e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM
Review

Reinventing the Tubeless Valve with e*thirteen

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date May 10, 2017

The Humble Tubeless Valve Stem

Mavic launched UST in the year 2000. Stan's NoTubes switched from rubber rim strips to their yellow tape & valve stem tubeless system well over a decade ago. There are several solid arguments for how to divide the credit for the almost universal acceptance of tubeless systems on performance mountain bikes. However you split the pie the universal feature of all tubeless systems is a threaded metal valve body with a rubber butt inside the rim, a lock-ring holding it tightly in place, and a Presta valve core threaded into the end. 

e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM

The aluminum e*thirteen valve stems use a standard Presta valve core. That's where the similarities to other valves end. They are designed to maximize air flow when inflating, firmly clamp into position without damaging rims and a nifty valve core tool as a cap is included.  

ENVE valve bodies are really long. Schwalbe's valve bodies are aluminum. Mavic has an o-ring between the valve body lock ring and rim to prevent damage (a feature many other companies have adopted) and the actual shape of the rubber butt inside the rim varies significantly but otherwise, these products are virtually identical. Here we have a different approach. e*thirteen's $29 (USD) Valve Stem Kit is an intelligent re-think of a seventeen-year-old staple of the modern mountain bike. 

e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM

When mounted the e13 valve stems appear quite similar to everything else on the market. A closer inspection indicates something unique is going on since there is a knurled surface for grip but no obvious lock ring on the valve body. 

e*thirteen Tubeless Valve Set

From the coil-sprung Dropper Post to the unique polygon crank interface, The Hive's e13 brand is focused on engineering original solutions for mountain bike components, as evidenced here. 

The aluminum tubeless bodies are designed to maximize airflow and with the Presta cores removed the difference in air flow between these valves and anything else on the market is audible. Airing up a 29+ tire with my floor pump comparing the e13 valve, Stan's valve, Mavic valve and Schwalbe valve it's absolutely no contest; e*thirteen moves more air. 

The valve set is more complicated than other options on the market (other than the less-than-recommended milKit)  with multiple pieces. The inner body has a choice of a standard o-ring or a formed rubber spacer depending on where it is being used with a flat rim or a curved rim and the outer body also has a captured o-ring to protect my rims and ensure a perfect seal. 

e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM

Captured rubber inserts both inside and outside the rim ensure a tight seal with no damage. The inner insert is a molded spacer or an o-ring depending on the rim profile. 

I used the formed spacer with my Raceface ARC 30 rear rim and the o-ring with my front Raceface ARC 40 and everything went together very easily with no instructions required. A hex key holds the inner body in place while I hand tightened the two parts together, "no pliers or rim-crushing monkey strength" required. 

e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM

A hex key holds the inner body in place while the outer is hand tightened. Captured rubber inserts prevent any damage to my rims. 

The majority of tubeless valves have removable valve cores which makes it significantly easier to inflate a tire from empty. Pump it up, remove the hose, reinstall the core and then top up the pressure to the desired amount. 

Yes, the cores can be removed with an adjustable wrench, pliers, Vice Grips and etc but I certainly prefer my valve core remover - when I can find it. e*thirteen simplifies the process by including a valve core remover in the form of a valve cap. It's always there and easy to use. I've already lent it out on the trail to a rider whose mini-pump unthreaded their valve core. Simply brilliant. 

e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM

The valve cap is also a valve core remover. It's very handy for maximizing air flow when airing up tires from flat and for tightening valves on trail if needed. 

If it ain't broke...

...reinvent it anyways? 

I've never been much of a fan of change-for-change sake. That's true for the shift from 1-1/8" steerer tubes, 135mm rear hubs, 8-spd drivetrains and threaded bottom brackets. When I first saw the package of e*thirteen valve stems I immediately filed them under the category of 'what's wrong with the existing design?'

But, the e13 Tubeless Valve Kit is an absolute winner. Yes, at $29 the set is almost twice as expensive as a $16 set of Stan's but when you add $8.50 for a Stan's valve removal tool for a more apples-to-apples package the pricing gets closer.

e13 Tubeless Valve NSMB AndrewM

With easy leak-free install, significantly improved air flow, a handy valve core remover included and no chance of damaging my rims the $29 (USD) e*thirteen valve kit is an upgrade I'll make on all my bikes. 

There are two lengths available (19-27mm & 27-37mm) so they'll fit nearly any depth of rim. They're easy to take apart to clean if they get filled with tubeless goop and they even come in anodized red or blue for riders that can't have enough anodized parts. 

In the grand scheme of things it's a cheap upgrade to my existing bikes that I'll appreciate any time I air a tire up tubeless. With the valve cores installed it is significantly faster to pump up tires that have been sitting, even with a mini-pump. 

An awesome little upgrade for anyone who's ever had a beef with airing up tubeless tires. 


Comments

Endur-Bro
-2
Endur-Bro  - May 10, 2017, 7:19 a.m.

How many dollars rounded down to the nearest 100 did e.13 pay you to pen this?  Be honest.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 8:08 a.m.

$1,000,000 (USD) in cash. They're also teaming up with Crankbrothers to buy me a house in West Vancouver and a Bentley (a real top end Bentley like the Queen drives not one of the shitty 200k models) since I called the Highline the best dropper post on the market (which it is).

These valve stems work awesome. It is easier to air up a tire tubeless (without the valve core installed) compared to a standard valve (without the valve core installed). I really like them and don't see a reason I'd buy any other valve stem on the market at this time. 

What would you like me to do? Invent some issues with them? Only write about stuff with flaws?

Reply

cooper
+1
Cooper  - May 10, 2017, 8:37 a.m.

You must be new around here?

Reply

AndrewMajor
+3
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 8:51 a.m.

Not even comparing it to other sites but just as a general observation, if you read the comments on NSMB articles they are generally intelligent and well considered. 

I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me and absolutely hold me accountable-anonymously or otherwise a spade should be called a spade. 

I have no problem being teased about 3/4 shorts or how sexy my dad-bod is or how goofy I look riding a bike.

But I'd rather this place didn't become like most the internet and if you're going to challenge my credibility don't do it flippantly.

craw
+1
Cr4w  - May 10, 2017, 9:03 a.m.

Sexy indeed.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 9:17 a.m.

@Cr4w : I'm fat but you're tall and I can always lose weight!

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - May 10, 2017, 11:29 a.m.

Dunno but he sure appeared suddenly like shit on a shoe.

cam@nsmb.com
+1
Cam McRae  - May 10, 2017, 8:56 a.m.

What makes you say that? I'm honestly curious. Because he liked the product? Does that mean that every time Andrew doesn't like a product he hasn't been paid or has been paid by the competition? Considering the state of the internet and reviews in general, I understand your cynicism, but this seems like an odd target. Valve stems? Do you actually think anyone might get rich off valve stems, motivating them to bribe a web writer to say good things about the product? Curious about your thought process here. And thanks for the feedback.

Reply

Endur-Bro
+2
Endur-Bro  - May 10, 2017, 4:04 p.m.

I clicked on this article link hoping to see e.13 release a Schrader stem tubeless valve with hex nut.  Instead we get another presta design valve system with some truly neat features, but again it's a product adapted from road to mtn bikes.  The final picture makes that valve system look extremely long, and while I can't say I've had many valve stems break but I could see it an issue for some.  Anyway it appears No Flats makes a tubeless schrader valve kit so I'll see myself out.

In no way was I actually serious about Andrew being paid to praise an e.13 product.  Maybe a wink emoji at the end of my comment would've lightened the comment.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 4:46 p.m.

@Endur-Bro thanks for the thorough explanation & apologies that my e-humour meter didn't pick that up. 

Stan's Schraeder tubeless valve bodies should be a standard thread so you can replace them with a different nut. It takes some digging but an alloy one could easily handle the force and such an animal exists (in many colours). 

Let me know how your experimenting goes.

Here or andrew.major<<@>>NSMB.com

cooper
0
Cooper  - May 10, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

There needs to be a sarcasm font. 

As it appears this comment was tongue in cheek, I retract mine.

Reply

cooper
0
Cooper  - May 10, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

There needs to be a sarcasm font. 

As it appears this comment was tongue in cheek, I retract mine.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - May 18, 2017, 3:13 p.m.

Removed my downvote b/c you were a man and came back to fess up to bad sarcastic attempt. Happens to all of us. Sorry if you got piled on but, well, obviously we're all sensitive around here!

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
+1
Niels  - May 10, 2017, 7:55 a.m.

I really only have one issue with tubeless valves and that's the valve cores getting clogged with sealant after a while.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 8:10 a.m.

I have the same problem and thus far it has not occurred with these valve stems - possibly due to the larger ID of the bodies. 

I don't think it's avoidable - and assume eventually they will clog - but all valve stems are easy enough to clean out and these are no exception.

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
0
Niels  - May 10, 2017, 2:34 p.m.

The stem is not the problem, it's the core that gets clogged. The best/easiest solution I've found so far is to replace it with a valve core harvested from an old 26" tube, but I ran out of those.

AndrewMajor
+1
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 2:46 p.m.

@Niels I clean them with hot water with good results. When they're dead I just replace them like you say.

I don't use tubes often these days but it's pretty cheap to just buy valves as long as you don't buy them from Stans.

Sometimes you can find huge packs on EBay. I've bought a 10x pack from Kenda before:

http://www.jensonusa.com/Kenda-Presta-Valve-Cores

jfkusa
+3
Johnny Krawczyk  - May 10, 2017, 8:59 p.m.

Pro tip: become friends with a roadie and ask them to take the valve cores out of their inner tubes for you. I've got at least 20 floating around different parts bowls in my workspace.

zigak
0
ZigaK  - May 11, 2017, 11:51 p.m.

@Johnny Krawczyk: I am also a roadie, and the f* cores get clogged with grime too. When a tube is done (in my case 10 patches) I harvest the core if it is still working. So no cores from me.

cam@nsmb.com
+2
Cam McRae  - May 10, 2017, 8:58 a.m.

I have had tubeless valves get stuck in place when a tube install is necessary as well - which is a nasty problem to have several thousand feet above the Whistler Valley.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 9:20 a.m.

Interesting. Not something I've experienced but between the hex key inside the rim, knurled outer and the way the two pieces of the body attach I can't see that ever being an issue with the e13 valve. Another benefit.

Endur-Bro
+2
Endur-Bro  - May 10, 2017, 4:07 p.m.

I'll put a drop of tri-flow into the valve core before threading it into the stem.  Prevents sealant from gumming up the valve ime

Reply

dover1500
0
Ben Pye  - May 10, 2017, 11:13 a.m.

more importantly to me, tell me about that cool as heck Allen key.

Looks like a Mayhew 45052 but they don't make Blue tools.

Who makes these?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 11:41 a.m.

Princess Auto:

https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/9-pc-metric-heavy-duty-twisted-hex-key-set/A-p8384752e

My 2.5, 3 and 4 are all looking a little worn but they've been surprisingly durable for a cheap(ish) hex key set.

Reply

pedalhound
+1
pedalhound  - May 10, 2017, 11:30 a.m.

I just have my carbon LB rims drilled for Schrader and got some of the Speed Evolution valves and called it a day....hate

presta. Old roadie standard that should go away.

http://speed-evolution.com/product/pink-schrader-valve/

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 11:37 a.m.

Don't get me wrong, I'm intrigued by converting my (alloy) rims to Schraeder. For low pressure applications like MTB tires the larger body makes sense (same idea as e13) to air up tubeless and there aren't any negatives I can think of. But are Presta valves really THAT bad? Like "HATE" bad?

Can honestly say I've never heard of someone's ride being ruined by a Presta valve vs. a Schraeder. 

Reply

andrewcashew
0
andrewcashew  - May 10, 2017, 9:09 p.m.

Trying to reply to your below comment, but can't for some reason? I'm new... sorry!

As for the below re: Presta being better high pressure applications. This was something pointed out to me only last year at a week of suspension tech/wheel building at UBI. Almost EVERYONE has the conception that presta holds air better, and is better for high pressure applications. But, your rear shock seems to have no problems holding up to 300 PSI worth of air in it, and it's got the handy 'ole Schrader valve going on ;)

Realistically presta valves were created so we could drill smaller holes in rims so we could better experiment with rim shapes/profiles. I would surmise at this point we could potentially move back to schrader drilling with the wider and wider rims we keep seeing, but I would suspect they would clog up easier? All speculation on my part!

mark-babcock
+1
Mark Babcock  - May 10, 2017, 12:53 p.m.

Interesting. This makes me realize that I've always just assumed presta was better because it always comes on high-end bikes, but Schrader probably does make more sense for MTB tires.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 1:01 p.m.

Presta is better for high pressure applications (road tubes) and in theory holds air better --- but that's probably only a benefit with tubes since tubeless needs to be checked regularly anyways (especially Plus tires where a couple PSI really matter).

It's crazy how much easier it is to air up a stubborn tire tubeless using the e13 valves (with valve core removed) and the sane would certainly hold true for Schraeder. It's a small job to drill out rims and Stans makes tubeless Schraeder valves so I think I'll have to try it!

AndrewMajor
+1
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 9:24 p.m.

@andrewcashew thanks, yes I've been doing some reading and apparently the chief advantage of Presta valves is that they hand lock/un-lock and when unlocked the valve is open which makes for much easier pumping.

Schraeder valves being spring backed for closure make inflation more difficult. 

In that sense I guess Presta would arguably better for airing up tubeless tires except again I'd remove the valve core from the Schraeder valve to inflate it initially.

Fascinating deep nerd stuff!

Reply

andrewcashew
0
andrewcashew  - May 13, 2017, 7:31 p.m.

I didn't really think about the "spring back" portion of Schrader valves, but yes that makes sense. Again, I'd suspect the Schrader valves would gum up quicker too, but having not used them I can not comment on that for sure.

Fascinating deep nerd stuff indeed. Hahah.

slimshady76
0
Luix  - May 22, 2017, 10:39 a.m.

@andrewcashew: Schraders son't clog faster than Prestas, it's actually the other way around. I started my tubeless journey with a Ghetto setup (inner tube cut, with Presta valves). Then switched to Stan's Schrader valves and never looked back. The spring in Prestas is weaker, which leads to sealant being easily caught between the core and the valve body. With Schraders the heavier spring pushes the gunk away.

earleb
0
earle.b  - May 11, 2017, 9:41 a.m.

30 usd for valve stems????? That is just wrong. 

Cut the perfectly good valve stem out of a high quality Continental tube ( $8.50 from MEC) and you have your Shcrader fully threaded valve stem.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/4005-357/26-x-1-75-2-5-Schrader-Tube

I've used both Presta and Shrader valves cut from tubes to seal up and hold tubeless just fine. I've been back running tubes the last couple seasons but I'll be drilling out my next wheels to run the ghetto Conti Shrader valves as tubeless valves. 

The one downside to running shrader these days it everyone is running presta so if you need to borrow a tube the fit isn't idea, and if you carry shrader it's not going to fit into your buddies presta drilled rim when he gets his 3rd flat and needs to steal your tube.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 11, 2017, 10:03 a.m.

Interesting, I wouldn't have thought the rubber valve base from a tube would stiff enough to keep air sealed. 

Do you have to glue or tape it? How much tube do you leave one?

Cool!

earleb
+1
earle.b  - May 11, 2017, 10:13 a.m.

Andrew I just kept a nickle sized chunk of tube on it. The Conti ones have a good amount of rubber at the base.

35x20
0
35x20  - May 10, 2017, 6:02 p.m.

Andrew, how bout a link to a full pic of that purple/pink faded fork-  looks like rigid SS w/orange hubs? 29+ minion on the front?

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 8:14 p.m.

Heya 33:19* the purple/pink fade job was done by Toxik Harald at Toxik Design Lab and the fork is a Walt Works.

The gold hubs are a set of True Precision Stealth hubs I've been reviewing. Review is here.

There are a few pictures of my fork/bike here. I run a 29x3" Maxxis DHF up front and a 27x2.6" Specialized Laughter (sic) out back.  

Cheers,

*how's that for some single speed humour for you?!

Reply

just6979
0
Justin White  - May 10, 2017, 7:32 p.m.

Is the stem body big enough to fit the MilKit syringe all the way through? Not a huge fan of their valves, since the one way valve doesn't release far enough when the core is unlocked and pushed in to allow for good pressure readings (I ended up slicing the butterfly valves off, but at least they hold air well), but I do like the syringe for twice yearly goop replacement.

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - May 10, 2017, 8:18 p.m.

The valve body could handle the MilKit syringe the issue is the hex-key base which would not be big enough. I agree with your re. MilKit valves. MilKit is general was a miss for me when I reviewed it. 

If checking the condition of your "goop" isn't a priority (guessing its not for a twice yearly addition) the Stan's and Orange injectors both work fine to add fluid. 

In either case I always recommend just popping the tire bead and poring some sealant in. Everyone I know who uses the injectors (MilKit aside - it's different) has more issues with valves clogging up.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - May 10, 2017, 11:53 p.m.

With inserts like flat tire defender and cushcore that's the only way to do it. Or at least the only practical way.

just6979
0
Justin White  - May 11, 2017, 11:27 a.m.

Not having to pop the bead is exactly why I got the MilKit (and the Stan's injector, which I've never had issues with regular sealant, but I like that MilKit can extract the old, grey, sealant). It makes checking and re-upping the sealant a 2 minute job, including pumping the tire back up, and I don't even have to think about maybe getting the compressor or CO2.

1part@atime
0
[email protected]  - May 11, 2017, 10:59 a.m.

I ran these valve stems all 2016 on 2 bikes. I only bought them to match my e13 wheels and because they came in black.
They work great at holding air but do have a serious drawback (at least on my version).
I live in the Okanagan so tire shredding flats are a weekly occurrence, removing these valve stems to get a tube+clif bar wrapper into the tire to limp home requires NOT losing the super tiny o-ring that goes between the 2 components.
Fortunately, each kit comes with spares if you manage to not lose them in your tool box.
As far as gumming up, never had an issue but I do give them a rinse when they go back in. Considering I replace the tires 3-4 times a season, they never really get a chance to dry out.

Reply

avner-b
+1
Avner B.  - May 14, 2017, 6:41 a.m.

For all you Schrader lovers, check out Mr. Stubby.

http://mts-tubes.com/product-info/mr-stubby/

I use them with my Presta valved tubeless setup.

Avner.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - May 18, 2017, 3:11 p.m.

Well, look at that. Kinda cool!

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