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?