Inner tubes for road bikes and triathlon bikes

Road and triathlon inner tubes

There are different tubes for different tyre sizes (diameters) and tyre widths. Tubes of triathlon and race bikes usually have a Sclaverand valve, because it fits best with its small diameter for the thin rims on these bikes. The valves are about 42 mm long, this requires a special attachment on your bicycle pump. The tubes are lightweight, they weigh between 50 and 90 grams.

Do you have questions about road bike tubes?

How many grams does a road bike inner tube weigh?

Classic butyl tubes weigh about 100 grams or more, while the light versions are already significantly lighter. Latex tubes reduce the weight even further and also improve rolling resistance. For maximum weight savings, however, you will have to reach a little deeper into your wallet for a thermoplastic tube. On top of that, you also get the best puncture protection.

Butyl standardapprox. 105–130 g
Butyl lightapprox. 50–75 g
Latexapprox. 70–85 g
Thermoplasticapprox. 35–40 g
Thermoplastic lightapprox. 25 g

* Values for 700C (28") road bike tubes in standard sizes (18-30 mm)
What are the advantages of road bike tubes made of latex or TPU?

Latex tubes and thermoplastic tubes are good alternatives to butyl tubes, not just because of their low weight. Both materials score points with their more elastic material with better rolling behaviour; TPU is also considered to be more puncture-resistant. The pack size of the latex tube is slightly smaller, the TPU version even significantly smaller. However, the higher price (thermoplastic) or faster pressure loss (latex) makes the butyl road bike tube the first choice for many cyclists.

Pack size-o++
Puncture protectiono+++
Rolling resistance-++++

++ Outstanding / + Positive / o Neutral / - Negative
Can I use a spare inner tube in case of a tubeless puncture?
Yes, without any problems. If you ever have a puncture on your road bike that cannot be repaired even with tubeless patches, you can simply use a standard road bike tube. Clean it at home with a little warm water and you can use it again as a spare tube on your next tour.
What is the difference between standard and Ultralight butyl tubes?

As the name suggests, butyl tubes with the suffix Light, Extra Light or Ultra Light (depending on the manufacturer) are weight-optimised road bike tubes with thinner walls. This has both advantages and disadvantages:

  • + About half as light as normal butyl road bike tubes
  • + Lower rolling resistance thanks to less material
  • - More susceptible to punctures due to thinner walls
  • - More sensitive to assembly mistakes
  • - Higher pressure loss than standard butyl tubes
What does the term tubular tyre mean for road bikes?
Many newcomers to cycling assume that the term tubular tyre – as opposed to tubeless tyres, so to speak – refers to standard road bike tyres that are ridden with a tube. In fact, however, it is a special type of tyre that is stitched all the way round (around an inner tube). They are glued to rims designed for this purpose without a rim flange and are particularly appreciated for their low rolling resistance and smooth ride. They used to be the standard in cycle sport, but they are rarely found in amateur cycling due to the complex assembly. In addition to road racing, they are still frequently used in cyclocross and track cycling.