UK brand 76 Projects started out by 3D printing small computer mounts and designing frame storage systems, but they’ve now got a rapidly increasing range of really useful accessories as well as a lot of contracting work for other brands. The HI FLOW ‘No Clog’ tubeless valves are a big improvement on standard Presta stems for several reasons and are some of the best tubeless tire valves around, but only if your pump head fits securely.
Design and build
The most prominent feature of the HI FLOWs is that the design is reversed from the norm. Rather than a fixed foot and removable top, it’s the conical foot piece, with side air inlets that unscrew to let you slide the valve stem through the rim. You get a selection of spacer washers and an O-ring to give a secure fit on different depth rims. The stems also come in three lengths to cope with any rim depth from flat alloy to 60mm deep aero rim.
This reversal is because the extra flow (four times more than average according to 76 Projects) is achieved via an oversized chamber near the top of the shaft. This is where the valve head sits which can be loosened or tightened with the top lock-nut in a similar way to a standard Presta setup. As there’s no thread on the end of the shaft, a push-fit rubber cap seals the top, but that means you’ll need a separate adapter (£7.50) to use the valves with a screw-on pump.
That top end also causes another potential pump issue as there’s not much stem above the oversized chamber for a pump head to grab onto. A shallow, lightweight head with a fresh, tight washer will generally be fine. If it’s a mini pump, that you need to hold on to anyway, it should marry up without excess air loss either. If you’ve got a slightly slack, deep, or heavy floor/track pump head then it can fall off unless you hold it in place, which leaves you only one hand to pump it with.
That’s a real shame as otherwise air flow is excellent and rivals the $22 / £20 more expensive Reserve Filmore valve in terms of popping up tires as though there’s no core in them.
There’s sometimes a bit of trial and error with getting the number of washers right so the stem and foot tighten up together fully, but once sorted it’s a really good secure seal. The sideways outlets on the base of the valve mean they’re compatible with tubeless inserts. The higher flow rates and bigger spacing down the shaft mean less chance of the valve clogging with sealant. You can unscrew the foot for easier cleaning of the bottom end if they do start to get gummed up too although it’s not a full pull-through clearance like the Reserve.
There’s a bit more fitting faff than a conventional Presta valve but once you’ve got the reversed spacing sorted the 76 Projects HI FLOW ‘No Clog’ valves give much better airflow for easy inflation and they play better with rim inserts too. The short ‘grip’ length on the stem can be an issue with some pumps though and it’s hard to know which pump will be problematic before you try.
The valves are available directly from 76projects.com.
Tech specs: 76 Projects HI FLOW ‘No Clog’ valves
- Price: $28.00 / £24.50 / €29.90
- Sizes: 15-35mm, 30-50mm, 45-65mm
- Color: Anodized black or pink