Best Bike Tubes: Basic but Essential Parts for All Cyclists
Get the best out of your tires with these top three bike tubes
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Whether you’re commuting to work or getting your kicks from flying down a mountain, there’s one thing you shouldn’t go on a bike ride without. If you bring along a replacement inner tube, you can repair punctures at the side of the road and quickly get back on your way. The tube you choose will ultimately affect how your bike performs, so it’s important to be informed. We’ve gathered the three best bike tubes on the market.
These tubes fit tires size 26 by 1.9 inches to 2.125 inches. The package comes with two tubes that feature Schrader valves.
- These tubes are of good quality, and they work well
- They're great replacement tubes, a good value, and hold a tire's maximum pressure without issue
- They may stretch a little too thin on a 2.125 tire
- Many complain that one of the tubes may be defective and fails quickly
This is a 20-inch inner tube designed to fit kids' bikes, BMX, and mountain bike tires. It comes with a standard Schrader valve.
- Offers a puncture-free ride on rough trails
- Quality construction that can withstand high pressure
- Tested for reliability
- Stem can be clogged with the sealant during winter
- Flimsy seam welding
A 28-inch, all-purpose, accident-proof, butyl rubber inner tube with a 42mm Presta valve. Pack includes five tubes, two Continental tire levers, and two Diamond Grade reflective stickers to ensure ease of use.
- Each individual tube is subject to rigorous quality control tests before leaving the factory
- Valves are removable to allow for repair and/or replacement without sacrificing an undamaged tube
- Bonding structure at valve placement does not inflate at the same rate as the rest of the tire, making it more likely to get damaged
- Not ideal for racing or performance riding
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- Buy the right size inner tube for your bike. Measure the circumference of your wheel for the right length and then check how narrow or wide of an inner tube you need to properly fill your tire.
- Always check your existing inner tube to determine the type of valve you need. There are two common types: Presta and Schrader. Presta valves are long and narrow with a built-in twist lock, while Schrader valves are typically short and squat.
- If you’re looking for a smoother ride, choose latex over butyl rubber tubes. Latex tubes are lighter and more supple but are also more challenging to fit and need topping up more often than butyl tubes.
Q: Do bicycle inner tubes have an expiration date?
A: The life of your bike tube depends on the quality of its construction. In general, they shouldn’t need to be replaced unless you get a flat tire.
Q: Are latex tubes more resistant to punctures than butyl tubes?
A: Latex is stretchier and more pliable, so latex tubes do tend to be more puncture resistant. However, this also means they need inflating on an almost daily basis, and this extra effort is likely to outweigh the advantages of fewer accidents.
Q: How do I store bike tubes?
A: It’s sensible to protect tubes from damage as much as possible while not in use. Keep the cap on the valve and store it in the original box, a ziplock bag with talcum powder, or wrapped in an old sock.
Kenda Inner Tubes sits at the top of our review for a good reason. Kenda tubes are known for their reliability, and are a great choice for both seasoned cycling professionals or recreational riders. They can also offer years of reliable service when used on smooth roads.
However, if you are looking for a quick and affordable replacement for one of your damaged inner tubes, then consider the Bell Universal Inner Tube.