Choosing Inner Tubes...

I guess you need a new inner tube, but you're utterly confused by the selection of inner tubes on the market. If it's any consolation, every cyclist goes through the same thing, and it just needs to be broken down.

Okay, choosing an inner tube needs two things.

1) What is your wheel size? This will be one of the following for adult bikes (kids bikes are smaller obviously):

700cc - Primarily used on road bikes, and some hybrids.

26" - Mainly used on mountain bikes.

29er - Same diameter as a 700cc, but usually run wider tyres.

2) What width are your tyres?

Road bikes are generally measured in mm, mountain bikes in inches. So your wheels will be from 20mm-63mm or 1.2"-2.5".

Okay, with those two pieces of information, you're ready to choose an inner tube. Most tubes will be able to cover a range of widths. For example, I run a Continental tube (this one btw) that supports tyres from 28mm-37mm.


Q. Do I need to replace my inner tube with the same make/model?
A. No. As long as the width/diameter is suitable for your tyre, you can run any make of inner tube.

Q. Can I run a road inner tube on my mountain bike?
A. Probably not. The diameter is most likely wrong, so you'll just be asking for trouble.

Q. Can I run slicks (road tyres) on my mountain bike?
A. As long you buy a 26" version (assuming you have 26" wheels) and your rims can go that skinny yes. Most mountain bikes rims should not be run on anything below 25mm, but I'd always recommend AT LEAST 28MM. You don't want to dent your rims.


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