It sounds a little too good to be true — a lighter and more puncture resistance tube for your bike. But if you aren’t quite ready to go tubeless, you might want to give these new inner tubes a try.
Tubolito was developed by engineers Christian Lembacher and Akos Kertesz. Enthusiastic mountain bikers, the duo stumbled upon on a super light yet robust material when woking on a new high-tech membrane for loudspeakers. They though if it works for loudspeakers, why not for bike tubes.
Tubolito ditches rubber in favor of a thermoplastic elastomer — a combination of plastic and rubber. Thermoplastic elastomers are often used today in kitchen utensils like spatulas or even toothbrush handles.
Using the new material combined with a patented manufacturing technique, Tubolito is capable of delivering seamless, very light, robust and reliable bike tubes. The company claims that compared to a standard tube, you can save up to 65% weight, while the tubes are 2 times tougher at puncture testing than standard butyl rubber tubes.
Tubolito sells a variety of mountain bike tubes at the moment, including 26″, 27.5″, 29″ and plus versions of the latter two. The company also offers a lighter version of their tubes to be used as a spare. You save 40 grams in weight on the 29″ size if you are looking for a tube to carry just in case — it makes a nice lightweight backup option for those running tubeless at the moment.
In the not so distant future, Tubolito will be launching a set of tubes for road tires. Right now the company is selling through bike shops and online stores across Europe, but some of these stores ship to the US and Tubolito plans to sell in the US shortly. Prices range for $35-$45 so not super cheap but maybe worth it in the long run.