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Weighing a whopping 460g, these are ultra heavy- duty tubes for riders looking for the last word in durability and in both wide section 700c or 26 they’ve never once let me down in several thousand mixed terrain miles.
Made from 4.6mm thick butyl, they’re four times thicker than your bog standard tube and feel every bit the proverbial builder’s hose. Aboard my four season’s fixer with big 38mm rubber they’ve laughed at flints, thorns and riding through shards of glass may have nicked the tyres but it’s never touched the tubes.
Conventional tubes generally succumb once you’ve ridden the obstruction deep enough into the casing but on one occasion, a nugget of glass worked its way out of the tyre casing-tube totally unscathed! Running the mtb size at 25psi to see if I could invite a pinch flat had no effect. Even a loose rim tape inviting a sneaky spoke couldn’t induce the ominous hiss. That said, worse case scenario with a decent patch kit you’d be on your way without much fuss.
The availability of sizes from 20 inches upwards means they’re great for utility folders, trailers and kids bikes where reliability wins over blistering performance and given I ride remote forest trails very late at night and do longish four season stints on my RTB with my son on the tag-along (where dependability is paramount) they’ve been my tubes of choice. Compared with standard models, they add a fair bit of rolling resistance but you’d never notice on a laden bike, or one equipped with a dynohub.
Summing up, they’re not puncture proof and cost almost twice that of common or garden butyl tubes. While I wouldn’t fit them on a race mount whether crosser or mtb, for laden touring, commuting or trekking they’ve a lot to offer-especially heavier, puncture prone riders.
Weighty but worthy tubes for commuting and trekking duties
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Make and model: Kenda Thorn resistant inner tube
Size tested: 26x1.9-2.1
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at tourists, commuters and leisure riders, the thorn resistant as their name suggests are thick butyl tubes designed to fend off thorns and other obstructions. A pretty fair synopsis in my opinion.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
4.6mm thick butyl, available in either Presta or Schrader valve options.
Very, Very substantial.
Excellent defence against punctures of all varieties, albeit at the expense of rolling resistance but you wouldn't notice on a laden tourer or utility mount with a dynohub.
Probably the most durable tube I've come accross in some twenty odd years!
460g is a lot for a tube!
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Thousands of miles without the dreaded hiss through glass strewn town centres and woodland alike. I've always taken spare tube, patch kit and pump but never needed them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Sheer bullet-proof construction and dependability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
If only they were lighter.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? In certain contexts
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)