Tubolito’s new X-Tubo City/Tour inner tube guarantees against flats for a year
Say what you will about the performance claims of polyurethane tubes. Are they really as fast and light as brands say they are? Should you really consider switching from latex or ultra-thin butyl? That’s neither here nor there, because Tubolito’s new X-Tubo City/Tour inner tube isn’t going after performance. These are purpose-built to tackle another issue: flats.
Instead of going the super light route, the X-Tubo City/Tour goes the super durable route with some sort of “extremely strong” variant of Tubolito’s trademark orange polyurethane material.
“With all of the inner tubes Tubolito manufactures for themselves and their competitors, the different genres (i.e. road, CX/gravel, and MTB) use wholly different TPU formulas,” explained Tubolito’s US media relations agent, Logan Vonbokel of Haute Route Media. “The X-Tubo also uses a wholly different TPU formula when compared to other models, which is also how they are able to offer it at a lower price point compared to some of the performance oriented tubes that require a much higher level of manufacturer precision.”
As you’d expect, the X-Tubo City/Tour is quite a bit heavier than the company’s other models. Whereas Tubolito’s standard gravel tube tips the scales at around 60 g, and the standard City/Tour at 91 g, the X-Tubo City/Tour is 130 g. However, that’s still lighter than standard butyl rubber tubes — and heaps lighter than thorn-proof butyl tubes — and there are no restrictions on what type of brakes can be used, either.
That weight gain suggests an increase in wall thickness in addition to the chemical formulation itself, but either way, Tubolito claims the changes dramatically improve the puncture resistance of the X-Tubo City/Tour — so much so that the company is offering a one-year warranty against any types of flats: snake bites, glass, nails, tacks, whatever. Tubolito requires you to register the tube within a month of purchase, but that seems like a small price to pay. Air retention is likely excellent, too.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll never flat while using the X-Tubo City/Tour (surely Tubolito has contracted an actuary to calculate the financial wisdom of this policy). There are also questions such as how long it’ll take to get a replacement tube from Tubolito (and how), what these things ride like, and — most importantly — whether they’re even as flat-proof as Tubolito claims.
I’m personally super intrigued to try these, although Tubolito unfortunately is initially only offering them in a single 700×30-50 mm size (but with Presta or Schrader valves), so I can’t use them on my Urban Arrow daily driver.
Retail price is US$30 / £23 / €25. Australian pricing is to be confirmed.
More information can be found at www.tubolito.com.