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Inner Tube Weight Savings?

Old 01-22-09, 11:43 AM
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Sommy
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Inner Tube Weight Savings?

Is there much weight savings from switching innertubes? I just have the standard tubes that came with my Specialized Tarmac Expert, so i really don't know what they weigh now.

Looking around online there are some pretty light tubes out there. Are these just ones that will pop with any type of bump in the road?
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Old 01-22-09, 11:46 AM
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Old 01-22-09, 12:31 PM
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I have run the Michelin Aircomp for a couple of years.
A 30g weight savings over their standard tubes. 100g vs 70g
Cost a buck more than the standard tube.

I have not had any reliability issues.
Do I believe the 30g makes any difference. NO!
But when you spend money to have lighter wheels and you mount a reasonbly lite tire on it Why not put a light weight tube in it.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
That just made my day!
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Old 01-22-09, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 80vette View Post
I have run the Michelin Aircomp for a couple of years.
A 30g weight savings over their standard tubes. 100g vs 70g
Cost a buck more than the standard tube.

I have not had any reliability issues.
Do I believe the 30g makes any difference. NO!
But when you spend money to have lighter wheels and you mount a reasonbly lite tire on it Why not put a light weight tube in it.
I agree (although if you count 2 wheels plus spare tube it's really 90g savings, which still ain't squat). If you are into weight weenieism at all, you might as well get the light tubes, as it is about the cheapest way available to save 90g.

As for durability, i have been using the cheap Performance Ultralight tubes for several years without issue. All flats have been due to something sharp coming through the tire. IMO, if something sharp gets all the way through the tire it will go through the tube too, regardless of whether the tube is light or standard.
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Old 01-22-09, 01:05 PM
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My Michelin tubes weigh 74g and the standard Bontrager tubes weight 96. $7.99 vs $5.99.
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Old 01-22-09, 02:07 PM
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wow...now we are splitting hairs....I like the attitude....but there are better ways to be faster and lighter....
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Old 01-22-09, 02:23 PM
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Whatever you do don`t buy Vittoria ultralight tubes.
Two spares and a box of patchs will not be enough.
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Old 01-22-09, 02:35 PM
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Many modern tires are designed with some amount of puncture-resistance that works much better than heavier tubes. I've put over 5000 miles on some ultralight tubes with no flats.

Whether or not 100 grams (per pair of tubes) of weight savings is worthwhile (or even noticeable) depends a lot on how fast you are and how much climbing you do. One rule of weight-weenyism is that weight savings are always worthwhile if it costs less than $1 per gram with no affect on reliability. By that metric, paying $10 to save 100 grams is a bargain. 1400 gram wheelsets can cost hundreds of dollars more than 1500 gram wheelsets.
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Old 01-22-09, 04:19 PM
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Check out Forte Lunarlight. 50g per tube, 100g total savings. Seem to work great, and appear to be the tube of choice over at weightweenies.
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Old 01-22-09, 04:49 PM
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I drill my tubes with speed holes to reduce weight. Air's heavy too, so I go without air.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MadCowMoo View Post
Whatever you do don`t buy Vittoria ultralight tubes.
Two spares and a box of patchs will not be enough.

Been running them for two years on both my road bikes with no problems whatsoever.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by asmallsol View Post
I drill my tubes with speed holes to reduce weight. Air's heavy too, so I go without air.
Air is only 10g per wheelset (last I checked). In your attempt to be sarcastic, you're actually just being a ******.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MadCowMoo View Post
Whatever you do don`t buy Vittoria ultralight tubes.
Two spares and a box of patchs will not be enough.
HA! Exactly! Same with Continental Supersonic Race 28s, which are around 53g. IMO, anything under ~75g is asking for punctures. I also had a bad run with the light Tioga tubes
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Old 01-22-09, 08:18 PM
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My puncture-resistant tubes weigh 275 g a piece (!!) as compared to the regular tubes I normally use at 78 g a piece. That is a difference of almost 1 pound on inner tubes alone.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:36 PM
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I thought there is also a difference in rolling resistance with different tubes. I can't keep all the junk on this place strait.

75/150g of savings for the price of a tube, even if the tube cost $8 instead of $4 is still a great deal in the bike world. As long as it holds air for a day before needing to be topped off. I also think that the tire is what is in charge of puncture protection.

I have been using Michelin air comp tubes for a couple years, they are in the 70g range and I have only had 3 flats with them, all came from road debris that I had to dig out of the tire.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:51 PM
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Cheapest weight reduction you can make (especially combined with lighter tires) Try dropping 150 grams (or 1/3 pound) off a crank or wheels and see what that costs!
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Old 01-22-09, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by prendrefeu View Post
Air is only 10g per wheelset (last I checked). In your attempt to be sarcastic, you're actually just being a ******.
The fact that you know this is pretty pathetic.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
The fact that you know this is pretty pathetic.
Common knowledge for a weightweenie.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:04 PM
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i used to use ultralight tubes and probably averaged a puncture every couple months. the last 6 months or so i switched to slightly heavier (mid weight) tubes and haven't had a single flat.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by fa63 View Post
My puncture-resistant tubes weigh 275 g a piece (!!) as compared to the regular tubes I normally use at 78 g a piece. That is a difference of almost 1 pound on inner tubes alone.
Yep - pretty close.

275 x 2 = 550
78 x 2 = 156

394g difference ~ .87lbs.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mr handy View Post
I thought there is also a difference in rolling resistance with different tubes.
You thought correctly. Less rubber = less viscoelastic energy loss.
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Old 01-22-09, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by prendrefeu View Post
Air is only 10g per wheelset (last I checked). In your attempt to be sarcastic, you're actually just being a ******.
110psi @ 1atm ambient @70*F it is 8.5g per 700x23c tire
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Old 01-22-09, 10:04 PM
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Unless your racing, it does not matter. Plus, if you train on them they are more prone to punctures.
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Old 01-22-09, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MadCowMoo View Post
Whatever you do don`t buy Vittoria ultralight tubes.
Two spares and a box of patchs will not be enough.
I had a similar problem with Hutchinson lightweight tubes. I bought two and both of them had moer than one tiny, tiny leak and I gave up on them. I do not believe it was caused by the tire or debris because the replacement tires were equally light (see below) and I haven't had one problem in about 1,000 miles with them.

I switched from cheapest, heavy tubes to the Performance/Forte lightweight tubes (not the lunar light, just regular light ones). The weight went from 130 gm each (260 pr) to about 70 gm each (140), that's 1/4 lb. I have seen absolutely no difference in punctures with the light weight tubes, except the hutchinson above. I am of the camp that the tubes have little or nothing to do with flats - anything that punctures the tire will puncture the tube whether it's light or heavy.

So I can recommend those tubes. One other nice thing about the lightweight tubes (actually a really nice benefit to me) is that they are so compact when they are folded up. Take up very little space in the under saddle bag, so you can carry a tiny saddle bag. I can fit two where I could fit only one before, although I generally only carry one.
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