View Full Version : Question about tubes

08-20-2006, 07:57 PM
I just bought a Trek 5000 and it came with Bontrager Race Lite, 700x25c, my question is what kind of tubes can I use?? Do I have to use Bontrager? Do they have to be 700 x 25 exactly? I am going to put together a flat kit, and I want to buy some tubes on the internet. Any advice would be appreciated.

08-20-2006, 08:24 PM
Hi Toni,

You don't have to use Bontrager tubes. In fact, you have a lot of choices to make when buying tubes:

1. Determine the type of your valve stem. It's probably a presta valve stem. Schraeder valve stems are like the ones you see on cars.

2. If it's a presta stem, determine it's length. They typically come in lengths of 32mm, 48mm, 52mm, and 60mm. You want a stem that's long enough to get past your rim and accommodate the pump. However, you don't want it to be too long, or it can be more fragile.

3. Figure out what kind of tube you want. Butyl? Latex? Latex is smoother, lighter and more efficient than butyl. It's also more expensive, and loses air more quickly between rides. I have a friend who swears that he cannot get a patch to work on a latex tube.

You can also get butyl tubes in ultralight varieties, but they may not hold up against flats as well.

Saving rotational weight is always a good thing, but not if you end up stopping often to fix flats.

3. Get tubes that accommodate your rim/tire size. Here's what the biketiresdirect.com site has to say about tube sizing:

Butyl and Latex are both fairly elastic, so it's not critical to use a tube that is exactly the correct size for your tire. For example, most road tubes are specified as 700x18-23. These tubes can easily be used in a 700x25 tire, or a 27 x 1" tire. The rubber will just be stretched a little thinner than it would be in a narrower tire. If you want thicker rubber, you can use a slightly bigger tube. For example, the tubes designed for touring and cyclocross tires which are specified for 700x28/32 can be used with a 700x25 tire. We generally don't recommend this because minimal added puncture resistance doesn't offset the added weight in our opinion. It's also a little easier to make a mistake when installing the larger tube and end up with a pinch flat.

Hope this helps!

-- Melissa

08-20-2006, 08:32 PM
Thanks for all the good info.....just what I needed!