Your experience with tpu tubes?

Good day

I wanted to ask around about your experiences with TPU Tubes

My experiences have been bad with FOSS tubes but have been very good with the Revoloop Fatbike tube

Is there a need? What size should it be?

For example, my suggestion would be 20x3.0, 24x3.0, 26x3.0, 27.5x3.0, 29x3.0, 26x4.0

What type of valve do you prefer?

The advantage of TPU hoses is the much lower weight. I can’t make any statements about durability. The Revoloop, although wafer thin, has survived at least 3 tire changes so far.

Hi ! I use TPU tubes since the start of the year on my G36 and my G29. I was quite suspicious about their quality. Lots of reviews mark them as really expensive for not much advantages.

On my G36, I use one of the new 36 TPU tubes from 36pollici/Trentasei. They are sold to be around 108g and that’s what I found when weighing them. First good point! :slight_smile:
Then, the installation: I was used to put a stretched 29 Butyl tube… But using the new 36 TPU tube was much easier! Second good point!
What about the ride? The wheel is lighter (-80g compared to a 29 tube, -240g compared to a light 36 tube) and you can feel it! Accelerations are easier, and so are the climbs. At 3 bars/45 psi, the wheel seems very stable in turns. Third good point!
What about punctures? Not a single one. I’m not sure how much distance I have ridden, but probably around 500 km (including more than 100 km today and 50 on Monday :grin:). Fourth good point!
Any bad point? Yes. But… Not a too bad one. After having inflated the tube, the core can come with the pump. It is easy too replace, but you’ll have to re-inflate your tube again :wink:

My opinion on these tube is that they are worth (almost) every cent. Expensive, yes, but the quality is great. Let’s simply hope they fix the issue with the core!

On my G29, I had way more choices. Tubolito, Revoloop, … I finally chose a Schwalbe Aerothan tube. I was glad with Schwalbe regular Butyl tubes, so why not continuing with Schwalbe?
Most of the previous comments also apply to these tubes too. Including the issue with the core :upside_down_face:
BTW, as I use my G29 for muni, my Aerothan tube has been put under rough pressure. And it hold great! But it finally leaked pressure after a 3rd or 4th tire change. I guess I put too much force to get the tight tires on my rim… Nevertheless, I have ridden this tube for probably more than 500 km too, in rough conditions. I have not tried to repair it for now because I have lacked time, but I may post my results once done.

So, to conclude: I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Butyl tubes. I’m now fond of the lightness, responsiveness and solidity of the TPU tubes! IMHO, they are the perfect match for riders looking for easy-to-setup tubeless-behavior-similar tubes.

If you want to get stocks of TPU tubes, I would also advice you to get narrower tubes (such as 27.5 x 2.6 and 29 x 2.6) and 36-inch tubes as well.

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You raised important things.

During assembly I see a clear negative point. The Revoloop fatty hose is not easy to assemble. The assembly usually doesn’t work for me without cursing. Sometimes the tube still wants to turn when pumping up and the valve then disappears in the valve hole as soon as you take the pump away. Well, I’m confident that someday I’ll know the trick.

So far I’ve only run these hoses with low air pressure. But it’s impressively lighter on a Fatty. The next butyl tube from Schwalbe is around 240g heavier!

I don’t know if you can share the observation: I have the feeling that the tires are easier to steer with very low air pressure than with butyl tubes. But maybe I’m just imagining it.

What bothers me in general is that there are very few hoses with an AV valve. I can’t do anything with these thin FV valves. They tend to break if you inflate them with a hand pump.

I think the range of 2.6-3.0 would certainly be ideal. Because the bike industry goes back to narrower tires. At 27.5" the largest are now 2.8" and at 29" often only 2.6" The Duro Crux is an exception.

I have used Prielli TPU tubes vs Decathlon tube. Holds air very well, light weight. Not sure long term but they have been good for now on my 700 x 45 and 29 x 2.6

Noob question about TPU tubes: what is the stretching marging (if any)?

Using a 26x2.6 tube in a 26x2.4 tire should work as it is slightly under but could a 26x4.0 tube used in a 26x4.5 or 26x4.8 tire ?

Butyl tubes are usually given with a range with some extra at the top thanks to the flexibility. I was wondering how different TPU tubes were in this regard.

TPU is way less stretchable than Butyl, so I wouldn’t say you can use a 26x4.0 tube in a 26x4.5 tire. BTW, TPU tubes tend to take the form of the tires they are used with. So, if you want to change your tire, it is better to use a tire of the same width as before (or you may have to change your tube, too).

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I’m using RideNow TPU on my G29. Locally they have a relatively bad reputation, mostly for their quality control. But for the weight and price (55g, ~$10 for my 29x2.5) there isn’t much to complain.

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Interesting summary and you’re making me feel brave enough to consider trying my 36” TPU tube in a soon to arrive Braus wheel.

I’m curious if you think the TPU tube in the Braus rim requires less PSI (pressure) to feel the same as a normal butyl tube?

And do you think they’re inherently at all weaker or less suited shall we say to someone weighing 81kg (me :smiley:)?

There was part of me that wondered if these TPU tubes in general are lightweight but for lighter riders.

I like the idea of trying something that is less stretchy from the pure personal logic that it might be less likely to explode - but then again as I do have an official 36” presta butyl tube I’d be surprised if that exploded with good installation.

I guess I may just have to take the plunge and see but I wanted to reassure myself that by trying the TPU tube I have I’m not running any greater risks that using any other tube. It’s an expensive rim and I do have in the back of my mind the stories of some loud bangs being heard when installing it on that rim.

I’d be aiming for 45-48PSI as that is what I enjoy on my other 36ers so :crossed_fingers:that is the same using this new TPU one in the Braus rim :grinning:

Thanks :pray:

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The revoloop TPU Fatty Tube has a range from 26x 3.8 - 5.0


I wouldn’t say so. But it probably depends on the rider habits. I feel that when the tube is at low pressure turns becomes harder. That’s the same issue with Butyl tubes, but the threshold seems higher on the TPU tube. Or do I ride faster now than before so I take my turns faster? I’m not sure. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t go under 30 psi for going fast.
For reference, I weight around 70 kg and I tend to put 45 psi in my tube. But I also usually carry a lot of stuff so my total weight is probably not that far from yours :slight_smile:

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Which valves are you using? Unfortunately, the FV (SV) valves are much more common than AV. I myself hate those thin FV valves. If you inflate them with a hand pump there is always a risk of bending them. I have now contacted manufacturers whether it is possible to produce 20, 24, 26, 27.5, 29 x3.0 with AV valves and asked for quantities and weight. I’ll probably be able to test samples soon. I am very excited.

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Only SV valves for me. Most of my rims accept only these valves, so I can’t use AVs. But I haven’t had any issue until now, so it’s OK for me.

Has anyone experienced some tire stretch when moving to a TPU tube ?

I moved a Fat muni to a TPU tube and noticed yesterday that there was some tire rub on one side (at good pressure). The same uni was running fine in clearance with another 4.8 tire and regular tube. I noticed that the TPU tube was improving greatly how the tire grabs the rim.

Now I have to figure out if it is the tire that stretched somehow, the rim that got slightly off, the tire that has an imperfection or just the moon having the wrong color :rofl:

My experience is that a TPU tube needs a certain amount of time until it expands properly. You should pump it a little over the pressure the first time, wait and then let the air out. This is particularly true for fatty tires with low air pressure. I didn’t notice any change in tire shape or anything like that. Is it really the same tire that you have already driven or a new one? Tires can be poorly produced and “bulge” if they are not installed evenly in the middle during production and instead slip. You can see this because the profile has slipped left/right. Then the tire swings left/right on the rim and it looks like the rim is poorly centered.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I don’t remember the exact configuration last time I used this tire. I have installed it as usual at almost max pressure to have the tire seat and after a while I found it deflated. I pumped it back up and it held pressure but I did no additional check when I rode it in front of the house.

When I get back home, I will try to swap the regular tube back to see if it is the tire or tube and if it behaves properly with the regular tube, I will carefully reinstall the TPU tube and see if it does it again.

To be continued… :stuck_out_tongue:

My experience with bike/unicycle tires is that they do not self seat correctly simply by adding pressure. Unlike normal auto and motorcycle tires that will pop into the correct place when pressure is applied, I add a very low pressure then work around the tire by hand to make sure it is correctly centered on the rim. Sometimes this positioning by hand takes quite a bit of time to be sure that the seat line that’s molded into every tire is equidistant from the rim for 360 degrees around the wheel and on both sides.

Other then being a little lopsided, this is what can happen if you do not spend enough time centering the tire on the rim:

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I am glad to hear that I am not the only person who prefers AV valves: The whole mountain and road bike industry seems to follow the ridiculous philosophy: “AV for cheap ‘Walmart/Baumarkt’ bikes and SV for all quality bikes and especially high-end bikes”.

I am guessing that with TPU tubes there is a lower tolerance in sizing? e.g. a normal 26" fat tube will usually also work in a 27.5+ or 29+ (my 2 primary Muni sizes). Actually I think I presently have the same normal “plus tubes” from Schwalbe that work for both 27.5x2.6 and 29x3.0.

I would be interested in 27.5x2.6 and 29x3.0 and 29x2.6, even more so if one size would fit for all 3 tires. And only with AV valves, as I also hate the “high-end” SV valves that frequently break and and anything but high-end.

I have never broken an AV valve with a hand pump. However, these SV (FV) valves do! It’s easy to bend the thin valve part that you unscrew.
TPU tubes are not as stretchy as butyl. It doesn’t make sense to use them for different sizes. Once stretched, they stay the same size. But I still think it’s great, especially as touring luggage. I always have a spare tube with me and it’s nice when you don’t have to carry around as much weight. I have not yet tested all aspects of these hoses. I suspect that they are a little more stable at the tire’s air pressure limit and have less of a bouncy effect than butyl. This is probably because they are simply less stretchy. Yesterday I rode a Surly Dirt Wizard at 0.7 bar (26x 3.0) because it was icy on the way home to achieve maximum grip on the road. I found the rolling resistance terrible since I also had to drive up the hill. Of course I missed the direct comparison to butyl. I would imagine that the rolling resistance is slightly higher than butyl at the limit. Since I’m not a physicist, it’s pure speculation. Since the advantages outweigh the advantages, I have no plans to go back to butyl for my personal unicycles.

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¿What is the best way to patch a TPU tube? I bought a 2 pack that came with a patch kit to test it out. Worked great until the rim tape I used gave way and allowed a hole because of my double walled rim, entirely my fault. I replaced the rim tape with proper take to resist the pressure. I followed the instructions on the patch kit of 1) lightly scuffing the tube surface to assist/promote adhesion and then 2) cleaning the tube before applying the patch. The patch didn’t come with any glue or rubber cement as I’ve always done with butyl tubes before. I let the patch sit for ~15 mins while it was weighted down onto the tube. Carefully reinstalled and after pumping up to normal riding pressure, 45psi out of 50psi max for the tire, the patch failed with an audible leak. Did same thing for a second try with same result.

¿Is there a glue that would help seal the patch? The second tube works perfect and I hate throw the first away since a valid patch job would save it.

I haven’t had a try at patching a TPU tube. I know that 36er TPU tube should rest for 8 hours after having been patched. What brand is yours?