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Presta valve

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Presta valve shown in context of the rim, spokes, and tire of a bicycle wheel
A closed Presta valve

The Presta valve (also French valve (FV) or Sclaverand valve) is a type of tire valve commonly found on high pressure bicycle inner tubes and is commonly used on tubeless setups. It consists of an outer valve stem and an inner valve body. A lock nut to secure the stem at the wheel rim and a valve cap may also be present.


The Sclaverand valve was invented by Frenchman Etienne Sclaverand and is often referred to as the French valve. Today it is also known as Presta valve.[1][2] Presta or presto stands in the Romance languages for "fast, hurry, immediately".[3]


The outer valve stem is manufactured in various lengths to cater for the different depths of the wheel or rim. It is recommended the valve stem is to be at least 10 mm longer than the rim is deep to allow adequate room for the bicycle pump to be attached. It has a narrower diameter of 6 mm (0.24 in), compared to Dunlop and Schrader valves, measuring 8 mm (0.31 in). The weakest point of a bicycle rim is usually the hole for the valve stem. The smaller hole for a Presta valve makes it possible to have extremely narrow wheels while maintaining sufficient strength in the wheel.[4][better source needed]

The air pressure in an inflated tire holds the inner valve body shut. A small screw and captive nut on the top of the valve body permits the valve to be screwed shut and ensures that it remains tightly closed.

The nut must be unscrewed to permit airflow in either direction. The screw remains captive on the valve body even when unscrewed fully; it is tightened again after the tire is inflated and the pump removed. The valve cap protects the valve body, keeps dirt and mud out of the mechanism, and also prevents the valve from damaging the tube when it is rolled for storage, but is not necessary to prevent pressure loss.

The holes in rims sized for Presta valves can be enlarged to accommodate the wider Schrader valves, which can structurally weaken the rim. Conversely, when a Presta valve is fitted into the larger Schrader rim hole, grommets or reducers are sometimes used to take up the extra space.

Presta Adaptor upright
Presta Adaptor sideways
Two views of a Presta to Schrader valve adapter

The standard Presta valve has an external thread. An adapter can be fitted onto this external thread to permit the Presta valve to be connected to a pump with a Schrader chuck. The same adapter, because of a coincidence of thread sizes, may be able to convert a Schrader pump into one that can connect to flexible adapters of either kind.[4]

Removable valve cores[edit]

Removed Presta valve core

Unlike Schrader valves, not all Presta valves have removable cores.

Presta valves with removable cores may be used with a tubeless setup to add sealant through the valve. Sealant may also be added by pouring it directly into the tire.[5]

Valve extenders[edit]

A valve extender (black) is fitted between valve stem (brass) and core (silver).

Valve extenders can be used to lengthen shorter Presta valves to accommodate deeper and thicker rims, such as those on aerodynamic race wheels. There are two variants of valve extenders depending on whether the Presta core is removable.[6]


The valve threads for Presta valves follow the ISO 4570 standard.[7] The external threads at the tip of both "threaded" and "unthreaded" Presta valves are 5V2 (#12-24TPI), which measures out to 5.2×1.058 mm,[8] the same thread size as the tip of a Dunlop valve. The external threads on the main body of "threaded" Presta valves are 6V1, which measures 6×0.80 mm.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GB189709082A Improvements in Pumps for Inflating Pneumatic Tyres and the like. London: G. F. Redfern & Co. 1897.
  2. ^ "Improvements in Pumps for Inflating Pneumatic Tyres and the like". v3.espacenet.com. Europäisches Patentamt.
  3. ^ "Synonyme". Korrekturen.de. Julian von Heyl (private site).
  4. ^ a b Brandt, Jobst (2002). "Subject: Presta vs Schrader valves". Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
  5. ^ Missel, Riley (2 November 2020). "How to Use Tubeless Tire Sealant". bicycling.com. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Valve Extenders, How To". Archived from the original on 2017-04-26.
  7. ^ "Valve connector". Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  8. ^ a b "MARYLAND METRICS -- THREAD DATA CHARTS (26)". mdmetric.com. Archived from the original on 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2016-11-10.