What inner tube do I need I hear you ask!
Well, an inner tube is a very important part of your bike to get right. Here in our quick fire guide we hope to help you get the right tube for your bike.
Because there are such a range of variations in-between inner tubes, it's important to have an understanding how the whole system works. That way no matter what bike you have, you'll never again ask what inner tube do I need!
Know the answers to the following and you'll have your full specification to go inner tube shopping.
Inner Tube Size:
1. Tyre Diameter - Depending on the cycle you have, you'll have a certain wheel size (therefore tyre size). If you don't know what wheel size you have, simply look on the side of the tyre you wish to replace the tube of. You'll see a size from 12" to 29", plus you might see 760c or 700c.
2. Tyre Width - Also on the side of the tyre after the main wheel/tyre diameter you'll see the width. This normally comes after the 'x' on the tyre sidewall.
3. Diameter and Width - Once you have the full specification. You'll have something like 26 x 1.95, 24 x 1 3/8, 700 x 25, etc. With this you know what size you need. Simple.
But, I don't see my tube size on the box?:
When shopping for tubes, you might not see your exact size on the box as it's wrote on the sidewall. This is because a tyre only inflates to one size. Once it inflates to its limit, that is the size of the tyre as stated on the sidewall.
But inner tubes (usually made of rubber) have working limits. They have a starting width and an end width. This is because they are not constrained like the tyre is.
So, the size you need needs to fit into the range advertised.
For example: 26 x 1.95 is on your tyre.
The size advertised might read 26 x 1.50 - 2.50. In-between 1.50 inches and 2.50 inches, lies your 1.95 inches. Voila! This tube will fit your tyre.
Inner Tube Valve:
Next you need to know your valve type. Main types are:
Schrader Valve - Also known as a 'car' type valve or auto-valve. Sometimes they will be represented on the box with AV (which means auto valve).
Presta Valve - These are high pressure valves, thinner in size and have a little valve core you need to unscrew first before inflating. On the box you might see PV, meaning Presta Valve or even SV, this means Sclaverand Ventil (which is German for Presta Valve).
Woods Valve - These look like a cross between a Schrader and a Presta valve. Imagine a Schrader valve but with a threaded core like a Presta Valve. Not so common these days and in many cases can be swapped for a Schrader type.
Valve Length - In most cases a standard valve is all you need. They range from around 36mm to 45mm. If you have normal bike rims, these will do just fine. However if you have deeper section rims, you may need to up the length to something like 50mm right up to 80mm.
Check out our valve type guide for images of the above.
Inner Tube Type:
Finally, you just need to know what type of inner tube you want. Everything from a regular tube that simply does the job. Right through to lightweight and latex types. However, a standard bike tube will do the job just fine.
Inner Tube Buying Summary:
So to recap, you need to know:
1. Tyre diameter
2. Tyre width
3. Valve type
4. Valve length
5. Tube type
You'll find all of this information on all of our tubes here at Tube King. If for any reason you're still unsure, simply get in touch, we'd be happy to help make sure you get the right tube for your bike.
Inner Tube Suggestions:
For mountain bikes with 26 inch tyres - Schwalbe 26 inch inner tube
For mountain bikes with 27.5 inch tyres - Schwalbe 27.5 inch inner tube
For mountain bikes with 29 inch tyres - Schwalbe 29 inch inner tube
For road bikes with narrow 700c tyres - Schwalbe 700c inner tube
For BMX bikes with 20 inch tyres - Schwalbe 20 inch inner tube