- What is a bicycle tube made of?
- What are the advantages of latex tubes?
- Which special features does a Schwalbe tube offer?
What is a bicycle tube made of?
A bicycle tube is predominantly made of Butyl rubber. Butyl is a very elastic and airtight synthetic rubber, but as with the tire, other fillers are necessary to make up the rubber compound. The quality of a tube can vary significantly depending on the rubber compound. For instance SCHWALBE tubes have very good air retention and are very elastic. This high elasticity allows a wide range of different tire sizes to be covered.
There is a difference between heat molded and autoclave tubes. Vulcanizing in a mould improves the uniformity of wall thickness, thus reducing weight and improving air retention. This is why the inferior yet more easily produced autoclave tubes have become increasingly less popular in recent years. SCHWALBE tubes have always been made using the heat molded process.
Every tube also needs a valve, which is bonded to the tube during the vulcanizing process.
What are the advantages of latex tubes?
Tubes made out of latex are more elastic than normal butyl tubes. This makes them roll a little more easily. Their greatest advantage lies in the high level of puncture protection. The highly elastic latex material is very difficult to puncture.
The disadvantage lies in poor air retention. A tire with a latex tube must be adjusted for inflation pressure before every trip. This explains why latex tubes are not well suited for everyday use.
In addition, latex tubes are very delicate and susceptible to oil,
daylight, heat and uneven expansion. The tube must also be replaced every time a tire is changed. Because these sensitivities lead to many problems in the field, we do not offer latex tubes.
However, there is one exception: Latex tubes are sewn-in to our highquality tubular tires. Here, the tube can only expand in an evenly round way. It cannot come into contact with oily fingers, sunlight or with hot rims from braking. Therefore, the advantages of a latex tube can be safely and appropriately used in this circumstance.
Which special features does a Schwalbe tube offer?
Besides the quality of the ingredients, the purity of the rubber compound is decisive for the quality of the tube. Before extrusion, the basic material is forced through a total of seven filters under enormous pressure. All tubes are inserted and inflated into a mold for the vulcanization process. Only this ensures an even wall thickness and high air retention.
All tubes are inflated and stored for 24 hours to test for air retention. Afterwards, every tube is carefully checked individually by visual inspection. The special quality control which prevents unpleasant surprises. The Schwalbe tube has been valued by German bicycle dealers for its high reliability for many years.
A tube covers many tire sizes through its high elasticity and quality. Tube no. 17 works with tires from a width of 28 mm up to 47 mm. A great advantage for stock-holding in the trade. At the same time, it is proof of the quality of the tube.
Only an extremely high-quality and reliable tube is equal to these
All valves are nickel-plated and threaded. The valve core is always replaceable. Also, Schwalbe tubes with a classic bicycle valve can be inspected for pressure as they have a high-pressure valve core. As an external indicator, every tube has a stylish dust cap made out of transparent polycarbonate.
The Schwalbe tube is the only tube which carries the “VSF all ride” quality stamp. VSF is an association of particularly dedicated and quality-oriented German bicycle dealers.