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Tube Size: Minimum or Maximum?

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Tube Size: Minimum or Maximum?

Old 06-12-05, 09:32 PM
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slowpedal53
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Tube Size: Minimum or Maximum?

Is there a general consensus on matching tubes to tires -- whether it's better to use a tube at its maximum width or the minimum?

For example, I am running 25mm tires on my road bike. I pulled out a mysteriously flat tube that was marked "19 - 25mm" and replaced it with one marked "25 - 30mm." Did I improve things or does it not matter as long as the spec matches one way or the other? It seems logical that there'd be less stress on the larger tube but I don't know...
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Old 06-12-05, 10:02 PM
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It really doesn't matter tube-tire width, of course, within a certain limit. In the past there was a tire size and a correspondent tube size, but today for economic reasons this would be too expensive. So the solution is "wide range" tubes.
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Old 06-12-05, 10:09 PM
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Given that choice I'd pick the 19-25. If your tube is on the big size it's harder to cram all of that tube into the tire caseing and you're more likely to pinch a piece of the tube under the tire bead.

If I couldn't get the 19-25, I'd buy the 25-30 size inner tube and I wouldn't worry about it one little bit.
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Old 06-13-05, 06:27 AM
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Thanks. That's more or less what I thought.

With the larger tube, I found that I needed to just barely inflate it to get it into the tire casing and that it took an extra pass around the circumference to tuck it in properly. That increased changing a tube from a 5-minute process to a 7-minute one, so no big deal....
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Old 06-13-05, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Given that choice I'd pick the 19-25. If your tube is on the big size it's harder to cram all of that tube into the tire caseing and you're more likely to pinch a piece of the tube under the tire bead.

If I couldn't get the 19-25, I'd buy the 25-30 size inner tube and I wouldn't worry about it one little bit.
I changed the tires on my hybrid from 32 to 25 for commuting and used the old tubes. Lasted about 2 weeks until I had a pinch flat hitting a pavement bump. Bought the smaller 19-25 tubes and the tires went together much easier and haven't had a problem yet. When the other one goes I'll replace it with a smaller tube.
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Old 06-13-05, 08:08 AM
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so let me get this straight cause I'm in a similar boat... perhaps just the opposite of the original poster

I purchased some tubes (18-23 or 20-25... don't recall exactly... but on the smaller order) as I had been running 700-23's on my bike
Then I decided to try some Conti 28's for a tour I'm doing
so the tubes I have are SMALLER than the tire size.
Can I assume the tube will easily INCREASE to cover the difference?
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Old 06-13-05, 09:28 AM
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I have run # 23 tubes inside of 28 when no larger available- it worked fine
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Old 06-13-05, 10:06 AM
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I have run # 23 tubes inside of 28 when no larger available- it worked fine
groovy
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Old 06-13-05, 10:14 AM
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Yup, if I have a choice, I run a tube that is a little too small instead of one that is a little too big. Less chance of pinch flats, and the tube will happily expand to fill the space as long as its close.

peace,
sam
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Old 06-13-05, 11:45 AM
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using a smaller tube probaly saves some weight, but also means that the rubber is streched thinner. It may make you more prone to flats, although it may alo9s me like using expenisve ultralight tubes.
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Old 06-13-05, 02:03 PM
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A too small one will probably lower rolling resistance as well.
Maybe not by much, but still...
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Old 06-13-05, 11:30 PM
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I have a cross bike that came with 700x38 tires. I have recently replaced them with 700x28 Continental Top Touring 2000 tires and put in new 28-38 tubes. The tube was difficult to get in and seemed to be too large a diameter, but I got it stuffed in and on a ride a few days later, it just blew. I pulled the tire off and there was a huge hole in the tube. Thankfully I was going slow up a hill (like I do on all hills!) and could stop without incident. I did not hit anything on the road, the tube just blew out.

I changed the tube and put in about 40 lbs of air with my mini pump and when I got home I used my floor pump to pump it up to the recommended 85 lbs. About 10 minutes after doing that, the new tube blew while the bike was just sitting there.

Today I found a 20-28 tube at the LBS and it fit into the 700x28 tire much better and so far no loud pop! Maybe being that the 700x28 tire is right in between the smaller and larger tubes it is a problem. I think I am safer with the smaller tube as it just fits better.
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