Author Topic: TPU Inner tubes  (Read 16430 times)

finch

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TPU Inner tubes
« on: 29 July, 2022, 12:15:02 pm »
Anyone here used them yet ? I’m not in the market for them myself I’m just wondering whether the hype is real

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #1 on: 29 July, 2022, 02:01:35 pm »
Good question.

I was thinking of one as a packable spare (they are tiny and 1/4 the weight of a normal tube) but I am seeing mixed reviews. Problems around the valve area and difficulty repairing seem to come up regularly, so also interested to see if anyone is using them.


Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #2 on: 29 July, 2022, 02:09:02 pm »
Spendy.

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #3 on: 29 July, 2022, 02:15:31 pm »
Yes, but for those with weight weenie tendencies (not looking at anyone in particular  ;) the gram / £ saving is quite good.

But there’s no point in spending over £20 on a tube for the seat pack if it leaks around the valve when you come to use it.

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #4 on: 29 July, 2022, 02:19:20 pm »
Closer to £30.00  :o
£27.99 when it comes through the Wiggle till

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #5 on: 29 July, 2022, 02:20:30 pm »
I’ve been looking at this:
https://www.merlincycles.com/pirelli-cinturato-smart-inner-tube-700c-251966.html

But yeah, silly money really.

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #6 on: 30 July, 2022, 12:55:38 pm »
I guess the absence of replies suggests that most people have chosen tubeless as the way forward rather than very expensive tubes.

finch

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #7 on: 30 July, 2022, 01:23:59 pm »
It would certainly appear that nobody has actually tried them yet - probably works out cheaper than an entire tubeless conversion since you don’t need new tyres but if it goes wrong ( whereas tubeless is proven ) it would have been an expensive experiment.
I was interested in any anecdotal evidence of quality because even though I’m still using butyl tubes I haven’t had a visitation in a very long time - if you knew that was going to be the case then the cost would be reasonably easy to swallow - it’s just that if it failed fast you’d be gutted or at least I would 😂

Bianchi Boy

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #8 on: 30 July, 2022, 04:11:16 pm »
I have stuck to high quality standard tubes for my riding. I have spent much time at the side of a road for a "problem" with tubeless tyres and have seen people nip latex tubes and cause two stops. to change.

Standard tubes are easy to change, easily repaired, cheap and do not make a mess, like latex.

All these discussions are about the possible very small gains from these options.

I have been round long enough to see many attempts at improving on the time honoured simple latex tube, this is just another one, and at a high cost.

ithinkisawyoucoming.com possibly?

BB
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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #9 on: 30 July, 2022, 04:34:58 pm »
I have spent much time at the side of a road for a "problem" with tubeless tyres and have seen people nip latex tubes and cause two stops. to change.

...

I have been round long enough to see many attempts at improving on the time honoured simple latex tube

 ???

Anyway, this thread was simply asking if anyone had experience of TPU tubes.

finch

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #10 on: 30 July, 2022, 04:54:10 pm »
In the review I read for the tubolito ones the reviewer said the “feel” was similar to tubeless and after damaging a sidewall the tube stayed intact - apparently they’re much more durable than either butyl or latex BUT the caveats are the cost and that by all accounts they’re near impossible to repair IF they do get bitten - none of us have personal experience so far though so it might be a while before we know if they’re good enough to “catch on”

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #11 on: 30 July, 2022, 08:21:52 pm »
In the review I read for the tubolito ones the reviewer said the “feel” was similar to tubeless and after damaging a sidewall the tube stayed intact - apparently they’re much more durable than either butyl or latex BUT the caveats are the cost and that by all accounts they’re near impossible to repair IF they do get bitten - none of us have personal experience so far though so it might be a while before we know if they’re good enough to “catch on”

I wouldn't say that is any kind of proof, I've cut right through sidewalls before and bog-standard inner tubes stayed intact too.

I know some people discard tubes rather than repair them, but if you can't repair them what do you do if you have multiple punctures on a ride? If the point of them is that they're light, surely patches are even lighter?
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finch

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #12 on: 30 July, 2022, 08:29:27 pm »
I think the boon in terms of lightness is the rolling resistance and rotational weight gains as opposed to what’s in your pocket. Free m what I gather they’re lighter than tubeless whilst offering as supple a ride at lower pressures due to being harder to pop than butyl or latex and barely lose pressure over time - I’ll admit - repairability aside it all seems a bit too good to be true. Might just be a while before we have enough testing evidence because of the prohibitive cost. Chinarello ones that n Amazon are £15 and even that’s a hell of a lot for a tube

finch

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #13 on: 31 August, 2022, 08:55:58 pm »
Ok , so I may have gotten a couple of these off ali express for the Princely sun of £12 for two

They. Are. Light.  and a bit strange , like a tube of “bag for life” out the supermarket , at the very least they’re staying way more inflated than previous dalliances with latex tubes - and have saved a good bit of rotational weight - any more than that ? Over a quick blast 20km I can’t say I “feel” much difference to be honest

I’d imagine the size would make them ideal to carry as spares - whether they’re enough of an improvement over normal tubes is way too early to say

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #14 on: 31 August, 2022, 10:19:03 pm »
I was carrying a Cinturato as a spare and needed to use it, so one is in use. I was going to take it back out and return it to spare status (they are very compact) but haven’t bothered. I’m just running it at the same pressure that I would do for a normal tube, yet to be convinced that they are any less susceptible to a pinch flat. Can’t say I have noticed any difference when riding, but then I only have one fitted to the rear. Let’s see.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #15 on: 01 September, 2022, 07:54:51 am »
It would certainly appear that nobody has actually tried them yet - probably works out cheaper than an entire tubeless conversion since you don’t need new tyres but if it goes wrong ( whereas tubeless is proven ) it would have been an expensive experiment.
I was interested in any anecdotal evidence of quality because even though I’m still using butyl tubes I haven’t had a visitation in a very long time - if you knew that was going to be the case then the cost would be reasonably easy to swallow - it’s just that if it failed fast you’d be gutted or at least I would 😂
More and more tyres are tubeless compatible (or tubeless ready, which I understand is technically not the same thing, though I can't remember the details) so new tyres aren't really the problem, it's the rims.

Anyway, now we have two people trying these tubes, it will be interesting to see what happens.
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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #16 on: 01 September, 2022, 10:10:10 am »
 
More and more tyres are tubeless compatible (or tubeless ready, which I understand is technically not the same thing, though I can't remember the details) so new tyres aren't really the problem, it's the rims.

Even if the rims are OK, to convert you need to invest in valves, sealant and probably rim tape.

I have 2 bikes that are be ready to go, aside from buying sealant, as they are already taped, I have valves, and the tyres are tubeless compatible, but i just can’t bring myself to do it. Fear of sealant mess over bike and clothes is holding me back.

As a slight aside, most tubeless ready / compatible tyres are heavier than their non-tubeless equivalents, and as they become more common I suppose many people who don’t want to go tubeless will end up riding tubeless tyres but with tubes in - a heavier combination that is necessary.

finch

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #17 on: 01 September, 2022, 12:22:08 pm »
Agree with SP here , have rims which don’t need tape but tubeless tyres are heavier AND expensive - then there’s valves and sealant - it’s probably unfounded but I also don’t want a mess made of bike/clothes and possibly having to mess about with plugs and/or tubes at the side of the road in a tyre that has sealant in it.

I think a reasonably light tyre and TPU tube will be lighter than a tubeless set up by a small margin ( maybe )

 “should” offer a similar ride quality to good latex tubes and is so far anecdotally more robust. The roads around here aren’t amazing but it’s been a while since I had a visitation so I may not be best placed to speak on said durability - however the weight saving over a crappy vavert tube is tangible , the pack size for spares is tiny and over 4-5 days the digital gauge reckons they’ve lost 4psi equally in each wheel - that’s a lot better than a latex tube and the consistency across 2 wheels so far seems pleasantly predictable.

Obviously cost is a factor but chinarello ones aren’t much more than good quality normal tubes - time will tell if they’re up to the standard of tubolito et al - but so far so good - s probably the valve core/bonding that will be the likely victim of substandard construction if there are any faulty tubes showing up

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #18 on: 01 September, 2022, 12:35:32 pm »
I think for MTBs and low tyre pressures tubeless is definitely the way to go, well proven there and the sealants and repair methods hold up. Road pressures, not sure at all. Gravel, somewhere in between.


Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #20 on: 01 September, 2022, 07:33:15 pm »
Interesting read, thanks. I might stick one in the front too and experiment with pressures a little. Will also give me a better idea if it feels any different to ride, though I suspect changes in tyre pressure have more significant effect.

Inevitably they will come down in price which will swing the balance a little further in their favour.

The only part of the above review I can confidently agree with so far is that the TPU tube loses hardly any air at all - when you go to do a top up, it doesn’t need any*, while the normal tube wheel does. Also applies when you have blown it up with CO2, which normally needs replacing with air in a butyl tube or your will get latex-like behaviour.

*Except to replace the air you lost by checking the pressure...  ::-)




finch

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #21 on: 01 September, 2022, 07:44:18 pm »
Interesting comment re. CO2. With “other” tubes it’s a get home solution but if it’s as you say it’s a keep going without knocking out the pump as well solution

Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #22 on: 01 September, 2022, 07:49:06 pm »
It still leaks out of TPU faster than the negligible losses with air but the rate is slower, based on my very limited experience anyway.

quixoticgeek

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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #23 on: 02 September, 2022, 10:59:59 am »

I looked into these for the TCR, the much reduced size appealed cos I could carry a lot more of them.

But then I looked into repairs, and realised they are much much much more difficult to repair. Which is not ideal on such a ride.

I use the standard schwalbe butyl tubes.

J
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Re: TPU Inner tubes
« Reply #24 on: 02 September, 2022, 03:59:20 pm »
There are patch kits available
https://www.tweekscycles.com/uk/tubolito-tubo-patch-kit-euktl-33080002/

Apparently repair works well, but isn't quick, the patch needing to be properly pressed down for about half an hour, which may be OK at home, but isn't on the road.

Should I ever try them, I'd give Gear Aid tenacious tape a go for roadside repair. It's supplied with NeoAir camping mats for puncture repair, and I usually carry some on tour for other repair duties (waterproof jacket, tent groundsheet).