Bicycle Tubes: Schreader Valves
Types of Bike Tire Tube Stems

A bike tire tube stem is the small metal valve on traditional bicycle tubes that allows you to attach a pump and fill up your tube with air. The tube stem typically comes in two different designs, each with its own advantages and disadvantage.

Schraeder Bicycle Tube Valve:
These valves are also spelled as "Schrader" or "Shrader" so don't let that throw you off, they are all referring to the same valve that you are familiar with on a standard car tire. I has been around for a long time. A lot of less expensive bikes are still using these on their bike tire tube. Stem design is quite bulky though, so newer bikes especially road bikes with narrow rims, have reinvented the tube stem with a much slimmer profile.

All schraeder bike tube valves have a removable core that allows the insertion of tire sealant (ie. a chemical that resides in the tube to seal small puncture holes on the fly). Be careful here though as some tire and tube manufacturer will void their warranty if a sealant is used, so ask first.

Bicycle Tubes with a schraeder tube stem have a couple of advantages:

  1. Readily available, when you get caught needing a replacement
  2. Can be filled at the local gas station without having to remember the adapter fitting.
  3. Easy to remove the valve core and fill with sealant
  4. More rugged in design, thus more forgiving when filling and a better choice for young children that are choosing to fill their own tires.

That being said they do require more pump power to fill. The air flow must first be able to lower the spring holding the valve closed before it can begin filling the bicycle tube itself.

Related Information:
Bicycle Tubes

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