Muc-Off's Big Bore tubeless valves claim to offer up to 264% more airflow than Presta valves, while Schwalbe's Clik system says it combines the best of aspects of both Presta and Schrader in a new format.


Tyre valves, whether tubeless compatible or attached to an inner tube have remained largely unchanged for a number of years now, with just a few companies designing high air-flow versions to help tubeless inflation and reduce clogging from sealant. But two far more radical designs have just been unveiled, both with the aim of improving what can be a frustrating failure point in the bicycle system and becoming the new best tubeless valves for mountain biking.

The two brands touting these new designs are Muc-Off and Schwalbe. Muc-Off has launched its Big Bore Tubeless valve, which is designed with a straight-through, coreless structure to help reduce sealant clogs and “revolutionise” airflow. Contrastingly, Schwalbe’s Clik system is an entirely new valve core that’s designed to retrofit into a standard Presta valve. Both have a bold aim; to become a new industry standard. Whether or not the industry, or customers will buy into these two valves is yet to be seen, but they boast some convincing advantages.

Muc-Off Big Bore and Schwalbe Clik Valve need to know:

  • Muc-Off’s Big Bore tubeless valve aims to reduce sealant clogs
  • It features a lever-operated ball valve that improves airflow control
  • Two options: the Lite, which is Presta valve compatible, and the Hybrid, which works with both Schrader and Presta
  • Cost is £40 for both, and there are are a range of colours to choose from
  • The Schwalbe Clik Valve is a new valve core that is compatible with any Presta valve with a removable core
  • There’s no lock nut – just click the new pump head on directly – and no fragile core to bend or break
  • Clik valves and pump heads are set to be available towards the end of 2024
  • Will be on Schwalbe tubes next year, but also available as a conversion kit
Muc-Off Big Bore valve

Muc-Off’s Big Bore valve uses a tap-style valve on the side to open and close the airway.

Muc-Off Big Bore tubeless valve

Muc-Off already produces some of the best tubeless valves, but now it’s upping its game to combat some of the most common pitfalls of tubeless setups. The main problem is the potential for sealant clogging the valves over time. It can take just a small amount to really get in there and clog things up, which makes pumping up tyres difficult due to the restricted airflow.

Muc-Off Big Bore valve

The Muc-Off Big Bore valve looks like a hefty unit, although it’s available in several sizes.

Essentially, the new Big Bore design uses a lever-operated ball valve to improve airflow control – up to 264% compared to standard Presta valves if you believe the marketing hype. This in theory means that there is less clogging, faster tubeless set-up and less stress when adjusting pressures or topping up tyres. Rather than unlock a locknut and depress a valve core to allow airflow, the Big Bore design has no centre. Instead, the twist valve on the side opens and closes the stem like a tap. Attach a pump, turn the tap 90º and get pumping. This also should allow more accurate bleeding of excess pressure.

Muc-Off Big Bore valve

It works with a standard pump – just open the tap rather than unscrew the lock-nut.

There are two options to choose from: the Lite – which works with Presta – and the Hybrid, which works with both Schrader and Presta. There is also a third variant, the Ludicrous, slated to be released soon which works solely with Schrader.

The two current options cost £40 and are made from CNC machined aluminium. They are available in a choice of colours so you can match your valves to the rest of your bike’s finishing kit.

Schwalbe Clik valve

Schwalbe’s Clik design doesn’t need you to open or loosen anything. Just attach a compatible pump and it clicks into place.

Schwalbe Clik Valve (SCV)

Schwalbe has taken an even bolder approach with its new valve design, and said it wants its new Click Valve to eventually become the industry standard. Instead of threaded lock nuts and flimsy valves, the new Click Valve allows compatible pumps to just click onto the valve – hence the name. No fiddly locknuts to loosen, bend, or even break. In fact, Clil’s inventor, John Quintana, designed it specifically so that his kids could pump their tyres up easily, without the complexity and fragility of current options.

Schwalbe Clik valve

Different length Clik valves are available, and the new core first any old Presta valve. You’ll need a new pump head though.

The valves can be retrofitted to Schrader, Presta, and Dunlop valves, and Schwalbe is aiming to bring out tubes equipped with the SCV next year. You can also buy a pump head adapter, which can be clamped or screwed into the pump head so that you can use it on an SCV without the need to buy a complete new pump.

Further benefits are claimed to include better airflow (Schwalbe says 50% – which might allow the seating of tubeless tyres without a compressor), less clogging from tubeless sealant, and increased durability compared to Presta or Schrader valves. Because the exterior of the valve is smooth (no threads), the rubber seal in your pump should experience less wear, and last longer. Dust caps also push on, but can still be left off completely without harming the internals.

Schwalbe Clik valve

Here you can see the central poppet valve protruding from the stem. This allows the air to flow, a bit like a Schrader valve.

Speaking of which, the Clik valve is a bit like a mini Schrader valve, where a poppet valve sits inside the core and gets depressed when the pump is attached. It sits slightly proud of the outer stem, so you can still release air with a fingernail.

It is available in 40mm, 60mm and 80mm lengths, and costs from €23.90 for a complete tubeless valve, and €16.95 for the conversion kit. There are also pump adaptors, valve caps, and other accessories available.

The MBR take

We’re all for improvements to the standard bicycle valve. The frustrations that come from clogged valves, bent valves, and valve cores that unscrew out when you try to loosen the locknut, are real and affect riders everywhere. More hassle means less ride time, and that sucks. Both these systems offer plenty of advantages on paper, but there are also some drawbacks that we can see. The Muc-Off Big Bore valves look pretty heavy, and conspicuously there’s no weight provided in the press info. We’re also curious to know whether they will work with popular pressure gauges. The same goes for the Clik valve. If they need a special pump head, then presumably they won’t work with current pressure gauges. And there’s a need to either buy a new pump or a pump adaptor to run your current pump. Which presumably means you won’t benefit from the full advantages of the system.

While we haven’t tried either system yet, the Schwalbe Clik valve seems to show the most promise, simply because it can retrofit to existing Presta valves. But we’ll look to test them both out as soon as we can.