Needing to know more about inner tube valve types then look no further. Here is a quick fire run down of the most common bike valve types you'll encounter.
The schrader valve type is the most common amongst inner tubes. They are robust, inexpensive and proven on a variety of applications. The main characteristics are the wide shaft, usually about 36-40mm long and either have a rubber sleeve up to the valve cap or are threaded for a lock nut. Also in the Schrader valve type category you can get extra long ones which go to approx. 48-50mm. Other names for the Schrader valve are the 'car type valve', the 'auto valve' and even sometimes the 'fat valve'! Schrader valves are very robust too (great for kids bikes and downhill bikes!)
The presta is a whole other creation indeed when compared to the schrader valve. Most notably the presta valve is much thinner in diameter. You'll find presta valves on most road road racing bikes because they require thinner rims. A thin rim can't have a giant schrader shaped hole cut into it because it weakens the integrity and strength of the rim so the Presta is the solution to super thin rims. To inflate a presta you'll need to unscrew the head you're self then attach it to a pump (and in reverse after inflation). Presta valve types come in a whole variety of lengths, again due to the depth of rims. A thin rim means you need depth to add in the strength in another place (see mechanical engineering as to why! Sadly we can't cover that here). Sizes go from 36mm right up to 80mm with the regular size being 40mm.
Ah the lesser known woods valve. These valves are something of the past in many ways. They are a kind of hybrid of a schrader and a presta in some ways. They are a similar size of schrader valves but with the manual application of the valve like a presta. They are also known as Dunlop valves and in some cases a Dutch valve. All in all most tend to swap these out for schrader valves.
You what? Bent valves. Or angled valves to some. These use a schrader type connection but are angled for easy inflation on smaller diameter wheels. Anything under 10 inches in diameter and you'll likely encounter a 90 degree angled valve. Also there is the 45 degree valve which you'll see on many 12 inch applications.
Hopefully these main types of valve help you identify which valve type you need when buying a new inner tube. If you have any questions or are unsure with which valve type you need please don't hesitate to get in touch, we're happy to help.