I received today the first test of a TPU 36er tube as a Xmas present!
Production will start in January and within a few days I’ll rebuild my 36er to test it and review it! Get it touch with Luca at 36pollici.it if you are interested. I hope he’ll surprise us all maybe with other tyre ideas
For those wondering, TPU is thermoplastic polyurethane. What is the price point on the 36-in TPU tube?
I’ve sent a mail to inquire about the expected price. Waiting for a reply.
[EDIT] Got a reply. Price will be announced on January, 7th. I’ll keep you updated when I know more.
Is this the same or similar material as the FOSS tubes?
It looks like it. Foss tubes are TPU and maybe just a different color
It is the almost the same material, but there’s always differences. I’m riding a Revoloop tube in my 27.5 which is exactly as Foss tubes, but half the weight and twice the resistence (IMHO). I asked Revoloop to make a 36er tube, they told me to wait and never answered to other questions. A friend succeded with an Italian brand… and now we have another light 36er tube. Half the weight, still unknow resistence
I don’t have a 36" but this is great for the whole sport. Bigger market for ,36" means more choice for everyone.
I’ve seen some expensive but very light and nice carbon builds on 36" and this will help reduce it that bit more if it’s a good product.
FOSS Polymer inner tubes are made of a high-polymerized rubber mixture. TPU tubes are made of thermoplastic polyurethane. FOSS tubes are prone to lose air while TPU retains air pressure much longer.
What is involved in patching these tubes?
You can get patch kits for Barbieri NXT TPU tubes. Here
It will be a long shot to test the tube. I’m rebuilding my 36" wheel for the 4th time (about 40 working hours!!! ).
I don’t have a spare 36" so will need time
I patch any tube I use the same, with Welder glue and a little circle of old standard tube(butyl?). I have done this for FOSS and regular tubes and it would probably work on TPU also.
Ok that’s good to know. Do you know what the benefit of this tube is? Weight? Puncture resistance? Or a availability?
Also is it available in the US and in other standard sizes?
I finally tested it today. I had a few weeks struggling with wife and unicycle, one need more care than the other…
However, I’m unfit so cannot really spoke about performance, I can speak about experience. I’m riding a Carbon 36" rim, a KG ultimate tire , a TPU tube from Barbieri at 30 PSI. I was able to slow down and even start pedalling again like I was riding a good light 29er.
On the road it is really fast accelerating and fast slowing down making a town ride full of intersection and traffic light more pleasant and enjoyable. On the road I can feel the unexistance of the flywheel effect. Seems like the mix of the TPU tube (which is stiffer than any butyl tube) and low PSI makes a low rolling resistance effect, like a butyl tube at higher PSI, but without that hateful bumping tire which makes a poth hole a big danger at high speed (unless you ride clipless).
I tested it also on a frozen field filled with gaps and potholes. I experienced a lot of UPDs, but it was able to slow down and hop and start riding again till the next UPD. It seems like a good choice for a 36er road or XC. For a Muni 36er maybe I will prefer a tubeless+sealant+Vee-tire (due to Sealant+Trax Monster being a bombproof setup versus stings and punctures).
Edit: I’m also riding special spokes! I can feel the difference from butyl/TPU. I am not able right now to compare steel spokes to fiber spokes due to not willing to build another unicycle. So keep in mind that spokes also allowed me to ride more “cushioned”
Thanks for your review!
And I hope those struggles had no link.
Just got reply from Luca - 36pollici owner. These tubes will be sold €60/2 pieces (+ repair kit). As you may know, Qu-ax 36" tubes now cost €30/piece, so this price does look fair.
BTW, MTB TPU tubes seem to also be sold at this price. e.g. with Tubolito.
I’m now waiting for my tubes. I guess it would be quite different from my current 29" tubes - and I hope they’ll be easier to install
Hope you’ll enjoy it. As soon as I receive my right tab disc brake frame I’ll post the ungeared 36er pics!