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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!

tubolito ultra lightweight bicycle inner tubes are tough enough for bikepacking and enduro

tubolito ultralight bicycle inner tubes claimed weights

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.

Tubolito.com

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Sooo close to what I would want to carry in the shop. Some serious weight savings, and if the claims of holding air better, and a bit more puncture resistant hold up, I could see some of our customers being stoked on this…but I just know I’m not going to be slinging $35 tubes. $20-25? Yeah, probably, but I really feel that is the max of what a majority of people interested in this would pay…other than dentists. I feel weird being stoked on tube tech, but this is a dope product. Hopefully one day the price can come down.

    • Fully agree as a customer. I pay a premium for better tubes already, but $35 is quite a bit. $25 per tube would seem a sweet spot given current butyl and latex pricing IF the claims are true.

      Cool product though and nice use of tech developed for other applications

    • There were similar versions made of a clear-blue substance that could be punctured by a nail and retain pressure. They were about $18 on chinese sites. Do some heavy looking.

    • Paying $105 for two tubes and a space plus another $12 for a patch lit?!?! That’s some serious coin. But 130 grams of rotational weight loss per wheel is an awesome improvement. You would hafta pay thousands for similar rotational weight savings in a wheel set. These should be marketed as a serious performance upgrade
      , not merely a better inner tube. Literally, a quantum leap in wheel technology.

    • Probably not for MTB, as the high-end of the market is dominated by tubeless and the price is way too high for the less weight-obsessed low-end. That said, I’ll bet there are a lot of road riders (myself included) who would happily pay $70 to remove a quarter pound of rotating weight.

  2. People pay quite a bit more than that to save that kind of weight and they pay thousands of dollars for carbon wheels to save rotational weight they pay over $100 a tire to save that on rotational weight too. I don’t think the price is really an obstacle for those serious about saving rotational weight

    • That’s what I thought at first but the sealant incompatibility kills it for me – here in the SW it’s good to shoot a little Stan’s into the backup tube for that thorn the tubeless sealed ages ago and which I’m probably not feeling for in a slimy tire.

      Maybe next round?

  3. Schwalbe had something like this a few years ago. Super hard to find, and when I finally found a place that sold them it turned out they were ridiculously expensive; just like these… Rather spend my money on some nice carbon fiber parts instead.

    • but there’s no way you’re saving 150g for $35 buying carbon parts. For $35 you’re getting at most some carbon headset spacers that save you maybe a gram or 2.

      I don’t personally have a use for these; don’t care about weight that much, but if you did… gram/$ there’s not much even close [if of course the claims are accurate]

    • Those Schwalbe tubes (and also sold by Eclipse) were made from a plastic called Aerothan. They were even lighter than these, had almost no elasticity tothem and were about as reliable as a party political manifesto. These appear to be a different plastic, but they still have the plastic valve stem that was the biggest weak point (of many weak points) of the Schwalbe/Eclipse tubes.

  4. the weights are super impressive. 35$ for a backup mtb tube is uhm, well, just a little crazy. Though, I have always preferred ultralight tubes on the road, but found they were never as reliable(cuz of tears, pinches, valve cuts) as standard tubes, hope these are different.

  5. As a triathlete, I would buy these for the extra security of not having a flat during a race and the rotational weight savings. For racing, saving 30g per wheel, which rotationally is 10x as important as weight elsewhere is well worth $20 per wheel.

    • With a bike wheel modeled such that all its mass in an infinitely thing ring with a diameter equal to a whee/tire diameter, the energy stored in that ideal wheel is 2x that of a non-rotating mass moving at the same linear velocity of the wheel. A real bike wheel’s moment of inertia is significantly less than that idealized model, and as such it’s stored energy is less than 2x an equivalent non-rotating mass.

  6. There has been at least two other plastic tubes which didn’t last well in a tire or on the marketplace. If the ride reviews are better than average I’d still wait till the 2nd/3rd generation comes out before I reconsider them.

  7. @Midtowndawg – as a triathlete do you do a lot of accelerating and braking? Probably not. Rotational weight is mostly overstated in cycling anyway, but as a TT rider (again – I am assuming this of you) you might find more performance benefit from a heavier rotational weight.

  8. Impressive. Do you remember Panaracer Greenlite? They were twice as heavy and nevertheless were considered the lightest. Loved ’em. Even though Tubolitos are expensive for sure, I’m stoked on this.

  9. The Tubolito website’s a little outdated; this article has more details on the 700C road tubes. Good job BR.

    Regarding actual use of the tubes… I can see myself using these as saddle bag spares, as I tend to carry two spare tubes all the time, even with my tires having puncture protection. If they can last longer than the three years Continental usually states as a guideline for replacement of rim tape, tubes, and tires, then these might be a good option. The price is a little high though.

  10. Even for $35 I’d be tempted if they are actually as puncture resistant as a regular tube (or better). $25-30 more for ~145g savings of *rotational* weight! Assuming you’re not running tubeless.

  11. I definitely think there is a Market, I probably wouldn’t have these as my go-to spare tube but if I were racing or bikepacking where weight/space is at an absolute premium they would be a nice option.

  12. I can see the market in the 20s no doubt that $ per gram this is a great deal at 35. So many in the high performance crowd are going to ball at paying $70 + tax for tubes that no one can see. I run standard butyl tubes in my training wheelset with Vittoria Rubinho pro g+’s and have only a handful of punctures in the last 2 years ~16,000 miles. My race wheels are tubulars but if I were running CC races wheels this would be great.

  13. They don’t come with any warnings, so I’ll warn you here – as I’ve found in another forum DON’T EVER try to test if they hold the air well by pumping them up outside of a tire. It doesn’t react like rubber. Instead, as you continue to pump it up over it’s nominal size expecting smooth elasticity a bubble starts to appear at one spot, which thereby weakens up to the point where the bubble tears. As a MD, I’d say, just as any aneurysm in your arteries does.
    I have one lying around as a tubeless backup (they might not love the sealant on the long run, but they should be fine with one ride, I guess (just as a few tire manufacturers forbide the use of ammoniak sealant but nobody cares).

    Other than that, some users argue, that rolling resistance might be noticably higher that a rubber tube at lower pressures, although no one has done a proper test yet.

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