Santa Cruz/Reserve Fillmore Valves Review


Did you know that the air valve used in your tube or tubeless setup was invented in the late 1800’s? Both the Presta and Schrader valves have origins in the late 19th century. Currently living in the 21st century, it was a reasonable thought for Santa Cruz and the Reserve brand to rethink this dated piece of tech on our bikes. Like me, I’m sure you’ve dealt with clogged Presta valves on a tubeless setup and thought there had to be a better way. Well there is, and it’s a new product called the Fillmore Tubeless Valves. At a $50 starting price, it’s considerably more than buying a Presta valve kit on Amazon for pennies. But this has to be my most surprising and appreciated upgrade in 2023. And I felt this small part demanded a dedicated blog spot.


Design and Differences

The design challenge plaguing us all was to have a valve compatible with tubeless sealant while reducing the clogging potential and still be robust enough for all MTB applications. Another consideration the folks at Reserve made was the ability to seat a new tire with just a floor pump. “High Flow, No Clog” embodies these challenges and represents the slogan for these Fillmore valves.

With a 7000 series aluminum body and stainless steel inner core, the solution is simple. Make the area that air enters a tire bigger than the potential sealing power of our modern sealants. With a 360 degree “seal ring” the Fillmore valve opens and closes inside the rim and not inside the valve body itself. Preventing any sealant from working its way up inside to eventually foul the valve core. There is no valve core here. So, these Fillmore valves aren’t rebuildable, but Reserve believes you will never have to. And back this up with a Lifetime Warranty.

When viewing the valve inside the rim it's obvious to see a difference. And you might think that because the Fillmore valves protrude deeper into the tire that these wouldn’t be insert compatible. Not the case, these can in fact be used with inserts, the only disclaimer being that the force required to push the seal ring in to bleed out air on the trail will feel harder than running no inserts.

These new valves come in 3 sizes; 50mm, 70mm, 90mm. I chose to go with the 50mm based on my rim depth. The full list of compatible rim depths and size recommendations are here:

Installation and Usage

I had the luxury of installing these new valves on a new wheel setup. So there was very little fuss with removing the standard Presta valves that were included and seating these into the rim bed. Upon installing tires, I was surprised to see just how easy it was to seat the tire beads with a floor pump. Reserve claims these Fillmore valves allow for 3x more air than a normal Presta valve. Seating the tires was a breeze and this backs up the “High Flow” slogan.

Given this was a fresh install for me, I added sealant to the tire before seating them into the rim. Because there is no way to remove a core on these, I wondered if you could add sealant after the fact - without removing the entire tire. Turns out they also thought of this. You simply screw your syringe for sealant onto the outer body or cut your sealant bottle to fit over the outer body and squeeze it in. Simple. (After removing all air out of the tire first)

Another cool feature is the ability to micro adjust or micro bleed air out on the trail. Because you don’t actually have a valve core to unthread, you can unscrew the cap a couple rotations and then press down to release air. It’s a nice touch. But it's also very reassuring when you are using a hand/floor pump to add air in. The feedback you receive from the inner stainless steel rod is immediate and gives no doubt the system isn’t leaking. (Over time your Presta valve core being gummed up with sealant could lose air even if a gust of wind hit it)

Final Thoughts

Yes these are expensive compared to often free or included Presta valves in a tubeless ready wheel package. But hands down, you will see and appreciate the worry free nature of their operation over time. Never having to think about replacing cores again. And knowing you can quickly and easily seat a tire bead. If you are finally making the switch to a tubeless tire setup, grab these. If you are about to order replacement cores for your Presta setup, grab these. I can usually convey some downsides of a product. But these have me gushing - with a quick recap of why I recommend them:

  • No clogging
  • 3x more air flow for faster and easier filling
  • Lifetime Warranty

Got questions? Feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call!

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Nick Hanson



Boulder, CO

Current Bikes: 2023 Specialized Stumpjumper

Bike Size: S4 (Large)

Favorite Trails: Hall Ranch, Trestle Bike Park, Free Lunch, Hangover Trail

About Me: Been riding bikes my whole life. But feel I've only been a true Mountain Biker since 2012. Currently trying to take my bike wherever I can ride in conjunction with car road trips. Engaged, and living in Boulder with our 2 dogs.