Personally, I like unthreaded stems, so I use Michelin AirComp and Specialized Ultra Lite. Both of these seem to have a consistent cross-sectional diameter when inflated out of the tire. I figure this means that the thickness if the wall and the elasticity of the material is consistent. If you don't mind threaded stems, Continental tubes also seem to be consistent. I'm not sure this is important, but it makes me happy.
I did try a store brand once. Four of the 6 tubes failed at the stem. Two of them failed before I got them inflated. These were highly recommended, so I guess I got a bad batch. I'm just glad I didn't rely on them as spares.
too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Originally Posted by chefisaac
I was curious if anyone has ever done a test with tubes to evaluate tube quality (one versus the other).
And curious if there are brands of tubes to stay away from or ones that are high quality rubber.
It's hard to test quality with a very large base. But over the years importers and distributors of tubes have been able to draw conclusions based ot the return rate for defectives. The problem is that very few tubes are sold under the maker's brand names. Companies like Kenda, Cheng Shin & IRC who produce tires and tubes and sell under their own brands are the exception.
The vast majority of tubes are made by factory X, Y or Z, using an importer's label, like Trek, Specialized, Pyramid, etc. and it's impossible to know where and by who they were actually made. Moreover, the importer may change suppliers at any time, because of quality issues, or to get a lower price.