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Inner Tube Guide

Inner Tube Buying Guide

Inner tubes are the essential part of your bike that are hidden inside your bike tyres. Having the right inner tube is vital to both performance and safety. Below are a few key points to remember when buying an inner tube for your bike.

What size inner tube do I need?

The fastest way to find the answer is to simply look at the side of the tyre you are wanting to replace the tube of. You’ll find a variety of information on there but there are 3 key pieces of information you’re looking for

  1. The imperial/metric sizing
  2. The ETRTO sizing
  3. The pressure rating

Never get the size of the inner tube from the previously installed inner tube, always go off what the tyre says you need. The sizing consists of a diameter (for example 26” or 700) times (x) the width of the tyre (for example 1.95” or 28). With these pieces of information you can pick the correct tube.

ETRTO Sizing

This sizing is also found on the sidewall of the tyre and this is simply another tyre measurement method. Most tube/tyre combinations can be identified using the imperial/metric sizing but in certain instances the ETRTO can give extra information when it comes to an exact or unusual size.

Inner Tube Compounds

Most tubes are made from rubber, however a higher quality tube will be made from butyl rubber (like Continental and Schwalbe inner tubes) and some are also made from latex (these are usually for road bikes). Stick with a regular butyl rubber inner tube and you’ll be good to go.

Inner Tube Valve Types

There are three main valve types available with inner tubes:

  1. Presta Valve
  2. Schrader Valve
  3. Woods Valve

They all do the same job (keep the air in the tyre, duh!) but have differing reasons why one is preferable over the other (with the exception of a woods valve). Presta valves are very thin and work great on thin road bike rims while the thicker Schrader valve tubes are bigger, more robust and cheaper.

Self-Sealing Inner Tubes

You can go one step further with inner tubes and punctures by getting self-sealing tubes. These tubes have a gel like substances sloshing around in them that seeks to escape if it find a hole or puncture. It essentially clogs up trying to go through the hole and stops the air escaping. They are great however they do have a few drawbacks. The cost is usually higher than a standard tube, they can only seal small holes and they can add considerable weight. However, depending on your use these tubes could offer you more benefits than drawbacks especially when commuting.

We hope the above guide gives you some indicators of what to look out for and prioritise when it comes to selecting your next set of inner tubes for your bike.

So why not check out our great range of bike inner tubes here at Click Cycle.


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