Can You Use A Presta Tube On A Schrader Rim?

By Rachel Lee
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Many people know exactly which bicycle model they are riding, but the little things (such as the valve) go unnoticed. The valve is an important part of the bike, without it you wouldn’t be able to fill your tires with air. The two leading types of valves are Presta and Schrader, and both are designed differently.

Can you use a Presta tube on a Schrader rim? If you find yourself in a pinch and need a quick fix for your situation then you can get away with using a Presta tube on a Schrader rim. However, this should only be for a temporary fix to get you by until you can get your hands on a Schrader tube.

They are both different shapes and sizes, so you should ideally stick to using Presta with Presta and Schrader with Schrader for the best results.

If you find yourself in a position where a Presta tube is all you can find, and need a quick fix for your Schrader then keep reading for more information. Follow our advice to get the best results for filling up your Schrader rim.

What To Know About A Presta Tube On A Schrader Rim

One thing that you need to keep in mind about Presta vs Schrader is that they are both different sizes in diameter. The valve opening on your bike’s tires will be designed to fit one of the two. Schrader rims are slightly larger than Prestas, so the fit will be slightly off.

Since the sizes are different you won’t be able to fill up a Schrader rim as good with a Presta tube. If you want your tires to be filled to maximum capacity with air then you won’t be able to achieve that with a Presta tube. However, if you ride a mountain bike then you can still do a trip using a Presta tube.

Mountain bike tires sit at low pressure, which is why you may not notice too much of a difference. This is the one occasion where you can get away with it. For any other bike you should remember that using a Presta tube on a Schrader rim is for emergency fixes only.

The problem that you will face is that the Presta tube has a lot of room to move around in the Schrader rim. If it moves around too much the rim may cut the tube up a bit at the base. In some incidents this could lead to the tube experiencing a hernia, and in worst cases it could lead to a blowout.

Also, not being the correct size means that there could be more air leakage. To avoid all of these problems, it’s a good idea to get a valve nut to secure everything in place before you begin to fill the tire up with air.

Can You Use A Presta Tube On A Schrader RIm? More Info

If you have a Presta tube it is a good idea to also invest in a valve grommet in case you ever need to use it on a bike with a Schrader rim. You may not own a Schrader, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to help somebody that does. A valve grommet will keep everything secure as you fill up their tire.

A valve grommet is usually made of either metal or rubber. Once you place it on the rim, it will make the hole smaller so it’s the right size for a Presta tube. This keeps the tube safe as well from getting any scratches or damages from the rim. It also prevents the tube from getting pinched.

Some people will tape the valve if they don’t own a valve grommet. This helps the valve increase its size, allowing more air to pass through.

Schrader rims are known for being much easier to fill. Many people prefer them because they are able to hold a high amount of pressure and they can get away with using other tubes. The same can’t be said for Presta though. Many people have had difficulty trying a Schrader tub on a Presta rim.

Related Questions and Answers

How do I tell the difference between a Presta and a Schrader pump?

Presta Valve

Both Presta and Schrader pumps have key features that set them apart from one another. You should be able to recognize a Presta pump by the head. It will have a rubber gasket which is shaped to fit securely on a Presta Valve.

A Schrader pump on the other hand is much more simplistic. It has a pin in the center of the head, which is used to depress the stem’s check valve. This pin prevents the Schrader pump from being able to fit into a Presta rim. 

Which is a better choice to start with: Presta vs Schrader?

You may think that Schrader is a better choice because you can use either brand of tube on their rims. However, most experienced bikers will recommend using Presta in the beginning. Presta valves are a lot easier to fill because you won’t have to deal with the valve spring that the Schrader has.

Once you have a bit more experience with your bike your opinion could change. Schrader is known for having a more robust valve and an easier to remove core. They seem to be the more popular choice worldwide.

How Will I Know Which Type Of Valve My Bike Has?

So you don’t get too confused, there are just the 2 types of valves used universally for bikes. Presa valves are generally used on road bikes with inner tubes or tubular. Schraders on the other hand are typically used for mountain bikes.

Presta valves are generally thinner and lighter than Schraders. They will also have a lock nut on the top that can be closed. Schraders are thicker and have a spring mechanism which is inside to help close the valve. Once you see them both, it is easy to tell them apart.

See Also:
Can I Use A Smaller Bike Inner Tube Than I Am Supposed To?
How To Tell If Presta Valve Has Removable Core
How To Store Bicycle Wheels