why is the Presta valve (or French or Sclaverland valve) the accepted standard? Most seem to agree that the motivation for the tiny valves was that they allowed for narrower rims.

In an effort to make bicycles lighter, the rims were made narrower, which meant that drilling a larger hole for a Schrader valve wasn’t the best option for structural integrity. The Presta valve is also supposed to be easier to inflate to higher pressures, which makes it a great option for road tires running 100 psi or more.

For all their supposed benefits though, the Presta valve also has some inherent issues. The valves can be a bit fragile, but more importantly, to a lot of mountain bikers – they don’t play well with tubeless. From clogging to restricting the amount of airflow for seating tubeless tires, some riders are starting to question the Presta valve’s place in mountain biking.

Is the Presta Valve Better? Is Schrader?

That includes the riders over at Jones Bikes. Jones Bikes runs plus-sized tires, so it’s not all that surprising that Jeff was looking for a better valve option. The answer seems fairly obvious. With wide rims, there is plenty of material for drilling a bigger valve hole. With the new Jones Spec Schrader Valves, you can push a lot of air into the tire to pop the tire in place. The Schrader valves are also supposedly better for running lower tire pressures. The internal spring that keeps the valve closed helps prevent unwanted air loss at low psi.

To illustrate the point, Jeff Jones put together this Flow Test video. Unsurprisingly, the valves with a larger inner diameter performed better. Is it enough to justify the entire industry switching from Presta to Schrader? That remains to be seen, but for Jones customers, the choice has already been made.

All Jones Bikes and Wheels are Now Schrader Valve

From this point on, all Jones bikes and wheels have moved to Schrader valves. Even their carbon C-Rims have moved to the larger valve, partially thanks to their massive 56mm width.

Jones Bikes and wheels with Schrader valve stems:

  • SWB bikes
  • LWB bikes
  • LWB HD/e bikes
  • LWB HD/e E-bikes
  • 56mm wide carbon C-Rims
  • Jones Spec. 50mm wide aluminum rims
  • Jones wheelsets

Available now

If you happen to have a set of Schrader valve-compatible rims (or feel comfortable enough to drill out your rim and void your warranty), the valves are available now. You can pick up a set of Jones Spec Schrader valves for $25, and additional valve cores and caps are also available. The valves are made from aluminum and measure 36.5mm long, and weigh in at 24g per pair.

Jones Spec. Schrader Valve Stem Specs

  • Jones Aluminum Schrader valve stems with caps.
  • Removable, replaceable, valve cores.
  • Sealed aluminum valve caps with integrated tools for valve core removal and easy air bleeding.
  • Larger inside diameter for fast and easy tubeless set-up.
  • Stiffer, sturdier, and easier to use than Presta valves.
  • Lower profile base which makes installing tires easier without catching the tire bead on the stem.
  • Beveled aluminum base for faster/higher volume airflow with no clogs.
  • Large stem ring nut with good grip.
  • Replacement valve cores and caps available.
  • Fits 8 mm rim hole.
  • Length: 36.5 mm
  • Weight: 24 g (pair)

jonesbikes.com

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Champs
Champs
7 months ago

I don’t consider myself a retrogrouch, but I have been through too many broken Presta cores. Nice to revive something that works instead of endlessly iterating a new standard like with forks, headsets, and bottom brackets.

Dann
Dann
7 months ago

There seems to be no downside to this. Schrader valves are about as mature a technology as you can get (every car needs four, after all). Faster inflation, fewer clogs, and (in theory) cheaper valves/tubes. I’ve been drilling out my rims to Schrader for years. Never going back to Presta, just like I’m never going back to needing a floor pump that goes above 80psi

Claude
Claude
7 months ago

Yeah, schrader could be better. But there’s another problem with current tubeless valves (price apart), and it’s the conical rubber base nut, which is standard for 95% of the valves. My ethirteen valves for example, have an alternative rubber base, which is way better at sealing, particularly if you remove and re-insert the valves, which is when the conical rubber often fails. And then you’ll have latex inside your rim…forever.

Martin shortt
Martin shortt
7 months ago
Reply to  Claude

Try moto valves. They have a larger flange. I used to use Joes and Stans schrader valves which had conical ends and they failed as you noted.

NotMeAtAll
NotMeAtAll
7 months ago
Reply to  Claude

I got some schrader valves from china with conical rubber. they are as cheap as any other made from metals.

Fig Ciocc
Fig Ciocc
7 months ago

Snobs like having a different valve stems. It allows them to scoff at people who haven’t committed their entire life to one hobby.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Fig Ciocc

Snobs can also like the continuity of only having prestas as presta valves used to mean(and still sorta do) your bike costs more than most

Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

Now if we could just get Oneup to make pump heads that for Schrader valves

Exodux
7 months ago

I have never had any issues with presta valves. I run tubeless on mtb, gravel and road for years with zero problems. I’m also not against schrader valve and obviously have ran them on all my vehicles, motorcycles and early bicycles again with zero problems.
I guess presta is easier to let air out on the go, so maybe this is one reason I don’t see them going away, but I’d be okay with either really,

Will H
Will H
7 months ago

Mulley Cycles / Miles Wide Industries has been producing a tubeless schrader valve for quite some time now. All their wheelsets are tubeless schrader. I run them on my Mullet Honeymaker. Tubeless schrader for the win!

Last edited 7 months ago by Will H
Rj
Rj
7 months ago

Well the Schrader valves are a bit heavier, but my tubeless set up seated tires with a floor pump. No complaints here!

Rider
Rider
7 months ago

One more big advantage of Presta is the possibility of using screw-on pumps with hoses. Not everybody loves them, but they are popular nonetheless.

In theory it should be possible to make a pump like this for Schrader (maybe even without the pin to open the valve, as air pressure itself should be enough to open the valve), but I have never seen one. Maybe Jones could invent one? 😉

Grillis
Grillis
7 months ago
Reply to  Rider

My (and probably most) shock pumps do exactly this.

JCMTB
JCMTB
7 months ago
Reply to  Rider

My track pump screws on for both valve types

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Rider

Every minipump I’ve owned in the last 15yrs will thread onto a schrader valve.

NotMeAtAll
NotMeAtAll
7 months ago
Reply to  Rider

I have a screw on pump that has reversible head for presta and schrader.

The problem I frequently have is disembowing the schrader vale every time after re inflating.

T.S.
T.S.
7 months ago
Reply to  Rider

My lezyne hand pump that I have owned for ~5years with a thread on hose will work on both presta and schrader valves (its reversable) and a bonus is that it doesn’t inadvertently remove your Schrader cores…

syborg
syborg
7 months ago

Instead of keeping up with the Joneses and using a newly designed Schrader valve, how about making a bike rim that uses automobile Schrader valves.

NotMeAtAll
NotMeAtAll
7 months ago
Reply to  syborg

These are automobile schrader valves.

Any vehicle that goes over 200 km/h needs to ditch the rubbery ones when on track.

will
7 months ago

are shraeder potentially better? ya. does it make a big diff? no.

that’s why ppl keep presta really.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
3 months ago
Reply to  will

It can can be the difference of not seating a very large tire, even with using a tube to seat one side first to seating it with a compressor and not using a tube first.

Wood_stix
Wood_stix
7 months ago

Why not Dunlop valves? Robust, and easy to replace the valve insert…

Ben Kenobi
Ben Kenobi
7 months ago
Reply to  Wood_stix

Yes, they’re making a mistake by not going with Dunlop valves instead. They of course have toolless core removal, and I believe a larger inside diameter than Schrader valves as well.

Mr Dk
Mr Dk
7 months ago
Reply to  Wood_stix

Blast from the past I remember having bikes with Dunlop. That is a great point you make!

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  Wood_stix

Yeah, I have a few here that I picked up in a bike factory in Bangladesh a while back. They all use Woods / Dunlops there. I thought they could be great for MTB tubeless.

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Wood_stix

Yes! And especially the traditional cores with a valve hose could be almost immune to clogging up with sealant.
comment image

AndyG
AndyG
7 months ago

I’ll just point out that several manufacturers have been making these for years – Stan’s, Joe’s, Nutrak, etc, etc….

George
George
7 months ago

Reserve wheels “fillmore” tubeless valves are great. Presta compatible, but no valve cores.

Dirk
Dirk
7 months ago

Clearly both have some up and downsides, so the only solution would be to come up with a competing 3rd “standard” that isn’t compatible with either one, and somehow three times as expensive while offering marginal benefits.

Patrick
Patrick
7 months ago
Reply to  Dirk

Don’t give them any more ideas!

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Hopefully they come up with new valves that require is to use a T49 bottom bracket

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Dirk

I like the idea of a praeder valve that’s a bit bigger than a schrader valve but works like a huge presta valve.

Tom
Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

Check out the Regina/Italian valve.

GTtttt
GTtttt
7 months ago
Reply to  Dirk

Yeah, it’ll need to make all of our current wheels and tires obsolete. Maybe that 750 wheel built around the latest and greatest valve technology. Oh and make it disposable, everytime you remove a tire you need a new $100 super valve.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago

I did this on my fat bikes when I had them. Now that I’m riding such low pressure in my road bikes, it really makes sense to have schrader valves on my road bikes too

Martin shortt
Martin shortt
7 months ago

I’ve been on schrader tubeless for a good while now with no issues. Currently using moto valves. Drilling aluminium rims is easy as long as you are careful. I wouldn’t go back to Presta.

Rodrigo
Rodrigo
7 months ago

I really don’t know why the industry insists on the presta garbage! I’ve been using sherader valves on my tubeless setups and it inflates easier, never breaks and if it clogs any gas station sells a kit with about 10 new valve cores for super cheap!
there is no advantage to the presta and it needs to die!

Tom
Tom
7 months ago

No thanks.

Ed LLorca
Ed LLorca
6 months ago

Even the schraeder isn’t good enough, just look at the cutaway photo it has a choke point as small as the presta albeit shorter. We need a valve that has the shrader outside and pin at the top but the vavle core should be all the way at the rim end.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
3 months ago

I know designing a new core would probably be to expensive up front. But there’s little reason for the valve core to be so thin in a Schrader so it can be significant better than it is.
*I think presta and schraders are fine for regular 29ers and 650+ at 3″. But it’s significantly easier to inflate fat bikes with schraders, and 29+ tires

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