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Where Can I Buy Bike Tubes

Between the dozens of size options and the various valve stem types (Presta, what is that?), selecting the correct tube for your bike can be challenging. Check out our video below, or scroll down for a quick photo guide to help you select the perfect tire tube for your bicycle:

where can i buy bike tubes

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The last consideration you need to keep in mind when selecting a tube is durability. There is no reason for you to suffer from flat tires - Riding flat free can be a reality. Self-sealing tubes are heavy duty and designed to stop flats for up to two years! To gain that type of protection, you need to purchase tubes that come pre-installed with Slime tire sealant.

Congratulations, you are now a tube expert! When purchasing tubes, if you consider tire size, valve stem type and durability needs, then you will never select the wrong tube again. Go forth and start riding!

The humble inner tube may be one of the simplest parts on your bike but, with a wide range of sizes available, different valve types and a choice of materials, choosing the right tube isn\u2019t necessarily as simple as it sounds.\nThat\u2019s if your bike has inner tubes at all. There was a time when every bike had an inner tube in each tyre. That\u2019s changed now, with the advent of tubeless tyres, first in mountain bikes and now increasingly in road bikes too.\nIn a tubeless setup, there\u2019s no inner tube; the tyre itself has an airtight seal to the rim and holds the air, without a tube.\nBut even if you\u2019re happily riding your tubeless tyres, it\u2019s a good idea to carry an inner tube with you, just in case you get the mother of all flats, which the sealant in your tyre or a tubeless repair kit won\u2019t handle and you need to fit a tube to get going again. Trust us, it happens.\nSo, whether your bike is fitted with inner tubes or not, read on for our guide to the bike part every cyclist loves to hate.\nWhat is an inner tube?\n\n\n\n Inner tubes come in many different sizes and materials, and are what hold the air inside clincher tyres. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\n\nIn a conventional clincher tyre setup, the tyre has a bead on each side which \u2018locks\u2019 onto the rim when inflated but doesn\u2019t have an air-tight connection. It\u2019s the inner tube, sitting inside the tyre, that holds the air.\nThe inner tube has a valve, used to keep it pumped up. Most inner tubes have either a Presta or Schrader valve, which we\u2019ll come on to. Ensuring you have the right valve type for your bike\u2019s wheels is essential.\nWhat size inner tube do I need?\nThe simple answer is: one that fits inside your tyre. But like many bike-related things, it\u2019s a bit more complicated than this.\nYour inner tube needs to fit the wheel\u2019s diameter and also the width of the tyre fitted, so there are two significant measurements to get right.\nLet\u2019s start with diameter \u2013 make sure you\u2019ve got the right size inner tube for your wheel\u2019s diameter or you\u2019ll find it difficult to fit.\nRoad wheels are usually \u2018700c\u2019 sized (622mm in diameter, when measured from the bead seat to bead seat) and will need 700c tubes to match. These are sometimes referred to as 28in tubes, but that\u2019s relatively uncommon.\nMeanwhile, mountain bike and commuter bike wheels and tyres are typically sized in inches.\nThere are more options here, with 26in, 27.5in and 29in wheeled bikes being sold.\n27.5in wheels are the same diameter as 650b, the smaller wheel size you\u2019ll sometimes find on gravel bikes in place of 700c wheels. And 29-inch wheels are the same size as 700c, though they\u2019re usually wider.\nKids\u2019 bikes will have smaller wheels, usually 16in, 20in or 24in, and need smaller diameter inner tubes and tyres, as will most folding bikes.\n\n\n\n The recommended wheel and tyre sizes should be stamped on the inner tube itself. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\n\nWhile it\u2019s vital to match wheel diameter with the diameter of your inner tube, there\u2019s a bit more leeway in tyre width, typically measured in millimetres (sometimes confusingly expressed as \u201cc\u201d, e.g. 25c) for road bikes and inches for mountain bikes.\nAll inner tubes will come with a recommended range for tyre width \u2013 for example 700 \u00d7 20\u201325 for traditional road tyres, 700 \u00d7 25\u201332 for wider road tyres.\nA narrower inner tube will balloon out to fill a tyre a few millimetres wider than its recommended width \u2013 but don\u2019t take it too far or it might explode.\nLikewise, a tube rated a bit wider than your tyre will usually fit, although it can be awkward to fit one that\u2019s a lot wider than the tyre.\nHow to replace an inner tube\nCommon inner tube sizes\nInner tube sizes vary by maker, so once you\u2019ve decided on a brand you need to check the options it sells, but typically they\u2019ll include options similar to those listed below:\nRoad, gravel, cyclocross and hybrid (commuter) tyres: 700c wheels\n\n Bigger tyres naturally require bigger inner tubes. On the left is a 700\u00d732-47C inner tube, while the right is a 700\u00d718-28C. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\n700 \u00d7 20\u201325mm \u2013 for traditional road bikes with 700c wheels and 20 to 25mm tyres\n700 \u00d7 25\u201332mm \u2013 for road bikes with 700c wheels and 25 to 32mm tyres\n700 \u00d7 28\u201337mm \u2013 for road, cyclocross, gravel and hybrid bikes with 700c wheels and 28 to 37mm tyres\n700 \u00d7 32\u201347mm \u2013 for road cyclocross, gravel and hybrid bikes with 700c wheels and 32 to 47mm tyres\nMountain bike tyres: 26in, 27.5in (or 650b), 29in diameter wheels\nThe following sizes are common for mountain bike tyres, regardless of whether your machine has 26in, 27.5in (650b) or 29in wheels.\nThere is some overlap in sizes between 650b gravel and mountain bike tyres, but gravel tyres are usually sold in metric sizes as listed above.\nUp to 2in width \u2013 narrow, old-school MTB tyres\n2\u20132.3in \u2013 typical XC (cross-country) MTB tyres\n2.3\u20132.6in \u2013 trail, enduro, all-rounder MTB tyres\n2.6\u20133.0in \u2013 \u2018plus\u2019 sized MTB tyres\nOver 3.0in \u2013 fat bike MTB tyres\nInner tube materials \u2013 butyl vs latex\n\n Butyl inner tubes are generally the cheapest, most common type of inner tube available and are usually available in every size you might need. Cheaper ones can be heavy and bring increased rolling resistance, however. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\nInner tubes are typically made of rubber: either butyl or latex.\nButyl rubber tubes are the most common. They\u2019re cheaper than latex, but they are heavier and the interaction with your tyre creates more rolling resistance.\nAlong with affordability, another plus of butyl is that it\u2019s easier to repair using a standard puncture repair kit, so you should get more life out of it than a latex tube.\nSome makers sell lighter-weight butyl tubes with thinner walls alongside their standard range, if you want to save a few grams.\n\n As well as coming in pretty colours, latex inner tubes offer lower weight and rolling resistance than butyl inner tubes. They\u2019re relatively expensive though and heat build-up can cause issues if you\u2019re using rim brakes on long descents. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\nFor even more weight saving, latex tubes are significantly lighter than butyl tubes, plus there\u2019s less friction against the tyre, resulting in lower rolling resistance.\nOn the other hand, they\u2019re much more fragile and more awkward to fit because they\u2019re floppier than butyl tubes.\nIf you have carbon rims on a bike with rim brakes, you also need to be careful not to drag your brakes on long descents because overheating can cause latex tubes to fail. Some wheel makers recommend against using latex tubes with their rims.\nAnother drawback of latex tubes is that they leak air more quickly, so you may need to pump them up before every ride.\nIf you do get a flat, they\u2019re difficult to repair too and you need a different type of repair kit. They\u2019re an option you might choose if you\u2019re seriously into racing or time trials to give you that extra edge in place of everyday practicality.\n\n Schwalbe Aerothan inner tubes are claimed to have greater puncture protection than a latex or butyl inner tube. Schwalbe\nThere are also more esoteric inner tubes out there. Tubolito, for example, sells tubes that are claimed to be lighter, more flat-resistant and more compact than a standard butyl tube, and more robust than latex. Schwalbe\u2019s Aerothan tubes make similar claims.\nAt more than \u00a325 each, both are an expensive option, but might suit the weight weenie or help save space and weight if you keep one as a spare.\nPresta or Schrader valves?\n\n Schrader vs presta valves \u2013 what are the actual differences? Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\nAs we\u2019ve already alluded to, your bike\u2019s wheels are most likely to be compatible with either a Presta valve or a Schrader valve, with Presta the more common of the two standards on enthusiast bikes.\nPresta valves are longer and narrower than Schrader valves. They have a screw at the tip that you unscrew when attaching a pump for inflation. You can also press down on the unscrewed tip to release air.\nSome Presta valves have a removable core, which can be replaced in the event of damage, but be careful not to accidentally unscrew the core when pumping up your tyre.\nSchrader valves are shorter and stubbier, and will look just like the valves on your car tyres.\nWhen buying inner tubes, make sure you get the right valve: a Schrader valve won\u2019t fit through the valve hole in a wheel rim drilled for a Presta valve. And a Presta valve is too narrow to fit securely in a Schrader valve hole. Try to use this combo and the rubber around the valve will be exposed and rub against the valve hole, risking a puncture.\nSome Presta tubes come with valves with removable cores (the bit that actually holds the air in), whereas in others the core is fixed in place.\nRemovable cores unscrew from the valve stem \u2013 there\u2019s a little tool available to grip the sides of the core \u2013 so you can replace a faulty one or squirt sealant into the tube (more on than below). They can sometimes unscrew by accident when you\u2019re using a pump, though.\nWhat about the Dunlop valve?\nAside from Presta and Schrader, there\u2019s also a third type of valve \u2013 the Dunlop valve (sometimes referred to as a Woods valve), more common on urban bikes in mainland Europe. It\u2019s very rarely seen in the UK\/US, or on road and mountain bikes.\nThe base of a Dunlop valve is similar in diameter to a Schrader valve, but is inflated with the same pump head as a Presta valve.\nInner tube valve lengths\n\n 42mm, 50mm and 80mm presta valves. Don\u2019t forget you need a valve length that\u2019s a few centimetres longer than the depth of your rim \u2013 don\u2019t get a 50mm valve for a 50mm rim, you won\u2019t have anything to attach your pump head to. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\nPresta valves come in different lengths too. With deeper section rims becoming more common, it\u2019s important to make sure that your valve is long enough to protrude through the rim and let you attach a pump to it.\nWe\u2019ve been on rides where we\u2019ve got a flat and found that the spare inner tube kept in a saddlebag as default didn\u2019t have a long enough valve for the wheels we were riding. Fortunately, we were carrying a few patches and could fix the punctured tube.\nPresta valve inner tubes are available from a range of makers with valve lengths up to 80mm. There\u2019s no harm in using a valve longer than you need, although it might look a bit odd to use a particularly long valve on shallow wheels.\n\n Valve extenders come in a range of sizes, types and even colours. These ones simply screw over the top of an open Presta valve, but you can also get ones that allow you to place the valve core at the top. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\nIf your wheels are even deeper than the longest valve you can find, you can buy valve extenders to add length to your valve. There\u2019s a range of lengths available: Zipp for example makes extenders from 27mm up to 98mm long.\nValve extenders screw onto the top of the Presta valve. Some are just hollow tubes, others include a valve at the top, which means that you need to remove the valve core from your inner tube before screwing on the extender.\nThe former are simpler to use, but add a dead space above the valve, making inflation harder, while with the latter you need to make sure that there\u2019s a fully airtight seal to the inner tube\u2019s valve stem, or your tube will leak air.\nAlso look out for valve rattle with deeper section wheels. It\u2019s an annoyance rather than a problem and can usually be stopped by taping around where the valve stem protrudes from the wheel rim (this is a classic trick used by pro team mechanics).\nPuncture protection\nOne of the big advantages of a tubeless setup is that the sealant inside the tyre should seal many of the flats that typically bedevil the bike rider.\nIf you don\u2019t want to go tubeless, or you haven\u2019t got the components on your bike to go tubeless, you may reduce your chances of getting a flat tyre by using inner tubes like those from Slime, which come filled with sealant.\nFitted exactly like a normal inner tube, they\u2019re a bit heavier and more expensive but should self-seal if you get a smaller puncture.\n\n This Slime 29\u00d747-55 inner tube is filled with a sealant designed to plug puncture holes. Simon Bromley\/Immediate Media\nAnother option is to put sealant into a normal inner tube. It\u2019s a job that\u2019s easier if you can remove the valve core: the sealant can gum up the valve, making it tricky to get air into your tube.\nAnd some sealants will weaken latex tubes, causing them to fail, so make sure that your combo is compatible.\n\n On some inner tubes, the valve core can be removed (using a specific tool or a pair of pliers). This allows a valve extender or tubeless sealant to be added, but remember to double check for compatibility issues. Simon von Bromley \/ Our Media \nOr, if you\u2019ve really had it with flats, there are solid tyres from the likes of Tannus and inserts such as Vittoria\u2019s AirLiner.\nBoth brands also sell anti-puncture liners that sit between the inner tube and the tyre tread. We\u2019d recommend upgrading your tyres or trying tubeless first, though.\nOr go tubeless\n\n If you want to run a tubeless setup, you\u2019ll need compatible rims and tyres. Check for words like \u2018tubeless ready\u2019 on the rim and tyre walls. David Caudery \/ Immediate Media\nIf all this seems like hard work, and you\u2019ve got tubeless compatible rims and tyres, there\u2019s always the option to go tubeless.\nTo recap: a tubeless setup removes the need for an inner tube (the clue is in the name). Instead, the tyre creates an airtight seal with the rim to hold pressure, just like a car tyre.\nTubeless tyres are used in conjunction with sealant, added to the tyre during installation. The sealant should fill the kind of small cuts that could otherwise cause a flat with an inner tube.\nWith that in mind, a tubeless setup should result in fewer punctures. You can also run tubeless tyres at a lower pressure because there\u2019s no risk of pinching the tube, potentially improving comfort and grip.\nOn the other hand, getting an airtight seal can sometimes be tricky when setting up tubeless tyres, particularly with high-pressure road tyres. And there\u2019s the cost of upgrading your setup, too.\nIf you do go tubeless, it\u2019s still a good idea to take an inner tube (and a tyre boot and plug kit) with you, so you have the option of adding a tube and making it home in case you get a serious flat.\nHow to set up tubeless road tyres\n\n \n \n \n \n Want the latest cycling tech news, reviews and features direct to your inbox? \n \n The BikeRadar newsletter will bring you our curated selection of the best cycling tech news, reviews, features and more from across the site. Just enter your email address below to get started.\n \n \n \n Thank you for signing up to the BikeRadar newsletter!\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Sign in\n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Register\n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n\n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n Sign me up!\n \n \n \n\n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n \n You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information about how we hold your personal data, please see our privacy policy.\n \n \n \n \n \n","image":"@type":"ImageObject","url":"https:\/\/\/production\/volatile\/sites\/21\/2020\/04\/Innertubes-Guide_Collage_Hero-3e2733d.jpg?quality=45&resize=768,574","width":768,"height":574,"headline":"Inner tube buying guide: common sizes, materials, valve types and more","author":["@type":"Person","name":"Paul Norman"],"publisher":"@type":"Organization","name":"BikeRadar","url":"https:\/\/","logo":"@type":"ImageObject","url":"https:\/\/\/production\/volatile\/sites\/21\/2019\/03\/cropped-White-Orange-da60b0b-04d8ff9.png?quality=90&resize=265,53","width":182,"height":60,"speakable":"@type":"SpeakableSpecification","xpath":["\/html\/head\/title","\/html\/head\/meta[@name='description']\/@content"],"url":"https:\/\/\/advice\/buyers-guides\/bike-inner-tubes\/","datePublished":"2021-04-23T17:00:00+00:00","dateModified":"2021-04-23T17:00:19+00:00"}] Inner tube buying guide: common sizes, materials, valve types and more Our in-depth guide to the humble inner tube; what it does and why you need them, even if your bike is set up tubeless 041b061a72


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