Do You Need Those Presta Valve Nuts?

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Shhh. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Did you know that those little nuts that come on Presta valves are unnecessary for most cyclists? In fact, for many new riders, they cause more problems than they actually solve.

Here's the Thing

Presta valves always come with that little nut on them, and for a long time, I dutifully screwed the nut on and off whenever I had to change out a tube. But what does the nut actually do?

It certainly does not hold the tube in place. The tube is inside the tire and will not go anywhere. And the valve sticking through the hole in the rim does a fine job of staying put right where it is. That nut neither prevents it from coming out or falling back into the tire when you're actually out riding. Some might say that it helps hold the valve in place when inflating, particularly a completely flat tire. If that's true, it's not much of a help and certainly not worth the extra hassle of keeping track of it.

The problems it can cause a primarily related to people cranking it down too tightly. Doing that can pull the valve stem too high into the rim and cause the valve to tear away from the tube, and/or cause a rip or puncture.

Summary

Those nuts they include with Presta valve tubes are unnecessary. I've been riding without using them now for a number of years and have had no problems.

Feel free to discard them and shed a couple of grams and have one less thing to worry about keeping track of when you're changing a tube.

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