Tire Tubes: Types, Manufacturers, and Selection Tips

Modified at: Jun 13, 2022

Posted at: Nov 4, 2020

Tire tubes are consumable parts that are replaced relatively frequently on bicycles. We have compiled a list of tire tube types, manufacturers, and points to keep in mind when selecting a tire tube.

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Types of Tire Tubes

There are only three simple types of tire tubes

  • Valve type
  • Tire size
  • Tube material

For a typical city bike, it is an English-style valve, and for a road bike or hybrid bike, it is mostly a French-style valve.

As for the size, choose one that matches the tire size. Usually, tire tubes have a range of allowable thicknesses, such as “700 x 20-25C (700 x 20C to 700 x 25C),” so as long as it is within that range, it is OK.

If you become accustomed to riding to a certain extent, or if you become particular about tire customization, you can change the riding comfort by being particular about the material of the tube.

Tire Tube Manufacturer


Continental is a major German tire manufacturer famous not only for bicycles but also for tires for automobiles. For bicycles, Continental mainly produces tire tubes for road bikes and other sport bike sizes. The price is about $8 per tube.

MICHEKIN (Michelin)

Michelin is a major French tire manufacturer. It is also famous in the Michelin Guide. Like Continental, it mainly produces tire tubes for road bikes and other sport bike sizes. The price is about $10 per tire.


SCHWALBE, a German manufacturer specializing in bicycle tire accessories, is popular for its high quality and long life at about $8 per tire.


Panaracer is a Japanese tire manufacturer that sells inexpensive, quality bicycle parts. Tire tubes are reasonably priced at about $6 per tube.


Hutchinson is a long-established French manufacturer founded in 1853. The price is about $7 per bottle.


Vittoria is a world-renowned tire manufacturer. The company’s tires are inexpensive, priced at about $6 per tire.


A tire tube manufacturer that is very inexpensive, at about $3 per tube if you use overseas mail order. The quality does not seem to be very high because of the cheap price, but it is a great price for those who just want to spend less.

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What to look for when choosing a tire tube

Know what a good tube is.

Bicycle tire tubes are made of rubber, which can deteriorate under storage conditions or wear out from riding, leading to tube rupture. In other words, the quality of the tire tube is directly related to the puncture risk.

The effect is less severe for city bicycles and mini-velocycles with thicker and thicker tires, but for road bikes and hybrid bikes with thinner tires, you need to choose tires of the best quality possible, or you will frequently get punctures while riding.

Like bicycle frames and wheels, tire tubes vary in weight depending on the manufacturer, but even if they vary, the weight is only a few dozen grams, so unless you are a professional, you will not be able to tell the difference. In this light, a good tire tube is “less prone to punctures = tube that can be ridden long distances.

How to check quality?

Tire tubes vary in quality from manufacturer to manufacturer, and there are no clear standards for quality, so it is a difficult part to find a quality product. In terms of knowing the quality, it is reasonable to choose reviews from mail order or other sources, or recommendations from friends or bicycle shops.

When looking at reviews, make sure to look at the good reviews as well as the bad. Bicycle tire tubes are often replaced by amateurs as well as professional mechanics at bicycle shops, so it is difficult to discern the quality of a tire tube because some reviews are mixed up, attributing the quality of the tire tube to inadequacies in the replacement process.

Beware of Parallel Imports

So-called “parallel imports,” which are not sold by the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s authorized distributor, are often sold on Amazon and other retailers. As mentioned earlier, tire tubes are rubber, so there is a risk that the tubes may have deteriorated by the time you buy them if they are parallel-imported products whose quality control is not known.

Of course, there may be no problem in most cases, but it is important to know that there is a risk compared to regular domestic products.

We have looked at the types and manufacturers of tire tubes and points to consider when choosing one.

Tire tubes are consumable items, so you want to use them for a long time if possible, but the quality and reviews vary widely, making it difficult to choose the right one.

The only way to know for sure is to find the right one for you, but please try to choose the best tire tube possible while checking the points mentioned in this article.

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