My DT Swiss rims are not tubeless compatible so I have to run tubes. These are the best compromise I could find between weight and durability. There are other tubes that are lighter, but they do not last as long for me.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lake Macquarie
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2008
Strengths: light - saves significant weight where it counts
holds air pressure surprisingly well
great lightweight spare tube
Weaknesses: punctures frequently at higher pressures
Used these (front & rear with WTB Weirwolfs) for several years now and I find them VERY reliable. First off I had frequent punctures on inside of tube (facing rim) but since I reduced the pressures to 35—40psi they have been very dependable, with only an occasional puncture. They also hold air better than many thicker tubes I've tried.
I ride over lots of tree roots and fallen branches and never seem to get snake-bites — I'm not so light myself, at 187 USpounds... For this to happen (as a previous reviewer described) you would need seriously low pressures methinks.
For XC use I think these are a sensible compromise between weight and durability - the Flyweights seem like they'd be going too far IMO.
I just wish Torpedo& would re-stock these so I could get some more at a sensible price — as with so many bike things, Aussie LBSs don't sell these tubes.
Similar Products Used: various standard weight tubes - Kenda, Tioga etc.
Bike Setup: Marin HT frame with Thudbuster, everything upgraded...
a Weekend Warrior
from Tucson, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2007
Strengths: Very light.
Weaknesses: Constant flats and don't hold air very well even when brand new.
These have got to be the worst tubes ever. I have used them on a dozen rides and every single time I came back home with a flat. I even managed to get 2 holes on the inside part of the tube that faces the rim. With all the cactus in AZ you are bound to get flats, but not like this. Stay away unless you want to be patching these tubes every day.
I thought I would lighten things up a bit with the ultralights. I'm a 180 pound moderate rider and run high pressure. I bought five tubes and they lasted about fifteen rides total. All pinch flats. I rarely ever flatted before riding the ultralights. I give these tubies four thumbs down! They don't deserve a single chili. I would not recommend these tubes to anyone.
a Cross Country Rider
from NEW ENGLAND
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2006
Weaknesses: NONE YET
SURPRISED AT HOW WELL THESE HAVE PERFORMED FOR ME DUE TO ALL NEG REVIEWS HERE.ALL I CAN SAY IS IT'S BEEN 4 MONTHS OF RIDING HARD ABOUT 3 TIMES/ WEEK IN NEW ENGLAND ROCK GARDENS AND NOT ONE PINCH FLAT. I DO KEEP THE PSI AT AROUND 32 AS THE MIN RECOMENDED FOR MY TIRES (NEVEGALS) IS 30PSI.THE KENDAS THAT CAME WITH THE BIKE DIDN'T LAST 3 WEEKS. MY GUESS IS MOST PEOPLE ARE RUNNING TO LOW AND OR USING THEM FOR SERIOUS DOWNHILLING AND HUCKING.(IN THAT CASE NEED A DOWN HILL TUBE)MAYBE I HAVE BEEN LUCKY, BUT NO REASON TO USE ANY OTHER TUBE FOR ME.
Installed 4 of these last spring 2 on my girlfriend bike and 2 on mine. By autumn the last one was in the trash. Multiple pinch flats (not running particularily low pressure) Muliple punctures. Due to the fact I was reinflating these tubes on the trail so often with my minipump (pump head attached to pump bdy so stress on presta valve) I managed to split 2 of them where the valve meets the tube (most tubes are reinforced in this area). I do not ride that hard and very very rarely get punctures with regular tubes. My experience with these tubes have lead me to believe these and probably all lightweight MTB tubes are useless. Probably the worst cycling product I have purchased. They might save you 2 seconds in a race but are far more likely to cost you 5 minutes replacing your flat tube. There is no way you can trust them. Have since gone UST which has been great.
from the pine forest
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2006
Strengths: it´s light,
Weaknesses: it´s very thin
NOTE: only used it in the front wheel, and i am a rider with finesse. The tube worked fine in a race I had in flat terrain through fireroads and pavement. Last sunday, first real cross country race of the season and the tube snakebited on my second lap after a relatively easy descent. These ultralight tubes are a bunch of lies and serve as boutique trash for ideatic weight weenies that get sold on the idea that 100 grams will make them go faster, well think again!, I´d never recommend these tubes, just too risky and fragile, and the just work for rides on easy flat terrain with no rocks, but not on the mountains or XC racing!!!! I stick to regular thick tubes from now on.
Bike Setup: habanero titanium frame, sid 2001, old xtr, mavic517-xtr wheels, canecreek susp post.
a Cross Country Rider
from City of Lights
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2004
Strengths: Quick followup to the post I did below to give credit to Jeff. Tubes are light,durable
Weaknesses: None that other tubes don't have.
Credit where credit is due. Yeah, found MTB review by the guy who said he was slitting the lightweight tube, adding sealant, using a good patch, then ending up with a flat resistant tube at a normal tube weight. Good old MTBR, review was from Jeff, XC rider from Milwaukee, back on 5/2/1997. He was reviewing a Hutchinson Lightweight tube. Thanks Jeff, I owe you a beer (Milwaukee). I still don't really notice the extra weight of the approximately 60 grams of sealant in the Maxxs lightweight tube for intermediate XC level riding - but other components are also lightweight. I would give the same "mod" to some Maxxis flyweights but just don't think the few grams savings (10 grams) and extra cost would be worth it to me except maybe for racing (don't do that anymore). BTW both the flyweight tubes and Ultralight tubes are still available online at Maxxis and they, Maxxis, do show the 26x2.125 Presta at 125g which is what my scale showed. Either they updated the weight or I was looking at the smaller size in my previous post. These tubes are a great way to cut down rotating weight and still stay reliable although you might have some snake problems if you like to run lower air pressures. OK, ride more... wrench less.
Bike Setup: 1 hardtail and several full suspension and a couple of spare tires/wheels. Wheels are usually narrower lightweight - Mavic 517 or Bontrager Valiant/Race. Tires are at mostly 2.1 size, Maxxis, Panaracer, WTB... No rigid forks
from Las Vegas
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2004
Strengths: Lightweight, durable (see below), no problems front or rear running in desert.
Weaknesses: None specific to this particular brand/type of tube. Thorn flats, plenty of stickers around here. Doing the Mohave Mod on the tubes is a little time consuming but well worth the effort. Hey Maxxis, how about making one like this out of the box??? See below
Great tubes but for around here the thorns/goatheads, etc were giving me fits with flats (let me think about this... Mohave desert, thorns and stickers...) Went to the thick, cheap, thorn strips and slime and NO FLATS but way HEAVY.
Trying to find a better lightweight tube here on MTBR, I read the review by a guy who sliced a small hole in the tube (needed for adding stopleak), added just an ounce or two of sealant, then patched it up, installed and rode without flatting problems. Doing this, he ended up about the same weight as a standard tube and with flat resistance.
I tried it with the Maxxis ultralight tubes - claimed to be 115g although my uncalibrated scale shows about 125g new out of the box - OK by me.
Having weight weenie tendencies can make life complicated. Trying to save a couple of grams, I sliced, slimed then used some lightweight patches on two new tubes - one was flat the next morning. Yup, lightweight bike tube patches don't patch very well. So over to WalMart to get some innertube patches for car tires - that 'otta do it. It did, NO FLATS from leaky patches. BTW, I just weighed one of the patches and it's about a gram or two - Victor brand and they use rubber cement in addition to the patch adhesive.
Maxxis lightweight tubes with the stopleak added: Weight about 165g. I check air pressures before riding and may have to add a few lbs on average over a week, but haven't yet flatted other than one nasty snake bite riding a steep, sharp rock garden with 28 lbs of air. I'm about 185lbs and now run 37lbs of air in both front and back tires. Note: If it looks like a lot of thorns are broken off in the tire, it needs to be ridden fairly often to keep the sealant over the holes. The Bell Tire sealant as well as Slime seems to work OK. No biggie. I've gone lots of weeks and tires without having to add any air. Many thanks to the guy who originally posted the idea. Overall, I'm doing a lot more riding and spending a lot less time and $ on new tubes.
These tubes are great quality rotating weight savers for riding intermediate level XC; plus can't see a better way to stay aired up in thornland and reasonably lightweight if you take a few minutes to do the Mohave Mod sealant trick; especially new out of the box. Don't know about using this tube for racing or all mountain. Ride on...
Similar Products Used: Many over many years of riding
Bike Setup: Bikes are lightweight XC, typically M517 or Bont Valiant size/style rims, 2.1 tires, Maxxis Ultralight tubes 26x1.90/2.125 3 FS and 1 hardtail (sx-r fork on hardtail). Kevlar XC tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Narashino, Chiba, Japan
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2003
Strengths: These are the first tubes I've ever used which don't lose pressure too quickly. First I checked them before each ride because any other tubes I used required this, but then I pumped them up to a specific pressure, rode for three or for days, and when I checked them after that they were still at the same pressure. Compared to other tubes, that's amazing.
Also, I never have that problem where I attach the pump to the valve and the damn thing wont let air in until a couple of tries later.
And it has a good valve stem instead of what most presta tubes come with which is some weak cr@p that bends after a few times attaching the pump.
Weaknesses: None--not even something I just consider a normal weakness, such as loss of tire pressure over a couple of days. Other tubes I've used lost air just sitting in the house.
These are the only problem-free tubes I've ever used.
The bottom line is, I'd never bother writing a review about tubes, but these are just awesome.
I would have bought the Flyweights, but the store didn't have them in the size I wanted. I could have ordered them, but then maybe I wouldn't be as happy with their performance as I am with these. Who knows? Maybe all of the Maxxis tubes are this good.
It's nice not to have to worry if I've lost too much air in my tires before heading out the door on a sudden whim to ride, and that I don't have to treat the valves with care so I don't bend the stem.
These tubes are everything a tube is supposed to be, and lightweight besides.
Favorite Trail: Dirt, no stinkin' car noises, and trees.
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Seo Cycle, LalaPort Tokyo Bay shopping mall, Minami-Funabashi, Chiba, Japan
Similar Products Used: I've used a lot of top-brand tubes.
Bike Setup: 2002 TREK 8000, ZR9000 frame (bought stock but changed the following); Shimano XT crank and BB; Bontrager Race Lite titanium rail saddle; Panaracer Trail Blaster tires; Shimano XTR brake shoes (installed on stock Avid SD3 brakes); Shimano XTR cables and housings (wish I did this first); Shimano 959 pedals; planning on a Thompson Elite seatpost next.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bay Area (California, USA)
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2002
Strengths: light (Mine was actually 129g, not 115g as claimed, though...)
Weaknesses: weak(er) especially when used in rear
I bought 4 "Ultralight MTB Tubes" ("IB63829000, 26x1.90/2.125, Presta, 115g, $3.99") at Maxxis online.
The one in the front is still going (a few months now), but I'm going back to some generic/cheapo WrenchForce tubes for the rear.
My rear got a slow leak by a thin thorn, which I patched, and it was OK for a bit. But, then, I just got a pinch (though I pumped 40psi for my light 155lbs) on the trail last weekend. Threw in another Maxxis in there and rode away. When I got home, the rear was flat by the time I took a shower & had a beer - another slow leak (this time on the rim-side).
To much trouble for me...
I'll just use these only on the front (so far so good) to shave a bit of weight, but I'm gonna use the regular-thickness rubber tubes on the rear. I feel like I can't quite trust these thin tubes as much...