Road trips are fun. And you can always refuel your car and travel great distances. However, if you want greater challenges and greater rewards, you can opt for a bike trip. That way, you can exercise your calf muscles and at the same time feel the cool breeze or feel the changing scenery of the cities you pass through. You can also easily stop to rest, enjoy the view and take pictures to add to your Instagram diet.
The problem with bicycles, however, is that they are generally less durable than cars. Their tires are also thinner, which means they are more likely to get holes or wear out than motorized means of transportation.
Therefore, if you’re planning a 200-mile road trip, it’s best to make sure your cycling companion is in optimal condition. You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of the road with a worn and dysfunctional tire, do you? What your road bike needs is an inner tube that will allow it to gain speed.
Bicycle Wheel Anatomy
What is a bicycle tube? To answer this question, let’s first identify the parts of a bicycle wheel. Most bicycles have tires that have the following characteristics: tire, wheels with hub, spokes and rim, rim tape and inner tube. The tire is the sturdy, rubbery carcass attached to the rim of the bicycle. It is not the part that inflates or retains air because it is open in the middle to fit the rim.
The wheel is the metal part that encompasses the hub (the central part), the spokes (the diagonal lines connected at the centre) and the rim (the circular metal). The rim strip is the rubber band that fits perfectly to the rim to prevent damage to the inner tube. The inner tube is the tube between the rim strip and the tire. This doughnut-shaped part has an air valve that allows air to flow into and out of the tube.
Because the inner tube holds the air that keeps the wheel rotating and moving, it is an essential part of the bicycle. It is therefore valuable to purchase a premium brand of inner tube, especially if you plan to ride for long hours. You want your road bike to be puncture-ready and resilient to ensure longevity and road safety. That’s why we’ve researched the best road bike handlebars reviews, and bike inner tube reviews to provide you with a list of the best brands and a guide that you can use as a checklist when you buy one.
Qualities of a Good Inner Bike Tube
According to the majority of the road bike tube reviews, there are three qualities you may want to look for when choosing the best road bike tube: rolling friction, puncture resistance and weight. Rolling resistance refers to the force that resists the movement of a circular object as it rolls over a surface. Depending on the material and its thickness, friction can be higher, and it can affect the acceleration of the bike. A thinner inner tube would be required.
Normally, in this area, a latex tube (rather than butyl) will be the wise choice because it is thinner and more flexible. However, latex is more porous than butyl, which means that air leaks more often than the other. Fortunately, manufacturers have found a way to make butyl tubes lighter. Given this, butyl tubing can also be a good choice.
Puncture resistance refers to the ability of the machine to resist punctures. Latex is also more resistant in this area. To reduce their inflation frequency, you can use sealants to cover the holes almost instantly.
Finally, the weight of the tube must be taken into account. Relatively speaking, however, lighter materials have less resistance to perforation. You would therefore not want a tube made of heavy materials. Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at our top five based on bike inner tube reviews and our own assessment:
Top 5 Best Road Bike Tube
5. Vredestein FV Latex Inner Tube
- Has a 50-millimeter Presta valve
- Constructed with a latex material
- Weighs 50 grams
Vredestein’s latex wonder is on the list with its FV latex inner tube. This variant is fitted with a 50 millimetre Presta valve and weighs 50 grams, which is ideal for regular sized road bikes. It is available in three sizes: 20-622/700x20c, 23-622/700x23c, and 25-622/700x25c.
- Has less rolling friction
- Less airtight
Because it is made of latex, you can expect less rolling friction. Try this inner tube made in the Netherlands, and you will certainly see the difference.
4. Continental Supersonic Race 28
- Made with featherweight butyl
- Has a 60-millimeter valve inclusion
- Has a 0.45-mm reduced wall thickness
You can reach supersonic speed with the inner tube variant of this Continental. Delivered at 4.8 ounces, it has the weight you expect for your bike’s partner tire. It features a 60 mm valve that is compatible with a 700c bicycle wheel.
- Has a thinner tube-wall
- Not as durable as expected
With a seamless vulcanized construction, it has the perfect round shape that’s ideal if you want to go fast. This butyl wheel tube can help you get that speed for your long ride. Continental’s inner tube solves the riddle of butyl latex to provide the desired gross weight and, at the same time, provide as little friction as possible.
3. Michelin Aircomp A1 Ultralight
- Made with featherweight butyl
- Has a 40-millimeter Presta valve inclusion
- Compatible with 700c wheels
- Only weighs 77 grams
In addition to its adorable mascot, Michelin does not disappoint cycling enthusiasts with its inner-tube variant, the Aircomp A1. Just by looking at its name, you can tell that it delivers the featherweight you want in an inner tube.
- Easy to find in shops
- Does not come ready for a screw-on collar
Recommended for road cycling and racing activities, it is compatible with 700c wheels and has a 40mm valve. Even though it is made of butyl, its total weight of 77 grams is a good weight to reduce tire friction. If you want to buy your innertube from a brand you trust, Michelin’s product should be the one for you.
2. Kenda Road Bicycle Tube
- Offers a choice between a Presta or Schrader valve
- 0.87 wall thickness
- Constructed with a butyl base
- Compatible with 700c tires
You can do more with Kenda’s inner tube. Coming from one of the leading manufacturers in the industry, it promises to give excellent results with its 700c tire compatible tube, and is one of our choices based on our best road bike inner tube review. It is one of the only brands to offer the choice between a Presta or Schrader valve.
- Has valve flexibility
- Allows easy installation
- Wall may be too thin
It has one of the thinnest wall thicknesses available with only 0.87 millimeters. Weighing in at only 4 ounces, its butyl material should not cause any rolling friction problems. With 50 years of manufacturing experience, you can expect good results from one of the world’s most renowned tire brands. That’s why it’s on our list of the best mountain bike inner tubes out there.
1. Schwalbe Cycling SV17 Inner Tubes
- Tested quality-air pressure retention
- Includes a 40-millimeter Presta valve and 3 pieces of Skyscape metal valve-caps
- Constructed with quality butyl material
- Compatible with 10 tire sizes
Schwalbe Cycling’s version of a 28-inch inner tube is our choice of the best road bike tube this year. Designed to maintain air pressure longer than competitive brands, it has an evenly distributed wall thickness and amazing air retention capabilities. To ensure that the product will live up to this expectation, it was subjected to a 24-hour pressure test, and passed with flying colors. This is in addition to the fact that it is compatible with different tire sizes, a flexibility you won’t often find with other brands.
- Tested and proven to be of good quality
- Has good puncture resistance
- Quite heavier than other brands
And that’s not all: it also outperformed all other brands because it was tested and proved that it can handle twice the air pressure of other brands. Although it has an expansion capacity of 1.5 to 2.5 inches, it is guaranteed not to exert excessive stress on the inner tube. It comes with a 40 mm Presta valve and 3 pieces of Skyscape metal valve caps. With 170 grams of quality butyl, it must be the best choice so far. You can expect high quality from the Schwalbe inner tube, which is why we have chosen it as one of the best road bike tubes puncture resistant for your road adventures.
Riding a bike is great. It provides excellent body strength and increases your endurance. It’s also a good challenge for your lungs. However, it can also be frustrating if you have to inflate your tires from time to time or if you can’t go fast because of excessive road friction. Choosing from the list of tubes for your road bike from our road bike tube review will surely turn your cycling experience into one you will truly enjoy and remember.