CAMPAGNOLO Bicycle Parts
   - Campy Knowledge

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   - FSA Knowledge

Shimano Bicycle Parts
   - Shimano Knowledge



 - Design Evolution
 - ISIS Standard
 - Crank Length
 - Ceramic Bearings

 - Features
 - Aluminum
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- MTN Bicycle Tires
- Bicycle Tire Liners

- Schreader Valves
- Presta Tube Stems
- Butyl or Latex





Bicycle Helmets

Bicycle Tubes
Bicycle Tubes: Sizing, Material & Valve Design

You don't really need me to explain that the reason you buy a collection of bicycle tubes is to hold the air in your "non-tubeless clincher tire". Bike tires do exist that do not require a tube but that's pretty rare... so here's a bit of information about the various options that might keep you riding longer before the inevitable roadside repair.

It is always best to buy bicycle tubes that matches your tire in diameter. A 24" tube for a 24" tire, but a close metric equivalent will also do the job as long as we're not talking about a huge difference in diameter.

It is not as important to purchase the exact width of tube to match your existing tire, as the typical tube has a fair degree of elasticity to conform to your existing bicycle tire, but keep this in mind.

If you buy a wide width say 2 1/2" bicycle tube when you really only need a 2" width, it will not cause any harm and remain under inflated, But the tube will be much heavier with the extra rubber needed for the wider design.

If you select a tube that is narrower than your tire design, the tube will be stretched more than normal, decreasing the rubber's effective thickness and thus increase its chance of punctures.

Bottom line is that the best approach is to get into the habit of purchasing bicycle tubes that match as closely as possible to your tire size. Match the sizes to both your bicycle road tires and a wider size for your mountain bike tires. This particular bicycle part isn't expensive to inventory extras.

There are two different types of bike tire tube stems. Tubes can have either a shrader or presta valve, each with its own advantages. Shrader valves are very common and easily filled at the standard gas station pump. Presta Valves are common on road bikes where their slimmer design creates less drag and requires a smaller hole in the narrow road bike rim.

Slime, puncture protection?
For an extra few dollars you can purchase bicycle tubes with a chemical sprayed into the inside of the tube to seal small punctures as they happen. One brand of the sealant is actually called "Slime" and they produce a Slime Self-Sealing Tube. The chemical leaks out of small punctures and solidifies on contact with the air. You'll never know you had a leak.

Composition of Bicycle Tubes:

Bicycle tubes can be made of Latex or Butyl rubber. Butyl being the synthetic man-made made version of naturally "grown" latex rubber.

Butyl bicycle tubes are the norm. This is what you find at your standard bicycle parts outlet store. It is cheap and holds air well in comparision to the natural rubber equavalent.

Related Information:
Bicycle Wheels: Tubes and Tires, Spokes and Hubs
Bicycle Parts including Wheels, Power Train, Brakes & Frames

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Products, specifications, and techniques shown are meant as a guide only.

Owners of this site assume no liability for and make no claim to the suitability of any products or information shown, other than to report history of usage, and sharing of knowledge from others.

It is the sole responsibility of the owner to adequately test for suitability and application method for a product..

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copyright Jan. 2007