Biketube.net, repair in action

The convenience afforded by the internet is immeasurable in today’s world. Remember when you had to dial a phone and talk to someone to order a pizza? How about having to go to the library and read an actual book to find information? Well forget those ancient hardships, because nowadays the web brings everything to our front doors- and for cyclists, ordering tubes of all types and sizes just got even easier.

Biketube.net is industry veteran Steve Cuomo’s latest business venture. If you don’t recognize Cuomo’s name, you’ll know some of the companies he’s worked for like Cannondale, GT/Schwinn, Crankbrothers, Thule and Scott Sports. Biketube promises the best tubes at the ‘best price on the web’, and they’ll be in the mail after a quick visit to their informative and easy to navigate website…

Biketube.net, road tube, large

Biketube primarily sells their own branded tubes which come pre-talced, folded and wrapped with a Biketube band. The web store offers nearly all types and sizes of tubes including 12/16/20/24” diameters for kid’s bikes, child carriers, BMX bikes or folding bicycles. There are also options for skinny-tired 16”, 20” and 24” tubes for young racers or high-speed folders.

Biketube.net, MTB tube Biketube.net, fat bike tube

For mountain bikes, there’s the usual 26”, 27.5” and 29” options, and if you run ‘em wider there’s fat bike and 27.5+ tubes too. 26” MTB tubes are available in standard, heavy duty and extra heavy duty thicknesses to suit your style and purpose. And with no rider left behind, pavement pounders can sift through an assortment of road/triathlon and hybrid/commuter tubes.

Biketube.net, valve type diagram
*Photos courtesy of Biketube

One thing I liked right away about Biketube is the website itself. Selling tubes is a simple business, but they’ve made it painfully easy to navigate their pages and they offer plenty of useful info for those who need it. Even if you just learned the difference between valves with the above diagram, I’d bet you’d order the correct product from Biketube.

For an idea of pricing basic tubes start at $4.29 USD, extra heavy duty MTB tubes go for $7.99, and a Vittoria latex road tube sells for $15. If you buy three or more tubes you’ll get free shipping (within the USA only). To keep an eye on upcoming special offers and Biketube news updates, join their Frequent Flatters Club!

bike-tube.net

56 COMMENTS

  1. Bike tubes are one of the few bread and butters of local shops, the rest comes strictly from labor.

    Buying tubes online is not only a waste on fuel and packaging but your literally kicking the bike shop right in the nuts each time….

    • I stopped buying local when the price hit $10, now it’s $12. When I stopped working at a shop 10 years ago cost was $1.50 and we charged $5. Surely it’s gone up, but the margin is pretty fat on tubes. I feel kicked in the nuts every time I have to pay that much.

      • It’s still pretty easy to get your wholesale on tubes down about $2.00 each. I love the LBS, but I will not pay $10 for a tube.

        *larger tubes do cost more…

    • Are you seriously saying that tubes are the caviar of the bike shops, that the tubes carries the shop??? Are you serious, is that how how you or your LBS do business?

      Whatever LBS has this opinion must be scared to death that their customers go tubeless, or even worse, gain the capacity to read and start using the Internet.

      For any LBS that considers online buying of tubes a kick in the nuts, that LBS deserves the kick and should consider it a wake-up call. I’m all for LBS that supports their customers and provide quality service, at the same time I’m all for the F-the-LBS camp for those not having any access to any decent LBS or for those around LBS:s that leech their customers (sorry, victims) for basic stuff.

    • Having 10 years in the industry, I’ve hated watching tubes go from $4.50-$9. The wholesale price hasn’t doubled. Even if it did, that doesn’t mean the final price should double. Nothing should get such a high markup.
      ***People can also patch their tubes for far less. I don’t care about the money, I patch my tubes to save waste. That big chunk of rubber shouldn’t be thrown away because it has a 0.3 mm holevin it.

  2. Given the increasing popularity of tubeless road set ups and the near-universality of tubeless in mtb, this seems like an interesting time to launch a tube supply business.

    • Yeah-yeah, tubeless is great, set up on most of my bikes. And just about every comment for this post is going to reference that. Fact is the vast majority of bikes out there still use tubes. Most people buying road tires haven’t even caught on to wide yet, so go figure. Typical roadie order is 2 tires in 23c and two tubes. Tubeless, maybe 1 order in 20.

  3. they still make tubes? Was there someone out there that wanted tubes that was having a hard time with Universal or Jenson or Performance or their LBS or freaking Amazon?

    Maybe your press release is not explaining a nuance here, but I’m not getting a store selling a product that’s severely deprecated, and available at many, many sources for better prices, and isn’t the slightest bit confusing (if you can’t figure out how to order a tube elsewhere, you probably can’t read and understand a simple sentence, or type in a CC number to place an order).

  4. Yeah, I thought this sounded like an April 1st story too. I wish Steve much success on the venture, but from the description above it seems like it will be tough to capture much market from either serious or casual cyclists.

    Serious cyclists are either:
    A. Converting to tubeless
    B. Already getting tubes cheaper while getting other parts from a “1 stop shop” webstore
    C. Buying from the LBS

    Casual cyclists don’t generally deal with with the need for tubes frequently enough to be looking for a new dedicated retail channel.

    On the other hand, tubes are a high margin item, and they charge for shipping for small orders, so maybe if their googlefu is good enough combined with their URL they will get enough traffic to make a business out of it.

  5. I’m sorry but a quick Amazon search shows that they sell some conti tubes for 3.55… fail to see how these are the “best prices on the internet”

    • Hi Rob, There are always going to be “deals” on the web. With some, you can’t be sure of the quality (of course, Conti is always good quality.) Most “deals” advertise low prices, but charge two or three times that amount for shipping. We always have free shipping on orders of 3 or more tubes. Our tubes are guaranteed high quality, come pre-coated with talcum, and with a high-quality reusable silicone band that costs 4x-5x as much as the typical throwaway cardboard box. Look for several new products we have ready to launch this spring. Lastly, we offer support to bicycle clubs and events nationwide, please contact us for more information. Steve

  6. I thought they were going to use multicopter drones to deliver tubes.

    FWIW I run (latex) tubes by choice. Tubeless is neither versatile enough nor fit and forget enough for me. Would run tubeless on a dedicated XC-ish rig.

  7. Unless Biketube quickly improves their search engine optimization, nobody will notice them and Amazon/Walmart/Performance will continue making all of the sales for the target market

  8. The tubeless comments make sense, those about killing bike shops are freaking hilarious.

    What’s missing from the “killing” part is something called past business practices. Eg. “Man I’m so glad we get these tubes on Q and Dexter for $1.25 o we can see em for $9.00, otherwise dunno if we’d keep the lights on.”. Sorry someone got wise to the racket.

    If you own a shop and come here only to comment how the internet is killing your business, close up now. Or, take am accounting class at your local community college.

    Truth is shops are dead. Its ok, read up on impermanence and relax

    Today it’s “tubes” anyone want to take a stab at the next online “thing” to swing the ax?

  9. I have 2 sets of road tubeless wheels. I’ve had valves fail and it’s tough to change a flat when you do get one. Going back to tubes. That said, these guys don’t even have 80mm tubes. The LBS I used to work at could have sold a boatload of them. Wouldn’t stock them. The sound of an LBS closing is often due to an unwillingness to meet the customers where they are.

  10. Whatever. I just buy my tubes in bulk from Amazon. They are cheap and seem to work fine. I’m not paying $8 to $10 for a tube.

  11. Southwest side of Chicago the only way to order “real” pizza is to pickup the phone.
    Not talking Domino’s or some other robot made pizza.

      • Capitalism is all about competition to keep prices in check. LBS’s can compete or die. I used to work at a shop. I ordered from qbp, bti…… I know wholesale isn’t always great, but that just means less mark up and more quantity. That’s best for everyone. If a shop can’t do that they deserve to go out of business. There are more worthy charities to donate to than a bike shop. If you don’t like that business model move to a communist country.

  12. If you’re going to set up a “shave club” style business for tubes, at least sell for cheaper than anyone else. I rarely buy tubes, but when I do I typically find them for 2.99. This does nothing for me, and for those that burn through tubes, just buy in bulk from any number of online sellers that already beat these prices. `

  13. The sad thing is that most people don’t know how or don’t have the time to change their flats. Shops will always be open as long as they provide services for a need. Sure I can work on my car too, but often times my time with family is more important, so I take it to the shop. Same goes for the bike shop. Some of you that keep dissing shops may be decent mechanics, but I’ve seen enough people on group rides that “no what they are doing” blow out tubes by pinching the tubes, not know how to set limits on derailleurs or ever recognize that their hanger is bent. You just need to know prices on things and see if your local shop can get close to the price. If not, maybe they’re the wrong shop or maybe if you shopped with hem some they may be willing to work with you! Having worked retail, sometimes things can be purchased from places like amazon for cheaper than some stores can get them for.

  14. Interesting reading the comments by folks who claim to know cost of tubes these days to dealers… Guessing you worked in a shop quite a few years ago. Been in the industry for many years, still am. Even bulk tubes (as these obviously are – unboxed) cost a dealer close to $2.25 – $2.50 each for smaller sizes, 29’er tubes close to $5 each. So depending on the tube, we sell for $4.99 to $8.99 for Boxed tubes, less if you are one of our “regulars” and get the shop discount… All the “bike shops are dead” guys, when you have forgotten (or weren’t ‘prescient’ enough to pre-order your supply of tubes, and have no good tubes and your buddies want to do the epic ride today, might just regret the lack of shops nearby where you can run down and ‘pay too much’ to have that tube NOW. While I agree that some shops gouge on tubes and supplies, many are reasonable. We have rent to pay, ourselves to pay, etc… and we don’t live extravagantly. What happens to you when your job goes away because it is cheaper to get the product or service that you provide somewhere else? I bet buying a new bike is one of the first things to go off your list – maybe even tires and other non-necessities of life. Lots of folks working in our manufacturing base experienced that the last couple of decades. Think carefully before you blow off industries and services that might be going away – yours is probably coming up in the queue soon…

    • It’s been years since I worked in a shop. If wholesale has gone up that really blows for shops because you can still find your average tube for 2.99.

      Your argument about shops not being around to sell a tube will never happen. Shops will evolve to focus on service, rental/demo and emergency disposable parts at high market up. I’m willing to pay big markup when I need something in a pinch, There’s no need to overpay to keep a shop in business. Some will evolve, others will cling to old economics and die, but shops will never go away. It takes many years to learn to do everything on your own, and even then there are times when you need a better mechanic, or parts emergency parts. There’s enough money in those two things alone to keep shops around forever.

    • Are you saying we should show appreciation to the LBS:s that charges us rip off prices? That we should keep pouring our hard earned money into the pockets of those charging way too much for way to little? Please tell us what LBS you work at so that the rest of us can stay away.

      Sorry, F all LBSs with that attitude. You are about to be outcompeted by technology and online consumer trends.

    • You can get a 700c tube a sporting goods store, or even walmart. You don’t need a bike shop to get a tube. I’m sorry you have an nonviable business model. You live in capitalism. That’s the deal. Hard work doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t meeting economic demand for it.

    • So, if I read your comment correctly, you are in agreement that overpriced tubes help you pay rent & and your own wage.

      I think the current consensus is that shops need to provide a value. If that’s service, then great. Claiming that one less LBS tube out the door means lower wages is the same thing as promoting valuable service.

  15. You can pay $5.00 for an El_Grande_Swill at your local coffee shop and whine about $5.00 tubes all you want. I’m not hearing any of it.

  16. 60mm presta tube in 25-32c on their site says “UNABLE TO ADD ITEM Sorry, that item variant is unavailable. Please select another variant” when trying to add to cart. Seems like a pretty common tube size to not have around in stock…

  17. I think it goes beyond price point. When I get my tubes, I look for quality brands like Schwalbe who tests each tube as opposed to say, Kenda or a lower end tube. I see no value-add in ordering tubes whose origin and quality I have no idea about.

  18. The superiority complex of tubeless guys is hilarious. Yes, haha let’s compare using tubes to toe clips. Makes total sense. For me, there are more reasons to stick with tubes than go tubeless. If we are throwing shade around, to me all this fad stuff is the same. I’m guessing tubeless users also have hydro disc brakes and the very widest wheels available in their road bike. It’s OK…you don’t have to follow every trend.

    With regards to this article, good luck, but there are so many places to get cheap tubes, it’s not even worth trying to compete IMO.

    • I’m having a hard time distinguishing between “the superiority complex of tubeless guys” and your inferiority complex.

      When I lived in AZ, goatheads meant I’d have been a fool to run my mountain bike tires anything but tubeless. Now that I’m in Wisconsin, I run tubeless on my mountain bike to avoid pinch flats.

      Why not use what works best for you and let others do what they like? Who cares if someone wants hydraulic disc brakes for their road bike? How does that hurt you?

  19. I have both tubeless and tubes on various bikes. While I like the road feel and sealant capability of tubeless, I also totally understand the value proposition of tubes. To me, tires with tubes are easier to mount and you don’t need to worry about whether or not you have enough sealant (or if it has dried up, etc). Each technology has a place, and to each his or her own…

    • I actually hate tubeless because sealant doesn’t seal anything other than thorn pricks, and it dries up to fast in my arid environment. I pinch casings all the time too, but when I think about going back to tubes I remember what a nightmare they are and happily buy another quart of stans. It’s like voting for trump or clinton. Cleary one is better than the other but they both kind of suck!

  20. I figured specializing in tubes on-line couldn’t be the big idea. Here’s what I was expecting: Bad day, you’ve flatted your second tube, no patches. Whip out the old smart phone put in an order and wait for the drone to drop. I could see that as a compelling model, though it’s hard to imagine the volume would be there to make it feasible.

    • That would be indeed great! In large cities i believe it would be viable

      I cannot really complain on tube prices. I have only required twice to replace a tube, the first being on a used tire I had borrowed and the second it was possibly sabotaged. But i don’t get very often off road

  21. $50 for two tubes and two clif bars? Where are you guys shopping? $15 for a tube? You’re kidding right? I’m working in a small 2 man shop and we sell our tubes for between $5.99 and $10.99. The expensive ones are because they are HUGE or have long (80mm) valves. And most of our tubes are CONTI!

    Every business in the world has items that are their bread and butter…. it is how they make payroll and pay the rent. Some of you guys need to get real… As someone above said, you cry about $6 tubes but buy $5 cups of coffee? Sheesh….

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