10 Best Bike Tubes in 2021 [Comprehensive Guide For Ideal Purchases]
Cycling equipment is a crucial part of your overall biking experience. From the quality of the tube to the construction, there are a lot of factors you need to be mindful of when it comes to the bike inner tubes. However, the last thing you need is to do is end up purchasing elements for your bike that are complicated and redundant.
The inner tubes of your bike play a crucial role in the autonomy of the cycle and the way it functions. If the bike isn’t performing well, chances are that you need to consider changing to the best bike tubes before it ends up disrupting your overall bike riding experience.
However, unless you have a fair bit of idea about bike tubes and how they function, chances are that you wouldn’t know what to buy and what to avoid. You need to be mindful about purchasing the compatible bike tubes and also the ones that will support the functions of your bike, especially on the rougher roads.
In this guide, we have explained everything you need to know about the best bike inner tubes, the material, the types and all the associated information that you likely need to familiarize yourself with.
10 Best Bike Tubes in 2021
Bike Inner Tubes Size – Everything you need to know
Before anything, you need to be considerate about the size of the bike tubes that you are considering buying. This allows you to ensure and check whether the bike tubes you are buying is compatible with the bike that you own.
When checking out the size of the bike tubes, the first thing you need to check is the diameter of the inner tube. The majority of the road bikes feature a 700c wheel and need a 700c tube to go into it. If you are skipping out on the same, we’d recommend that you don’t. The Continental Race 28 700×25-32c Bicycle Inner Tubes are bestselling options if you are looking for 700c tubes.
Not choosing the correct size and diameter of the inner bike tubes will eventually end up affecting the compatibility and make your money go to waste.
If you don’t own the standard road bikes but the gravel bikes, the size of the bike tubes will be different. The smaller size is a little hard to find in the market, however, the process isn’t as impossible as you might make it out to be. In case you are looking for a good quality bike inner tube for hybrid bikes, the Contrast 700 x 25-32c Hybrid Bike Inner Tubes is a good one.
Once you are done checking the diameter of the inner tube for your bike, the next thing you need to do is check the width. Checking the width plays an equally important role in helping you find the bike tubes that are compatible with the bike that you own.
Most of the standard bikes with a 700cc wheel will accommodate a bicycle tube measuring 25 mm in width. That is like your standard pick to the choice. However, if you have broader and more heavy-duty wheels, you might consider buying bike tubes that measure around 28 mm in width.
However, if you have hybrid bikes with narrower wheels, you need to get them from an in-person store to ensure that there are no issues later with the compatibility and the rolling resistance of the bike tires.
In case you are not using a standard road bike and are instead using a mountain bike, you might have to consider buying an inner tube that is a little wider to fit the wider and heavy-duty wheels in the bike. The majority of the inner tubes for mountain bikes measure between 26 to 29 inches, depending on the design of the bike and the wheel size.
What are the Types of Best Bike Tubes?
Now that you are familiar with the basic idea of the size of the best bike inner tubes, the next thing to focus on is the available types. They are categorized into three primary types, depending on the valve type.
So, you have:
- Presta valve
- Schrader valve
- Dunlop valve
The first two options are the most commonly used valves in the inner tubes and are talked about more. However, the Dunlop valve is an equally important addition that we had to include in the list.
1. Presta Valve
Let us start with the most common and likely the most popular type of valves in the inner tubes of bikes. The majority of the road bike that you find are integrated with the Presta valve in their inner tubes. Not only are they easily accessible, but the valves also feature a standard narrow design with a screw present at the valve tip.
Some of the Presta valves, like the BWSHLF Tubeless Presta Valve Stem, come in a single piece that you have to unscrew and then fit into the inner tubes. These are easy to install but sometimes very hard to clean and maintain.
So, if you are getting a Presta valve, consider investing in the options with a removable core. This will help you clean the insides without letting them rot in dirt and rust. If we had to throw in a good recommendation for your bike tube purchase, we’d suggest you buy the AR-PRO (6-Pack) 28″ 700×20-25c Replacement Road Bike Inner Tubes that come with the integrated Presta valve.
2. Schrader Valve
The next on the list of the best type of bike inner tube that you can consider buying is the Schrader valve. Like the cars, even some bikes are fitted with Schrader valve for superior and uninterrupted performance. The only downside to the Schrader valve is its compatibility. They are extremely selective and if your bike doesn’t come with the right dimensions, you wouldn’t be able to fit them right in.
They are ideally fitted into low-pressure bike tires that require optimal performance. So, if you have mountain bikes and kid’s bikes that require a change of the inner tubes, you can consider investing in the Schrader valve for them. The BWSHLF Fat Tire Bike is a good option if you want to purchase bike tubes with a Schrader valve fitted to them.
3. Dunlop Valve
The next on the list of the best valve for bicycle tube is the Dunlop valve. They are also alternatively termed as woods bike tube valve. They are a bit outdated, which is why they aren’t readily seen in modern bikes today.
The Dunlop valve is like a cross between a Presta valve and a Schrader valve, wherein you get the narrow top section like the Presta valve and a wider lower section like the Schrader. The ideal thing about the wood valve inner tube is the fact that they are extremely easy to install.
Valve Length – Discussion
Aside from the diameter and width, checking the valve length of the inner tubes is equally important. If you have deep-section wheels, you might consider investing in the inner tubes with a longer length of the valve for easy installation.
As a standard, most of the valves measure around 8 cm, which might not seem like a lot from the get-go but it is enough to let you fit the bike inner tubes correctly without causing unnecessary damage.
In case the standard valve length isn’t optimal for your bike’s designs and needs, you can always consider investing in valve extenders like the MBP Alloy Bicycle Tube Presta Valve Extenders, depending on the valve type and length.
What is the best Inner tube Material for Road Bike?
If this is your first time investing in the best bike tubes, chances are that you wouldn’t know much about the material of the tubes. However, knowing about the right kind of material, including butyl rubber and other durable options is crucial.
1. Butyl Rubber
Butyl rubber is the most common type of material for road bike and is predominantly used in the modern bikes that are available today. The reason why they are considered ideal is because of their versatile functions. Not only can you fix a flat tire immediately with these, but they are also pretty long-lasting too, which is great.
With more modernization, manufacturers are now introducing lightweight butyl rubber for tackling the best road bike tubes for a comfortable riding experience. However, if you tend to ride your bike through extremely rough roads, you need to invest in high-quality butyl rubber for enhanced durability and long-lasting usage.
If you are considering buying butyl rubber best inner tubes, opt for the Newtion 2 Pack 26″ Bike Inner Tubes. Alternatively, the Bike Buddies 26 inch Butyl Rubber Bike Inner Tube is also a good pick if you use Schrader valves.
If butyl rubber isn’t your calling and you wish to invest in something durable and high-quality, we’d recommend using latex. The good thing about latex is that they offer optimal comfort while riding and are ideal inner tubes for heavy-duty road bikes. They are also pretty flexible and lightweight, which reflects on the riding experience that you have.
If you are worried about rolling resistance with your bike, you wouldn’t have to with this one. However, compared to butyl rubber, they are a lot more fragile and can leak air in intervals, especially with mountain bikes that travel through rougher roads.
Also, if you get a flat tire with a latex inner tube, you will have to consider replacing it altogether, which is another big headache. Additionally, if you are thinking of getting latex road bike tubes, we’d recommend avoiding the carbon clincher wheels and opt for the alloy ones instead. The carbon wheels don’t dissipate heat evenly, which can damage the latex after some time.
How to Pick the Best Road Bike Tubes?
With all the basic information about the road bikes and inner tubes, the next thing that we need to focus on is the buying guide. What factors do you need to be mindful of before choosing a bicycle tube?
Not just the size and the material, you need to check the compatibility with the bike tires and the overall price that you have to pay for the inner tubes for road bike. There are several factors the should persuade your purchase decision and we going to walk you through them all.
Let us walk you through all the important factors you need to pick before buying the right bicycle tube:
1. Consider the size
The first and likely the most important factor that you need to consider is the size of the inner tubes. You can’t expect to get the best if you don’t even find the right fit with your bike tires. So, consider checking the size of the bike tires and then buy the inner tubes that match the requirements accordingly. This should do the trick.
From the diameter of the bicycle tube to the width of the bicycle tube, you need to be mindful of every little aspect when it comes to the sizing and the overall functions.
2. Choose the right valve stem
Once you have sorted out the size of the bike tubes that you are considering buying, the next thing to focus on is choosing the right valve stem. As we have discussed above, we’d recommend choosing between Presta or Schrader valves, depending on the ease of compatibility with the bike tires that you have.
Always ensure that you choose the valve stem that is not just compatible but extremely durable and will last you through the test of time.
There are no two ways about it but if we had to recommend one choice amidst all the options, we’d suggest you go for the high-quality butyl rubber instead of latex or other cheaper materials. At the end of the day, you want to invest in bicycle tubes that are not just durable but repairable as well in case you get a flat tire. Latex doesn’t offer the flexibility that butyl rubber offers, so be mindful of the same.
There are self-sealing and basic tubes that are available in the market. The choice for you comes down to what you think would be an ideal pick for your bike. The reason why you need to look into durability is that the last thing you need is to experience a bad case of a flat tire with your wheels and inner tube.
Self-sealing tubes are a pretty new concept in the road bike but then are pretty great, especially if you want the best riding experience with safety.
Bike tubes aren’t as costly as you think they are. Even if you are getting the best bike tubes for road bikes, you wouldn’t have to worry about spending anything over $30 for both wheels. However, we’d always recommend prioritizing the quality of the bike inner tubes instead of focusing solely on the price of the product.
How to Puncture Proof Bike Inner Tubes?
With the inner tubes, the last thing you need to witness is a flat tire. Although quite common, puncture proofing with the correct wall thickness of the tubes and wheels can ensure long-lasting durability without unnecessary damage.
However, in order to puncture proof your inner tubes, you need to find the best bike tube with a removable core. All you have to do is add some sealant to it and you are good to go. This is predominantly common with the butyl tubes, however, the latex ones are a completely new story.
If you are using sealant to seal a puncture on the latex tubes, you need to be mindful since the sealant can end up damaging the latex over time. If we had to suggest, we’d recommend getting the butyl tubes or investing in the tubes that come pre-filled with sealant.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which brand makes the best bike tubes?
This is an extremely subjective question, something that you will eventually realize when you start researching more about the bike tubes and the variety of options it comes with. If we had to choose one brand to suggest, we’d probably recommend Continental. Aside from their versatile range of products, they are known for manufacturing durable and high-quality bike tubes, which is just what you need for superior functioning.
2. What size inner tube does my bike need?
The ideal way to check the size requirement for the rode bike tube is to check the sidewall of the tyre. The sidewall should have the dimensions about the wheel size and such that will guide you about the ideal inner tube that your bike needs.
3. Should I repair inner tubes?
Some types of bicycle inner tubes are repairable, especially with the continental bike tubes that are durable and puncture-resistant. If we had to choose, we’d recommend that you do repair the inner tubes especially if they are the butyl rubber variant.
There is not one but multiple types of bike inner tubes that you can consider buying. However, with so many different types of options in the market, we understand that choosing one road bike tube without proper guidance can be daunting. We hope this guide serves as a basic understanding of everything there is to know about bicycle inner tubes and why they are such an integral part of your bike riding experience.