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Presta valve tube brand recommendation

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Presta valve tube brand recommendation

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Old 06-19-18, 08:40 AM
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jethro00
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Presta valve tube brand recommendation

We use Sunlite Standard Presta Valve Tubes, 26 x 1.90 - 2.35" / 48mm, on our tandem, for road and mild off road riding. They have been okay, except that occasionally the tip of the valve that screws in and out will get bent. That could be something I am doing while connecting or disconnecting the pump. In any event, is there another brand of tube we should consider? The Sunlite are cheap (about $5.50 per tube). We just got Schwalbe Marathon Mondial 26 x 2.0 tires, so our puncture protection is higher now. I don't think we need any super heavy duty tubes.
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Old 06-19-18, 09:35 AM
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When I need tubes I usually buy whatever they push across the counter to me. At some shops its Sunlite, at others 'Q' Tubes, others Giant. Etc. I've not noticed qualitative differences. But tires ... oh boy ... when we bought (thanks to you) our Trek T900 three years ago, it came with Bontrager 26 x 2.0 Comfort tires. We didn't know what they were but the shop wouldn't put Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0 in their place. So we bought a set ourselves. Three years later and they remain unmounted, still in the wrapping even. The OEM Bontragers show no signs of wear nor have they flatted once in all that time. We ride this tandem every single day. It is our car. I take my wife to work on it every weekday 3mi r/t. It pulls the trailer on shopping day. Takes us to entertainment and errands. In an urban environment. Kenda's were flatting every single day in the same environment. Apples with Tuffy Liners every two months. Apples without Tuffy Liners about monthly. And the ride quality of the Bontrager Hardcase 2.0 is like any other tire I have used. When these tires finally go they will be replaced with the same kind. The Apples? <shrug> Anyone want them?
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Old 06-19-18, 09:42 AM
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I've used tubes from Sunlite, Diamondback, Cannondale, Giant, Continental, Schwalbe, Kenda, Michelin, Slime... and probably a few others I'm forgetting. In terms of quality, I've never found one to be better or worse than any other. Well, the Michelin tended to develop splits in the carcass over time (like hanging on a hook in the shop,) but inside a tire they worked just as well as any other.

For spare/roadside tubes, I favor the Cannondale-- they come shrink-packed, so they're small, they have smooth (non threaded) stems, and removable cores.
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Old 06-19-18, 10:18 AM
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Leisesturm, I also had a lot of flats with Kenda tires. I agree that tires matter. But, you guys are confirming my suspicion that a tube is pretty much a tube unless you go for one of those speciality tubes, which I don't need. BTW, we still have our Trek T900. We keep it as a backup and still really like it. It looks good too We don't plan to part with it.

Do you guys use patched tubes? Because the tubes we use only cost about $5.50 including shipping, I usually donate my tubes that need a patch and just install a new tube.
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Old 06-19-18, 01:10 PM
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I patch tubes quite a lot. Patched tubes are fine. I know $5.50 isn't a lot, but it's a lot more than the $0.25 or $0.50 it costs to patch.
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Old 06-19-18, 07:38 PM
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I'm a patcher. Reduce - Reuse - Recycle. Except my last patch was a snakebite (pothole) and in my obsessiveness I tried to span the two holes with a single patch. Worked for about 100 miles, but then patch failed almost like a blowout with desperate attempt to control front wheel steering while coming to stop. Be careful out there!
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Old 06-19-18, 07:57 PM
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A lot of the tubes are made by the same company regardless of the name on the box. It's not uncommon to find a different name imprinted on the tube than what you bought. Personally, I like a tube that doesn't have seam on it so that it is easier to patch. I don't throw out a tube unless the valve stem is bad or there's some other reason it can't be patched.
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Old 06-19-18, 10:04 PM
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I used to patch until we flatted on a mountain descent. Rim was warm but not super hot. When I got home, I could find no leak. I am pretty sure the patch got warm and caused the front flat. Fortunately we did not go down, but now I only use patched tubes on singles.
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Old 06-20-18, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wtandem View Post
I used to patch until we flatted on a mountain descent. Rim was warm but not super hot. When I got home, I could find no leak. I am pretty sure the patch got warm and caused the front flat. Fortunately we did not go down, but now I only use patched tubes on singles.
Wow, thanks for the warning. My wife and I have been riding a tandem for only three years, and there is a lot to learn.
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Old 06-20-18, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro00 View Post
Do you guys use patched tubes? Because the tubes we use only cost about $5.50 including shipping, I usually donate my tubes that need a patch and just install a new tube.
I patch tubes even when they are cheap. It is best to avoid those glueless patches. They tend to fail (leak) over time.

When we are on tour, I take 2 spare tubes and 2 patch kits because it can be such a pain trying to find new tubes in a strange land.
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Old 06-20-18, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wtandem View Post
I used to patch until we flatted on a mountain descent. Rim was warm but not super hot. When I got home, I could find no leak. I am pretty sure the patch got warm and caused the front flat. Fortunately we did not go down, but now I only use patched tubes on singles.
I don't understand...are you saying that the heat caused the patch to leak but then when it cooled down the patch held air? What kind of patch were you using? I don't think I've ever had a patch do that, but I've only ever used the vulcanizing fluid and separate patch.
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Old 06-20-18, 06:31 PM
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I also am not too concerned about which brand of tubes I use. However, I always get the kind with removable cores. If the little post on the valve breaks, you can put in a new one.
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Old 06-20-18, 08:20 PM
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jethro00
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<<I always get the kind with removable cores. If the little post on the valve breaks, you can put in a new one.>>

Aha. That is exactly the problem I have had on a few tubes. First, the little post gets bent and that makes it hard to effectively attach the pump. Then, at some point, the little post on the valve breaks. After I run through my current tube supply, I will shift to tubes with removable cores. Thanks for the suggestion.
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