Light inner tubes are a pretty good way to save weight. I decided to get the Tubolito S-Road after pondering about it for over a year. Pulled the trigger a few months ago and here is the rundown:
- Light and fast. The Tubolito S-Roads are incredibly light at 23g. This is more than 150g of weight savings over a pair of normal butyl tubes. And the difference can actually be felt. I was not expecting this but picking up speed was a tad quicker. It is interesting how such a small change in rotating weight can be felt.
- Durable. A couple of hundred kilometres, many on the choppy roads of Jurong, and zero punctures. To be fair, I do not puncture often. Hence, I can’t tell if this is more durable than butyl. It is at least on par.
- Packs small. This is a huge plus for back pockets. It is less than half the size of the butyl tubes I used to carry.
- Expensive. It costs 3-5x more than butyl tubes. Elite Custom sells it at $50. Carousell sellers go at around $38. Butyl is $12.
- Extenders can leak air. The 80mm version uses a removable valve extender. The seal between the valve and the extender is not great. I had very very slow leaks. My 60mm Tubolitos (no extender) could last 3 weeks without needing air top-ups. The 80mm Tubolitos were flat in 1.5 weeks. If you need the 80mm version, you should tighten the valve extender and seal the connecting area with tape before installation. This should fix the issue.
Overall, I am happy with the Tubolitos. All my clinchers are on them. This product is not for everyone. Is an extra $52 (for a pair) worth the quicker acceleration, lower rolling resistance and smaller footprint in your back pocket/saddle bag? You decide. The other option is latex but they lose air too quickly and are not durable enough in my opinion.
Oh yes, if you do not like the orange valve, just use a black marker pen. Most Tubolito users do that.