Presta valves are small in diameter and were originally designed for ultra narrow rims found on fast road bicycles. Today you find presta valve tubes on every type of bicycle from hybrids to mountain bikes. And that’s cool, but having to deal with presta valves on a daily basis can leave a rider wanting to convert their rims to use the old style schrader valves. For a lot of us presta valves require an adapter to check air pressure or add air to the tire. Some of us have air pumps that will fit over a presta valve without the adapter, but you still need to unscrew and tighten the valve by hand each time you want to check air pressure or add air. Having to do this on a daily basis makes routine bicycle tire maintenance more painful than it should be. Why not convert your rims to use the old style schrader valve and eliminate the extra work all together?
To convert your rim to use a schrader valve tube your going to need a drill, a 21/64 drill bit and a small file to clean up any sharp edges on the freshly drilled hole. The process is straight forward and simple.
- Remove your wheel from the bicycle and remove the tire, tube and tube liner
- Place the 21/64th drill bit into drill and find the hole in your rim for the presta valve
- Drill the presta valve hole with the 21/64th drill bit, enlarging the hole to accept a schrader
- Take your file and clean the edges of the drilled hole on both sides. Make sure you remove any sharp edges.
- Reinstall everything using a tube with a schrader valve tube and you should be good to go
Technically, making the presta valve hole in your rim larger weakens the rim, but this is insignificant for most of us. Unless your using a super narrow rim, enlarging the hole is not going to affect the life of the rim.
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