Inner Tube Buying Guide
An inner tube is an essential part of any bicycle, that is unless you are running tubular or tubeless tyres. It is inevitable that at some point you will need to replace the inner tube on your bicycle, so it is always worth having a couple of spares so you can get back on the road straight away.
With the wide variety of different sized inner tubes, this guide is intended to help make it easier to choose the correct tube for you.
Inner tubes come in a wide variety of sizes, and also different valve types. Things to consider when selecting your inner tube are;
- Wheel diameter - The diameter of the wheel will depend very much on the type of bicycle that you are using. They can vary from 12” all the way up to 29”.
- Tyre Width - Just like the diameter, the width of the tyre can also vary depending on the type of bicycle. They can go from a skinny 19mm on a road bike, to a huge 4inch on some mountain bikes.
Checking the Inner Tube Size You Need
The best way to check what size inner tube you need is to look on the sidewall of your tyre. Tyre manufacturers print the size on the sidewalls, so look out for numbers such as ‘700x23c’ for a road bike, or ‘26x1.75’ which is for mountain bikes.
Inner Tube Valve Type
- Schraeder valves – most people refer to these as ‘the same as on my car’. They are the chunkier looking valve, and are usually found on entry-level mountain bikes.
- Presta valves – a much thinner valve, with a core that needs to be unscrewed before you can inlate the tube. This type of valve is fitted to all of our Ribble road bikes, and can be found on all good quality wheels. The valve lengths do vary in length, so if you are running deep section wheels, a longer one will be required
Inner Tube Suggestions
- For road bikes with narrow tyres - Continental Race Inner Tube
- For touring and cyclocross tyres - Continental Race 28 Training Inner Tube
- For mountain bikes with 26" tyres - Continental MTB 26 Inner Tube
- For mountain bikes with 27.5" (650b) tyres- Vittoria MTB Lite 27.5 Tube
- For mountain bikes with 29" tyres - Continental MTB 29 Inner Tube View All Inner Tubes
Latex Inner Tubes
It is more than likely that the inner tubes you will have used are made of a butyl rubber. If you are looking for marginal gains a change to latex inner tubes can reduce the weight in your wheels where it really matters. It can also smooth out the ride.
There are however two downsides to latex inner tubes. The first is that they lose air much quicker, and so will need to be pumped up more often. Not during a ride, but at least before every ride. The other downside is that they are a little trickier to fit, and can be caught in between the tyre and wheel causing them to blow as soon as you pump them up.View All Inner Tubes
Andy is the Product Specialist and Content Writer at Ribble. He takes part in all disciplines of cycling, but can mostly be found either on his road bike or on the mountain bike trails.