The Difference Between Presta & Schrader Valves
We offer two different types of valves on the tubes we sell.
Make sure you know what you want or need before ordering. Contact us if you need help.
The valve type is clearly listed in the tube’s product description, in text and with a photo of the valve type.
Valve Type: Presta “Sclaverand Valve a.k.a. French” (SV)
The Sclaverand valve (SV) is narrower than other valves (6 instead of 8 mm). It needs a smaller rim hole and is therefore particularly well suited for narrow racing bike rims.
These always have threaded metal valve stems.
These are a traditional bicycle valve and popular on thin race wheels and mountain bikes. They are not like the valves on an automobile and require a bicycle pump that is made to handle this type (most modern tire pumps will fill both kinds) or you need an adapter if you need to use an automobile type air nozzle.
It can be locked manually with the knurled nut. Before inflating, the knurled nut must be loosened. First time users frequently have some problems. Also the thin top pin can be easily bent when attaching and removing the pump connector.
Caution: Be aware that using Sclaverand valve tubes on rims with larger valve holes can lead to a valve tear off when the sharp metal edges around the valve hole cut the valve stem off the tube. There are adapters to allow use of Presta valves in Schrader holes more reliably.
Below are pictures of the Presta valve type with the cap on and the cap off. You can clearly see the knurled nut.
Also, there’s an example box from Schwalbe. You’ll notice it has a photo of the valve on it. The letters, “SV” for Sclaverand valve in a Red circle.
Valve Type: Schrader “Auto Valve” (AV)
Auto/Car (AV) a.k.a.Schrader valves are the same as those found on most cars. They’re larger in diameter than Presta valves, so won’t fit through a hole in a rim made for a Presta valve.
Older bicycle tire pumps, as well as some simple bicycle pumps, are not always compatible with car valves. However, these valves can be inflated very easily at a standard filling station air pump. These style are valves are becoming more popular because of their compatibility with car tire filler nozzles and gauges.
Some manufacturers use black rubber valve stems for this type of valve, however Schwalbe uses threaded metal valve stems on this style valve. Don’t let the metal confuse you into thinking these are Presta.
Below are pictures of the Schrader valve type with the cap on and the cap off.
Also, there’s an example box from Schwalbe. You’ll notice it has a photo of the valve on it. The letters, “AV” for Auto Valve in a Green circle.