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  1. #1
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    Is a Tube a Tube

    After my tube installation failure I need to replenish my stock. I am not sold that Slime tubes are worth the additional cost. So, what brand do you guys recommend or, is a tube a tube?

    Thx

  2. #2
    astro
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    After my tube installation failure I need to replenish my stock. I am not sold that Slime tubes are worth the additional cost. So, what brand do you guys recommend or, is a tube a tube?

    Thx
    Tube or not Tube, that is the question.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    No, I don't think all presta valve tubes are created equal. When you add air to such a tube, your pump has to apply a pressure to generate a force that opens the valve. The forces holding the valve closed include the pressure in the tube as well as a spring in the valve. I've noticed that some brands (one in particular) seem to require considerably more overpressure to open the valve than others. You can see this if you have a gauge on your pump. As you push on the pump the pressure goes up, but no air is going in the tube. When the valve finally opens the gauge pressure drops to the tube pressure while a little air goes in the tube. If a very large overpressure is required, the pump head will blow off the valve before you get air in the tube.

    I haven't tried all that many brands, but one brand I'm planning on not buying again is Specialized.

    -Ed

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groth View Post
    Tube or not Tube, that is the question.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    No, I don't think all presta valve tubes are created equal. When you add air to such a tube, your pump has to apply a pressure to generate a force that opens the valve. The forces holding the valve closed include the pressure in the tube as well as a spring in the valve. I've noticed that some brands (one in particular) seem to require considerably more overpressure to open the valve than others. You can see this if you have a gauge on your pump. As you push on the pump the pressure goes up, but no air is going in the tube. When the valve finally opens the gauge pressure drops to the tube pressure while a little air goes in the tube. If a very large overpressure is required, the pump head will blow off the valve before you get air in the tube.

    I haven't tried all that many brands, but one brand I'm planning on not buying again is Specialized.

    -Ed
    Agree with you...
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  4. #4
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    I think the quality varies from brand to brand, and the weight varies from model to model among brands.

    Personally, I like tubes with smooth bore valve stems (Michelin, Avenir, Kenda ...) cuz they chew up the pump head a little less.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    After my tube installation failure I need to replenish my stock. I am not sold that Slime tubes are worth the additional cost. So, what brand do you guys recommend or, is a tube a tube?

    Thx
    It depends, I like MEC tubes, then are made by Cheng Shin, dirt cheap, easily patched, not lightest weight, but I don't need to worry about the weight of a tube, not when the engine could lose about 22kg....

  6. #6
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    Twenty years ago, when I was still sort of puzzling out how to remove my rear wheel, I read a review that said, "All tubes suck, but Continentals suck less than others." Nearly 40,000 miles later, I haven't seen anything to disprove that.
    Re Slime tubes, I just don't use them anymore. I didn't seem to have fewer flats, and when the Slime leaks out, it's hard to clean it off so patches will stick.

  7. #7
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I like Performance lightweight tubes just fine. The LunarLights are nice to too darn fragile.
    I tried some Michelin latex tubes and they may ride better, ot i may be kidding myself.
    REi has smooth valve tubes at a reasonable price that are now packaged in a seat-bag friendly manner.

    I can't get smooth valves to work. My JoeBlow doesn't hold them tightly enough and the head blows off (Maybe that's why it's called a Joe Blow pump.) Anyone have this problem and a cure for it?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by groth View Post
    No, I don't think all presta valve tubes are created equal. When you add air to such a tube, your pump has to apply a pressure to generate a force that opens the valve.
    In all my years of riding, I have never seen a presta valve with a spring. Do you mean Schrader?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    I like smooth valve tubes also. Have never used Specialized. Latex tubes are really light and supple, but need daily pump and are more delicate. But put them in a Michelin Pro 3 Race or a Pro 4 Service Course Comp Limited (which I haven't used), and you get closest to tubular feel. I have Pro 3's with latex tubes on my Parlee.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I wont buy Bontrager Race Lite's anymore. Yes, a nice savings in weight to be tempting but not durable from season to season....which is probably beyond the design intent.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  11. #11
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    i myself buy nashbar brand tubes in quantities. usually buy 5 get 1 free.
    i may be different but i like treaded presta valves on them.

  12. #12
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    REi has smooth valve tubes at a reasonable price that are now packaged in a seat-bag friendly manner.

    I can't get smooth valves to work. My JoeBlow doesn't hold them tightly enough and the head blows off (Maybe that's why it's called a Joe Blow pump.) Anyone have this problem and a cure for it?
    Thanks for the tip!

    Never had the problem with the blowoff ... hmmm. Just your footpump, or your hand pump too?
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  13. #13
    astro
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    In all my years of riding, I have never seen a presta valve with a spring. Do you mean Schrader?
    I meant presta, but I think you're right - I was confused. However, you still have to have overpressure to get air into the tube and with some tubes you just need a lot more overpressure.

    - Ed

  14. #14
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    IMHO - Conti or Schwalbe tubes have provided the best service and reliability.
    ride long & prosper

  15. #15
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Lighter weight tubes lose air more quickly. I don't like pumping all the time so I like heavier/thicker tubes. Weight weenies use latex tubes and pump before every ride.

  16. #16
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    I've been good with standard, presta-valved CST's from Price Point for years. Just don't buy the Bell brands from big-box stores. The only things worse are what come from the factory in the bikes in those stores.

  17. #17
    Retrogrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    I can't get smooth valves to work. My JoeBlow doesn't hold them tightly enough and the head blows off (Maybe that's why it's called a Joe Blow pump.) Anyone have this problem and a cure for it?
    I have the same problem with an Ascent pump; but, my Joe Blow pump works just fine on smooth valves. My thought is that it might be from using the Ascent pump on threaded valves which reamed out the rubber seal on the pump head.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I rode for decades paying no attention to the brand of inner tubes I used. During that time my unscientific conclusion was that it made little, if any difference. I just topped off my tires before every ride.

    When I started riding recumbents I also started using Schwalbe inner tubes. My new unscientific opinion is they retain air pressure for longer. Now I only top off my tires every couple of weeks or so. In the interest of full disclosure, at the same time I've also switched to using fatter tires with lower air pressures so that may be another significant factor.

  19. #19
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    I have had very good luck with Vittoria tubes. Their butyl tubes (which I use on my Bottecchia) and their latex tubes (which I use on the Bianchi and the Colnago) are excellent inner tubes--well made,responsive and reasonably priced.
    My current stable:

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  20. #20
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    Lighter weight tubes lose air more quickly. I don't like pumping all the time so I like heavier/thicker tubes. Weight weenies use latex tubes and pump before every ride.
    I am not a weight weenie, but I use latex inner tubes on two of my bikes. For me it is not a question of weight but, rather, it is a question of greater comfort and greater flat resistance.

    YMMV
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by groth View Post
    Tube or not Tube, that is the question.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    No, I don't think all presta valve tubes are created equal. When you add air to such a tube, your pump has to apply a pressure to generate a force that opens the valve. The forces holding the valve closed include the pressure in the tube as well as a spring in the valve. I've noticed that some brands (one in particular) seem to require considerably more overpressure to open the valve than others. You can see this if you have a gauge on your pump. As you push on the pump the pressure goes up, but no air is going in the tube. When the valve finally opens the gauge pressure drops to the tube pressure while a little air goes in the tube. If a very large overpressure is required, the pump head will blow off the valve before you get air in the tube.

    I haven't tried all that many brands, but one brand I'm planning on not buying again is Specialized.

    -Ed
    Agree with you...
    I've not had any issues with Speicialized tubes. Curious--why won't you use them?
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  22. #22
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    After my tube installation failure I need to replenish my stock. I am not sold that Slime tubes are worth the additional cost. So, what brand do you guys recommend or, is a tube a tube?

    Thx
    Riders that get a lot of flats might use slime tubes to automatically seal the tiny holes. But they are messy if you get a big slit in the tube.

    Lots of glass slivers? Don't ride in the gutter where the junk accumulates, stay over in the car lane.

    Goathead thorns? These are common in some areas out west.

  23. #23
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by groth View Post
    Tube or not Tube, that is the question.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    No, I don't think all presta valve tubes are created equal. When you add air to such a tube, your pump has to apply a pressure to generate a force that opens the valve. The forces holding the valve closed include the pressure in the tube as well as a spring in the valve. I've noticed that some brands (one in particular) seem to require considerably more overpressure to open the valve than others. You can see this if you have a gauge on your pump. As you push on the pump the pressure goes up, but no air is going in the tube. When the valve finally opens the gauge pressure drops to the tube pressure while a little air goes in the tube. If a very large overpressure is required, the pump head will blow off the valve before you get air in the tube.

    I haven't tried all that many brands, but one brand I'm planning on not buying again is Specialized.

    -Ed
    Do you "burp" the valve by tapping it to release a little air before attaching the pump? That makes a big difference.

    If I don't do this, sometimes the valve is still stuck when my pump is showing near 150 psi, and I wonder if I forgot to unscrew the valve!
    Last edited by rm -rf; 09-14-13 at 06:17 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    I've had the best luck with Kenda tubes.
    Life is good O^o

  25. #25
    astro
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    Do you "burp" the valve by tapping it to release a little air before attaching the pump? That makes a big difference.

    If I don't do this, sometimes the valve is still stuck when my pump is showing near 150 psi, and I wonder if I forgot to unscrew the valve!
    I never heard it called "burping," but yes, I burp before pumping.

    - Ed

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