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Inner tube concerns

Old 05-04-20, 10:31 AM
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nematers
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Inner tube concerns

Hi all,

So I've recently bought my fist bike and also ordered a couple of spare inner tubes to take with me when I go for a ride.

The tubes have arrived the other day and I though it's better to check if they are alright (don't want any nasty surprises when dealing with a flat on the side of the road).

I have inflated both tubes and they seem ok in terms of holding the air in - no punctures, haven't deflated in 24 hours or so.

However whilst one tube looks perfectly fine in terms of its shape - nice perfectly circled tube, the other one looks a bit weird. As if it has "swollen" in some parts, imagine a snake that has swallowed a couple of mice and a couple of rabbits with few minute intervals (sorry couldn't think of any better way to describe how the inflated tube looks).

Question - is this normal or should I send it back to the retailer and ask for a replacement? It seems to me that the rubber of the tube is thinner or softer in some parts and harder/thicker in others. Will it even up when fully inflated to the max pressure inside the tyre? I have only inflated them very slightly, only to see if they hold the air in.
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Old 05-04-20, 10:33 AM
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Wouldn't blip my radar.

My current peeve with inner tubers is valve stem length. Are they the right length to match your rims?
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Old 05-04-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Wouldn't blip my radar.

My current peeve with inner tubers is valve stem length. Are they the right length to match your rims?
Yes, the size is correct. It's just that thing where one of the tubes looks "swollen". But if I understand correctly that is normal?
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Old 05-04-20, 10:49 AM
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I don't think I have ever inflated a brand new tube before it has been installed. However, after a patch is a different story. I have seen where the 'weld', or casting seam I guess, on the rubber doesn't quite inflate the way everything else does along with the patched area. I would ride it, doesn't phase me a bit. The tire and rim is going to dictate shape in the end.
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Old 05-04-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by FlMTNdude View Post
I don't think I have ever inflated a brand new tube before it has been installed. However, after a patch is a different story. I have seen where the 'weld', or casting seam I guess, on the rubber doesn't quite inflate the way everything else does along with the patched area. I would ride it, doesn't phase me a bit. The tire and rim is going to dictate shape in the end.
I've read many customer reviews of different tubes from different manufactures and on different retail websites saying that they came with punctures straight out the box. So I thought it won't do me any harm to inflate it before I chuck it into my bag and hit the road.
Thanks for confirming that it's normal for the tubes to inflate to different shapes though. I agree they should be fine once between the rim and the tyre.
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Old 05-04-20, 11:22 AM
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It is not a problem. I inflate all my tubes after patching them, most have wierd shapes. I would not worry about it.
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Old 05-04-20, 12:21 PM
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Most of the tubes I've inflated post patching have done this. When you install the tube in a tire, it will inflate to the shape and diameter the tire will allow.
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Old 05-04-20, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nematers View Post
It's just that thing where one of the tubes looks "swollen". But if I understand correctly that is normal?
. It's very common.
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Old 05-04-20, 12:27 PM
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The tire will distribute the pressure evenly. No worries. I don't think I've ever seen a tube that was somewhat misshapen when inflated on it's own.
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Old 05-04-20, 12:59 PM
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Thanks everyone. I guess the case can be closed. Good to know these tubes are fine.
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Old 05-04-20, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nematers View Post
Hi all,

So I've recently bought my fist bike and also ordered a couple of spare inner tubes to take with me when I go for a ride.

The tubes have arrived the other day and I though it's better to check if they are alright (don't want any nasty surprises when dealing with a flat on the side of the road).

I have inflated both tubes and they seem ok in terms of holding the air in - no punctures, haven't deflated in 24 hours or so.

However whilst one tube looks perfectly fine in terms of its shape - nice perfectly circled tube, the other one looks a bit weird. As if it has "swollen" in some parts, imagine a snake that has swallowed a couple of mice and a couple of rabbits with few minute intervals (sorry couldn't think of any better way to describe how the inflated tube looks).

Question - is this normal or should I send it back to the retailer and ask for a replacement? It seems to me that the rubber of the tube is thinner or softer in some parts and harder/thicker in others. Will it even up when fully inflated to the max pressure inside the tyre? I have only inflated them very slightly, only to see if they hold the air in.
Stop inflating your spare tubes, they are fine.
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Old 05-04-20, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
Stop inflating your spare tubes, they are fine.
You never had a puncture straight out the box?
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Old 05-04-20, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nematers View Post
You never had a puncture straight out the box?
Negative.

How are you getting all of the air out of those tubes after inflating them? New tubes come perfectly wrapped-up and completely deflated so theyíre as compact as possible and ready to fit neatly inside your jersey pocket or saddle bag. I wouldnít ruin that on the off-chance that theyíre defective.
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Old 05-04-20, 05:35 PM
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In my experience back when I worked in bike stores, the tubes that people bought and took home to fix their first flat had a mysteriously high rate of failure. Tubes from the same lot that we used for repairs in the shop always worked fine for us.
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Old 05-04-20, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nematers View Post
You never had a puncture straight out the box?
I never have, but if you want to be sure, there is no harm in doing what you are doing.

In fact, I might start doing that once a year to check the spare in my bag.
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Old 05-04-20, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nematers View Post
You never had a puncture straight out the box?
Nope. Not a single one I that can recall in over 40 years.
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Old 05-04-20, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Wouldn't blip my radar.

My current peeve with inner tubers is valve stem length. Are they the right length to match your rims?
I stupidly bought a bunch of tires with the wrong valve stem length and didn't realize it until 3 years later that I opened up the packaging...
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Old 05-05-20, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nematers View Post
You never had a puncture straight out the box?
Donít think Iíve ever had a verified flat out of the box. I have had a batch of Geax tubes with a thin streak that would stretch unevenly and burst either on inflation after install, or very soon after install. Would probably have caught that earlier if Iíd inflated them prior to install.
Iím reasonably sure though that Iíve had faulty valves straight out of the box.
Still, either have been so rare that I generally mount tubes untested. By overwhelming majority, it works.
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