I've used the same air b in my rear wheel for years,i have a mitchelin latex tube in my front wheel.the mitchelin needs to be topped up every ride, the air b hold its air much better, but still needs regular checks. My friends that ride ordinary tubes get punctures, i dont
from Panama City Beach, FL
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2005
Strengths: Last a long time, light weight.
Weaknesses: Still leaks air faster than a rubber tube
I bought my first set of Air-B tubes when they first came out in the US in 1994 or '95. To keep my tire pressure at a steady 42 lbs, I just air up every week or so. They seem to lose about 2 pounds a week, but that's just a casual observation, no real hard numbers.
So yeah, I just changed out my front Air-B tube on my bike a few hours ago. I've changed my Air-B tubes over with me on 3 bikes now, and this is the first flat I've gotten on these tubes in more than 10 YEARS! That's a lot of cross country miles and not one single flat. I'm going to have to get another pair. Amazing.
Strengths: Light and strong! For me, Air-B has been completely problem free for longer than any butyl tube. I've used them on both road and hardtail mountain bikes without any incident. I don't find they require special handling, either -- a light talc, then keep 'em pumped.
Weaknesses: Latex tubes lose air slowly over time. If you don't keep them pumped, you will destroy them. Also, because latex is a thinner (but lighter and stronger) material than butyl, you have to be careful when mounting them. But Air-B is as good or better than any other latex tube!
Bike Setup: Klein Pulse hardtail; Trek 2300; Trek 7600
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2004
Strengths: Reliable, light, great tube all-in-all.
A professionals tube, when used correctly, will last for many a mile. When amateurs use them, like most below, can be unreliable as these guys tend not to talc when fitting, hence not suprised they nearly kill themselves - get to know your bikes!
a Cross Country Rider
from Liverpool, United Kingdom
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2003
Strengths: Nice colour, and lightweight.
Weaknesses: In my opinion, the main weakness of the Air-B inner tube is that it could well be the cause of your death. I used these tubes for the first time a few weeks ago. The first tube exploded (and the term "exploded" is not far from the truth), on the way down a steep pass (a paved road) in the English Lake District. The accident left me in a serious mess, and lucky to be alive. There was no impact to cause the tube to disintegrate. After the accident the tyre was checked for thorns etc and there was nothing. Care had been take to powder the tye carefully when the tube was originally put on. OK, I thought, I must have just had a bad tube.
I left the tube in the other (back) tyre for some weeks while recovering from the accident and took the bike away on a caravanning holiday with me. Because of my injuries, the bike sat, unridden, outside the caravan for over a week. During that week I cleaned the bike up and removed, checked and reseated the tube and tyre (again being careful to poweder etc). On the last day of my holiday I decided that I might just be able to ride a short distance again and went to the bike. The back tyre was flat and again the tube was shredded, with an even bigger gash. Air-B tubes, no thanks, I like being alive.
I will never use one of these tubes again as long as I live. I would urge others to be very, very careful and take note of some of the other reviewers comments as well as mine.
Similar Products Used: Have used a range of light and standard tubes over 15 years.
Bike Setup: Specialised Rockhopper, Continental Tyres.
from Dillon, Colorado, Summit County
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2003
Strengths: Light weight, durable.
Weaknesses: Check air pressure before each ride.
Whoa! I see some misguided Reviews! These tubes work great if used correctly. Massive tube failures are caused by friction between the rim strip and the tube. Use Velox Rim Strips and talc (baby powder), voila, no pinch flats or failures! Buy the "Racer's Favorite" for a rock solid dependable racing tube. Patching must be done with a real patch, not a speed patch kit: speed patches don't stretch, and thus pull off of the tube.
Bike Setup: Gary Fisher OCLV and soon Sugar 1 under replacement warranty. Two thumbs up Gary Fisher.
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2001
Strengths: weight (if it worked)
Weaknesses: punctures/blow-outs - don't last 5 minutes!
Fitted 2 of these tubes before training (about 45psi's). Back tyre pinch-flatted after about 5 minutes. Tube couldn't be repaired as patch wouldn't stick. Later the front tube blew out when I landed on a moderately sized rock - wasn't even going that fast. Took tyre off to find that the tube was shredded by about 10-15 centimetres.
Cannot believe both tubes popped so easily. I have never had even ultralight butyl tubes burst like this. Just glad I wasn't going faster at the time.
Don't waste your money. Get something that holds air. No chillis
Similar Products Used: a number of lightweight/latex tubes
Bike Setup: Specialized S-Works FSR
a Weekend Warrior
from Devon UK
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2001
Strengths: Light weight
Weaknesses: Split for no reason
The other day I wheeled my bike out of the garage to get the mower out. Both tyres were pumped up. By the time I wheeled the bike back in again one of the tyres was as flat as a pancake. So what, this happens sometime maybe a thorn or something. Anyway I removed the tyre to discover that the inner tube had split almost half its circumference! I dread to think what would have happened had I been riding it at the time. It would seem to me that this sort of catastophic failure indicates a weakness in the tubes construction. I was able to easily continue the split as far as I wanted. It is even possible to quite easily rip bits out of the tube. These tubes are less than three months old since purchase.
Something is very wrong with the construction of these tubes. .. they are potentially lethal. Dont buy them if you value your life!
a Cross Country Rider
from SW Scotland
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2001
Strengths: light weight
Weaknesses: overpriced,leak air and difficult to repair
I bought these tubes at a ridiculous price(£25 a pair) to save a bit of weight in the old wheel area.Found to my digust that they punctured as often as rubber tubes and the holes were huge end irrepairable.They also required inflating prior to every ride which gets a bit annoying.I evetually gave up with them and went back to the rubber tubes because at least you know where you stand with those.
Strengths: Light weight, more puncture resistant than a standard rubber tube.
Weaknesses: Limited life, pressure must be checked before every ride, seem more susceptible to pinch flats than standard tubes.
These are nice light weight tubes but they have a very limited life. I only install mine for races and replace them bi-monthly. If you don't replace them regularly they have a tendency to explode for no reason. So if you do the math you will see that I only get 7 or rides out of them. Still, wheels are the most important place to shave weight. If you spend big bucks to shave grams off other bike parts then you can't overlook the tubes. I use standard tubes for training and during the off season. If I didn't race I probably wouldn't use these tubes at all.
Similar Products Used: Other butyl tubes, Panaracer Greenlight, Spec lightweight
Bike Setup: Titus with various XTR, Raceface, etc.
from Cardiff, UK
Date Reviewed: December 28, 2000
Strengths: It's light, resists punctures and doesn't require re-inflating daily (Like my other Latex tubes)
Weaknesses: Price and vulnerability to Pinch Flats if under inflated
Unlike most people who've posted on this subject, I'm a roady, running an odd bike, in mostly on road situations. If you use your beloved mountain bike on the road with slicks, use this tube, it's light and rolls well, but keep it pumped right up ! It's very puncture resistant at normal (High) pressure, but V prone to snakebites if the pressure is too low. Contrary to previous posts I've had no problem patching, by preparing well, using a quality adhesive and patch (non of this Leeches cr*p) and they seem quite happy under the carcase. All the punctures I have sustained I got on one trip, I knicked a stone which caused the first hole, then as the pressure got lower and lower I picked up a further SIX snakebites!, being so far forward it's had to feel the rear going down (honest!). Excellent piece of kit, only wish SJSC had fitted smaller tubes (they fitted 2.1's into a 1.3 tyre - reason for all the snakebits????) jkd
Purchased At: Supplied on Bike from St John Street cycles, Bridgewater, UK
Similar Products Used: Cheap Butyl and Vittoria Latex
Bike Setup: Thorn Triplet, Vreidestien S licks (1.3) on Sun Rhyno Rims, 48 spokes at both ends, tyre pressures about 100 -110 psi being ridden by 1 adult at 80kilos and 2 children at about 40 a piece
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: November 25, 2000
Strengths: Light & Tough
Weaknesses: Slowly leaks down
I have the Schrader valve tubes, reported to weigh 135 gms. Last year I put one of these in my rear wheel, and simultaneously put a new Slime tube in the front. I run 35-40 psi. in the rear and 40-45 in the front. The rear Air-B tube needed re-inflation on a daily basis, while the slime tube never needed to be topped off. Yesterday, the Slime tube developed a pinhole leak that the slime wouldn't seal. It's usual for me for a slime tube to last about one year, and then the slime loses effectiveness (dries out ?). The Air-B tube looked brand new. Incidentally, I ride in an area thick with goathead thorns, I can pick up a dozen just wheeling through my front yard. Even if the tube were to blow a seam today, I'd still be happy with the one year's service, especially at such a low weight. The price on these varies, as does their availability, but if you can get them for the $13.99 I paid at Cambria, I can heartily recommend them for trailriding. Not so sure about downhill/freeriding, if you check previous posts.