Inner tubes

Tarka

Pedelecer
Jan 29, 2019
109
83
What are your views on inner tubes, do you replace them every winter as a preventative measure or just keep patching until they can't be repaired any more. Do you buy the cheapest unbranded eBay tube or would you spend a lot more on a top branded one. Carry a spare or just a patch kit etc etc

Personally I replace them every two or three years using Halfords own brand ones and patch any punctures as they happen. My system works but I'm always interested if there is a better way.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,546
4,342
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
45,928
22,566
What are your views on inner tubes, do you replace them every winter as a preventative measure or just keep patching until they can't be repaired any more.
I never replace a working tube and just keep patching.

I come from being in the trade just after WW2 when everyone was as poor as church mice and there wasn't much in the way of bike parts. We repaired many punctures every day and a tube would often be as much patches as innertube when withdrawn for the tyre. Indeed many puncture repairs were patches over existing patches!

No need to go that far now of course, but I wouldn't change tubes as a routine. I also use puncture resistant tyres to minimise punctures which have brought down punctures to no more than one per four years in my case.
.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,111
4,280
57
West Sx RH
Tubeless is only ok if you use the bike regularly as the sealant sets if it is only an occasional use bike. I have set up one bike but it is a faff and an expense to keep topping up.

I cover all angles with tubes on my bikes, with my motor wheel front or rear hub I use Gaadi tubes so no faff in having to take the wheel out, place washers/AR washers, TA & nuts/bolts etc etc. If I get a P I simply pull the tyre off one side and replace the tube with another and patch it later in the ride or at home. For the price of a Gaadi you can get several cheaper tubes but the ease and convenience of them (Gaadi) out weighs the cheapies for me in a motor wheel.. My unpowered wheel just uses an ordinary cheap tube and I will maybe patch half a dozen times before I bin a tube, for patches I buy the Weldtite 3" x 4" sheet and cut it to size getting dozens out of it cheaper then buying silly P kits.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,679
1,116
I never routinely change tubes. If punctured I usually replace with a different one (possibly new, possibly repaired earlier) and repair the one just punctured without hurry. Because we mostly use Marathon Plus it's a pretty rare experience. Tubes (and tyres) had lasted 13 years without puncture on a bike I recently passed on; around 1000 miles a year and one MP was on the verge of wanting replacement.
 
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soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,546
4,342
i top up my wheels every 3 months and thats it so a bottle of sealant will last me well over a year and i have never had a flat tyre.

went past about 3 road bikes yesterday all in bits fixing flats at the side of the road pmsl
 

Gringo

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 18, 2013
1,135
683
Northampton
I carry a spare tube and a few skab type patches, not as good as proper glue on but quicker and keeps you riding (OK while inflated but don’t do so well left on a deflated tube kept as your spare)
I wouldn’t routinely replace a tube unless it was unpatchable.
I think most tubes work as well as each other but I did have a Lidl tube that wouldn’t stay up for more than few days, it turned out to have the smallest of leaks from the base of the valve stem.
 

PP100

Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2020
135
72
I use the ready filled anti puncture slime type tubes . I dont bother filling them myself as they are often only a few quid more than normal inner tubes and every so often you will see them on offer. Also I try to carry a spare slimed tube though so far I can't remember when I last had a puncture.
 

awol

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 4, 2013
1,186
360
Tubeless is only ok if you use the bike regularly as the sealant sets if it is only an occasional use bike. I have set up one bike but it is a faff and an expense to keep topping up.

I cover all angles with tubes on my bikes, with my motor wheel front or rear hub I use Gaadi tubes so no faff in having to take the wheel out, place washers/AR washers, TA & nuts/bolts etc etc. If I get a P I simply pull the tyre off one side and replace the tube with another and patch it later in the ride or at home. For the price of a Gaadi you can get several cheaper tubes but the ease and convenience of them (Gaadi) out weighs the cheapies for me in a motor wheel.. My unpowered wheel just uses an ordinary cheap tube and I will maybe patch half a dozen times before I bin a tube, for patches I buy the Weldtite 3" x 4" sheet and cut it to size getting dozens out of it cheaper then buying silly P kits.
Thanks, I never knew you could get P repair sheet to cut to size, I could have done with that last week.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
820
785
Surrey
After fitting good quality puncture proof tyres I have got so few punctures (1) since about 2011 that the tube inside has not been something I now think too much about, although a good quality one would be my preference, but not necessarily branded.

When I finally got a front wheel puncture on my way to work I struggled a bit to change the tube, so long had it been! I then mended the punctured tube at home later and put it back.

If the puncture is mendable I tend to mend it, now with those easy to use stick on patches that have worked for me. I did catch a tube with my tyre levers when re fitting a tyre on a rear hub motored bike (my fault, very annoying) and the split was a little too big for a patch repair so I put a new tube in.

As I use my bikes to go to work and back I want to avoid a puncture as much as possible. So when I started riding to work around 2011 and got regular punctures with the original tyres I fitted slime tubes as well as puncture proof tyres that completely solved the problem.

I thought doubling up by having both puncture proof tyres and slime filled tubes was best. I actually now think it best to pair a good puncture proof tyre with a non slimed tube.

Ironically last year I had tyres losing pressure on me that turned out not to be punctures but gunged up valves from the slime filled tubes. It was quite simple to remove the valve and clean it, and then remember to have the valve at 11:00 O clock angle when topping up air to try to prevent slime effecting the valve.

And in fairness to the slime filled tubes, due to not getting a puncture they had been in situation from around 2011 and that may have effected the consistency of the slime inside..

I now believe that a good puncture proof tyre is the most important way to prevent punctures and now use non slime tubes to keep valves uncontaminated and just far less mess and easier to deal with.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,679
1,116
I though doubling up by having both puncture proof tyres and slime filled tubes was best. I actually now think it best to pair a good puncture proof tyre with a non slimed tube.
I agree. Marathon Plus are great. When I tried slimed tubes I got a couple of punctures quite soon, with a huge mess on the tube (making it effectively unrepairable) and inside of the tyre.
 
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Dom T

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 17, 2017
406
352
Shropshire
Tubeless all the way for me I'm afraid.
I always carry a tube, but not had a problem with tubeless set of since.....well forever.
Top up every 3 months on all 4 ebikes.
 

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