Schrader or Presta?
Presta and Schrader bike valves
I’m learning far too much about bicycle tires than I’d like to. However, with two completely flat tires within one-month of riding, it’s no wonder my tire knowledge is increasing. In both flat tire incidences, I didn’t run over a thorn or nail. Instead, stem tears have been the culprit.
In case number one, the back tire was flat within a few days of owning my bike. I chalked it up to the bike shop installing the thicker tubes incorrectly since the tear at the stem was more of a gash and I had only ridden the bike about 4-miles.
In case number two – the front tire and the most recent flat also had a small hole at the stem as well. I didn’t think much about how it happened, just that it was completely flat when I wanted to ride to Starbucks the other day – inconvenient to say the least.
Because presta stems require a nut or grommet to close the gap in the rim opening, not all inner tubes fit my tire. The bike shop actually didn’t have exactly what I needed, so there’s no nut/grommet covering the rim’s opening. Based on forum discussions, I’m beginning to wonder if my next flat will be quite soon. Here’s a snippet of a conversation someone with a similar problem:
If the valve hole is drilled for schrader (car tire valves) and presta tubes are used without a rubber grommet, it could cause the tube to be resting against the sharp edge of the hole.
This is how I felt that day – deflated.
If I had known that my pretty presta stems would be such a problem, I think I would have selected the standard schraeder stems!
Do you use presta or schrader stems? If you’re a presta user, have you had similar issues?
I’d love to hear solutions to presta stem tears! I really don’t want to deal with a flat every month.