It can be argued that 76 Projects kicked off the high-flow valve trend with the HI FLOW 'No Clog' Tubeless valves. What the brand has created here, while fiddly to install, works incredibly well. For a very reasonable price, they deliver more airflow faster, making tubeless tyres that bit easier to set up, but you'll have to be careful with your rim tape. They're a must-have to complete any tubeless setup.
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76 Projects has redesigned the Presta valve that mountain bikers, gravel riders, and roadies alike have come to know and love. The change in design hasn’t come without good cause, however, as with tubeless tyre setups being the norm, sealant clogged Presta valves have been quick to follow. Thus, the HI FLOW ‘No Clog’ Valve was created.
While looking much like your humble Presta valve, a lot is going on here. The small bulge near the top of the valve is home to a short but wide plunger that allows for more air and sealant to pass through simply because there’s more space for it to enter.
Another part of the valve that differs from a Presta is where the air or sealant actually enters. It goes directly through the top of the valve, so, already, that’s an indication of how much more air it can allow through.
The differences don't stop there. The HI FLOW valve takes a little more to install, thanks to that bulge at the top. Instead of poking the valve through the tape, you'll have to unscrew the portion that hides inside of your rim and tyre, then push the rest of the valve through the opposite way with the required number of spacers installed (this takes a quick bit of trial and error). After that, slide on the rubber bung and screw the end of the valve back on.
This is where there's a downside, and that comes when you push the valve's body into the rim. You'll have to do this with care as you're essentially pushing the valve the wrong way through the hole, during which you can unstick the rim tape and potentially tear it further. As long as you're careful and use a decent sealant, it'll be fine.
Of course, installing these guys is a bit more of a faff, but once they're in, they're in until you decide to change your rim tape, at least.
Another small downside is that it's best to run the valves with the cap firmly in place as it'll stop muck from finding its way in. If you lose one mid-ride, it's not the end of the world, but 76 Projects says it's not a good idea to ride consistently without them (caps will be available as spares soon). Also, if you use an older pump that screws onto a valve, you'll need to grab an adaptor from the brand to make it work properly, which costs an additional £7.50.
The real magic is in how much air these valves allow through. I'm one of those who absolutely hates having to change tyres, but simply running these valves has made it that much less of a task. In a way, they make your pump more efficient, making it easier and faster to inflate a tyre, whether you're using a track pump or trailside mini pump. It is questionable whether or not the valve allows for 4x more airflow than a Presta valve, as claimed, but it's significantly more efficient.
The HI FLOW valve doesn't come with a removable valve core, but it's simply not necessary. I've pushed a couple of different sealant brands through these valves, and they're yet to clog. Although, I've not tried any race-style sealants that insist on being injected through a valve with its core removed.
There's also no weedy threaded bit of metal to bend when pumping aggressively while using a pump without a hose. So you won't need to carry valve cores around with you in case you wreck one.
There aren't many valves on the market, especially for high airflow and clog-free, but there is Reserve's Fillmore valve. For a set of those, you'll be spending £40, and they claim to pass 3x the airflow of a traditional Presta valve rather than four.
The only thing that Fillmore offers that 76 Project's doesn't is the ability to micro-adjust the pressure. It installs into the rim just like a normal valve, but at nearly half the price, the HI FLOW valves are worth the faffier installation as a trade-off, in my opinion.
Let's compare the price to a traditional Presta valve, like Muc-Off's All-New Tubeless Valves. The HI FLOW valve is 50p cheaper and, of course, isn't a normal Presta valve.
If you're constantly boiling clogged Presta valves or running a tubeless setup, the 76 Projects HI FLOW 'No Clog' Tubeless Valves are an absolute must-have. Although it takes a little more to install them, they perform exactly as promised, making tyre inflation much quicker and easier at a price that's incredibly competitive to traditional tubeless valves. These valves may just spell the death of Presta.