If you have used any type of bicycle, you must have heard the terms “tubed” and “tubeless”. These two words describe the two types of tires your bicycle can have.
The tube is a feature that goes unnoticed by most people. However, pro cyclists always make sure to have the best-fitted tube in their tires if they go with the tubed tire. Tubes can be understood very easily by anyone with just a little effort.
A tube is a balloon-like ring that is fitted inside a tire. It can be inflated and deflated using a valve. Once enlarged inside a tire, a tube acts as an airtight seal.
An inflated tube holds an air pressure inside a tire. It provides a tire with suspension and support in terms of the structure. An inflated tube is a lot like an air cushion. It will give you a comfortable mountain-biking-experience.
Mountain bikes, as their name suggests, are meant to be ridden on rocky and rough terrains. A lot of mountain bikers do prefer tubeless tires. However, the best mountain bike tubes will provide a more comfortable experience during a ride.
There are a lot of options available in the market when it comes to mountain bikes. Most of them use tubed tires for the many advantages they have. Even if your MTB (mountain bike) has a punctured tire, you will still be able to ride it. Of course, the performance would decrease but unlike tubeless tires, the tires would still be functioning.
Another great thing about the best mountain bike tubes is that they can be replaced when damaged. Since an inner tube is a component fitted inside a tire, it can be removed. After a puncture or any other damage, you could simply get a new tube fitted.
The replacement of a tube is not a costly affair. In the case of tubeless tires, you will have to get the whole tire replaced. This adds to the bill.
The most famous mountain and cross-country bikers swear by tube tires. This guide will outline the best mountain bike tubes and some factors you should consider before buying them.
Top 16 Best Mountain Biking Tubes 2021
Continental is a world-renowned automotive parts company. So there is no doubt that their bike tubes would be exquisite as well.
This bike tube was specially designed for mountain bikes. It has been vulcanized. Vulcanization is a process performed on rubber to make it stronger and more elastic.
Continental vulcanizes their MTB tube by heating the rubber at a high temperature in the presence of sulfur. This is why the tube is very strong and will be able to ride it out while off-roading.
The tube is seamless to provide more uniformity. The valve stem is reliable and will not easily break. All tubes go through a strict quality-check during manufacturing. So you can rest assured about the quality of the tube.
This tube has a short Presta valve. It is great for rim depths of 24 mm or 30 mm. The valve core can be detached to add extenders or any sealant of the biker’s choice.
The tube is made of rubber and weighs a little more than 6 ounces. It comes in a lot of different sizes. The price does increase with the size, but it is still in the mid-range.
Overall, it is one of the best mountain bike tubes in the market currently.
This tube, too, has been uniquely designed for mountain bikes. The special ‘Slime Self-Sealing’ feature is what makes this tube stand out.
The tube is pre-filled with a Slime puncture sealant. When a puncture takes place, the exiting air pressure forces the slime to slide onto the hole. This then plugs the hole and the tube gets sealed again. The slime can fill holes up to ⅛”.
This technology will make sure your bike tube lasts long. The tube has been said to last 2 years even after multiple punctures. You can bid farewell to flat tires!
This tube has a Schrader valve, but you do get a choice between a Schrader valve and Presta valve. It fits tires with a width of 1.75 inches and a diameter of 26 inches.
The tube is very easy to fit into the tires. You just need to follow the instructions and your tire will be ready to go in just a few minutes.
The Slime Smart Tube is a great option under $10. Its unique slime seal technology will provide you with high-quality performance.
This tube has a Presta valve. The valve has been reinforced with a robust valve core to make sure it doesn’t break.
It will fit in a tire with a 29-inch wheel and a width ranging from 2.1 to 2.4 inches. This tube is extremely affordable as well. The package comes with two tire levers.
The company advises customers not to use this tube with tires of dimensions different from the ones mentioned above. Using it with tires of different dimensions can increase the chances of punctures and more long-term damage to the tires.
This tube is a basic replacement tube. This is great to have as a spare in your bag in case of any problems with your current one.
The valve on this one is a Schrader valve. It is a very versatile tube and can fit most tires that are 26 inches in diameter. This is why it acts as a great spare option.
The valve is sturdy with a standard USA size. The rubber is high-grade and elastic. Again, it is pocket-friendly as well.
Overall, this tube will not only save you money but can come in handy someday.
The SunLite Bike tubes are a great steal! You are essentially getting two tubes at the price of one. You can always use one and keep the other as a backup.
The tubes can fit most tires with a 26-inch wheel with a width ranging from 1.95 to 2.125 inches. This covers most standard mountain bike tires.
The tubes have a Schrader valve that measures 32 mm. The valve core can be detached from the tube to add extenders, sealants, etc.
Just like most tire tubes, these ones are really easy to assemble and fit. To make sure these tubes last long, make sure to check the air pressure of your tire. If it is according to the instructions, the durability of your tube will not be a problem at all.
They should last you over long distances and long ride times, given you keep the air pressure in check.
These tubes come in a pack of two as well. The valve is a Schrader 32 mm valve. It is the standard valve size in the USA.
The tubes can fit in most tires with a 20-inch diameter. The widths can range between 1.75” to 2.125”.
The material of these tubes is a high-quality butyl rubber compound. This is a high-grade type of rubber. The tubes will last longer, will be able to endure more stress, and create a great seal.
The pack comes with three tire-levers which simplify the installation of the tubes. The levers can be used while changing the tube. The levers are made of durable nylon plastic and will not break while being used.
One of the best things about this tube is that it can be returned. Most tube companies don’t take returns, so that is an added advantage! You will get a full refund if you are unsatisfied.
This tire-tube uses a special ‘Slime Sealant’ technology. When there is a puncture, the air starts to rush out of the tire. This is when the pre-loaded slime is pushed to the hole and the hole gets plugged.
This slime sealant technology is a great help during punctures. The tire and tube will be able to withstand multiple punctures and still last a long time. The flat tire days have long been gone!
This tube has a Presta valve which measures 48 mm. It can fit tires with a diameter of 26 inches and a width ranging from 1.75 to 2.125 inches. The Presta valve is usually used for premium tires and more high-end bikes. However, they would be a great fit for your mountain bike too!
Overall, this tube is a great option because of its self-healing property. It is fairly affordable considering the benefits you get. It can last up to two years, which is a bonus.
They come in three different sizes. 26 inches, 27.5 inches, and 29 inches are the available sizes. All sizes can be used with widths ranging from 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches.
The valve is a 42mm Presta valve. The valve core is strengthened and will probably not come loose very easily. The valve is threaded with the valve core so that it can be detached.
The rubber used is thick and bulky. It will be able to endure long distances but it might weigh a little more compared to other tubes.
We would suggest using these tubes keeping in mind their weight. If you are cycling on a shorter and flatter terrain, you can choose from other options in this review. This tube would best perform on longer and bumpier rides.
9. Conti Tubes
This tube is another one of Continental’s creations. These have been specially designed for mountain bikes. The tubes have high quality and come with the manufacturing promise of Continental.
These tubes are widely used by pro-cyclists across the world. One of the best features of this tube is that it will not cultivate mold. Mold can grow inside tire tubes, but this tube is mold resistant.
It has been vulcanized and will be able to handle high temperatures during rides. There are no seams in the tube, which makes it perfectly round.
It has a 42 mm Presta valve which has detachable valve cores. You can detach the core and add extenders and sealants. This tube is a great option under $8.
Overall, the tube has been specifically designed for mountain bikes and is economical. It is one of the best mountain bike tubes available.
These tubes have a pre-loaded slime as well. When a puncture takes place, the slime will rush into the hole and plug it. This will stop the air from escaping the tire. This is why the tubes are called self-healing.
This tube, in particular, has been made extra thick. It can handle more stress and take more of a beating compared to its other variants. The increased thickness will provide added protection to the tire, overall.
This tube features a Schrader valve and can fit most tires. The standard adult tire dimensions in the USA are the ideal fit for this tube, the dimensions being 26”x 1.75” to 2.125”.
11. Tac 9 Tube
This bike tube is another great affordable yet high-quality option! It is made of strong butyl rubber. The rubber of the tube is sturdy and durable. It should last you longer than an average tube usually would.
The tube can fit any adult dimensions. The most ideal dimensions of the tire the tube can fit into are 26”x 1.95” to 2.125”.
The tube features a Schrader valve with a strengthened base. The valve also has a tough plastic cap. The base has been made stronger to ensure the valve does not break or cause any tears when the tube is being used.
It comes with easy-to-follow instructions for how to inflate after a completely flat tire. These instructions clearly specify the air pressure needed for optimum performance. Keep in mind that the tube can handle up to 160 psi of air pressure.
All the tubes are thoroughly checked for quality before the dispatch starts. The material being used to make every part is high-grade to ensure the product is durable.
The tubes come with an added option of buying tire levers and rime strips. You can choose not to purchase these, but they can prove helpful while installation.
This bike tube is more heavy-duty than the other ones. This is why it is a great option for mountain bikes. Since mountain bikes are under tremendous stress while off-roading, they need a heavy-duty tube to handle them.
This tube is one of the very few that are compatible with different sizes. It can fit perfectly with any wheel which is 27.5 inches or above with a width of 2.8 inches or above.
The Schrader valve on the tube makes it easier to inflate and use. Since the tube fits with most wheels, it is a great replacement tube. In case you hit a snag, you can replace your flat tire with the Mongoose bike tube.
It is suggested by multiple users to inflate the tube a little bit before inserting it inside the tire. This will help the tube mold according to the tire and become snug.
The price of this tube is a little higher than those of other tubes. However, considering the quality of its rubber, the price is justified. It is undoubtedly still economical.
Apart from its heat-resistance, the airtightness inside the tire will be better as well. The tubes will last longer than other tubes.
The tube can fit most wheels which have a diameter of 24 inches. The width can range from 1.75” to 2.125 “. The valve on this tube is a Schrader valve. The valve’s core is removable for you to be able to add extenders and sealants.
In this pack, you will get two tubes that will be able to fit wheels with the above-mentioned dimensions. Two tire levers are also included in the box. Tire levers are greatly useful while changing and replacing tubes.
The price of these tubes is great with you getting two tubes! Another great thing about these tubes is that they can be returned. In case of any damaged goods or dissatisfaction, the tubes can be returned for a full refund.
The company Freedom has launched ‘DuroLite Tubes’. This inner tube delivers exactly what it says. Durability and light weight are the two major benefits of this tube.
The tube is made of high-grade butyl rubber which ensures lesser flat tires. The tube will last long.
The weight of each tube is 110g – 270g, depending on the variant. However, this is still very less compared to most other tubes in the market. The weight has been reduced without affecting the durability.
The tube comes in a host of sizes, which makes it versatile. It will fit not only most mountain bikes, but also your basic road bikes. You can use it during your training and while performing. Since the tube is versatile, it will be able fit in your carbon race wheels as well!
The tube comes with a long-threaded valve stem. You can choose between a 60mm Presta valve and a 35mm Schrader valve. The options this product comes with will make you feel spoiled for choice.
It comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual for a smooth installation. The company also provides a return option to the customers.
One of the best things about these tubes is that they come with a lot of options. You can even choose between a one-pack, three-pack, and six-pack.
The Schwalbe SV13 tubes have been specially designed for mountain bikes. Although they are compatible with other types of bikes, a mountain bike would be ideal.
The wheel dimensions they can fit are 26”x 1.50” – 2.40”. The tubes have a 40 mm Presta valve. This size of a Presta valve is hard to find easily in the market. It makes the tubes compatible with only a few pumps.
This is a two-in-one pack and one weighs around 180g. The price, even for a two-in-one pack, is more than you would normally see for a tube. These tubes would definitely be high-end products.
These TAC 9 bike tubes have everything you would want a tube to have. This pack, in particular, is a two-in-one pack.
The tubes are thorn-resistant and will be able to withstand a lot of punctures without going flat. The tube is made to be heavier than usual tubes to ensure it can hold form after a puncture. This makes it great for very rocky and thorny rides.
It fits most standard adult wheels. 26”x 1.95 – 2.35” are the ideal wheel dimensions for the tube. The tube features a Schrader valve that measures 32 mm in height.
The company recommends inflating the tube to almost maximum pressure. Since the tube is heavier than usual, it needs to be inflated a lot. If it is left under-inflated, it will slip inside and cause damage to the valve.
The tube will provide the utmost comfort to the cyclist during the ride. This is a little procier. This is mostly because of the thorn-resistant technology.
Overall, if you are comfortable spending a little extra to get the best of the best, this tube will be perfect for you.
Factors to Consider While Buying Best Mountain Bike Tubes
Price would surely be a significant factor to consider. Set a budget before you go to buy the bike tube.
Yes, some tubes are really on a high end and cost a lot. However, a lot of companies provide great-quality tubes at a lower price as well. It would be good for you to set your budget and research different brands before buying.
A lot of brands have great deals with their packs. You will surely be able to find packages with two or more tubes at the price of one.
Rubber is not the only material inner tubes are made of. Latex is another material a lot of companies make their tubes out of.
Latex, when compared to rubber, is more volatile. It will not be able to handle long and strenuous rides. The chances of a flat tire and the tube bursting are higher with latex.
Make sure to only purchase a tube made out of butyl rubber. Butyl rubber is a stronger compound than normal rubber and will be able to last longer. A butyl rubber tube will also provide more comfort and better sealing.
You will find that the best mountain bike tubes will be made of butyl rubber only.
For optimum performance, you should pick a tube that will perfectly fit your wheels. It would be a good idea for you to either measure your wheel beforehand or to check the measurements.
If you know the measurements for your wheel, you can ensure you buy the perfect tube. If a tube is too small or too big, the tires will not be able to perform at their best.
There are a few sizes you need to know and consider while buying a tube. The diameter of the wheel, the thickness of the tube, valve dimensions, and width are the main ones.
4. Ease Of Use
Some tubes can be very hard to install and change. While buying a bike tube, check if the package comes with installation instructions. Overall, the tube should take out more than 20 minutes to install.
Some people also have the prerequisite of tire levers. If this is the case with you, make sure to check the packaging and ask the seller for confirmation.
FAQs on Mountain Bike Tubes
Q1. Which Mountain Bike Tube Is The Most Affordable?
There are a lot of affordable options available in the market. Some you can look into are Sunlite Bike Tubes and Schwinn Bike Tubes.
These both are very economical and do not compromise on the quality. They will be able to endure most terrains and last you a fairly long time.
If you go for extra thick tubes or self-healing tubes, the prices are bound to rise. If you are on a tight budget, stick to good quality yet simple tubes to keep the price as low as possible.
Q2. Can These Tubes Be Used For Other Bikes?
Of course! Although some of the options we mentioned are specially designed for mountain bikes. Most can be used with other bikes as well.
A normal road bike will be compatible with most tubes mentioned. An inner tube is just an inflated balloon. It is there to provide stability to the tire, so it is no problem for it to be used in multiple bikes.
It is important to note here that a normal commuter cycle will not be great with these tubes. These tubes are heavier than the tube needed for a commuter cycle. Since commuter cycles are made for light and daily use, they need a different tube.
Q3. How Long Will The Tubes Last For Me?
The time a tube will last for you largely depends on where you ride the bike. If the trail is very thorny and full of rocks, the tube might last you shorter. If the trail is smooth without a lot of obstructions, the tube will last you longer.
Another thing the life of the tube depends on its quality. If the tube is made of high-grade and heavy-duty rubber, it will most likely last you longer compared to others.
If you opt for latex tubes, you should be prepared for very short tube life. Latex tubes will most likely burst after a certain distance. The material is not made to withstand high pressures as it bursts!
Best Mountain Bike Tubes – Conclusion
In the never-ending tube vs tubeless debate tube tires do seem to have an edge in a few aspects. They not only provide far greater structural stability when compared to their counterparts, but also a lot of areas for innovation.
The slime sealant technology and the thorn-resistant tubes are just a few examples of this innovation. The tubes are becoming smarter and more and more evolved.
Tubeless tires are far more convenient than tube tires, but there is a reason why pro cyclists still do not choose them. The reason is that they do not provide enough versatility while riding.
Understanding bike tubes is not as hard as it sounds! When you are going to buy a bike tube next time, remember the points we mentioned above. They will surely help you buy something that is worth your money.
Don’t neglect your bike tubes from now on! Make a small priority list before buying them. If the price is your first priority, your options will change. If the quality is your first priority, the prices might rise and the options available will be different.
We hope this review helped you gain a better insight into your bike tubes! Have fun riding!