10 January 2023

Types of bicycle valves – how to recognize them?

Bicycle Sclaverand, Dunlop, Schrader valve

Valves are an element in inner tubes that allows you to inflate air. At the same time, tube prevents it from getting inside. In order to inflate an inner tube at all, you need to know all types of bicycle valves. The wrong attachment or adapter will not allow you to do this. Therefore, today we will take a close look – quite literally – of the types of valves in use nowadays.

In which aspect excel the Schrader bicycle valves?

The Schrader valve is also called a car valve. This is due to the fact that it is also used in motor vehicles. This valve was created in the 19th century in the United States and was designed by August Schrader. Currently, the element is marked with the symbol AV (Auto Valve).

The design of the valve is very simple. It consists of a metal tube with a diameter of 8 mm threaded both inside and outside. There are also smaller rims intended for the sports industry. In the middle of the AV valve there is a core with a spring and seals protected by a plastic nut. So how do you pump this type of valve for your bike? It is enough to unscrew the cap and – depending on the pump model – clamp the head on the valve or screw the hose onto the tube. Then tighten the nut again.

What do Dunlop bike valves look like?

Dunlop models are slightly older than the Schrader brand, but this is not the main reason for their low popularity. Back in the 90s, these were extremely popular types of bicycle valves, but they have already been replaced by more practical solutions. Today they can be found almost exclusively in children’s bikes and the cheapest two-wheelers for urban purposes. What bothered the cyclists? First of all, it is not possible to check the pressure, it is difficult to bleed air from the inner tube and it is unidirectional.

However, the simple design speaks for the DV valve (Dunlop Valve). It makes bicycle valves almost indestructible. It’s just a tube with a pin with a metal ball inside. Pumping is done in the same way as with Presta valves.

How do I recognize the Presta valves?

FV (French Valve, although you can also see the term SV, i.e. Sclaverand Valve) are currently the most popular solution. The threaded tube has a diameter of 6 mm and is permanently connected to the tube, with a core with a threaded plunger inside. This clearly distinguishes these types of bicycle valves from the competition.

The pumping itself is also different. To do this, unscrew the Presta nozzle by a maximum of two turns. It is not recommended to unscrew it completely, as it is easy to accidentally damage it. The pump tip is placed over the exposed valve. Deflating is also easy. To do this, just unscrew the tip slightly and press the tube with your finger.

These are all the types of valves used on a bicycle. Once you know the differences between them, it’s hard to make a mistake. We hope that the above article will dispel any doubts about how to recognize a specific type of bicycle valve in your own two-wheeler.