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  1. #1
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    Help Picking Tubes

    I usually buy my tubes from Nashbar. They have always had a 700X19-26 size which has been perfect. I won't buy 23mm tires again but I still have two of them. Two of my bikes have a mix of 23 and 25.

    I now see that Nashbar has discontinued that size and only offers 700X18-23 and 700X25-32. I don't want to carry two spare tubes so I'm going to be forced to pick one that is either a little too small or a little too big.

    What do you guys recommend? I'm guessing that the smaller one would work okay even for a 25mm tire.
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  2. #2
    tlg
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    Have you ever blown up a tube outside of the tire? Try it. They'll easily expand several inches in diameter.

    Either one is perfectly fine. The smaller is slightly better as it's easier to install with it bunching up and possibly getting a pinch flat.
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  3. #3
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    I use 19-23 tubes with 33mm tires. What you're thinking will be no problem.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Have you ever blown up a tube outside of the tire? Try it. They'll easily expand several inches in diameter.
    I did this once to see how far I could go with it. It burst at about 4 inches in diameter sending pieces of butyl rubber all over the room. It was a blast (pun intended), though I recommend ear protection.

    Going a bit smaller than what is called for would surely work, but the tube will be slightly thinner and theoretically, make you slightly more prone to punctures. Just think of it as a poor man's light weight tube.

    If you want to be absolutely safe, get a tube which covers the range of both sizes. Kenda has a 700x23-25mm size:

    https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/kenda-700c-tube
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Have you ever blown up a tube outside of the tire? Try it. They'll easily expand several inches in diameter.

    Either one is perfectly fine. The smaller is slightly better as it's easier to install with it bunching up and possibly getting a pinch flat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I use 19-23 tubes with 33mm tires. What you're thinking will be no problem.
    Thanks, that's what I figured. I'm curious why Nashbar did this. I bought some just over a month ago and they still had the 19-26 size. I've had a rash of flats lately so I need to restock. Wouldn't it cost them more to produce the different sizes? I bought 6 of the smaller version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I did this once to see how far I could go with it. It burst at about 4 inches in diameter sending pieces of butyl rubber all over the room. It was a blast (pun intended), though I recommend ear protection.

    Going a bit smaller than what is called for would surely work, but the tube will be slightly thinner and theoretically, make you slightly more prone to punctures. Just think of it as a poor man's light weight tube.

    If you want to be absolutely safe, get a tube which covers the range of both sizes. Kenda has a 700x23-25mm size:

    https://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/kenda-700c-tube
    Thanks for the feedback. The Nashbar tubes were only $3.79 so I decided to go with them.
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  6. #6
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    Or...you could always...wait for it...buy your tubes somewhere else.
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  7. #7
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    ebay.
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  8. #8
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    I recommend quality tubes, every time I buy cheap tubes I have regretted it. Continental is a good brand.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonB176 View Post
    I'm curious why Nashbar did this. I bought some just over a month ago and they still had the 19-26 size. I've had a rash of flats lately so I need to restock. Wouldn't it cost them more to produce the different sizes? I bought 6 of the smaller version.
    Possibly did it so they could advertise a lighter weight for the "smaller" tube (assuming the smaller tube is actually smaller than the previous all-pupose model).

    Have you given thought to actuall patching your tubes. It's a great way to save money, though it does make your tubes heavier

    My choice of tubes depends heavily on whether they have a threaded stem, which I don't want because it tears up the pump washer. I have had great luck with the Michelin A1.

  10. #10
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Have you given thought to actuall patching your tubes. It's a great way to save money, though it does make your tubes heavier
    OMG! I patch my tubes. Never thought about the weight it adds!
    I've got tubes with 4-5 patches on them.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    OMG! I patch my tubes. Never thought about the weight it adds!
    I've got tubes with 4-5 patches on them.
    OMG! You may end up like this guy here!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGGlODF7_RY
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  12. #12
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    Too old to ride plastic

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Damn, I missed it by a day! I already placed my order yesterday.

    I don't patch my tubes. For $3.79 each, I'm willing to splurge on this. I've had pretty good success with Nashbar tubes. Until this recent lot of 3 flats, I had gone a long time with no problems. I ride right through the winter as well in bad conditions.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Keep in mind these are have a smooth unthreaded presta valve in case that matters.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Keep in mind these are have a smooth unthreaded presta valve in case that matters.
    Yes they are.

    I much prefer the smooth valves as they are much easier on my pump head.
    Too old to ride plastic

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Yes they are.

    I much prefer the smooth valves as they are much easier on my pump head.
    Interesting. I prefer the threaded ones as I am always afraid I will damage the tube if the valve isn't held still.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Interesting. I prefer the threaded ones as I am always afraid I will damage the tube if the valve isn't held still.
    I've ruined gaskets in pumps often enough to have grown to hate threaded valves. Without the threads the pump head comes right off the valve stem with a little tug. It seems to me that it's the threaded valves that grab the pump head starting the fight to remove.

    I don't have a thumb lock pump head so sliding it on and off the threaded valves abrades the gasket. I can tighten or loosen the pump head to compress the gasket to grip or release easier.
    Too old to ride plastic

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I've ruined gaskets in pumps often enough to have grown to hate threaded valves. Without the threads the pump head comes right off the valve stem with a little tug. It seems to me that it's the threaded valves that grab the pump head starting the fight to remove.

    I don't have a thumb lock pump head so sliding it on and off the threaded valves abrades the gasket. I can tighten or loosen the pump head to compress the gasket to grip or release easier.
    I never thought abou that, but yes, my pump head was trashed in 4 years. The tiny piece in the middle loosened and the head would not stay on without letting lots of air out when I would try to put it on. Though a new head was cheap at $3 and took less than 2 minutes to install.

    But......the other pump problem I had didn't go away. While I'm pumping it appears the check valve isn't working properly. The pump sometimes "fights me" as in the air from the tire will try to push the handle up. I don't know if that's another part I can replace easily.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Possibly did it so they could advertise a lighter weight for the "smaller" tube (assuming the smaller tube is actually smaller than the previous all-pupose model). ...
    I dunno.....how many weight weenies buy Nashbar brand cheap tubes??
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Going a bit smaller than what is called for would surely work, but the tube will be slightly thinner and theoretically, make you slightly more prone to punctures.
    [/URL]
    That's a stretch......
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    That's a stretch......
    Groan!!!!
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I never thought abou that, but yes, my pump head was trashed in 4 years. The tiny piece in the middle loosened and the head would not stay on without letting lots of air out when I would try to put it on. Though a new head was cheap at $3 and took less than 2 minutes to install.

    But......the other pump problem I had didn't go away. While I'm pumping it appears the check valve isn't working properly. The pump sometimes "fights me" as in the air from the tire will try to push the handle up. I don't know if that's another part I can replace easily.
    I can tell you that at least with the Silca track pumps, the needle valve unscrews from the valve horizontally and with some light lubrication you can solve the problem of the air causing the handle to eject upwards.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Interesting. I prefer the threaded ones as I am always afraid I will damage the tube if the valve isn't held still.
    Say what? Are you using those silly valve nuts as a way to keep the valve stem from moving back and forth? If you have the nut that tight, then you're putting plenty of stress ont the stem/tube junction. Once the pump head is clamped/slid on, there's no stress on the stem.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Say what? Are you using those silly valve nuts as a way to keep the valve stem from moving back and forth? If you have the nut that tight, then you're putting plenty of stress ont the stem/tube junction. Once the pump head is clamped/slid on, there's no stress on the stem.
    Yes, I do have those "silly valve nuts", but I don't have them very tight. I just screw them on until they just touch the rims.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Yes, I do have those "silly valve nuts", but I don't have them very tight. I just screw them on until they just touch the rims.
    So they are serving no purpose?

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