Best Road Bike Tubes of 2020 – Ultimate Guide

Nothing can be more annoying than a flat tire during a peaceful ride. However, thanks to the advanced technology today, you can now say goodbye to occasional flat tire issues.

Bike tubes are the best way to protect your wheels, and we have handpicked the best ones present on the market for your ease. Mentioned below are the best road bike tubes along with their pros and cons.

It is vital to understand how they work, which one is more suited to your requirements, and how to pick the best product. So, let's get started!

Our Top Picks for Road Bike Tubes

  • Unitube design
  • Comes with seamless mold
  • Short valves
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  • Comes with seamless mold
  • Unitube system
  • Quality tested
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  • Best for the Money
  • Puncture-resistant feature
  • Lightweight and strong
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Comparison of the Best Road Bike Tubes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Unitube design allows greater compatibility
  • Comes with a seamless mold
  • Short valves for shallow rims
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  • Comes with a seamless mold for better rounding
  • Uses the unitube system for compatibility
  • 100 percent quality tested
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  • Best for the Money
  • It comes with puncture-resistant feature
  • Lightweight and strong design
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  • Best Road Bike Inner Tube 700x25c
  • Prime sealant is pre-installed
  • Will automatically seal punctures for up to 2 years
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  • Comes with a removable valve core
  • Uses a threadless valve stem
  • Made from quality materials
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What is a Bike Tube?

A bicycle tube is a bicycle accessory. It is usually made from an incredibly durable rubber material such as a butyl rubber compound. This material helps in enhancing the durability of the unit.

These tubes help protect your tire from unfortunate incidents such as getting a flat in the middle of nowhere or having any punctures when riding the bike. They work by keeping the air pressure inside the tire very high and prevent external pressures to cause damage.

Bicycle tubes are common nowadays since nobody wants to struggle with a flat tire during the fun hours of cycling.

Are Bike Tubes Universal?

No, bike tubes are not universal. They come in different sizes with different widths, dimensions, and even different valves. Selecting the right size can be essential as this helps in reducing the risk of pinching and overstretching, which can lead to a flat tire more easily.

The tubes vary depending on the size and type of bike you have. To determine which product to pick, you must check the dimensions on the tube and inside of your tire.

Our size guide will give you all the information you require, but remember to double-check and ensure that the size of the unit you invest in matches your bike's tire.

What Size Bike Tube Do I Need?

Tubes that are very small can easily pop under the bike's pressure. Meanwhile, huge tubes can end up puncturing the tires by pinching them. In both cases, you might end up with a flat tire, which isn't good. To select the right tire, you need to consider two factors: diameter and width.

Both these measurements are on the sidewall of your bike tires. They can also be found printed on the tube that is already installed. When you look at the tire, the size will be marked as "diameter x width."

You must match the new tube as closely as you can to the existing tube. Wheel diameters can come in various sizes, with the most common ones being 20, 24, 26, 27.5, and 29.

Without finding the right size, you may get flat tires frequently. The width of these tubes comes in many different sizes, and is measured in inches; this simply means that a tire that is 26 inches in diameter will fit in a range of 2.125 to 1.75 inches. 

The width of your tire should not be precisely the size of the tube because there should be extra room for expansion and compression due to heat changes.

Quick Take - Best Road Bike Tubes

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best road bike tubes:

  1. Continental Bike Tube
  2. Continental 42mm Presta Valve Tube
  3. Michelin A1 Airstop Road Presta Valve

Review of the Best Road Bike Tubes

To assist you in finding the best bike tubes, we have compiled the best ones down below. Read on to find out their pros and cons, along with why these products stand out.

Continental Bike Tube (26'/27.5'/29'/700)

pros

  • A well-wounded bike tube
  • Has an efficient valve stem
  • Comes at a reasonable price
  • Great compatibility with various tire sizes
  • Quality tested under strict measures, making it highly reliable

cons

  • Length of the Schrader valve is a little short

What Recent Buyers Report

Users highly appreciate that this tube comes with a Presta valve, which is pointy and long and works well on any bike. It is a reliable unit and incredibly long-lasting. Since it is also very affordable, you can invest your money in it without any worry.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stands out to us due to numerous reasons. The main reason is that this size fits 26" x 1.75-2.5 easily with a 33mm Schrader valve that can be removed conveniently, even by beginners. It is made with a butyl rubber compound that makes it incredibly long-lasting. This tube also has seamless construction that is manufactured by mold curing.

Continental's Unitube system is compatible with fewer tubes and more tires. This unit comes with a greater round ability and also has enhanced strength at the valve stem. Since it has stringent quality control and is heavy-duty, we find the product foolproof.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Continental Bike tubes are incredibly durable and provide a good fitting on your bike. They ensure an excellent riding experience that is both comfortable and smooth.

Continental 42mm Presta Valve Tube, Black, 700 x 25-32cc (Race 28)

pros

  • Has a removable core
  • Comes with a Presta valve
  • Features an incredibly durable build
  • Can fit on a wide range of standard wheel sizes
  • Works incredibly well for regular and frequent usage

cons

  • Limited options for Schrader

What Recent Buyers Report

According to buyers, this is an outstanding tube that works well daily and even on emergencies. It comes with removable valve cores. So if your wheels are irregular and require longer valves, this is the ideal pick for you. They are also very durable and long-lasting, as the reports suggest.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many reasons to like this product and add it to our list. Firstly, it is a well-built unit that comes in three different diameters. These diameters are specific for 700c, 29" and 26". It is also available in different widths that correspond to the diameter of different tire sizes.

Also, the 42mm long stem is compatible with the majority of road wheels. This unit is also vulcanized, which helps in ensuring greater reliability and uniform roundness at the valve stem junction.

Furthermore, all the Presta cores can be removed easily if you want to attach an extended valve to it. The butyl rubber used in its making is extremely durable, and even though it can be slightly heavy for racing bikes, it is well-rounded and has good features, making it worth it.

All professional riders prefer this product.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this Continental tube is exactly what your bike requires. It is long-lasting, durable, and loved by champions. The unit is very well-made, and the installation is very easy. Since this is an affordable product, it will make a great pick for most people.

Michelin A1 Airstop Road Presta Valve Inner Tube, 700 x 18-25cm, Black

pros

  • Packed with two inner tubes
  • Made with butyl rubber construction
  • Comes with skyscape metal valve caps
  • Very durable and long-lasting, as reported by buyers
  • More resistant to punctures due to sturdy build quality

cons

  • Valve stems can blow out at the base of the tubes

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of positive reports tell us that this is a great tire tube with a smooth copper stem and non-removable valve cores. Buyers faced no issues in installation, as the tire is coated to ensure more convenience. The smooth stem is reported to help reduce the chances of tube damage, ensuring better product longevity and value for the money.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Out of all the bike tubes on the market, this Michelin A1 Airstop is one of the most durable and incredibly sturdy products. Each pack includes four units for both the tires and the spares too. Furthermore, this tube is constructed from a durable butyl rubber, which helps in enhancing its strength and makes it more long-lasting.

This product also comes with high resistance to puncture and the ability to hold air better than most other units present in the market. That is not all; it works incredibly well with the Presta valve, which is why many bike owners recommend it to professionals.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, we think that this Michelin Airstop bike tube is the best, most affordable option you can get your hands on. It features an excellent design and has a very high-efficiency rating. With this tire tube, you can say goodbye to flat tires and punctures.

Since Michelin is a world-known brand; you do not have to worry about having any issues from their side. They have excellent customer service backing this unit too.

Best Road Bike Inner Tube 700x25c:
Slime STB-970019/10

Slime STB-970019/10 Self-Sealing Smart Tube, Presta Valve (700 x 19-25mm)

pros

  • Helps in sealing punctures
  • Has a non-corrosive nature
  • Makes use of FibroSeal technology
  • Easily cleans up with water and is low-maintenance
  • Powerful protection ensures extended periods of usage

cons

  • Slightly more pricey compared to other units

What Recent Buyers Report

As per buyer reports, these Slime tubes are incredibly efficient and last for a long time. They require replacement after a whole year of rugged use, which helps you save money. Installing them requires a little technique, but it is not too difficult. This tube has a slime barrier in the hole that allows the tube to dry out easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With so many features packed in this one product, we could not help but be impressed by it. This Slime Smart tube is one of the best. It is ideal for use on Schrader valves.

This bike tube helps prevent your road bike from getting punctured instantly and prevents you from repeatedly sealing the holes when such an event occurs. In addition, it is made from non-corrosive and non-toxic materials that ensure longevity. If you are worried about the tube being exposed to extreme moisture, this product will face it all without any damage.

Furthermore, it comes with patented Fibroseal technology, which is responsible for sealing tire punctures instantly. The brand fills the tube with a slime-tube sealant, offering robust protection while driving on hard, rough, and challenging terrains.

Bottom Line

Overall, this product provides an easy fix for punctures and ensures a good balance. It also promises a smoother ride by absorbing shocks from any bumps in the road, and you can ride your bike easily without any worry.

SUNLITE Standard Presta Valve Tubes, Black

pros

  • Easily removable core
  • Has an incredibly easy installation
  • Comes with a good Presta stem valve
  • There are no leaks reported by buyers
  • A reliable and durable tube due to its exceptional build quality

cons

  • Pricing is complicated, varies with size

What Recent Buyers Report

Due to the lightweight nature of this unit, buyers have been in awe of it. The best part about this tube is that it is ideal for people who deal with a flat tire on a normal basis due to difficult roads or terrains. These tubes are incredibly resistant to punctures, making them durable in the long run. Since they have so many size options to choose from, it is worth investing in this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Sunlite has made quite a name in the industry due to its top-notch accessories and equipment. This product is no exception. The tubes are available in different sizes to help fit the needs of different customers.

This unit is ideal for professional usage, particularly for mountain bikes, due to its lightweight nature and durability. It prevents your tires from getting punctured and also provides you with a spare tube that further makes the situation easier to handle.

You can use this product for cruiser bikes as well, and with vehicles that have tires of 29" in size. If you have a Presta valve in your bike, you can easily install these tubes by either deflating or inflating. The installation is reported to be incredibly simple and easy, making it ideal for everyone.

Bottom Line

Wrapping it up, this unit impresses buyers with its lightweight structure and ease of installation. Since these tubes prevent punctures and come in a pack of two, you can get these for yourself, and your friend and go mountain biking together.

Comparison Overview

When it comes to maintaining your tires, there are multiple options. For instance, for your road bike, you can choose either tubeless or tubes and threadless or smooth. Similarly, there are road bike and mountain bike tubes. Here’s an overview of each and how it differs from the other so you make an informed choice. 

Tubeless vs. Tubes For a Road Bike

Tubeless and tube are both good for your bike. They are very similar but have their differences as well, read on below to find out more about that.

Similarities

The similarities between the two are:

No Pinch Flats

Tube and tubeless tires both make sure that there are fewer flats. The small punctures do not cause problems for you and can be dealt with duct tape. However, this can only be used as a temporary fix and might need something more permanent in the longer run.

Superior Ride Quality

Both types of tires ensure an excellent and comfortable ride quality. They help prevent sudden and harsh brakes and have the ability to absorb shocks. You can lower the tire pressure significantly and get three main benefits: better traction, softer ride, and better cornering. They allow you to be more in control of the vehicle.

Lower Weight

Tires have very little weight. The tube’s weight is slightly more than that of tubeless, but it doesn't affect your performance. Both provide you with great stability and allow you to accelerate with ease whenever you are going uphill.

Differences

The difference between the two is:

Expense

Tubeless can be more expensive than tubes because they are tricky and challenging to manufacture. They are also less common and in-demand, which is why they have a higher price.

Road Bike vs. Mountain Bike Tubes

Mountain bike and road bike tubes are very different. They are designed keeping different usability in mind. However, they have similarities, but since they are made for different kinds of terrains, there are some significant differences. Read ahead to find out what they are.

Similarities

Mountain and road bike tubes are similar in one way, as mentioned below.

Smooth Ride

Both mountain bike tubes and road tubes ensure that you have an incredibly smooth ride. Since they are designed especially for their particular terrains, they can combat issues such as bumps, rocks, and unevenness. They prevent you from punctures and flat tires.

Differences

Both road and mountain bike tubes are very different. Their differences include:

Diameter

Mountain bike wheels come with a large diameter. This is because they have to work on a lot of rugged terrains; the large diameter enables the tires to absorb shock and work more efficiently.

Strength

MTB tubes are more strong. Road bikes tend to go through very few speed bumps and have smoother terrain to deal with, so they do not need a lot of strength.

On the other hand, mountain bikes have irregular roads and paths. Therefore, more strength and sturdiness is required by them to remain stable and intact.

Effort

Road bike wheels aren't as wide as mountain bikes, which means they have less surface friction and more speed. Unlike mountain bikes, these vehicles do not require as much effort.

Threaded vs. Smooth Road Bike Tubes

Presta tubes are available in both smooth and threaded valve varieties. They have their similarities and differences, so read on to find out what they are.

Similarities

The similarity between the two is as follows:

Similar Working Mechanism

Both the valves work similarly. They seal the tire completely and ensure that it doesn’t get harmed or damaged. As a result, the possible puncture areas are also sealed and lead to a smoother ride.  

Differences

The differences between the two are:

Easier to Remove the Pump

Smooth valve stems are preferred over threaded valves since they allow easy removal of the pump. Getting your pump on is also easier as compared to threaded ones.

Heavier

Threaded tubes are heavier in weight than smoother ones. This makes people prefer the latter as it doesn't add additional weight to their bikes.

How to Change a Road Bike Tube

If you are an avid biker, you will find yourself replacing the tubes on your bike at some point in your life. They must have popped up while you were on a ride, or need to be replaced due to wear and tear. Here is a step-by-step guide for how to do it:

  1. The first step is to detach the wheel. You can easily do this by placing your bike on a bike stand or put it upside down on its handlebar and seats.

  2. Now, loosen the wheel. The bike comes with a lever that loosens the tire. Some even have a bolt, so if your bike has one, use a plier to loosen it up.

  3. The next step is to undo the brakes. There is a tensioner on the brake that releases tension and makes it easier to remove the tire.

  4. Loosen the tension on the chain. Now, pull the small gear on top of the rear sprocket. With a little extra force, you will be able to take the wheel off.

  5. Remove any air present in the tire and undo the nut at the bottom of the valve stem.

  6. Starting from the opposite valve stream, pull the tire back from the rim and slide a screwdriver into the slit.

  7. Continue pulling the tire over the wheel's lip until the tire edge is completely over the tire.

  8. Once the tire and tube are free, you can now go ahead with the installation of a new tube.

  9. Inflate the tube but leave some room. Do not fill it up since that will make it difficult to put it over your tire.

  10. Once halfway inflated, slide the tube inside the tire. Push the valve stem into the rim and put the tire on.

  11. Push the tire's side into the rim and put the tube between both sides of the rim.

  12. Workaround the wheel and push the same side inside the rim. This step will go quickly, but make sure that both the tube and the other side of the tire are inside the rim completely.

  13. Move on with putting the new nut on the tube's valve stem. This allows the tube to stay close to the rim.

  14. Inflate the tire to the PSI recommended level and install the wheel back on.

With this guide, you will be able to install the tube. If you’re confused, make use of the following video for a visual representation of how to carry out the steps above.

Conclusion

To conclude this article, we hope that with the information mentioned above, you will be able to install the bike tubes on your own, and you will also be able to find the best tube available on the market. Going through the reviews of the best products with their pros and cons should assist you in making an informed decision.

People Also Ask

With so much information around, you can easily get confused. To help you out, we have answered some common questions in this section.

How to Measure Bike Tire Size For Inner Tube

The size for the inner tube is always written on the sidewall of the tire. It usually states the width and wheel diameter, which lets you know what tube will fit the tire.

How to Tell What Size Bike Tube You Need

The size of the bike tube is figured out by measuring the diameter and width of the tire. This can be done by using the measurements written inside the tire's sidewall or measuring it on your own.

Where Can a Road Bike Rider Store Spare Tubes?

You can invest in a carrier and attach it to your bike. You can also buy a small sock-like bike bag and place it in the carrier with the spare tube folded in it. This will help you prepare for any emergency beforehand.

How Much Do Road Bike Inner Tubes Cost?

These tubes do not cost much and have a starting price of $8 and can be as expensive as $50.

How to Find a Puncture in a Road Bike Tube

To find punctures, you simply need some liquid soap and water. Add the soap in water to make a solution. Start applying this with your hand on the tire. When you place the liquid on the tire, the puncture holes will bubble up.

Do Inner Tubes Make a Difference in Road Bikes?

Inner tubes do more than simply hold the air inside your tires. The best inner tubes allow your bike to go faster and even feel lighter. They help in preventing punctures, are more reliable, and make your riding experience better.

Do Road Bike Tires Have Inner Tubes?

A bicycle tire doesn't stay upright on its own and requires an inner tube. This is a doughnut-shaped rubber balloon tube and has a valve for inflation.

What Size Tubes Do I Need For My Road Bike?

To find the tube's right size, you will need to check the measurement labeled on the inside of your tire. This will be the size of the tube you need.

How Often Do Road Bike Tubes Need to Be Changed?

They need to be changed every year if they do not have holes and punctures. You must occasionally check them for punctures using the soap-water technique. If there are no holes, then continue using them.

Why Do Road Bike Tubes Have Such Long Valves?

These valves are long because they allow the pump to extend through the rim. If you get a flat tire, then a small valve won't allow you to attach a pump to it, but a long valve allows the pump to be easily attached and makes it easy to inflate the tire.