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What happened to cheap inner tubes?

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What happened to cheap inner tubes?

Old 11-12-20, 07:16 PM
  #26  
unterhausen
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Iíve just found that tubes have gone up in price. I paid $10.00 at a rail trail side bike shop when I had a valve separated from the tube. After that I looked online and at my LBS. I found that $7.00 and up was what to expect.
Everything bike related is going to go up. Not sure if it's going back down after this initial craze cools down. You can expect bikes and components to be 10-20 percent more expensive next year. That's what happens when the industry sells everything they produced for the 2021 bikes in 2020.

I have seen defective tubes. But it's rare. The most annoying defect was when all the presta valves were shipped loose. Nobody expects that.
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Old 11-12-20, 11:19 PM
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Plenty here in SoCal:


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Old 11-13-20, 07:34 AM
  #28  
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Inflation?
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Old 11-13-20, 09:07 AM
  #29  
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Group Buy time?
https://www.globalsources.com/Inner-...htm#1166306109
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Old 11-13-20, 08:26 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
What's your preferred tire? I'm in goathead city USA most of the year (the rain really helped clear most off the roads for now).I used to use some really thick Panaracer tires for fixies ("Everwear") that were virtually immune to goatheads, but I can't find them for sale any more.
My 'road bikes' are closer to touring set-ups, and I use either Sefras 'Seca' tires of Vittoria 'Randonneur' tires (700 size). The Vittorias in 32c and 35c work OK, the 28C are almost impossible to get on my rims on one bike so tthat's where I use the Serfas tires.

26" tires - Serfas 'Drifter', comes in 1.5" and2.0" widths. Odd looking tires with an inverted tread, but they roll nice. My 26" bikes are older rigid MTB I use for commuting/utility (and an occasional long ride just to mix it up witht eh road bikes!).

Serfas tires are available through REI. Vittorias available at some REI stores, also a lot of LBSs.

Wild card: PErformance Bike's 'Gotham' tires. When they had stores these were super cheap (under $20), very puncture resistant, and wore well. Only issue was they were noticeably heavier than a comparible (but more expensive) tire brands. They came in both 26" and 700 sizes. You can still buy them on the Performance website, but shipping costs are a little high and negate the low price vs a local bike shop's offerings. Great for your beater/utility bike. I've got one 700 x 32 'under test' on the front of a touring bike and so far its performed great on long day rides (no tour riding during the COVID pandemic ).

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-14-20, 05:53 AM
  #31  
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I pay the equivalent of about $4/tube at Decathlon here in Shanghai. Great quality tubes, too.
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Old 11-14-20, 07:10 AM
  #32  
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I have the opposite problem. I can only find the "cheap" tubes in stock at the local Outdoors Store (MEC).
I tried to avoid MEC (for personal reasons) but since the beer virus has closed a lot of LBS I do what I have to do. Bought a bunch of 700x23-25c tubes @ $5 CDN each......
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Old 11-14-20, 06:22 PM
  #33  
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The shortage is affecting everything. Yesterday morning my rear shifter cable snapped. Later in the day while out running some errands I stopped at the LBS to get a two new shifter cables for my bike. $12/each (used to be about $7). Uh, no. Went to another LBS and the same thing; they did have some cheap 'galvanized' cables, but I've not had good experiences with those. Went to one more and they didn't have any to sell (they're using their stock on customer repairs). Got home and found some on line for $7 and scheduled for delivery on Monday Nov 16 (I ordered four). I've got another bicycle so no problem waiting for the new cables over the weekend, but dang that's the first time a basic part like a shifter cable has been out of stock at all the locations I checked.
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Old 11-14-20, 07:29 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
Inflation?
with inner tubes? cmon now .................
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Old 11-15-20, 04:16 AM
  #35  
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Patches are still cheap, learn how to install them properly, and if you ride as much as I do, you'll save about $100 a year.
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Old 11-15-20, 04:45 AM
  #36  
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Some inner tubes are not worth patching though, especially the cheap ones that keep splitting open longitudinally for no reason. You'll spend $100 just in patch kits, never mind the all the wasted time.
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Old 11-15-20, 05:10 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
I have the opposite problem. I can only find the "cheap" tubes in stock at the local Outdoors Store (MEC).
I tried to avoid MEC (for personal reasons) but since the beer virus has closed a lot of LBS I do what I have to do. Bought a bunch of 700x23-25c tubes @ $5 CDN each......
Beer virus
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Old 11-16-20, 04:35 PM
  #38  
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Converting to tubeless rims/tires is not cheap either, but that is a good alternative these days.

Just putting that out there.
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Old 11-17-20, 08:27 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
Patches are still cheap, learn how to install them properly, and if you ride as much as I do, you'll save about $100 a year.
I still have difficulty with this. I have the vulcanizing fluid and Rema patches and the last few patches I did held 100psi for about 30 min or so. I'm doing something wrong.
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Old 11-17-20, 08:49 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
I still have difficulty with this. I have the vulcanizing fluid and Rema patches and the last few patches I did held 100psi for about 30 min or so. I'm doing something wrong.
First guesses: too much glue, glue not yet completely dry before patch was applied. Patching tubes at home, I usually apply the glue and then go and do something else for 10 minutes or more. Waiting more than 10 minutes is probably unnecessary, but it can't hurt.
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Old 11-17-20, 09:03 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
First guesses: too much glue, glue not yet completely dry before patch was applied. Patching tubes at home, I usually apply the glue and then go and do something else for 10 minutes or more. Waiting more than 10 minutes is probably unnecessary, but it can't hurt.
The problem Jicafold is having could be too little fluid. Since the curing of Rema patches is a chemical reaction, there needs to be enough fluid for the reaction to make enough bonds. Too much fluid takes longer to dry but it isnít really an issue when it comes to the curing process. Itís a waste of fluid to be sure but better to have too much than to skimp and have too little.

As to drying, you canít wait too long for the vulcanizing fluid to dry. Iíve forgotten about patch jobs and come back to them weeks later. The patch still held. 10 minutes is a good time but waiting longer wonít hurt and, if the fluid is a bit thick, it will help.
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Old 11-17-20, 09:06 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I buy Continental tubes from one of my local bike shops for less than $3.00 each. And, anyone can buy from them, as they have a huge online presence.
can you point us to a source for Conti tubes that cheap? If your LBS is selling them that cheap to customers, they are basically giving them away.
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Old 11-17-20, 01:33 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
First guesses: too much glue .
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The problem Jicafold is having could be too little fluid.
Okay. Thank you.
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Old 11-17-20, 03:23 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
Okay. Thank you.
Listen to cyccommute. Chemical reactions are among his many areas of expertise.
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Old 11-17-20, 05:48 PM
  #45  
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I was using the super blu vulcanizing cement. But it didn't come with any instructions. I'll be sure to let it dry plenty. Thank you.

https://www.carliftparts.com/product...glue-8-oz-can/
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Old 11-17-20, 10:38 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Jicafold View Post
I was using the super blu vulcanizing cement. But it didn't come with any instructions. I'll be sure to let it dry plenty. Thank you.

https://www.carliftparts.com/product...glue-8-oz-can/
Your ďvulcanizing fluidĒ may be your problem. The MSDS for that fluid says that it has zinc oxide, kaolin, and rubber in it. Rema vulcanizing fluid has zinc diethyldithiocarbamate. The mouthful of chemical there (you could call it ZDDTC or just carbamate) serves as a accelerator and activator of the rubber. The Blue Fluid doesnít have the same activator in it. There is also a chemical coating the Rema patch that reacts with the activator to make more new rubber between the patch and the tube.

The Blue Fluid simply doesnít do any of that. Itís essentially rubber cement and it just makes a contact adhesive. That isnít as permanent. There is sophisticated chemistry involved in the Rema system that just isnít matched by any other patch system Iíve ever seen. Everything else is just rubber cement.

Bottom line: Use Rema and match the patch and the fluid.
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Old 11-18-20, 07:55 AM
  #47  
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Ah. Excellent. Thank you.
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Old 11-18-20, 12:11 PM
  #48  
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I contacted Rema about this regarding Rima TipTop vulcanizing fluid versus what I was using. I was hoping for a more in-depth answer but their response was similar and they said:

Please understand that Rema Tip Top cold vulcanizing cement is engineered to work specifically with our patches...I can't speak for any incompatibility of BRAND X type products.
Although utilizing products from the same system is always suggested, proper repair area preparation is also important. Cleaning and texturizing the BUTYL tube is critical for any repair system to effectively work.

Best regards,
John Salzbach
Customer Service Manager
201.256.8201 DIRECT
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Old 11-18-20, 07:15 PM
  #49  
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And not to beat this to death but here is a post on R****T that echoes what Cyccomute says...

Chemist here - natural rubber is a polymer (long chain-like molecules). Vulcanizing adds cross-links (through disulfide bonds) to the rubber, basically turning the strands of rubber molecules into a net, greatly increasing strength. Bike tubes are vulcanized rubber, but the outer surfaces are treated such that all those cross-linking sulfur groups aren't reaching out and trying to grab anything. You put on some vulcanizing fluid (henceforth "glue") and a few disulfide bonds in the tube get broken and re-formed with bonds to the polymers in the glue. Once the glue dries (there's a bit of solvent that has to evaporate) the inner side of the glue spot is chemically bound to the tire. The outer side is left with a bunch of free sulfur groups waiting to grab onto some other sulfur groups. Then you peel that piece of foil off the orange side of the tire patch (which exposes the free sulfur groups left on the patch) and press it to the glue spot - you've now made millions of chemical bonds between the patch and the glue spot. It's not really glued, though - the patch-"glue"-tire system is now one single molecule all chemically bound together.

The chemical bond holding things together is why:
  • The tube has to be clean and dry - the sulfur groups reaching out for something to grab onto will grab dirt, water, and other gunk instead of the patch.
  • You can't use duct tape or regular glue - these are sticky substances that don't vulcanize the rubber together. Rubber cement may hold a patch in place but it is NOT the same stuff.
  • Glueless patches kinda suck - the vulcanizing fluid in the little tubes works better at making bonds with the punctured bike tube.
  • You can make patches out of old tubes - at its most basic you're vulcanizing two pieces of rubber together, so two pieces of bike tube will stick to each other.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:20 PM
  #50  
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I haven't had a flat in over a year now. (Knock on wood). Sometime in the past about six or seven years ago I encountered the crappy Chinese tubes that split apart around the valve. Since then, I've been much more discriminating about my tube purchases. I've had good results with "thorn proof" tubes in 27" & 700c sizes. I like the Goodyear "heavy duty" tubes for my 26" wheels. Michelin & Continental make very good bike tire tubes. I've also discovered orange and red plastic rim strip tape made by FSA and, in wide sizes 17mm & larger. The new plastic rim tape has made a big impact on my bike tire durability. (I've given up on Velox tape). I hope all your rides are pleasant & you never get a flat tire. Be good. Have fun.
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