Ask any commuter cyclist about the top things they worry about and, invariably, right up there with inclement weather, comes flats. A punctured tube isn’t the hardest repair in the world, but when you need to get somewhere in a hurry you don’t want to be waylaid—or show up with dirty hands after fussing with your dirty wheels and drivetrain. Tubolito doesn’t ever want this to happen to you again, so the Austrian company has released a more robust version of its already quite durable thermoplastic polyurethane tubes, called X-Tubo City/Tour, that promises some serious puncture protection.
Glass, tacks, rogue metal bits, the X-Tubo is designed to take them all in stride for miles of fuss-free riding. Tubolito is so sure of the new model’s anti-puncture prowess that the brand is offering a one-year warranty. If you get a flat in that time period, Tubolito will replace it for you. (You just have to register your tubes within a month of purchase).
But it looks like claims on that warranty will be few and far between. The brand’s demonstration video shows some impressive feats, including riding over glass and tacks with no problem. Granted, there are some commuter tires, like the Schwalbe Marathon, which boast the same puncture protection regardless of type of tube used. What’s truly impressive in the video though is the X-Tube withstanding a nail puncture that pokes through the entire tire and into the tube. Especially when coupled with a robust commuter tire, flats could be a thing of the past with this tube.
We’ve used Tubolito tubes in the past on road bikes, and have found them to be very durable—we haven’t had one puncture yet—and also quite light, which is a bonus when you’re toting along spare tubes.
Like other Tubolito tubes, the X-Tubo carries a price premium over standard tubes, costing $24.90 per tube instead of $7-$10 for standard ones. How much the prospect of near flat-free riding is worth is up to you.
The X-Tubo fits 700c tires with widths of 30mm to 50mm, and is available with a 40mm Schrader valve or a 42mm Presta valve.