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Inner tubes

Inner tubes

For maximum reliability and ease in fitting, it's important to have not only the correct wheel size inner tube but also a tube of the correct width to fit the tyre.

Make sure you pick the right type of valve. Three types of valve are commonly used on bicycles, as shown below:

Presta valve picturePresta / French / "high pressure" valve

This valve type is used on all racing bicycles. To fill the tube you must remove the cap and partially unscrew a nut. This process should be reversed once the tyre is full. i.e. screw back on the nut and replace the cap.

This valve type has a narrower stem than the other valves. Many people prefer to use this type of valve even if they have wheel rims which are drilled for one of the other valve types. We sell an adaptor to make this safe to do without the risk of damage caused by the valve being smaller than the hole to which it is fitted.

If you are using rims which are drilled only for this size you should buy this type of tube.

Schwalbe SVxx inner tubes use this type of valve.

Schrader valve pictureSchrader / Car valve

This is the same type of valve as is used on car tyres. It is also commonly used for mountain bikes and is popular in some countries for utility bicycles.

Take care when using car pumps to inflate bicycles tyres as while they are usually designed only to achieve the lower pressures used in car tyres vs. bike tyres, they are also designed to shift air in large volumes, which means that they can exceed the rated pressure in a bicycle tyre - especially if you use narrow tyres.

Because of the wide area of the top of these valves they are the most likely of the three for pumps heads to pop off the valve when pumping to a high pressure. However, for low pressure use this is not an issue.

Schwalbe AVxx inner tubes use this type of valve.

 

Woods valve pictureWoods / Dunlop / Dutch valve

This is used on the majority of practical bicycles in the world.

In the Netherlands these are used on virtually all the bicycles which make a million journeys every hour during the working week.

Pumps which are especially designed to make pumping these up straightforward and quick to do make use of the Woods valve extremely convenient.

One disadvantage vs. other valve types is that they have a means to push the valve mechanically rather than relying on air pressure. However, Schwalbe's valves of this type also incorporate this feature.

An advantage is that it is extremely easy to swap valves if a valve fails. However, this is rare in practice.

Schwalbe DVxx inner tubes use this type of valve.

In some countries the Woods style of valve is thought to be outdated, however this is more of an irrational bias than than reality. In practice, for most riders, it makes little difference which valve type is used except when you come to pump your tyres up. All three types of valve keep the air in, and for most purposes any will do. It is probably best to standardize on whichever valve type is most convenient for you to use.

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Schwalbe Inner Tube
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Schwalbe Inner Tubes
€5.06  
Continental inner tubes
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€6.05  
Adaptor for Presta valves in Schrader rims
Adaptor for Presta valves in Schrader rims
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€2.99  
SKS Airkompressor 12.0 track pump
SKS Airkompressor 12.0 track pump
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SKS VX frame pump
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€6.90  
Adaptor to use Woods/Presta pumps on Schrader valves
Adaptor to use Woods/Presta pumps on Schrader valves
Woods pump/Schrader valve adaptor
€2.99  
Schwalbe Rim tape for double walled rims
Schwalbe Rim tape for double walled rims
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€6.09