In the age of all things tubeless, we don’t spend a lot of thought (or money) on innertubes. But… most of us carry at least one on every ride (mountain, road, gravel, whatever), and at least occasionally we need to use them, lest we end up walking home or taking an Uber.
With all that in mind, how much more would you pay for a tube that was 80% lighter and two times stronger than your average butyl tube? How about $35? Sounds a little steep, but the people behind Vienna, Austria-based Tubolito are banking on consumers seeing the benefit of its thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) tubes, which come in all manner of sizes, covering the full swath of cycling disciplines, including all three MTB wheel sizes.
Claimed weight for a standard Tubolito 29er tube is 85g, while the higher-end S-Tubo 29er model ($38) drops to 45g. That means less overall bike weight, but also more critically, reduced rotational weight and rolling resistance.
Besides being lighter, the Tubolito tubes are also much smaller, making them easier to stash in a jersey pocket or fanny pack. And there’s the lessened environmental impact. Think about how many butyl tubes you’ve tossed in the trash over the years.
Durability is gained from the more robust material (which is claimed to be more resistant to pinch flats), and a construction process that eliminates full-length seams. Instead the Tubolito tubes are joined with just one small weld around the circumference.
Not sure if we’re sold or not (we’ve only seen them at a trade show, and not tested yet), but it’s certainly an interesting idea. Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Here’s a look at the complete line-up. Click on any image to enlarge.
To learn more about Tubolito Tubes, head over to www.tubolito.com or stop by your local REI store, which is carrying these new tubes.