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Experiences with TPU tubes (especially Chinese)?
#1
I've been having fun shopping on AliExpress lately and came across a ton of TPU tube with lots of positive ratings.

So, I'm planning to try them out. I love the idea of being able to pack a spare tube or two in a fraction of the space taken up by a butyl tube.
There's also the chance to save a lot of weight, especially at the wheels.

Current tubes: Continental. Weight 105g each. 2x in the wheels plus 1x spare = 315g.

Changing to typical TPU tubes: 3x 24g = 72g, for a total saving of 243g, 162g of that at the wheels.

These tubes are supposed to offer better ride and puncture protection, as well. So it seems like a win-win to me. In the past, the potential popularity of TPU tubes was limited by their cost. Now, you can get them for around £5/each, including patches.

Anyone tried these tubes?
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#2
That's definitely awesome if you have nice smooth tarmac to ride on.

But here in Ohio, the street is like a battlefield, and I could only dream to be able to use tubes like that.
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#3
The light weight might give the wrong impression. TPU tubes are supposed to provide superior puncture and pinch-flat protection to butyl, so they might be better for bumpier tarmac.

The roads here are s**t, too, BTW.
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#4
It is interesting, I look for the thickest strongest tubes, not the lightest.

@enkei You could buy some of these tubes, use them for some time, then share your experience on this forum. Sometimes the only way to know, is to buy them and use them.
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#5
UPDATE: I have ordered 4x RideNow 700c tubes. They allegedly weigh 36g each. I shall report my experience in due course.

Total cost with 11-day delivery: £18.68.

The comedians on eBay want £13 for 1 (£40 for 2 on Amazon!)
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#6
First lot of RideNow TPU tubes arrived from China. Alas, I had ordered 4 tubes but they only sent 2 tubes (the other product was some useless unrelated piece of plastic). AliExpress has sent me a refund for the difference.

I've ordered 4 more RideNow TPU tubes from another seller. As I'm still waiting for those and a patch kit, I've not tried the TPU tubes, yet (I don't want to be caught out if I do happen to suffer my first puncture in years).

In the meantime, here are photos showing the relative sizes and weights of my TPU and butyl tubes. Note that I put considerable time and effort into removing all air from that butyl tube in order to pack it down so tightly.

   

   

   
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#7
First Ride Update:

Replaced the butyl tubes in both tyres with TPU tubes. Including 2x spare TPU tubes in my saddle bag, that's 190 grammes saved compared to 3x butyl tubes, most of that mass being at the perimeter of the wheels.

I've only done 10 miles on them so far but my first impression is/was that there's a nice new 'creaminess' to the ride quality and the light/direct feel of the bike (CF frame, 25mm tyres) is enhanced.

When the bike's not being ridden, the TPU tubes appear to lose pressure at about the same rate as butyl tubes.
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#8
I've been using 36g RideNow tubes for several months now and the experience has been mostly positive. I found them easy to install because they fit so easily into the tire before inflation. Keep in mind that they can withstand very little pressure before the tire is fully mounted to the rim. No flats yet and they retain air very well for me. Super light and probably less rolling resistance than butyl, but I can't say I'm any faster. There is noticeably more "road feel" through the handlebars. I have experienced one problem though. These are the latest versions with the transparent stems and most of my pump heads don't stay attached or seat well against the plastic. I've tried several great pump heads that work well with threaded metal stems. KUWAHARA Bicycle's Hirame and JACO Lightning XP Locking Presta Air Chuck both fail to lock onto the valve consistently. So, I purchased a new urethane bushing for my Silca brass "bell" head and it seals well if you press it against the valve while pumping. My solution was to buy a an Astro AI 20v rechargeable compressor which can be preset to the desired pressure and shuts off automatically. Also works great on my car with a Jaco Lightning Schrader chuck. The automatic shut-off frees up my hands to hold the Silca head against the valve and then I just pull it off when the compressor shuts down. Much more convenient than my previous setup anyway.
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