BANANA INDUSTRIES TUBELESS VALVES REVIEW
Review by Robert Johnston
Tubeless valves won’t change how your bike rides but can certainly be the difference between a successful tubeless setup and a failure, or the cause of some real headaches down the line. Banana Industries hopes to offer riders with a wallet-friendly option that’ll perform well for a long time with their tubeless valves. We’ve had a set in a long-term test wheelset to see how they fare, and now it’s time to share our findings.
For such a small component, the Banana Industries tubeless valves have a lot going on to separate them from your standard brass offerings. Machined from a block of 7075 aluminum in Taiwan, the Banana valves have a 3-hole base that gives easy air passage for quick inflation and ensures they are safe from being blocked by most tire inserts. A double-tapered conical rubber grommet should be compatible with any rim and is designed to offer a secure seal to prevent any potential air leakage.
There are wrench flats to gain extra purchase when tightening and loosening the valve from the rim, and a generous O-ring for the nut on the outside of the rim to offer the most universal compatibility with a variety of rim shapes. At 50mm long, they should fit just about every mountain bike rim too. They take a standard valve core for easy replacement sourcing, with the dust cap featuring an integrated core tightening tool. Also on this dust cap is a notch that’s designed to allow for easier opening of the valve stem, for the cold UK winter days or when things get a bit gummed up.
In typical Banana Industries fashion, environmental friendliness is considered throughout, leading to packaging that’s fully recyclable and absent of any plastic. At £18/$20 for a high-quality valve, the price is typical of the Sheffield, UK-based company, who strive to offer the best value for money they can to our community.
First impressions as you pull the Banana Industries tubeless valves out of their cool matchbox-style packaging are of a well-finished product. The dust caps are suitably burly without weighing much at all, the rubber portions are reassuringly chunky, and the general look is of something that’s worth all of that reasonable £18 (and often lower) price tag.
They threaded onto the first wheelset without any hitches, and after easily unthreading the valve core with the dust cap tool, allowed for trouble free inflation of a tubeless tire without using a booster pump – air flow is certainly adequate. Over the test period, which has included some real slopfests and sub-zero temperatures through to some dusty scorchers, there’s been nothing to complain about. The valve nut tool is a neat feature that could potentially save the day, but it never seized up to the point that the tool was required. They’ve managed to survive the test without notable clogging up, and never suffered from the dreaded insert-induced blocking that many have in the past.
I fitted the Banana Industries tubeless valves to a variety of rims during the 5-month testing period, without a single issue with compatibility or leakage throughout the testing, and they’ve emerged from the other side in a state that made them a worthy hand-me-down gift for a riding buddy to continue to use them. Overall, at £18 you just cannot go wrong.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Cheap and very cheerful, the Banana Industries tubeless valves are a well-considered option that’ll satisfy all but those looking to add some color to their valves.
Price: $20 /£18