How to Buy a Bike Tube

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Buying a bike tube is easy. You just need to know what size and type to get. Here are the basics.

Things You'll Need

  • Presta Rims
  • Shrader Rims
  • Bike Pumps
  • Bike Tire Inner Tubes
  • Bike Tire Repair Kit
  • Bike Tires
  • Latex Bike Tubes
  • Know the difference between Schrader and Presta tubes: Schrader tubes have valves similar to those on car tires; Presta valves are long and skinny.

  • Read the sidewall of your bike to determine the exact size of your tire, and bring this information with you to the bike shop.

  • Keep in mind that you can run a wide tube in a narrow tire, but you can't run a narrow tube in a wide tire.

  • Consider tubes with a special compound inside them that prevents flats, but realize that these tubes are quite heavy.

  • Consider latex tubes if you want to save weight. Understand, however, that latex tubes don't hold air as well and that your tires will loose more air overnight than they would with a regular tube.

Tips & Warnings

  • A shop can easily convert a Presta rim to a Schrader rim if you desire. To convert a Schrader rim to Presta requires a special insert which the shop may not stock.

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