We’re over and above thrilled to introduce the new Rene Herse TPU tubes. They acquire the overall performance of our tires to the subsequent level.

Why tubes? Tubeless is fantastic for lots of applicationsanytime you experience on particles-strewn highways, where the sealant will seal modest punctures from glass and metal wires. Or for the duration of gravel races, where by you’re using in a peloton and never even see the rocks you are hittting. The draw back of tubeless is the inconvenience of having to top rated up sealant routinely. Who hasn’t pulled a bicycle out of the basement after a couple weeks of not riding it, only to come across both tires flat? Even if they keep air once again soon after inflating and spinning the wheels, you by no means know regardless of whether they’ll all of a sudden lose air once again mid-experience.

Even when all is perfectly, the sealant sloshing all-around inside the tires adds resistance, generating tubeless tires slower than they need be. That is probably a person purpose why quite a couple pro riders race on tubesSoudal-Quickstep and feminine superstar Lotte Kopecky are just two illustrations. And nevertheless those people black butyl tubes that have been the regular for far more than a century could use some enhancement.

I have experimented with latex tubes in excess of the a long time. The very best types are identified inside of large-stop tubular tires. They are ultra-thin, ultra-gentle and extremely-fast. But they drop air quickly. I ran a established of prototype latex tubes in previous year’s Paris-Brest-Paris (earlier mentioned). General performance and consolation had been good, but I never consider I’d do it once again. Because the tubes leaked air so rapid, I had to commence out with a great deal larger tire pressure than was best, and however I nonetheless experienced to re-inflate my tubes shortly following the 50 percent-way issue. It was very clear that we needed a better alternative!

TPU tubes have been tempting for a while. TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane, a content that is considerably stronger than butyl, the black rubber historically made use of for tubes. That will make TPU an great product for bicycle tubesat least in principle. In practice, early TPU tubes occasionally shredded them selves when driving on rough gravel. And many TPU tubes suffered from mysterious leaks.

We figured that the negatives of TPU tubes could most likely be conquer. But initially we needed to determine out whether they seriously supplied greater overall performance. TPU tubes examination properly on steel drums, but we know that does not necessarily mean significantly for authentic-street general performance. (Just after all, ultra-large tire pressures also examination effectively on steel drums.) So we examined prototypes of our TPU tubes in our roll-down exams, with a rider on the bicycle, to see how they roll in the genuine environment. The excellent information: They roll even more rapidly on serious streets than on metal drums. In truth, their velocity is equal to extremely-slender latex tubes. A comprehensive report of that tests will be in the upcoming Spring 2024 version of Bicycle Quarterly.

What about the fragility and air leakage? The air leakage was quick to figure out: The valve stems of most TPU tubes are made from plastic, and they deform when the (metal) valve core is screwed in. Then the tube leaks, not mainly because the product is porous, but simply because the valve doesnt seal. We determined to use a patented know-how to build all-metal valves. In our screening, they really do not leak any much more than butyl tubeswe only have to inflate our tires each individual few of months.

For longevity, we increased the thickness of the substance marginally, and we worked with a supplier in Germany to generate the best-quality tubes with uniform wall thicknesses. Rene Herse TPU tubes are still superlightthe version for narrow racing tires weighs just 32 grams. (A comparable superlight butyl tube weighs 85 grams.) But we aren’t pushing the tubes to the absolute restrict. For a handful of grams in supplemental excess weight, we’ve increased longevity and resistance to punctures and pinch flatsand we’ve also manufactured installation much easier, specially with today’s tubeless rims.

In advance of we signed off on the production operate, we tested prototypes on all kinds of terrains, at various pressures, and with significant power outputs. They’ve handed with traveling colours.

For the duration of one particular ride in Japan, jogging extremely-small pressures, I bottomed out eight situations, but the tubes did not pinch-flat. I haven’t had a flat with these tubes nevertheless, but if (or when) that comes about, TPU tubes are quick to resolve: Basically wipe the spot with an liquor wipe and adhere on a patch. No want to roughen the tube with sandpaper or use vulcanizing fluid. Rene Herse is also providing a patch package. When I examined the patches, I had to develop a puncture. I was surprised how tricky it is to puncture the Rene Herse TPU tubes with a sharp needle. They seriously are tough!

There is a large amount to like about our new TPU tubes:

Extremely Light:

  • 1/4 the fat of typical butyl tubes
  • 1/3 the body weight of ultralight butyl tubes
  • 1/3 the bodyweight of tubeless sealant

Ultra Compact:

  • 1/4 the volume of conventional butyl tubes. That will make them excellent as spares also as a backup if you run your tires tubeless.

Ultra Quick:

  • Much less rolling resistance than butyl tubes or tubeless
  • Very similar resistance as light-weight latex tubes, but without having air leakage.

Rene Herse TPU tubes occur in 700C for tires from 20 to 68 mm wide, as very well as in 650B / 26″ for tires from 30 to 68 mm large. We offer two valve lengths: The 50 mm valve stems are polished, the 70 mm are black. The stems don’t have threads, so they are easy to use with push-on pump heads. (With tubes, there’s no need to have for valve nuts. In fact, it’s greater if the valve can go in situation the tube shifts a very little throughout installation.)

The Rene Herse TPU tubes are in production now. We assume the initially deliveries in mid-April.

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