Fillmore Valve – did the worst bit of bike tech just get better?

by 74

It seems pretty universally agreed in the mountain bike world that Presta valves are horrible. Fiddly little bits of tech that leak, clog, spontaneously take themselves apart, or break at the merest whiff of a clumsy and cold set of fingers. It’s perhaps one of the great mysteries of this world as to why we continue to use Presta valves when Schrader valves will happily fit on a modern wide rim. Maybe car manufacturers have got it all wrong?

Pontificate no more on Presta vs Shrader, because the boffins at Reserve/Santa Cruz have reinvented the Presta valve, apparently making them a whole lot less terrible.

The mechanism is designed to prevent clogging of your valve with tubeless sealant – the main benefit of this new design. However, there are other perks. With no fiddly and removable valve core, you can avoid accidental removal and breakage. More air flows through the valve, making it easier to inflate your tyre – it’s claimed you won’t even need a tubeless inflator, just a normal track pump – and you can top up your sealant through the valve too. Plus you can make trailside micro adjustments of pressure… well, we could probably manage that already, couldn’t we?

Have yourself some tech gifs:

Big arrows demonstrate 3x more air flow.

Hundreds and thousands will not enter your valve.

Don’t worry, if you lose the dustcap the valve will still hold air, and arrows.

Yes, we’re being a bit flippant here, but if this works then it will be a significant improvement to one of the most stupid and least improved bits of mountain bike technology. They come with a lifetime guarantee, which will be welcome given you’ll be spending £39.99 a pair, a bit more than existing tubeless valves. The 50mm valves will only fit rims between 18mm and 28mm deep, so check compatibility here before you buy.

Ross has been sent some of these to try out, so we look forward to hearing how he finds them. Given his propensity for wheel breaking, he should have plenty of opportunity to try them out with different set ups.

Now, what’s next for improvement in the world of stupidly annoying bike tech?

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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 74 total)
  • Fillmore Valve – did the worst bit of bike tech just get better?
  • Premier Icon Joe
    Free Member

    Been using presta valves for 25 years. Not had any problems. Call me a luddite.

    Premier Icon Storer76
    Full Member

    I’d be interested to see how nicely these play with Cushcore or other inserts that sit right up against the rim…

    Premier Icon Yak
    Full Member

    How much??
    Presta valve cores cost about 50p if you buy 10 at a go. But yeah, presta is rubbish for clogging but at 2 cores per year, it’s a 9year payback for the upgrade… Hmmmmm.

    Premier Icon Hannah Dobson
    Full Member

    @Storer76 the FAQ section says ‘the poppet pushes against the CushCore when you release pressure, so it takes additional force on the cap to let the air out of the tires.’

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Been using presta valves for 25 years. Not had any problems. Call me a luddite.

    Yeah that.

    Premier Icon ScotRoutes
    Full Member

    It seems pretty universally agreed in the mountain bike world that Presta valves are horrible. Fiddly little bits of tech that leak, clog, spontaneous …

    You wot?

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Weird… are you people not using tubeless sealant? Because all the issues this seeks to address happen regularly for me.

    Premier Icon Sharky
    Free Member

    Yeah, Presta was fine until tubeless sealant came along.

    Don’t worry about the price. Cheap copies coming from Alibaba in 3..2..1..

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    This is brilliant. Can I buy some?

    Presta valves work ok but there are slight issues. Nothing major, I’ve never had one block or leak, but things can always be improved:

    1. They don’t admit that much air which reduces flow rate and can hinder tyres seating
    2. The little pip on the end can bend and break off
    3. You have to remove the core to get sealant in, and this can be hard when it’s gummed up.
    4. Conversely, if you want to undo the pip to let air out you can sometimes remove the core by mistake.
    5. Doesn’t always seal that well on the inside of the rim

    I love it when a bit of legacy tech is redesigned for the better, and even more when it doesn’t need anything else major to be changed.

    EDIT I take it back – forty quid a pair!

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Weird… are you people not using tubeless sealant? Because all the issues this seeks to address happen regularly for me.

    Use Stans, have been tubeless for donkey’s years on several bikes (MTB and road). Never had a Presta valve clog, or break, or leak. The only issue is, as above, inserts can impede the air flow (which, realistically, just means a bit more pumping effort required).

    It’s worth pointing out that it doesn’t look like you can remove the valve core (for tubeless setup) on these?

    I don’t think I’m the target market for these things, but if some people find them helpful, that’s great.

    Premier Icon Nigel Leech
    Full Member

    Are presta valves perfect? No.

    Are they £40 worth of imperfect? Also No.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    1. They don’t admit that much air which reduces flow rate and can hinder tyres seating
    2. The little pip on the end can bend and break off
    3. You have to remove the core to get sealant in, and this can be hard when it’s gummed up.
    4. Conversely, if you want to undo the pip to let air out you can sometimes remove the core by mistake.
    5. Doesn’t always seal that well on the inside of the rim

    Can’t really argue with any of that. Most of the time I can seat a tyre with the valve cores in place and a high volume pump but this doesn’t mean that there is no room for improvement though.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Are presta valves perfect? No.

    Are they £40 worth of imperfect? Also No.

    ^ This.

    Premier Icon JonT
    Full Member

    I’m resigned to replacing the gummed up presta valve cores on our mountain bikes every year or so these days. It’s one of the (small) prices of tubeless. I’ve forced the nut off the end of the thread, so that I can disassemble the core and give it a good clean, but that’s all a bit rubbish considering the price of a new, clean, intact core.

    Great that this also throttles airflow less – should make it easier to inflate tyres quickly to get them seated. Yes you can always remove the presta core to reduce the throttle anyway….

    Would I consider them on a new build? Yes (assuming <£10 each). Would I ditch the valves on my current wheels? No…

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Weird… are you people not using tubeless sealant? Because all the issues this seeks to address happen regularly for me.

    Been using stans on MTB since about 2008…..

    Using Stan’s on road bike since 2019…

    Clogging not an issue unless I’ve been lazy and not used the bike for a while. In regular use no issue. But tubeless has other issues when bikes don’t get used so it’s a minimal problem that’s easily resolved when sorting the other issues.

    Premier Icon malv173
    Full Member

    I really like the look of these. I’m sure anyone who uses Lezyne hand-pumps will too. No more random core removal by the trailside.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Full Member

    I’d be interested to see how nicely these play with Cushcore or other inserts that sit right up against the rim…

    yeah. i learnt that the hard way…

    Premier Icon billoddie
    Full Member

    Are presta valves perfect? No.

    Are they £40 worth of imperfect? Also No.

    Nailed it…

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    They ain’t even £20 worth of imperfect.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Are presta valves perfect? No.

    Are they £40 worth of imperfect? Also No.

    +1

    TBH I’m surprised it’s taken ~20 years since tubeless came out to develop a new valve.

    But £40? Lifetime guarantee or not that’s a lot.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    malv173
    Full Member

    I really like the look of these. I’m sure anyone who uses Lezyne hand-pumps will too. No more random core removal by the trailside.

    The ABS valve on the Lezyne pumps sorted that removal problem.

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    Looks nice, not sure it does much more than the current setup, but the one thing that would stop me buying these is that it doesn’t appear to be able to be used to pour sealant in, so would mean reverting to having the tyre off the rim a little, so unseating it and having the nightmare of inflating it up unseated and with sealant in it!

    Premier Icon oldnick
    Full Member

    FGF looks a bit thin this week.
    Still, I’ll enjoy fitting these whilst wearing my £450 dungarees.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Full Member

    If I want fancy valves I’ll use Milkit. Let’s you add more sealant without having to let your tyres down all the way so reduces faffage of reinflating problem tyres

    Premier Icon malv173
    Full Member

    @igm ah, mine had the screw on valves. Good to know for future purposes, I did like the pumps

    Premier Icon Hannah Dobson
    Full Member

    @argee apparently you just pour the sealant in the same way as the air goes, no need to remove the valves – the space is apparently big enough to let your sealant through. I guess then you pump it up and that blows any remnants out the way?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Are they £40 worth of imperfect? Also No.

    Its not £40 cos Presta valves aren’t free.

    Premier Icon ScotRoutes
    Full Member

    Its not £40 cos Presta valves aren’t free.

    True. Only £36 then.

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    Great idea massively overpriced

    Premier Icon scc999
    Full Member

    Its not £40 cos Presta valves aren’t free.

    Don’t be coming in here stating facts.

    Just checked, DT Swiss valves 8.99 each (call it £18 a pair).
    Muc off £21.99 a pair
    Lifeline £9.99 a pair
    Schwalbe £16

    So comparing to the CHEAPEST ones I could see it’s £30 more. Compared to Muc off it’s 18 quid more.

    *If* they work as claimed and you suffer from any of the problems (I get gummed up valves, which can be a pain when you find out and need to pump up the tyre on the trail for example) then it may be considered an acceptable cost.

    But if you’ve never had an issue or dont care then the headline price is a bit steep.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    Its not £40 cos Presta valves aren’t free.

    A pair of ‘Lifeline valve from wiggle are ~£10 (and there are cheaper options too)…
    But the point still stands, are they ~£30 bettererer?

    Meh, I’d maybe pay £20 if I happened to need new valves, I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay four times the going rate for the slightly inferior extant product…

    Premier Icon chrismac
    Full Member

    True but I normally only replace the core which are about 50p

    Premier Icon Thepurist
    Full Member

    If they sell I expect it won’t take long for someone to circumvent whatever bit of that is patented and whack out a cheaper version. Or if its Hope, a more expensive version in ano colourways.

    Premier Icon Stainypants
    Full Member

    I’m not sure this is the solution but Presta valves have no place on a mountain bike feels like the last hangover from road biking left they are fragile I once broke snapped 4 in a row on a ride in the lakes in the pouring rain it was proper grim and now with tubeless they are prone to blocking. If you were start with a blank sheet of paper you’d never come up with the Presta valve, it should go the way of quick releases, rim brakes and threaded headsets if you ask me.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    A pair of ‘Lifeline valve from wiggle are ~£10 (and there are cheaper options too)…
    But the point still stands, are they ~£30 bettererer?

    They’ll come down, I doubt there’s much you can patent about valves so there’ll be loads of redesigns on the market soon.

    Premier Icon pikey666
    Free Member

    The other option is just to fit Schrader tubeless valves, options include Nutrak, Stans, Joe’s etc etc.

    Easy to run a drill through the valve hole I. The rim if it is presta only. Carbon excluded obvs.

    Premier Icon Stainypants
    Full Member

    We have tublesss Schradar valves, why did Presta end up being the tubeless standard, was it because they had a more readily/commonly removable core. When I camee back to MTBing in the early 2000 most rims where drilled for Schrader with a adapter for Presta.

    Premier Icon ndthornton
    Free Member

    Better – but still less good than Schrader (2 of which can be had for £9)

    I don’t buy the not needing an inflator claim, I dont see how this makes any difference at all to seating tyres; consequently, if I cant remove the valve core will it work with my ghetto tyre inflator, probably not. Also the ‘dust cap’ is integral part of the system now rather than an annoying thing its fine to lose.

    Premier Icon argee
    Full Member

    Hannah Dobson
    Full Member

    @argee
    apparently you just pour the sealant in the same way as the air goes, no need to remove the valves – the space is apparently big enough to let your sealant through. I guess then you pump it up and that blows any remnants out the way?

    Will be interesting to find out how you get the sealant in without a removable core, i’ve got a syringe and the bottle to fill up through the presta valve minus the core, wonder if reserve have got a clever injector as well that screws on, as it must have to push down on the core to open the valve, as well as allow fluid to pass around it?

    Premier Icon fruitbat
    Full Member

    Weird… are you people not using tubeless sealant? Because all the issues this seeks to address happen regularly for me

    Get the pitch forks out – we still use tubes (with Presta valves) .

    We also have QR on the rear wheels 😁

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 74 total)

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