We might not realize it, but the bike inner tube plays a significant part in an overall smooth bike ride. A bike inner tube is present inside the bike tire. It holds the air and prevents it from releasing even if the external tire is punctured. 

But things changed sometime back when brands started introducing full suspension mountain bikes and hybrid bikes with tubeless tires. Some people still prefer bikes with tires that have tubes because they are easily repairable and you do not have to change the entire tire in case of puncture. 

If you want to buy bike inner tube or are interested in knowing about bicycle tires and tubes then you are at the right place. Here we will tell you about different innertubes, bike tube sizes, and which tube would be perfect for your bike. Inner tubes for mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, road bikes, we will cover it all. 

Bike Inner Tube: What It Is? 

What is a bike inner tube

The bike inner tube is present inside the bike tire. We think that we fill the air in the tire and it holds the air. No, it is a bike tube. The tube is present between the wheel rim and the tire. When we fill the air in the tire, we are actually filling the air in the tube. It prevents the air from releasing even if there is a puncture in the tire. 

There are different types of bike inner tubes. It has different sizes and is made of different kinds of material. Though sometime back, tubeless tires were also introduced and it has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Which Bike Inner Tube Should I Get?

Which Bike Inner Tube Should I Get

Well, you should get the one that fits inside your bike’s tires. Different kinds of bikes have different kinds of tires. For example, mountain bikes have thick tires whereas hybrid bikes have comparatively thin tires. So you should get the bike tire inner tubes that fit inside your bike tires, depending upon your bike type. Whereas options are available to you in valves and tube material. 

Bike Inner Tube Sizes

Bike Inner Tube Size

There are several types of inner tubes depending on the sizes. Let’s get deeper into it. 

Inner Tube Sizes For Road Bikes And Hybrid Bikes

Usually, the tires of a road bike are ‘700c’ sized. So we will need a 700c bike inner tube for road bike tires. I n some states these are also known as 28-inch tubes. If you have a road bike then a 700c tube will perfectly fit into it. And if you don’t have road bike then check out our best deal on best road bikes under 1000.

Inner Tube Sizes For Mountain Bikes 

When it comes to mountain bikes, they have various tire sizes and it can be difficult for you to choose the perfect tube for your mountain bike’s tires. It has 26 inch, 27.5 inch and 29 inch tires. It can be confusing. For example, if the tire size of your mountain bike is 26 inch then you must get a 26 inch bike tube, then only it will perfectly fit into your bike tires. 

Bike Inner Tube Materials

 inner tube Materials

Mainly the bike inner tubes are made of different types of rubber material, latex, and butyl. 

Butyl Tubes

Butyl tubes are pretty common. They are cheaper than latex, hence used more. But they are heavy and create more resistance so the rider has to put more energy into pedaling. But it is pocket friendly and very easily repairable. 

Latex Tubes

Latex tubes are comparatively more expensive than butyl tubes. They are lightweight so they create less rolling resistance, hence they provide a good speed. But you cannot use latex tires in extremely hot weather. They can burst due to overheating. If you want to get latex tubes then you will have to fill the air with a bike pump before every ride because they cannot hold the air for a very long period. 

Bike Inner Tube Valve Types

 Valve Types

There are mainly two bike tire valve types, Presta and Schrader.

Presta Valves

These valves are longer and more common as compared to Schrader Valves. They have a screw on the top. If you want to pump the air into these then you need to unscrew it and attach the pump and then blow air into it. 

If you want to release air then you just need to unscrew it and leave. Some of the Presta valves come with a removable core. You can remove and change it in case of damage. 

Schrader Valves

Schrader valves are shorter and look like the valve of your car tires. Make sure that you make the right decision while buying a bike inner tube. If the wheel rim is made for a Presta valve then a tube with a Schrader valve would not fit into it. 

Final Say

Before buying a bike inner tube, see what your bike actually needs. Focus on the details like the tire size of your bike, whether the wheel rim of your bike is made for Presta valve or Schrader Valve, and whether you are going to ride in hot weather or not then go for any particular bike inner tube. 

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q1- How many types of bicycle tubes are there?

There are various types of bicycle tubes depending on their size, material, and valve. Before buying a bike inner tube, see what your bike actually needs and then look for the available options. 

Q2- What size inner tube do I need for my bike?

It depends on the type of your bike and its tire size.  For example, if the tire size of your mountain bike is 26 inch then you must get a 26 inch bike tube, then only it will perfectly fit into your bike tires. 

Q3- Which bike inner tube is best?

If you are talking about material then you should get butyl tubes. They are comparatively cheap and fit for all weather. Other than this, the tube that fits perfectly inside your bike tires would be the best. 

Q4- Does the inner tube have to be the exact size?

Yes, the inner tube has to be the exact size of your tire. If it is a size bigger then it would not fit inside the tire and if it is a size smaller then it would not be able to store enough air for your bike. That is why you need a bike tube that is exactly the size of your bike’s tire. 


I am Mike, a senior technical staff writer at O.bike. I have been a professional writer cum editor contributing to thousands of bike-related equipment, books, workshops, and a lot more. Apart from industry-related experience, I love bike hiking and giving workshops.