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RIP Presta and Schrader? Schwalbe reckons its "revolutionary" new Clik valve is set to become cycling's new tyre inflation industry standard

Schwalbe wants to make bike tyre inflation "child's play" with its new take on the humble valve, that can be latched onto using a compatible pump with little force and just two fingers

While not the most glamorous or exciting thing we've seen at Eurobike 2024, we reckon the new Schwalbe Clik Valve might just have the potential to be one of the most significant for years to come. A new take on bike tyre inflation, the Clik promises much easier attachment and operation, no risk of air loss and 50% more air flow rate, plus it can be retrofitted to your existing valves with a conversion kit. It's not just us who are getting all giddy about valves either, as the Clik has also bagged Schwalbe a Eurobike award for innovation. 

Schwalbe Clik valve eurobike

Boasting that the Clik Valve will be a "revolution for bicycle valves" and "solve problems that have existed for over a century", Schwalbe reckons its valve is far more intuitive than Presta, Schrader or Dunlop. While other takes on the valve do exist, such as Reserve's Fillmore Valves, these have usually been novel spins on the existing 'big three' valve types rather than completely new designs. 

The story goes that Clik's inventor John Quintana was inspired to act because the aforementioned inflation systems were too tricky for his kids, so we're told. Using his little ones as enthusiastic guinea pigs, the appropriately named Quintana tried out numerous prototypes before coming up with his completed design. 

Schwalbe CLIK VALVE-7

"The associated pump head can be clicked onto the valve with little force and removed again very easily after successful inflating - handling couldn‘t be easier", says Schwalbe.  

"The entire operation is possible with just two fingers." 

Tubeless fans will also be pleased, because the air flow rate is said to be 50% higher than standard valves. Schwalbe also claims there is no risk of air loss and you won't experience any wear on the pump head, because "the function of the pump head remains constant". 

Schwalbe Clik Valve-1

In terms of pricing, availability and compatibility: Schwalbe is starting out by selling conversion kits at £5 a pop, that can convert all existing valves and most pumps to the new Clik. SKS is already making a Clik-compatible pump too, and more manufacturers will follow according to Schwalbe. 

The pump head adapter can be integrated into the pump head of current floor pumps or mini-pumps. What if you get a flat and don't have a Clik-compatible pump to hand? You can also inflate a Clik valve with a Schrader pump too, so you'll rarely have any issues there. 

From the halls of the annual Eurobike show, where the Clik Valve is on display along with numerous other new Schwalbe products, we were told that the Clik will be sold in the UK and EU only. The valves should be found on the shelves of your local Schwalbe stockist in Q3 of this year. 

You can find out more on Schwalbe's website

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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38 comments

Avatar
TROOPER74 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Yet again another engineering solution in search of a problem ... If your too stupid to use current valves you shouldn't be riding on roads ... and yes ... I'm an Engineer ...

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hawkinspeter replied to TROOPER74 | 2 weeks ago
5 likes
TROOPER74 wrote:

Yet again another engineering solution in search of a problem ... If your too stupid to use current valves you shouldn't be riding on roads ... and yes ... I'm an Engineer ...

If you're too stupid to know the difference between "your" and "you're", then should we listen to you?

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don simon fbpe replied to TROOPER74 | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

TROOPER74 wrote:

Yet again another engineering solution in search of a problem ... If your too stupid to use current valves you shouldn't be riding on roads ... and yes ... I'm an Engineer ...

I hope you have someone go over your drawing the check for mistakes before releasing them. It could get embarrassing.

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Simon E replied to TROOPER74 | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

And I bet you are still riding a 4130 steel framed bike with those crap 27x1 1/3" amberwall tyres, 7-speed downtube shifters, a proper frame pump and a canvas saddlebag, trouncing all those carbon-mounted MAMILs up all the hills. A real bike for a real man.

Ever Ready lights were good enough when we were kids so they are surely good enough now. And there was no need to replace the perfectly good cars that we had in the 1980s (well, at least not the MK 2 Golf - that was Volkswagen at its peak IMHO).

A good engineer would know that even a well designed product is not necessarily the final iteration. While am averse to novelties and change for change's sake I'd certainly be interested in trying it.

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hawkinspeter | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Going to have to try these. The number of times I've bashed my hand when removing a tight fitting pump.

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Tom_77 | 2 weeks ago
6 likes

Revolutionary is probably over-egging it a bit, but it does look like an improvement. Backwards compatibility looks good too.

Hopefully we can have a full review of it soon.

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Surreyrider | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Not sure this will take off. Designed for kids but all buyers are adults. And the current set-ups aren't so difficult most riders will be bothered to change. 

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Sriracha replied to Surreyrider | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

By that logic children's bikes shouldn't be designed for children because they're bought by adults.

Besides, this isn't designed exclusively for children. It's for anyone who has to pump up bike tyres, including children (and adults).

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Secret_squirrel | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

So I've just learnt that SV is short for Presta Valve, not Schrader Valve. 

How bonkers is that?

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KDee replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 weeks ago
1 like

I know right? That's why I got confused earlier!

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OnYerBike replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Yep, confusing. According to wikipedia, the Presta valve is also known as the Sclaverand valve (after its inventor, Etienne Sclaverand). Whilst I've never heard that name before in the English-speaking world, in German it appears that is the preferred nomenclature (Sclaverandventil).

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OnYerBike | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Certainly intrigued. I do find presta valves annoying - I've switched to Reserve Fillmore valves on my tubeless wheels. These seem to have a couple of advantages over even the Fillmores - they seem even easier to use, and being removeable valves cores, you can pore sealant in directly through the valve (I know Reserve say you can do that with the Fillmore too, but I've tried and it's definitely not as easy as going directly through the valve). Being removeable valve cores also means the valve core can be easily replaced or removed for cleaning if it breaks or become gunked up - Fillmores are rebuildable but to do so you have to completely remove the whole thing. 

I do have a couple of concerns:

It seems like a pain to release air in order to fine tune pressure. Much like a Schrader valve, you do so by poking the little bit in the middle. Probably not a deal breaker though.

Although the pump head is small by track pump standards, I'm curious as to whether it could be shrunk to use on a mini pump. I don't see why not, but I'd like to see mini pumps with specific heads on the market before I commit. 

On a related note, they say it can be used with a presta pump head. The video shows a clamp on type. Can it also be used with a screw-on type presta pump (e.g. Lezyne mini pumps)? I have a couple of those and wouldn't want them to become obsolete. 

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HoarseMann replied to OnYerBike | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

OnYerBike wrote:

Can it also be used with a screw-on type presta pump (e.g. Lezyne mini pumps)? I have a couple of those and wouldn't want them to become obsolete. 

I think this is the pump head adapter and it's got presta threads by the looks of it, schrader threads so probably won't work with existing presta screw-on pumps...

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Matthew Acton-Varian replied to HoarseMann | 2 weeks ago
1 like

the conversion kit comes with an adaptor for screw-on pumps. Mini pumps are still a work in progress.

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cyclisto | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Isn't it wonderful that smartphone manufacturers agreed (or maybe forced, but who cares) to Type-C chargers?

I would like to see that happening, even if it is meant to happen in 2050.

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KDee | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I had a look at the Schwalbe website. It looks like the conversion kit is only for Schraeder and Dunlop/Woods. No converter for Presta.

Edit: Scratch that...looks like the SV converter works for Presta. It's not 100% clear.

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HoarseMann replied to KDee | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

I think the Clik Valve is a direct replacement for a Presta Valve core, no need to change tubes/stem, just unscrew the presta core and screw in the clik, job done (with an adapter to allow the same valve to work on schrader/woods).

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Steve K | 2 weeks ago
1 like

In terms of being good for tubeless, can you put sealant in the tyre via the valve?

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MTB Refugee replied to Steve K | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Steve K wrote:

In terms of being good for tubeless, can you put sealant in the tyre via the valve?

My thoughts exactly. The presta valve isn't exactly perfect, but the ability to add sealant without having to take the tire off is a massive benefit.

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HoarseMann replied to Steve K | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Looks like you can. The valve core unscrews just like a presta with a small spanner. The schrader version has a knurled cap that looks to be removable by hand. 

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KDee replied to HoarseMann | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Looking at the pictures, that's what I think too. Schwalbe could do with putting some more info out on this.

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brooksby | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

xkcd did a cartoon years ago, along the lines of two scientists saying there are too many competing standards and that they intend to come up with a universal standard to replace them all. The next panel has them complaining that there is now another competing standard, IIRC.

We've got Presta and Schrader, and we've all got the appropriate pump for our needs. Why do we need another valve standard??

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IanMSpencer replied to brooksby | 2 weeks ago
9 likes

I think that the Presta valve is flawed, too easy to damage - loads of people bend the top when trying to pump with a mini-pump, and Schrader is too bulky for road wheels.

So, if this is easier to use, and there is a reasonably cheap converter (which itself can be reused from valve or pump) then it's a yes from me.

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Another_MAMIL replied to IanMSpencer | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

I'd welcome a valve that's more robust yet easier to use than Presta.

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OnYerBike replied to brooksby | 2 weeks ago
8 likes
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HoarseMann replied to brooksby | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

brooksby wrote:

We've got Presta and Schrader, and we've all got the appropriate pump for our needs. Why do we need another valve standard??

don't forget the wood's valve!

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ktache replied to HoarseMann | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

Intern at work got a very practical central European bicycle, has  Dunlop/woods valves, had to look it up, presta pump works but drilling is as Schrader. Up until that point had only ever seen them In the three valve display on LBS counters, often stuck into a chunk of wood.

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marmotte27 replied to ktache | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Dunlops are pretty bad at holding pressure.

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KDee replied to marmotte27 | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Yeah, they're not great. Although ubiquotous for Dutch city bikes. They don't play perfectly well with a push on presta pump head either. A lot of bike shops have a pump chained up outside that has a head specifically for Woods/Dunlop.

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brooksby replied to HoarseMann | 2 weeks ago
1 like

HoarseMann wrote:

brooksby wrote:

We've got Presta and Schrader, and we've all got the appropriate pump for our needs. Why do we need another valve standard??

don't forget the wood's valve!

Damn! I forgot about that! 

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