Whether you like to cycle for fun or cycle to and from work every day, you probably never give much thought to your tires’ tubes until something actually happens to them. It’s usually inconveniencing to get a flat tire precisely on that day when you have so much to do and so little time.
These flats are both irritating and risky, which is why there are now different bike tubes.
Perhaps you got a flat tire and you now need a new one, or maybe you’re just one of those people who like to be prepared instead of taking chances.
Either way, what’s the best bike tube to go for? Which one’s right for your situation?
Bike tubes may look quite similar but they’re not as straightforward as you might sometimes think. They’re an essential part of the bicycle wheel, but all of them come with subtle differences that might bring about that drastic difference in your ride and how long-lasting your tire will be.
With so many road bike tubes on the market today, choosing the best can be quite a challenge. You may wonder what valve works best, whether the tube is suitable for mountain bikes or just regular ones, what is meant by Presta valves and so much more.
So we’ve put together a road bike tube review to help you make a decision. Read on to find out more about some of the best bike tubes money can buy.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Road Bike Tubes
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the road bike tubes that most people buy).
- Bike a Mile Continental Bike Tube Top Pick
- Kenda Tubes Runner-up
- Continental Supersonic Runner-up
Top 5 Best Road Bike Tubes 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Bike a Mile Continental Bike Tube
When it comes to automotive-related products or equipment, Continental is a go-to brand that’s known for producing top-notch items so you can count on them for a good bike tube.
The Bike a Mile Continental Bike Tube is easily among the favorite bike tube tires around. It comes in a great design that makes use of the most durable materials and the latest technology.
These come in a set of two, so you get to keep a spare one that will come in handy during emergencies. That makes this road bike tube economical.
They also feature a stylish reflector armband that keeps you visible at night.
The manufacturers of this bike tube have gone the extra mile to incorporate the best kind of wear-optimized tread compound. This means your tube will be durable enough to withstand rainy weather, snowy conditions, and daily riding to and from the workplace.
Thanks to its tread design, the Bike a Mile Continental Bike Tube makes it suitable for use in mountain bikes or regular road bike tire.
Its PolyX Breaker puncture protection ensures you have puncture protection at all times. They also have a DuraSkin sidewall that makes them a lightweight option while offering the best kind of sidewall protection against punctures and flat tires.
It comes seamlessly constructed complete with mold-cured vulcanization that ensures uniform roundness for smooth riding and easy handling.
Lastly, the quality control team at Continental ensures each bike inner tube passes its stringent 100% mark during the inspection so that the tube lasts long and gives good value for money.
- Reflective armband
- Duraskin sidewall protection
- Wear optimized tread compound
- Presta valves
- Provides extra toughness
- Has a free Presta valve
- Comes with three skyscape metal valve caps
- All-purpose inner tube
- Takes a while for the manufacturer to ship it
2. Kenda Tubes
The Kenda brand is another that creates high-quality bike tubes. Made of butyl rubber, the Kenda bike tube is suitable for use on the roughest roads with gravel and is also a suitable option for commuter bikes.
These inner tubes are also ideal if you’ll be cycling over long distances while touring. The 80mm inner valve makes them compatible with bike tires with rims 60 to 70 mm in depth.
This Kenda inner tube for bikes also goes great with tires measuring 30 mm when it comes to width. They generally fit a tire size of 26 x 1.9 to 2.125 inches and make for great high-value replacement tubes.
The Kenda bike inner tubes come in a pack containing four of them. They’re of good quality and can properly hold the tires’ maximum pressure.
- Size: 700 x 25-30 mm
- Valve Length: 80 mm
- Threaded Schrader valve
- Sold four in a pack
- Suitable for gravel and ordinary roads
- The tube may stretch too thin on 2.125 tire types
- Some of the extra inner tubes could be defective and fail easily
3. Continental Supersonic
If you’re into racing, then the Continental Supersonic might just be the right inner tubes for bikes to go for.
Continental Supersonic is a lightweight bicycle tube that you’ll love as it only weighs 55 g, making it lighter than many latex tubes.
Using these tubes makes it easier for you to drop weight from your bike which helps improve bike acceleration. These inner tubes are made from butyl and aside from that, the bicycle tube is nonporous so you won’t have to inflate it often.
It has a 60mm valve length that makes it a great fit for your bike tires if you’re going to be racing. Aside from this, it ensures you get a smooth ride owing to the mold curved vulcanization that brings that uniform roundness to the bicycle tube.
Thanks to its ultra-lightweight inner tube, the Continental Supersonic is compatible with 700c bike tires.
- Butyl construction
- Mould cured vulcanization
- Presta valve
- Valve measure 60 mm
- Removable core
- Seamless construction
- Durable and lightweight
- Uniform roundness
- Gives a smooth ride
- Doesn’t require regular inflation
- Easy to handle
- Butyl rubber causes more rolling resistance
- The tube is more prone to punctures
4. Vittoria Latex Tube
This is another great option among inner tubes that come in pairs. The two tubes are made of latex and provide a lower resistance when compared to a butyl rubber tube.
Lower resistance means quick acceleration, and that makes it easier for these latex tubes to maintain their speed.
The only concern though is that with a permeable latex tube you need to check regularly for pressure and to refill it. This Vittoria Latex tube is suitable for road bike tire sizes measuring 700c and 40mm in depth.
These bike inner tubes are also more puncture resistant than butyl rubber ones. Its 51mm Presta valve is removable, though it’s highly advisable that you don’t use latex tubes with the carbon clincher type of wheels.
For these Vittoria bike tubes to stand out from the rest, each tube comes in pink, something that makes it easy for the person installing the tube to know if they’re doing the right thing, especially when the bicycle tire isn’t sitting properly in the rim bead.
This latex type of tubes is also lightweight, standing at just 75 g which considerably contributes to their performance.
- Presta valve is 51mm
- Natural latex rubber material
- Comes as a pair
- Pink color tube
- Fits 700c road bike
- Low resistance
- Stands out for its pink color
- Comes in a pair
- Requires regular checking for pressure and refilling
5. Tubolito Tubo Road
If you’re keen on just how light your bike tube is then the Tubolito Tubo Road is the best for you, standing at just 38 g. It’s about 70 g lighter than any other tube out there but works great offering up to two times more puncture resistance than other tubes.
It’s also more elastic compared to many other tubes. This means when using it, you don’t have to worry too much about flat tires—its weight makes it even more resistant to flats.
The Tubolito Tubo Road is strong and compact when rolled. Cyclists or bike owners will also appreciate that it’s easy to repair.
- Weighs only 38 g
- Easy to repair
- Makes it easy to accelerate and maintain speed
- Needs regular pressure checks
As can be seen from the review, it’s important to check a few things when trying to get the best bike tubes.
Among them is the kind of valve the tube comes with. The common types of valves are the Schrader valve and the Presta valve. A road bike will traditionally use a Presta valve better while the more hybrid bike models will often use a Schrader valve.
Butyl rubber and latex are the two most common materials used in making these tubes, although butyl rubber is the most popular perhaps because it may be impossible to repair a punctured latex rubber tube.
When you’re buying the tube, you need to keep in mind your cycling style, i.e. is it distance riding, touring, or do you commute regularly? You should also consider the size of your tire in terms of width and circumference so that you also get the right tube size.
Remember that you need to be careful with the tube size and selecting one can be quite a task since there’s usually a range of sizes available for a common tire type.
Having looked at these tubes, you may be wondering which one’s my pick.
Well, I’ll go for the Bike a Mile Continental Tube. Why is it the best bike tube?
This pick has everything to do with its design and the technology that’s incorporated into creating the inner tube for bike, making it stand out from the rest. Besides, the makers of the tube have a great reputation for manufacturing great bike accessories.
Bike a Mile Continental tubes have more pros compared to the rest of the tubes—pros that include how durable they are. They offer smooth handling, smooth riding, and better puncture protection compared to the rest.
These features make them ideal for different kinds of roads and weather conditions, something a regular cyclist will appreciate.