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Looking for the quick answer? Here it is:
Get a bike tube that says it is 700 x [a width range].
- Most road bike tires are 700mm
- The width range should include the number that is printed on your tire sidewall
Read on for more detail on how to determine the width of your tires and my recommendations for inner tubes for your road bike.
My recommended tubes for your road bike
There are a small number of widths available for 700c road bike tires. Make sure you get a tube that is correctly sized. Too big and it will be under-inflated. Too small and it will likely burst.
Bear in mind that, rather like kids party balloons, the width of a tube will vary according to how much air you fill it with. This is the reason why road bike tubes are listed as being 700 x [width range].
Finding the width of your road bike tires is generally a very simple process and won’t require you reaching for a tape measure! Hunker down by your bike wheel so that you’re looking at the tire sidewall (the strip of rubber next to the metal rim of the wheel). Along this strip you’ll see words and numbers printed. There’s often a brand name (such as Continental or Schwalbe). There will also be numbers that look like:
700c x …
700 x …
The number after that multiplication symbol is the width of your road bike tire in millimeters. It will usually be a number in between 22 and 47.
Using this, you can compare it to the following list to find your bike tire size. Then click the link to see my recommended inner tube for your road bike.
700c tires: Recommended inner tubes
700c x 22 tube
700c x 23 tube
700c x 25 tube
700c x 28 tube
700c x 30 tube
700c x 32 tube
700c x 33 tube
700c x 35 tube
700c x 38 tube
700c x 40 tube
700c x 42 tube
700c x 47 tube
Looking for a great compact bike pump? Then check out the Blackburn Wayside CO2 Thread On Inflator:
Presta valves and Schrader valves – a word of caution
It’s worth a quick diversion into inner tube valves. There are two different types of valve that you will usually find on bike tubes: Presta and Schrader. Schrader valves are the standard type that you see on most car tires. Presta valves are slimmer and longer than Schrader.
Some of the tubes listed above have Presta valves and, because these are a different size and shape to Schrader, you will need to use an adaptor to connect them to your bike pump (unless you have a pump that is designed to work with both valves).
The adaptors are easy to use and simple to fit onto the valves. One like this is perfect.
Tube fitting refresher
Changing a bike tube can be a little fiddly but is made much easier if you have the right equipment and little knowledge.
The equipment you need is as follows:
New inner tube
There are only a few steps to the job and it will take around 30-40mins. There’s a useful YouTube video that walks you through the whole process here.