Reserve Fillmore Tubeless Valves
Reviewer: 6’, 165 lbs / 183 cm, 74.8 kg
Test Locations: Washington
Test Duration: 3 months
Blister’s Measured Weight: 5.5 grams per valve
MSRP: $50 per pair
Mounted to: We Are One Union
If you had told me a few months ago that I’d soon be enthusiastically writing a review of tubeless valves, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But today, Reserve Wheels is launching a fundamentally redesigned Presta valve, and after using them for a few months, they’re clearly better than the standard versions we’re all used to.
The Fillmore valves fit in standard Presta valve holes and are compatible with typical Presta pumps as well. The magic happens internally.
Instead of using a typical valve core, the Fillmore uses a custom design, with only a thin stainless steel rod running through the middle of the core. An o-ring at the very top of the valve (the end that’s inside of the rim) handles sealing duties. This has two key advantages:
(1) The Fillmore valves flow way more air than typical Presta valves. My shop is equipped with an air compressor, but I still usually need to take the valve core out when seating a tubeless tire with a typical Presta valve. The standard design just can’t flow enough air quickly enough to get the job done in many instances. The Fillmore valves make it possible to seat tires with a floor pump, without messing around with the valve core. Just remove the valve cap and go.
The Fillmore valves really do deliver on their promise of better airflow. Having gotten used to them over the last couple of months, standard valves feel notably slow to work with. The added flow is especially helpful when trying to seat tires in the first place, but it does make adding and releasing air from the tire significantly faster, too. And while three months maybe isn’t quite enough test duration to definitively declare the Fillmore clog-proof, they’ve had no issues so far, and the design certainly does seem like it should be an improvement on that front. And if they do manage to clog, the Fillmore valves can be disassembled for cleaning, though doing so does require removing them from the wheel. I’ll report back if anything comes up, and I’ll definitely keep using the Fillmore valves going forward — they’re a genuine improvement over anything else I’ve tried to date.
I can also confirm that the Fillmore valves work reasonably well with Cush Core inserts. The contact with the insert does mean that it takes a little extra force to open the valve, and airflow is hampered slightly. But the Fillmore valves still work better with Cush Core than most standard valves (i.e., not the side-drilled Cush Core branded ones) by a big margin.
The folks at Reserve have given the old Presta valve a re-think, and they’ve come up with something genuinely nicer to use — while still also being compatible with standard rims and pumps. I’ve been using a couple of pairs for several months now, and I’m completely sold. They flow air so much better than normal valves, making it faster and easier to seat tires, but also just to add or remove air on a day-to-day basis, too.