Everybody hates punctures, which is why newer better puncture-resistant inner-tubes are constantly being invented, and the gravelly side of the road is littered with their flaccid carcasses as for a variety of reasons they fail to beat the general all-round user-friendly convenience and cost of a normal inner-tube.
The latest tubes to step up to the challenge are these ones from Foss, who claim their tubes are not just puncture resistant but also lighter and more environmentally friendly than your normal inner-tube, quite the triple whammy. Each is a bold claim by itself, but as the Foss website proudly proclaims they’re “a unique, energetic, strong conqueror”. And who would dare argue with that?
First off, Foss tubes claim high puncture resistance because they’re made from a highly polymerized un-vulcanized rubber composite, which is special because if punctured the tube material forms an air-tight seal around the thorn, nail or puncture intent sliver of glass, retarding the speed of the leaking air. This means that you won’t know you’ve punctured as long as the offending item is still in the tyre, or at worst it will go down incredibly slowly, allowing you to get home. However should you get a hole you’ll need to fix it with one of the special self-adhesive patches that are available at £3.98 for six.
The Foss tubes are environmentally friendly because the modified thermoplastic elastomer compounds (TPE) they are constructed from means they can be recycled with other TPE products, thus minimizing waste & protecting the environment.
And if all that wasn’t enough Foss say their tubes weigh about 30% less than other tubes, and they have blue valves, which is cool.
Foss tubes cost £19.99, so they’ll need to be about 4 or 5 times better than a standard tube to be worth their while, which is not an insignificant challenge, even for a strong conqueror. The tubes come with their own special rim-tape which is designed to stop the tube slipping and pinching in the tyre and are available in 20x1.35-1.75, 20x20-25c, 26x1.35-1.75, 26x1.95-2.25, 29x1.95-2.25, 700x20-25c and 700x35-45c sizes.
These Foss inner-tubes come with incredibly specific instructions for fitting, which doesn’t help with the trepidation brought on by newer improved lighter better inner-tubes thanks to experiences with new improved lighter better inner-tubes in the past, swearing by the roadside in the cold and dark, and rain. But we’ve got some of these blue tubes for the road bike and some for the cyclo-cross bike to hopefully put those demons to rest.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.