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Very light, veeery expensive tubes from Schwalbe

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Very light, veeery expensive tubes from Schwalbe

Old 12-31-20, 07:58 AM
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Very light, veeery expensive tubes from Schwalbe

seen in a review on bikepacking.com, pretty snazzy tubes, but holy moly Batman, $50 in Great White North money for a tube.
27.90 euros = $43.63 ca. + 15% tax= yes, $50 Canadian Tire money.

https://bikepacking.com/gear/schwalb...-tubes-review/

interesting concept, the whole light and different material take on things. Being a different material you can't use regular patches and glue, but worth looking at the review just to see how Schwalbe (and maybe other companies too?) have taken a sideways look at tube material to make a lighter product, maybe even tougher.

When I say tougher, it seems that this is aimed more at the off road crowd, bikepacking , where tubeless will be often the norm, and the fact that the tube is much smaller and lighter has clear advantages, and used more as a backup to a tubeless system and or not necessarily a long bike tour.

Makes me think of way back on some trips I did decades ago, and I was making a real effort to keep weight down for a trip planned with a lot of mountain riding, I bought some really light tubes at my LBS. I was riding 28s and these lighter tubes were rated up to 25mm, but the experienced guys at the bike store assured me that it would be fine for 28s. Cost more than regular tubes, but were almost half the volume packed and probably weighed half as much also, so it was nice to have really small spare tube compared to previous trips where I carried probably two larger and heavier spares, but this time only took one lighter one and shaved off a fair amount of weight and space.
I was also going to France, so would have easy access to bike stores if I ever needed to find another presta tube or tubes of that size.

I sure wouldnt buy these tubes for a few reasons, but always interesting to see some innovation and new products.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:35 AM
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May be a good alternative for someone who really wants to run lower pressures (Baja bikepacking comes to mind), but does not have tubeless wheels. I think for the price I would carry regular tubes as my spares.

"Street price" should be lower, right? If so, I may try them.

EDIT: $30/ea. plus tax for USA at BikeTiresDirect. Schwalbe website lists 700c, 27.5" and 29". No 26".



Originally Posted by djb
seen in a review on bikepacking.com, pretty snazzy tubes, but holy moly Batman, $50 in Great White North money for a tube.
27.90 euros = $43.63 ca. + 15% tax= yes, $50 Canadian Tire money.

https://bikepacking.com/gear/schwalb...-tubes-review/

interesting concept, the whole light and different material take on things. Being a different material you can't use regular patches and glue, but worth looking at the review just to see how Schwalbe (and maybe other companies too?) have taken a sideways look at tube material to make a lighter product, maybe even tougher.

When I say tougher, it seems that this is aimed more at the off road crowd, bikepacking , where tubeless will be often the norm, and the fact that the tube is much smaller and lighter has clear advantages, and used more as a backup to a tubeless system and or not necessarily a long bike tour.

Makes me think of way back on some trips I did decades ago, and I was making a real effort to keep weight down for a trip planned with a lot of mountain riding, I bought some really light tubes at my LBS. I was riding 28s and these lighter tubes were rated up to 25mm, but the experienced guys at the bike store assured me that it would be fine for 28s. Cost more than regular tubes, but were almost half the volume packed and probably weighed half as much also, so it was nice to have really small spare tube compared to previous trips where I carried probably two larger and heavier spares, but this time only took one lighter one and shaved off a fair amount of weight and space.
I was also going to France, so would have easy access to bike stores if I ever needed to find another presta tube or tubes of that size.

I sure wouldnt buy these tubes for a few reasons, but always interesting to see some innovation and new products.

Last edited by timdow; 12-31-20 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 12-31-20, 09:12 AM
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djb thanks for the link to the review. This was an interesting read. I run latex tubes that have smooth (unthreaded) valves and have ruined several Vittoria latex valve stems just from ordinary pre-ride inflation with my Zefal Husky track pump. I came up with my own solution by using 6mm nylon "shaft collars" at the base of the valve where it contacts the rim. This has worked out great for me since the shaft collar keeps the valve stem from dipping into the rim interior while a tube is under-inflated. It also helps greatly when I am pressing my Lezyne digital tire guage onto the valve to take a pressure reading. Previously, it took so much downward force on the valve to get a valid pressure reading that this contributed to the eventual development of leaking valve stems.
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Old 12-31-20, 09:20 AM
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Last time I bought Schwalbe regular tubes, I think I paid $3.99 USD, that was late winter 2019. On that same order I bought some Marathons (with Greenguard) for less than the price of these new tubes.
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Old 12-31-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61
djb thanks for the link to the review. This was an interesting read. I run latex tubes that have smooth (unthreaded) valves and have ruined several Vittoria latex valve stems just from ordinary pre-ride inflation with my Zefal Husky track pump. I came up with my own solution by using 6mm nylon "shaft collars" at the base of the valve where it contacts the rim. This has worked out great for me since the shaft collar keeps the valve stem from dipping into the rim interior while a tube is under-inflated. It also helps greatly when I am pressing my Lezyne digital tire guage onto the valve to take a pressure reading. Previously, it took so much downward force on the valve to get a valid pressure reading that this contributed to the eventual development of leaking valve stems.
as far as I remember, Ive never used unthreaded valves, so between that and not being able to use regular patches, make me very wary, even if these were the same price as a regular tube (well, at that price Id probably try some)

being comfortable with something you know, like patching, is for me a factor that appeals simply from not having to learn about new stuff and in the case of patching, learning new stuff while tired or whatever and just wanting to go with what you know works in a given way and you know is very sturdy--Im thinking of glueless patches vs glue, as I very much get tthe impression that glueless can have longevity issues, which I woiuldnt want to deal with (or forget about and then have to deal with...)

thanks for that tip though for the valves, seems like it solves that issue.
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Old 12-31-20, 12:31 PM
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Thanks DJB. I'm running my 29+ bike tubeless. It could be worthwhile to pack one of these tubes as a precaution. Regular 29+ tubes are huge!

I've never heard of this brand either:
https://www.tubolito.com/en/
https://www.amazon.com/Tubolito-Lightweight-Puncture-Protection-Mountain/dp/B089LQKDP1h

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Old 12-31-20, 12:53 PM
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I have occasionally had non-threaded valve stems. On a large size tire, you can accidently push the valve into the hole but smaller tires, the tire often keeps the valve from going all the way in. I prefer the threaded ones, but if I bought a non-threaded one I would not bother to return it.

Patches, on a tour I carry the self adhesive ones, but when I have used them I plan to replace them at home with a glued on patch. And on tour I carry two tubes. Occasionally for one reason or another you have a tube failure that can't be patched.

My Iceland trip, the day I started riding into the interior the first time, I stopped at a tourist stop. Nobody there, I was there at 7am. No problem getting photos when nobody is in the way. As I was about to leave an Italian rode in on his bike. We chatted a bit, he really wanted to go into the interior. but he said he checked his patch kit and the tube of glue was hard, thus all he has was one tube and no patches. He did not want to risk being stranded. I gave him some of my self adhesive patches, he was nervous, I showed him the instructions. He was EXTREMELY grateful, he said that now he had the confidence that he needed to go into the interior. We rode together for most of that day. After that, I am even more likely to carry some self adhesive ones on a tour than the glue type. With the self adhesive ones, you do not have to worry about the glue.

On my last tour, I learned that self adhesive tube patches (Zefal) also work on air mattresses.

I usually tour with a Lezyne pump, that pump threads onto the Presta chuck. And if the removable valve stem is not well tightened into the stem, it can stay on the pump chuck when you remove the pump from the tube. A friend of mine suggested that I use loctite on the valve cores, which I am starting to do. But I am very careful to make sure it does not get near the valve seat, only on the threads.

Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 12-31-20 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 12-31-20, 04:21 PM
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I have run latex tubes in the past. I have usually toured on the lightweight model of regular tubes, but choose a size too small. It looks like these Aerothan tubes are even lighter than latex tubes. Latex require more frequent topping up pressure too.

I don't mind unthreaded stems. They do require a bit more care when attaching/detaching the pump head, but it isn't a big deal IMO.

I have a lot of tubes in stock or I'd buy some.
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Old 01-01-21, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
Thanks DJB. I'm running my 29+ bike tubeless. It could be worthwhile to pack one of these tubes as a precaution. Regular 29+ tubes are huge!

I've never heard of this brand either:
https://www.tubolito.com/en/
https://www.amazon.com/Tubolito-Lightweight-Puncture-Protection-Mountain/dp/B089LQKDP1h
well I've certainly noticed how as I've tried wider and wider tires, as you say the tubes just get heavier and bulkier.
largest I have are for 2.5 tires, so can imagine how 3in would be, let alone a fat tire.
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Old 01-01-21, 08:13 AM
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Hey tmsn, I hope that Iceland rider learned his lesson, that before a trip, to always check the patch kit.
I'm sure all of us have made the same mistake like this guy, and so I've bought a number of patch kits to have two new small tubes, figuring chances are better with more than one for less chance of a surprise.
interior Iceland would not be a good place for that surprise.
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Old 01-01-21, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
Hey tmsn, I hope that Iceland rider learned his lesson, that before a trip, to always check the patch kit.
I'm sure all of us have made the same mistake like this guy, and so I've bought a number of patch kits to have two new small tubes, figuring chances are better with more than one for less chance of a surprise.
interior Iceland would not be a good place for that surprise.
I know there was at least one bike shop in the country, but I never saw it. But I did see one hardware store on the north coast that also sold bikes. They probably sold patch kits.

I just bring self adhesive ones on tour, I have never had one that lasted less than 2 months yet. And since I have actually only had one puncture on a tour, I have not seen that as a high priority.

He was well prepared for the trip, his bike is below:



He had better rear tire than I had, on a steep uphill on gravel I could lose traction and spin out but he managed to usually pedal to the top of them.
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Old 01-01-21, 05:05 PM
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like you, I've been pretty darn lucky for flats on trips, and its good to know that you've had good luck with glueless ones. I just figure that the one time I dont have a bunch of patches and glue on hand, I'll ride through an area with a crapload of thorns or volcanic sharp flint or something that ends up with me getting a ton of flats.......so yes, I'll continue carrying more than I probably ever need....
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Old 01-02-21, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
Thanks DJB. I'm running my 29+ bike tubeless. It could be worthwhile to pack one of these tubes as a precaution. Regular 29+ tubes are huge!
Sounds like a good idea to me. I'll do that if I take my tubeless MTB anywhere that I figure I need to carry a backup. I have not toured on my MTB that is running tubeless and the tubeless setup has been so reliable that I have never been tempted to carry a backup.

The high price is not as bad since you'd only need to buy one. For folks who run tubes and carry two spares, both the weight and the bulk are really significant so the advantages are pretty large. The cost of 4 of these $$$ tubes is also significant though. By the time I was up to spending on 4 tubes I might start thinking about springing for a lot more and switching that bike to tubeless wheels.
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Old 01-02-21, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Sounds like a good idea to me. I'll do that if I take my tubeless MTB anywhere that I figure I need to carry a backup. I have not toured on my MTB that is running tubeless and the tubeless setup has been so reliable that I have never been tempted to carry a backup.

The high price is not as bad since you'd only need to buy one. For folks who run tubes and carry two spares, both the weight and the bulk are really significant so the advantages are pretty large. The cost of 4 of these $$$ tubes is also significant though. By the time I was up to spending on 4 tubes I might start thinking about springing for a lot more and switching that bike to tubeless wheels.
I'm fairly certain thar I took three spare tubes with me on the central American trip, partly because the complete unknown of if I'd encounter significant thorn areas (which I had no experience ever with) and especially the fact that I needed presta tubes, which I was fairly certain would be hard to find in 26 inch.
So yes, the tubes weighed a lot and I did buy three...
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Old 01-02-21, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN

My Iceland trip...
OT..but..I've seen you mention Iceland a number of times..I recently read a good book that discusses many locations/civilizations around the world with one of them being Iceland. Iceland is discussed quite a bit as a reference to what they've done right..or at least learned from their errors, where other societies failed to embraced change and the constraints imposed by their environment. If you're looking for a good book to read while the snow is on the ground, this one may make more sense of what you saw while there.. Once upon a time, Iceland looked very different.

https://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Soci.../dp/0143117009
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