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Thread: Reliable tubes

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    Reliable tubes

    I have posted this query before, but thought I would try again. This past Sunday we had a spontaneous tube failure on the front wheel - the tire abruptly went flat in less than ten seconds. We had just completed a rather fast decent a couple of minutes before. It was not a puncture (the hole in the tube was on the rim side), the rim tape is good, we had not hit any hard bumps, and the rim was not hot.

    A later did a post-mortem on the tube by cutting out the area of the failure and found that there was clearly a thin spot in the rubber. This was a Specialized brand 700-20/28 tube with only a few hundred miles on it.

    I have had similar experiences twice before and find it alarming. So my question is - does anybody have recommendations for better quality and/or more robust tubes?

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    Senior Member Soma Roark's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to ask if anyone has tried these, and they describe just your issue! Schwalbe tubes from http://www.compasscycle.com/Tires.html at $8 they're $3 more expensive than my LBS but if they hold up better as claimed, maybe worth it? =7


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    I personally know how scary this can be. Last Saturday we had a spontanious tube failure on the rear tire of our tandem . It went completely flat immediately and we were then riding on the rim. Luckily we were going just 24mph and not 40+mph like we had earlier in the ride. Our tube split open a 1 foot long section. It was Continental brand. This was our first tube failure in 20+ years of riding that wasn't caused by a puncture or some other object.

    I'm not sure what brand I should switch to now , since I was going to try Specialized.
    Interesting that I've never had a failure with the no name cheapo tubes yet.

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    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soma Roark View Post
    I've been meaning to ask if anyone has tried these, and they describe just your issue! Schwalbe tubes from http://www.compasscycle.com/Tires.html at $8 they're $3 more expensive than my LBS but if they hold up better as claimed, maybe worth it? =7

    After having various brands leak when new, I have switched to Schwab tubes. For me worth the extra money. Every tube so far has been excellent. They must actually spend some small amount on quality control.

    Wayne

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    A few years ago we went through a couple of blowouts exactly as ct-vt-trekker described above. Those tubes were Forte's from Perormance Bike. We lost then in short order over a couple of months and they were from a handful of tubes I bought all at the same time. Never had that problem before nor since. It sure had us spooked for quite a while. Have used other brands but are back with the Forte's again on multiple bikes and so far so good.

    Bill J

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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Uhm, well seated tubes with good rim tape, and no other issues rarely just sponanteously fail. And when they do you know it, i.e. they explode ripping apart at a seam, or a leak develops around the valve stem.

    But just a hole in a tube is rarely the result of a bad tube. My bet is that something else caused your flat.

    Any pics of the tube?
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I've tried a large number of tube brands with the conclusion that it doesn't matter. A tube brand may go through a period of poor QC, but paying more money or going for a name brand is no insurance against that. The most frequent QC failure is poor valve stem attachment. Thickness of tube is not a predictor of flat frequency. Heavy tubes just take a few minutes longer for the object to penetrate. They all go flat. We've used Forte Ultralight for the past few years and like them as well as anything, better than most.

    Unfortunately, when one has a sudden pressure drop on a tandem, there's usually so much tire and rim damage that it's hard to assess the cause.

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    I have been using Performance Forte mostly because its easy to buy them at a local Performance shop and the price is reasonable when they are on sale.
    Some years ago I used mostly Michelin tubes and got a batch of three tubes that had holes in them.
    Like everything else I think most inner tubes are made in Asia and the companies selling them simply put their brand name on them.
    Does Schwalbe say where theirs are made?

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    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    I have been using Performance Forte mostly because its easy to buy them at a local Performance shop and the price is reasonable when they are on sale.
    Some years ago I used mostly Michelin tubes and got a batch of three tubes that had holes in them.
    Like everything else I think most inner tubes are made in Asia and the companies selling them simply put their brand name on them.
    Does Schwalbe say where theirs are made?
    Yes my boxes say they are made in Germany. It says made by Scwalbe and in thier case I believe they are made by Schwalbe. I am tired of "manufacturers" don't actually manufacture anything. There is nothing wrong with reselling as long as it is stated that is what it is. If you don't make it then you are a distributor, reseller or retailer not a manufacturer. There now I feel better!

    Wayne

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    Senior Member Soma Roark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    Yes my boxes say they are made in Germany. It says made by Scwalbe and in thier case I believe they are made by Schwalbe. I am tired of "manufacturers" don't actually manufacture anything. There is nothing wrong with reselling as long as it is stated that is what it is. If you don't make it then you are a distributor, reseller or retailer not a manufacturer. There now I feel better!

    Wayne
    Website says indonesia... =7 Like many companies they probably have multiple sources and or are in the processing of outsourcing. Sad sad sad. Actually I've been trying to buy USA made, any tubes fit that description?

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    I have had good luck using Michelin Airstop A1 tubes. According to the box, these are made in France. For the past two years I have run these with Continental Grand Prix 4-Seasons, and have had only one flat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    Yes my boxes say they are made in Germany. It says made by Scwalbe and in thier case I believe they are made by Schwalbe. I am tired of "manufacturers" don't actually manufacture anything. There is nothing wrong with reselling as long as it is stated that is what it is. If you don't make it then you are a distributor, reseller or retailer not a manufacturer. There now I feel better!

    Wayne
    Well said. Seems like everything I buy these days comes from China. Made in Germany sounds much better. Sadly, little is still made in the USA.

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    Low value-added commodity parts are usually not made in the USA, or any other highly-developed economy (of course, there are exceptions). USA distributors, shippers and shops still make money on them though, don't forget that.

    An experienced cyclist I know told me the Schwalbe tubes really seem to be different than others and are probably worth the extra money.

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    Well, at least you gotta change it to a better tire first. I got a pretty nice 700x25 road tire. However I got flat all the time by the glasses on the street. I've experienced 3 flat tires on a 56miles trip. Recently I bought a new pair of tubes and those situations have gone.

    It's called "Forté Road Thorn Resistant" and costs about $6.00usd.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1586500_400233

    The tube has 1.6mm thickness rubber. Compare to Michelin 700x23c tube (0.7mm), it's about 2.25x thicker. But it weighs 260grams about 3 times heavier. But you cant feel the difference =].

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    Specialized 700 x 20-28c spontaneous holes

    Quote Originally Posted by jagladden View Post
    I have posted this query before, but thought I would try again. This past Sunday we had a spontaneous tube failure on the front wheel - the tire abruptly went flat in less than ten seconds. We had just completed a rather fast decent a couple of minutes before. It was not a puncture (the hole in the tube was on the rim side), the rim tape is good, we had not hit any hard bumps, and the rim was not hot.

    A later did a post-mortem on the tube by cutting out the area of the failure and found that there was clearly a thin spot in the rubber. This was a Specialized brand 700-20/28 tube with only a few hundred miles on it.

    I have had similar experiences twice before and find it alarming. So my question is - does anybody have recommendations for better quality and/or more robust tubes?

    ********

    This follow-up to the above post is two years later but having exactly same issue. Small holes develop. Different locations. Two Specialized 700 x 20-28c tubes in a row. Not pinch or puncture holes; inside tires are clean and talc'd. Tight Specialized nylon rim strips positioned correctly. Must be QC. Running 28mm Gator Hardshells at max pressure on tandem.

  16. #16
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWinlander View Post
    ********

    This follow-up to the above post is two years later but having exactly same issue. Small holes develop. Different locations. Two Specialized 700 x 20-28c tubes in a row. Not pinch or puncture holes; inside tires are clean and talc'd. Tight Specialized nylon rim strips positioned correctly. Must be QC. Running 28mm Gator Hardshells at max pressure on tandem.
    Two years later...Schwalbe tubes may no longer be made in Germany but still same great quality. Also it is not because the tube is just made heavier. I use either 140 gram or a 95 gram tube in a 38mm wide tire (almost twice the circumference as a 23mm tire) and no problems with either. Quality control costs money but for me it is worth avoiding random seams giving way with immediate deflation.

    Flats still remain. I agree that no tube really prevents flats.

  17. #17
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    Sun Ringle has a tube with thicker rubber around the stem. I like them, so far.

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