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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok all of the threads complaining about unprepared riders have guilted me into carrying a spare tube.

Problem is, I don't actually have any spare tubes anymore. So I have to buy some.

Is it ok to just buy whatever tubes they have at Walmart? Is there a difference between tubes?

Back in my road days I always bought schwalbe tubes, but that was more about the sizes they were available in. I don't know if they are really better.
 

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For a spare tube get a lighter one, same diameter as the wheel (26,27,29) but can be narrower width. Also lighter weight tube (thinner walls). A 26 tube fits in a 29, but it's a pain to mount, especially if you have very tight setup like many modern tubeless rim/tire combos. So I would get the right wheel diameter tube.

For your main tubes, that are actually on the bike day to day, get the right diameter and width, standard weight. All sizes fit in each other because the tubes can stretch three times their size or more, but a stretched tube is more likely to burst and flat on the trail.
 

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The best inner tube is the one you have with you when you need it. I'd recommend getting the right size for your tire so you don't have to wrestle with it trailside and keeping it in a ziplock bag to prevent dryrot and abrasions.
 

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The best inner tube is the one you have with you when you need it. I'd recommend getting the right size for your tire so you don't have to wrestle with it trailside and keeping it in a ziplock bag to prevent dryrot and abrasions.
The right size is always best, and if you haven't put a tube in a tire in 10 years, a dry run wouldn't be a bad call. Just to make sure you can do it without pinching it in the process.
 

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The right size is always best, and if you haven't put a tube in a tire in 10 years, a dry run wouldn't be a bad call. Just to make sure you can do it without pinching it in the process.
This is me. I can't remember the last time I used a tube in my mountain bike (*knock on wood). I did recently go back to clinchers on my road bike after using tubular wheels for close to 10 years.

I bought some 27.5 and 29 inner tubes from when Price Point went under. They are still NIB.
 

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I don't think the above is good enough advice. Having the right size tube and valve will do you NO good if the tube can't hold air. I have found that my tubes stay folded up and this creates cracks in the points that are folded. I am looking for the best tube that holds up under prolonged storage in my backpack...
 

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I don't think the above is good enough advice. Having the right size tube and valve will do you NO good if the tube can't hold air. I have found that my tubes stay folded up and this creates cracks in the points that are folded. I am looking for the best tube that holds up under prolonged storage in my backpack...
All butyl tubes will do that eventually. Store in ziploc freezer bags to delay that, you could even try throwing in a vermiculite pack (oxygen absorber/hand warmer). I now carry a Tubolito as my spare, but people balk at the price. Polyurethane doesnt degrade like butyl, supposedly more abrasion resistant to. But they do not stretch much so you need to get correct size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have a lot of wheels that are still running tubes, like my stroller tires and some kids bikes with lame rims. I found out that running stans in the tubes was like 80-90% effective against goat heads. But this was running Schwalbe tubes. I swapped wheels on my stroller and used Walmart tubes and found that Stans didn't really do much to seal them, maybe 20% effective. I finally put two and two together when I realized that Stans works on latex, and latex is the most expensive part of an inner tube, so Walmart tubes probably have the bare minimum of latex in them. On the other hand Schwalbes marketing specifically highlights how they have a high latex content and high quality control. I don't know how you can tell the latex content of an inner tube, but for now I decided to only buy Schwalbe tubes if I plan to run Stans in them.
 

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Switchblade with a 38, 29+ rigid WaltWorks
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Make sure the stem on the tube is long enough and that the washer on the tubeless stem is not stuck because of dry sealant. Yep, silly me. Also there’s those days when a patch kit and pump come in handy. I know if I take them out of my pack, I’ll be walking back with multiple empty co2 cartridges and a punctured tube.


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