person changing a bike inner tube

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get for your bike

Tire punctures are one of the most common problems faced by avid cyclists. Being able to repair a puncture on your own is a very handy skill to have if you’re planning to venture further than the corner store on your bike.

First, you need to know how to choose the right inner tube.

To choose the right inner tube for your bike, you must determine three things: the size of your wheel, the width of your tire at the type of valve that is compatible with your wheel rims.

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get

Do you know the difference between a tire and an inner tube ?

It's important to understand the difference between a tire and an inner tube when it comes to bicycles. The tire is the outer rubber part that covers the wheel's rim. It is designed to provide optimal grip on the road and bear the weight of the cyclist. The inner tube, on the other hand, is a rubber tube located inside the tire. It is filled with air and plays a crucial role in shock absorption and bike stability.

Unlike car tires, most bicycles have removable inner tubes, which allows for their replacement in case of a puncture. Therefore, it's essential to distinguish between these two components to properly maintain your wheels and avoid breakdowns during bike rides.

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get

How to measure bike tire size

Measuring a bicycle tire's size may seem complicated, but it only requires knowing a few key pieces of information to accomplish easily. Firstly, it's important to find the figures written on the tire's sidewall. These numbers indicate the tire's size, expressed in millimetres, as well as the rim's width and diameter. For instance, if the figures are "700 x 25c", this means the tire measures 700 millimetres in diameter and 25 millimetres in width.

It's also important to note that some tires may have dimensions expressed in inches, so conversion to millimetres may be necessary. To measure the size of an unmarked tire, simply measure the tire's outer diameter using a tape measure or a ruler. Then compare this measurement with the tire sizes available on to find the right tire size for your bike.

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get

How do I find the right tube size for my bike ?

Finding the correct inner tube size for your bicycle is essential to prevent punctures and ensure optimal wheel performance. To find the correct inner tube size, it's important to know the size of the bike tire. This information is usually written on the tire's sidewall and appears as a series of numbers and letters. The first two numbers correspond to the tire's diameter in millimetres, while the following letter indicates the type of tire (for example, "C" for a racing tire).

Once you have this information, you can find the correct inner tube size by checking the available inner tube sizes for your tire type. It's important to choose an inner tube that matches the tire size, but it's also possible to choose a slightly smaller inner tube for a tighter fit, or a larger one for a looser fit. However, it's crucial to note that choosing an inner tube that's too large or too small can lead to issues such as punctures and air leaks.

What are the different valve types ?

There are several types of inner tube valves for bicycle tires, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Schrader valves are the most common and are also used on car tires. They have a small neck and require an inflation nozzle to be used. Presta valves are narrower and longer than Schrader valves and are often used on road bike tires.

They have a locking mechanism to prevent air from escaping and require a specific inflation nozzle. Dunlop valves, also known as "French" valves, are common in Europe and are similar to the Presta valve but have a slightly larger diameter. It's important to know what type of valve is used on your tires to choose the right pump and inflation nozzle. It's also possible to find adapters to use a pump that's incompatible with your inner tube's valve type.

  • schrader valve

    Schrader valve

  • presta valve

    Presta valve

Tips and tricks to keep your inner tube in good condition

Maintaining your inner tube is essential to prevent punctures and extend its lifespan. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your inner tube in good condition. First, regularly check your tires' pressure using a pressure gauge. Underinflated or overinflated tires can damage your inner tube and affect your bike's performance. Then, make sure your inner tube is properly installed in the tire and that the valve is tightly secured. A loosely secured valve can lead to air leaks.

Also, avoid riding on rough terrain or over sharp objects that could puncture your tire and damage your inner tube. If you get a puncture, replace your inner tube rather than repairing it, as temporary fixes may not be reliable and can cause further punctures. Finally, store your inner tube in a dry, cool place to prevent the rubber from drying out or hardening. By following these simple tips, you can keep your inner tube in good condition and extend its lifespan.

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get

Manage your tire pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure is an essential aspect of bike maintenance. Underinflated or overinflated tires can affect your bike's performance and cause premature wear of both the tires and the inner tubes. To manage tire pressure, it's important to know the recommended pressure for your type of tire. This information is usually printed on the sidewall of the tire and may vary depending on the tire's width and the rider's weight. It's recommended to check tire pressure at least once a week using a tire pressure gauge.

It's also important to remember that tire pressure can change depending on the temperature. In summer, tire pressure may increase as temperatures rise, while in winter it may decrease. Therefore, it's essential to check tire pressure regularly, especially before a bike ride. By properly managing tire pressure, you can not only improve your bike's performance but also extend the life of your tires and inner tubes.

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get

Have a bike that fits the routes you take

Having a bike that is suitable for your commute is essential for ensuring an enjoyable and comfortable cycling experience. Firstly, it is important to consider the distance of your commute. For short distances, an urban bike or folding bike may be ideal, while for longer distances, a road bike or mountain bike may be more appropriate.

Next, it is important to consider the terrain of your commute. If you primarily cycle in the city, a city bike with smooth tires and a flat handlebar may be a wise choice, while if you plan to cycle in the mountains or on rugged terrain, a mountain bike with suspension and knobby tires is preferable.

It is also important to consider your cycling posture. If you prefer a more upright and comfortable position, a city bike with a straight handlebar is a good option, while if you prefer a more aggressive posture for optimal performance, a road bike with a curved handlebar is preferable. By choosing a bike that is tailored to your needs and lifestyle, you can enjoy your cycling commute to the fullest.

Discover the complete guide to know which inner tube you should get

Have your bike serviced regularly

Getting your bike regularly serviced is essential to ensure its proper functioning and prolong its lifespan. At Decathlon, we offer a range of bike servicing options to meet the needs of all cyclists. Our workshop experts can perform basic services to ensure your bike is in good working condition, as well as more comprehensive services for more advanced bikes. At Decathlon, we take pride in providing quality services for all types of bikes and all levels of cyclists. We are here to help you maintain your bike in perfect condition and ensure you have an optimal cycling experience.

In conclusion, knowing which inner tube to choose for your bike is an important aspect of bike maintenance. By knowing the size of your tire and the type of valve used, you can easily find the right inner tube for your bike. It's also important to choose a high-quality inner tube to avoid punctures and air leaks. At Decathlon, we offer a wide selection of high-quality inner tubes for all types of tires and valves. We're also proud to offer maintenance and repair services to ensure your bike is in perfect working order. With this comprehensive guide, you can be sure to choose the right inner tube for your bike and enjoy an optimal cycling experience.

More like this

Man changing a bicycle inner tube

How to change a bicycle inner tube

Changing a bicycle inner tube may seem daunting, but it’s actually quite straightforward, and even gratifying, when you know what steps to follow.

woman adjusting her cycling jacket

Cycling: don't let cool weather stop you!

Whether it's to get to the office, do your shopping, or for leisure, you've chosen to use a bike! Congrats on a great choice! As winter approaches, these habits will help you continue cycling despite the colder weather.

Woman on a home trainer

Indoor cycling workouts: 12 exercises to do at home

Are you excited to own a home trainer but not sure where to start or how to progress? Here are a few tips to guide you as you learn a new way to cycle.