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Choosing inner tubes for road bikes can seem like an incredibly daunting and confusing business, can’t it?
Look online and you’ll see a ton of different options, and at a range of different prices. How do you pick the right ones for your bike? Well, don’t worry, here’s a simple process that will get you back on your bike in no time at all.
The simple answer is this:
Take a close look at your bike tire and you’ll see numbers printed or embossed along the sidewall (the rubber strip between the metal wheel rim and the tread where the rubber meets the road).
You’re looking for numbers like “700x23c”. The “700” should always be there (this is the diameter of the tube) and the “23” will be a number in between 18 and 45 (this is the width of the tube and varies according to how much air you inflate it with).
Once you’ve found these numbers then you’re ready to choose your new tube.
Just pick the tube from the list below with a width range that includes the width printed on the side of your tire. For example, if your tire says “700x23c”, then pick the first tube on this list.
Pick from the following Continental inner tubes:
About these Continental inner tubes
This is a fantastic tube from long-established supplier, Continental, and is fitted with a Presta valve.
If you’re unfamiliar with Presta valves, these look slightly different to standard automobile tire valves, having a slimmer and lengthier design.
If your air pump is made for car tires, then you’ll need to invest in a great little adaptor to convert it for use with these Presta valves. The adaptors are cheap to buy and easy to get online. This one is ideal for what we need.
it screws on to the inner tube valve in a couple of seconds and allows you to then use the air pump for both Presta valves and car tire valves (known as ‘Schrader’).
The Continental tube gets very positive feedback from purchasers with comments about reliability and quality. It also has a removable core (for adding tube sealant) which is a useful way of preventing minor punctures from spoiling a great day out on the bike.
How to fit tires and tubes
Firstly, you’ll need a small quantity of basic gear with you whenever you go out for a ride on your bike:
Spare inner tubes (I generally pack a couple)
Small tire repair kit
Tire levers (plastic ones are best, I think)
Pump (including the Presta valve adaptor I mentioned earlier)
Replacing a tube should then take 30-45mins maximum to carry out. There are 5 easy steps to fixing a flat tire:
Take off the bike wheel
Slip off the tube
Find out the cause of the flat (e.g. thorn or nail)
Either repair or replace the inner tube
Fit the bike wheel back on
For an easy how-to guide, have a quick watch of this video.
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