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Spare inner tubes

Old 06-01-20, 11:25 AM
  #1  
krjt
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Spare inner tubes

I lost my under saddle kit that contained my tube, patch, tire irons, co2 and decided to order replacements. However when I read reviews of replacement tubes, both Continental and vittoria tubes had some rather negative reviews of poor quality. Anyone experience this or what are you folks using as your inner tubes. Years back I always used Michelin tubes and thought Contis would be good... any suggestions or are these just bad mechanics that don't know how to install tubes?

Thanks.
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Old 06-01-20, 11:32 AM
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I always buy Conti tubes. Never had a bad one.
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Old 06-01-20, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by krjt View Post
both Continental and vittoria tubes had some rather negative reviews of poor quality. Anyone experience this or what are you folks using as your inner tubes. Years back I always used Michelin tubes and thought Contis would be good... any suggestions or are these just bad mechanics that don't know how to install tubes?
.
Probably a combination of things. Maybe a bad batch got out, but unlikely for name brands and even for discount name brands. Maybe somewhere between factory and user, they got handled or stored in a less than desirable way. Most likely and even I've done it myself, bad installation technique.

It's also more likely that a person having a negative experience will post a user review than someone that has a positive experience. I don't usually go by user reviews for actual purchasing, but I do read the better thought out and written ones that give some useful details.

Oh yeah...... I use Bell from the big box discount stores. Light enough for me. Or are we talking latex tubes? If so I know nothing useful.

Last edited by Iride01; 06-01-20 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 06-01-20, 11:41 AM
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No latex tubes. I love latex tubes , but enjoy the ease of using butyl tubes for everday rides.
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Old 06-01-20, 11:55 AM
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Dont sweat it too much. Ive tried MANY tubes over the decades. Chaoyang, Kenda, Schwalbe, Nokian, Mitas, the ones form the autoparts store, ... They all work fine. Name Brand or noname, doesn't seem to matter much. From memory, Ive had ONE el cheapo have a sticky valve, but thats it. I like light tubes with thin rubber. Folds up smaller and just feels a bit nicer.
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Old 06-01-20, 03:52 PM
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I've been using Conti tubes for decades now. Race28 I think is the current name.
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Old 06-01-20, 03:55 PM
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I once heard—before the Internet—that people who have bad experiences are 7x as likely to talk about them as those who have positive experiences. I think that online user reviews make that imbalance even more extreme. So I'd say take a few negative reviews with a pinch of salt.
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Old 06-01-20, 04:04 PM
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I think this thread was bad luck. Went out today and got a slow leak. Had to head home after only 10 miles. Made it back before it got too low. Haven't checked it yet to see the issue.


follow up...
It looked to be the little sharp barb from one of the big pine cones we have around here. Went in just at the edge of where the belt is. Really surprised that it leaked so slowly and I didn't have to stop and fix it. Still had some air in it when I went to bed last night. Completely flat this morning.

Last edited by Iride01; 06-02-20 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 06-01-20, 06:07 PM
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I always use Continental tubes (Easy Tape rim tape too) and have never had a workmanship issue. Plus they have the snazzy orange valve caps!
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Old 06-02-20, 06:23 AM
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I like Michelin tubes.. their smooth valve stems don't rip up my pump's head as quickly. The brass material also strikes me as more durable than eg. Conti stems.
For saddle bags get the AirComp version as they're smaller. For home use/install get the AirStop version (standard butyl weight).

OTOH, you don't therefore get that little nut to screw down your stem to the rim.
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Old 06-02-20, 06:35 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
OTOH, you don't therefore get that little nut to screw down your stem to the rim.
It's funny, the only "defective" tube right out of the box I've ever had couldn't be used for an on-road repair was because that little nut was cross threaded from the manufacturer. I couldn't get it off the stem with my fingers and had to patch the old tube to get home. Since then I always remove and discard those nuts from every tube I use.
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Old 06-02-20, 06:51 AM
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I wonder how many leaks were due to the tube getting pinched during installation? A friend ruined two new tubes (tight tire-he's not a novice). He bought a tire bead jack and says no problem now
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Old 06-02-20, 09:27 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I wonder how many leaks were due to the tube getting pinched during installation? A friend ruined two new tubes (tight tire-he's not a novice). He bought a tire bead jack and says no problem now
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oD-mr3dAEw
Does he put a little air in the tube before installation? I've seen plenty of long-time riders put completely-limp tubes into tires, and they should know better.
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Old 06-02-20, 10:31 AM
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As others have said, people may be more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one. Inner tubes are probably an extreme example of this. Who is going to bother writing a good review for a tube? What do you even say? "Works great, doesn't leak..." ??? I've bought all kinds of tubes over the years, mostly the cheapest possible ones, and only had one or two strange blow-outs that I couldn't definitively nail down.

Two notes on tubes:
1. If you want to save some weight and rolling resistance, Schwalbe (and probably others) sell extra-light tubes that weigh half as much or less than a "normal" tube. They might be more vulnerable to punctures but I haven't gotten enough flats with mine to say for sure.
2. Tubes carried on the bike must be wrapped in something. Otherwise, over time, they will wear holes in the corners from bouncing around in your saddle bag. Then when you go to fix a flat, your spare will have dozens of little holes and be even more useless than the tube you just punctured! I use a couple layers of thin duct tape or masking tape. I'm surprised I don't see this tip given more often so I always try to mention it.
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Old 06-02-20, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
2. Tubes carried on the bike must be wrapped in something. Otherwise, over time, they will wear holes in the corners from bouncing around in your saddle bag. Then when you go to fix a flat, your spare will have dozens of little holes and be even more useless than the tube you just punctured! I use a couple layers of thin duct tape or masking tape. I'm surprised I don't see this tip given more often so I always try to mention it.
Recently read advice to use saran wrap (plastic cling film).. makes some sense.
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Old 06-06-20, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I wonder how many leaks were due to the tube getting pinched during installation?
Every tube brand has a lot of negative comments. I think you nailed the reason. They used tire irons to pry the tire onto the rim and pinched it.
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Old 06-07-20, 12:39 AM
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I keep one on the bike, one ready to swap, and one in the crock pot... oh wait wrong topic
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Old 06-07-20, 07:34 AM
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Sometimes you just have bad luck or get tubes from a bad batch. I bought some Presta valve tubes from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) and they had a problem with the valve coming loose or off of the tube entirely.

Cheers
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Old 06-08-20, 08:00 AM
  #19  
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I generally buy cheap generic tubes and only once had a problem, a leak where the valve stem was inserted. I share the opinion of the others above in that user error is the biggest factor; either during installation and inflation or overlooking rim/tire issues.
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Old 06-08-20, 08:16 AM
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Another Continental user. Never had a problem with any of their products.
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