Schwalbe Evolution Aerothan lightweight bicycle inner tubes

Perhaps in direct contrast to the new Fat Albert mountain bike and tubeless-ready road/cross gravel tire line up they showed off at Eurobike’s outdoor demo, Schwalbe kept their all-new Evolution Tubes under the shelter of the zeppelin hangers.

The tubes are made of a high tech thermoplastic material called Aerothan, which was co-developed with BASF. Not only are the tubes are extremely lightweight, they’re 100% recyclable. They’ve got some other great features, too, but they’re for disc brake wheels only…

Schwalbe Evolution Aerothan lightweight bicycle inner tubes

The material allows for ultra thin tube walls, which makes them very malleable so they conform to the ground better and reduce the overall rolling resistance. Even so, Schwalbe says they hold air just as well as butyl rubber tubes and have equal puncture protection. The caveat is they’re more sensitive to heat, which is why they’re only offering them in mountain bike tire sizes for use on disc brake wheels only. The heat created by rim brakes could cause them to fail. The only other caveats? Install carefully with a rounded plastic tire lever if necessary, ensure the valve stem is 90º from the rim and once it’s used with a specific tire, it’s best to only use it with that same tire (or, at minimum, the same size tire).

Schwalbe Evolution Aerothan lightweight bicycle inner tubes Schwalbe Evolution Aerothan lightweight bicycle inner tubes

Even the valve base and tube are made of Aerothan, so the entire package is recyclable.

Schwalbe-Evolution-lightweight-innertube-for-bicycle-tires06

Actual weight of a 29er tube on our scale is 73g. The tubes are reparable using special glueless patches, sold separately. No sanding of the tube is needed (in fact, you shouldn’t sand it before applying the patch), and the patches will work just as well on regular tubes, too.

Schwalbe Evolution Aerothan lightweight bicycle inner tubes

Claimed weights are shown against those for their Extralight and standard tubes, too. At almost 1/3 the weight of a normal tube, they’re a massive reduction in rotational weight and likely lighter than running sealant for a tubeless setup.

Yes, we think tubeless is still the better overall option (as does Schwalbe, based on their product development and marketing), but if you’re stuck on tubes, these are among the lightest options. Technically, Eclipse might still have them beat with lighter weight tubes, but these are half the price or less at $29.95 / €19.90 each.

SchwalbeTires.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. Hm, I’m wondering why they didn’t make a good CX option. Seems like a good alternative to the mediocre Challenge latex options for those that don’t want/can’t run tubulars. And I’m sorry, but Tubeless just isn’t there yet on CX stuff. Too low of pressure and too extreme conditions for me to run tubeless reliably without burping.

  2. I’m with Ryan. I run tubeless 100% of the time but I’m buying these for my camelbak flat repair kit. I carry two spare tubes for backcountry epics and these will knock 200g off my back. I just hope they are big enough for 2.4″ tires.

  3. Its neat that they are recyclable but based on my local pickup I doubt that they would take them. They don’t like things that are not in the “normal” range of products. Boxes and plastic bottles are great, weird blue tubes not so much.

  4. equal punture protection as a standard tube isn’t saying much. That said I would like to try one up front just to cut down on how much sealant I go through. No way would I run one in the back if they are no tougher than standard tubes.

  5. If they are that sensitive to heat, it would also be a good idea not to leave your bike in the sun in extremely hot temperatures. That situation can cause even normal tubes to pop.

  6. Same puncture protection for 1/3 of the weight. Does this mean that the stuff is roughly 3 times stronger?
    Then, could they use it to create a tube that would weight as much as a normal one, but would be much more resistant to punctures (and maybe also less sensitive to heat?). I would be more interested in that.

  7. @Francois- If you want your skin to be more resistant to bullets, you get a better vest. You don’t just get thicker skin. Same with tubes. Tougher tires with increased puncture resistance is much more effective than thickening a tube.

  8. I grew up in Arizona where daytime temps could top 120 degrees. Never once had a tube pop because of heat, even on road tires running 100 psi. Maybe if you left it in your car for a few hours.

  9. Pretty cool tubes I suppose! But considering that since the tubeless revolution, the inner-tube market’s only been deflating, Schwable should probably incorporate this gee wiz, featherweight technology into their ProCore, bead lock product that’s certainly in need of a diet! The ProCore bead lock system is definitely a forward thinking product of the future as well and sure seems like their most worthy recipient for this new wiz bang tube technology! Because at it’s current weight of 200gr. per wheel (+ sealant!), I don’t see it changing the way we all ride any time just yet! But cut the weight down to 140gr or less and despite the price, interest and demand for ProCore will surely increase!

  10. I can’t believe we are talking about tubes for mountain bikes. Tubeless people. There is no argument on this topic. Less flats, less pressure, better traction, better rolling, lighter. What else is there to say.

  11. So Matt, Even though I run tubeless on the seven bikes that I have should I “not carry a tube”, especially on my longer rides. Five hour rides last week. Which means 2.5hrs from home or a 20mile walk. I think I’ll carry a tube – just in case. It’s one thing to have a bit of knowledge and be haughty about all things technical with bikes and then it’s another to really understand. I like the idea of compacting my tools and spares down to a minimum.

  12. Let’s say you leave your bike outside, and the temp outside heats up from 60°F to 120°. In Kelvin that’s a change from 288.7K to 322K, an increase by a factor of 11.5%, causing the pressure to go up by 11.5%. I would hate to imagine what sort of insane pressures someone has to be running for such a small pressure change to pop an inner tube. The temperature certainly isn’t going to cause a temperature related failure of an inner tube.

  13. @Boom

    Tubeless CX options are decent, and will be solid in a few more months. Dan Timmerman is doing pretty well after all, and tubeless. Him battling Powers at Rochester great to watch. Still, it will never be as good as tubular for a race perspective (Burping, as you mentioned), but is already way more reliable then tubes are due to tubes inability to run a competitive PSI without pinch flatting on small obstacles.

    Love,
    A professional CX race mechanic.

  14. I can understand being on a budget and not wanting to invest in proper CX equipment, but at that point is the 100g penalty for a single butyl tube compared to this tube that would cost $60 for a pair really that important?

  15. “Schwalbe says they hold air just as well as butyl rubber tubes and have equal puncture protection”

    I don’t flat very often here in the tight trails of the northeast but I have been working in the cycling industry for my whole life ( barring a few years of other stuff) and at 43 I can say that I am not going back from tubeless, backup or no backup tube. I take care of my line choices before I ride ’em by looking ahead. I have burped a 26″x 2.3″ tire once while riding at 17psi while in California near Santa Cruz with about 25 other guys. Never burped one on Vancouver Island, Whistler or anywhere else I’ve ridden since 1990. So explain to me why I need a recyclable tube that I can’t turn into anything after?

  16. The best application of the material would be to make a lighter Procore…maybe where the tube and inner ‘tire’ are one.

  17. @PsiSquared it’s not scalable like that, you have to use the equation pv=mrt, and for a 29er, going from 10c to 40c will make the pressure go from 28.5 psi to 31.5 psi, not much chance of explosion, which is even lower than your estimate, reinforcing your argument.

  18. Instead of having to take a backup tube, I’ve had great experience riding with a thorn resistant heavy duty tube and no need to worry about punctures. For commuting and general riding, the extra weight of the heavy duty tube is well worth it…

  19. @PsiSquared calculate all you want but it definitely happens.

    you people really going to pay $30 for a spare tube just to save a quarter of a pound?

  20. I leave my tubeless tires on my mountain bike, but on my gravel/commuter I swap between 4 different sets of tires, so tubeless would be annoying. However, all those tires are 30-38c, so I can’t benefit from these. Are you listening, Schwalbe? CATER TO MY NEEDS.

  21. @Padrote
    A lot of people run full carbon bikes with enve wheels running $7000+, and you wonder if people will pay $30 to save quarter of a pound… don’t worry, they will.

  22. Hi i have this tire and carried as spare .

    When ı had flat put those on. after 40 km tire lost pressure 65 psi to 15-10 psi; bike was shaking heavy. İt was conway e ride e bike with 2 battery extra around 45 kg.

    anyways ı figure out thet the valve system is plastic so valve screw was not tighten enough. I asked there assistance told me to screw carefully. However ı am not satisfied with that; Because the valve is screwing not through a treated on metal on a plastic flat valce seat. Doesnt come reliable to me. So ı discarded them..

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