Sometimes your tubes are in your tires, and sometimes they’re just backups in your pack or pocket. Either way, all that rubber can weigh you down. The new Tubolito thermoplastic tubes borrow micro-speaker membrane technology to create an ultra-tough, ultra-lightweight inner tube that’ll hold up to thorns, rocks and being jostled around next to a multitool. How light are they? Try 1/3 of the weight of a regular inner tube!
They say they’re a lot tougher, so they’ll last longer bouncing around your seat pack or backpack, too, but are also more impervious to punctures and pinches. They’re 2x more elastic, and can withstand 2x higher forces before breaking. They also don’t lose air like a latex tube. Construction is seamless, and the material is less grippy than rubber, so should flex more easily inside the tire better, reducing rolling resistance. So, you’re getting the weight savings with virtually no downside.
Can take a pound of rotational weight off your bike while improving puncture resistance. The Standard Tubolito has a 4-layer construction, the SL a 2-layer. Plus tubes are for 2.5″ to 3″ tires. Road is for tires 18-28mm wide, use 29er for wider gravel and cyclocross tires. Downsides? They’ll offer their own patch kit for about $12, regular patches won’t stick to them, and they’re not sealant compatible. Why should you care? Because even if you’re running tubeless, these provide a backup without bogging down your pack weight. And for bike packers looking to save every gram, you can load three of these in for the same weight as a single regular tube…and they roll tighter so you save space, too.
Made in Europe, they’ll carry a $34.99 MSRP for standard, up to about $40 for the Plus tubes. Available in US by early next year. The SL version has a removable valve stem, so you can place it inside the roll so it doesn’t stick out, and will cost a bit more.