Thursday, 19 July 2018

Schwalbe 13F Inner Tube Review

Schwalbe 13F Inner Tube Review - Intro

A few years ago I purchased some Michelin C6 inner tubes to run with my Schwalbe Big Apples (26 x 2.35). They are a wide tire and I feel  that a wide tube is required. The Michelin C6 is a very thick walled down hill tube, but the valve had sheered off, so I have replaced with a Schwalbe AV 13F, which is a tube designed for use with wide tires.

Wiiiider than the aaavergage tube!
To be clear Schwalbe's Inner Tube Selector Tool , suggests I can use standard width or wide tubes.

Schwalbe 13F Inner Tube Review - First Impressions

The tube is very light for its size. The wall thickness is less than a typical tube, which means this tube can weigh just 185g. A little under double a regular tube. By comparison a down hill tube of the same diameter will weigh 300g +.

The rubber is very supple, and the valve is re-enforced with thicker materials in this area.

I have found these thicker tubes to offer no better protect against thorns than a normal thickness tube. Which leads me to think I will not get any more punctures using a light weight tube.

I I were in to extreme riding, then perhaps a pinch flat would be a problem. But for me that is unlikely.

Re-enforced valve tube interface

Schwalbe 13F Inner Tube Review - Do You Need a Wide Tube?

No this is the main question for me. I suppose the answer in a nutshell is NO, you do not need a wide tube. Many inner tubes offer wide ranges 1.5" to 2.5" for example, which would suite my tires.

But as with so many things bike, we are all of us tinkerers and experimenters in search or our version of perfection.

To my mind a standard high quality tube will be stretched to near its max width when used in a wider tire. Some questions this raises:

1 - Does this mean that the air pressure in the tire is pushing out against the elasticity of the inner tube, rather than the wall of the tire?

2 - Does this mean that the rubber held taught, is more prone to punctures?

3 - Does this mean that tube is less supple? Effecting rolling resistance?

For me these questions and the negligible worries they create are reduced by using a wide tube designed for wider tires. And for the sake of £3 extra per inner tube that is worth it for me.

Schwalbe 13F Inner Tube Review - Conclusions

So I don't really need this inner tube, I am not sure if it offers any advantages, but I feel more comfortable using it. Which in my book is worth something.

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