The photo above is of the new Tubolito inner tube, and it clearly shows what may be one of the best reasons to splurge on an expensive tube for your bicycle. As packaged when new, a standard jersey pocket could easily accommodate 5 of these tubes. Actually, the pocket could easily hold more, but given the reliability I’ve had using these tubes, a couple would be more than enough. Tubolito is based in Austria, and the tubes are entirely manufactured in Europe. They are incredibly lightweight, and are available for all cycling applications.
It may seem a strange time for a company to tackle a new solution to the age old inner tube, especially given the proliferation of tubeless tires, but the reality is many of us still use an inner tube. The beauty of Tubolito is that these tubes, on average, are half as light as a standard tube. When used with a light wheelset, they are hardly perceptible, and offer less rolling resistance. As I ride tubeless in addition to a standard setup, I can attest to the fact that these tubes, in conjunction with a good tire, are easily on par with a tubeless setup. I’ve used Tubolitos with the Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tires, and could not be happier with the results. Descending from Mulholland has been as good as it gets, with the right amount of grip through the turns.
Tubolito claims these tubes are twice as strong as a regular tube, and I’ll take their word. That said, flats happen. I had a very small piece of metal lodge in one of the Vittoria tires, and after a bit of riding, it reached the inner tube. My first thought was one of annoyance at getting a flat using a $37.90 tube. My second thought was about the repair kit I had purchased from Tubolito. I hadn’t repaired a tube in a very long time, but considering the expense of this tube, I decided to tackle the repair. The repair kits provide small alcohol wipes for cleaning around the puncture. Once clean, the patch is applied. No glue is involved, as the patch is like a sticker, and comes ready to be used. The instructions ask that pressure be applied to the patch for 5 minutes. It’s that easy. The patch has held since the repair, and I was sold instantly. Knowing that these tubes can so easily be repaired helps justify the cost.
Tubolitos are bright orange, similar to the Velospeak logo. Perhaps I’ve been swayed by the color choice, but in addition to the great hue, the Tubolitos are light, very compact, easily repairable, and provide for an excellent ride. Yes, Tubolitos are worth the cost.