Is it just me or are tubes getting more expensive? I've been a bike commuter for years, and I learned early on to buy reliable, puncture resistant tires. They're especially important here in AZ where every tree and bush has vicious thorns. Nothing is more frustrating than waking up, getting ready to go to work, and then finding out your tire's been leaking air all night. I've had one flat in countless thousands of miles on my Vittoria Randonneur tires. I had zero on my Schwalbe Marathons but I changed them out for the Randonneurs when the tread wore out because they were so heavy.
Anyway, I recently started mountain biking again. My LBS charges 6 to 7 dollars for a 29er tube and in the last 3 days I've gone through four. Three were due to thorns and one was a "pinch flat" when I crashed. I'm a full time student right now too, so money is tight. Is there an equivalent of Vittoria Randonneur or Schwalbe Marathon in a mountain bike tire? I don't care how heavy it is.