Vittoria Introduces Lightweight, High-Speed Bicycle Inner Tubes Made of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
Latest:Vittoria spent a year researching materials and production last year in an attempt to produce a new generation of lightweight inner tubes. Via the bike company’s latest product – Ultra Light
Speed, which it claims has achieved this goal.
Compared to Vittoria’s standard butyl innertube, the new tube is 70% lighter, 14% faster and 57% more puncture resistant. If you’re concerned about the environment, don’t worry, because these inner tubes are also recyclable.
Vittoria achieved its intended goal of an ultra-lightweight inner tube with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
If the technical name for this material sounds familiar, it’s because it’s ubiquitous. Its extreme durability and wide applicability make it popular in various industries and consumer products.
Vittoria apparently agrees. TPU is not only recyclable, but also flexible in use. The company says it is stable between 47°C and 100°C (116°F-212°F) and retains its shape even when stretched thin.
It is also elastic, airtight while maintaining air pressure, and resistant to punctures. Even with a punctured inner tube, Vittoria insists that it retains air longer than butyl and latex inner tubes.
Compared to the usual 1mm thick butyl inner tube, the TPU tube is only 0.35mm.
VittoriaInformation for riders
Speed junkies among cyclists may embrace Ultra Light Speed tubes because of their ability to reduce rolling resistance caused by the internal friction between the tire and the tube, Vittoria said.
“So if you’re a rider with a collapsible tube, it’s the easiest way to save weight and make your tires roll faster,” a spokesperson said. “If you’re a tubeless rider, It’s the ultimate accessory to put in your jersey pocket or saddle bag because it takes up no space and weighs almost nothing.”
An important note: rim brakes plusTPUtubes don’t work
While TPU inner tubes have many benefits, they also have an important disadvantage. It is very sensitive to heat above its established threshold.
“High temperature is the natural enemy of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU),” Vittoria said. On rare occasions, rim brakes can overheat the rim to extremely high temperatures, creating a potential safety issue.
That’s why cyclists should only use TPU tubes on bikes with disc brakes, the company says.
“For the complete safety of the rider, we recommend using these tubes only on disc brake-equipped bikes,” Vittoria emphasized.
Details of Ultra Light Speed Tubes
While Vittoria says the TPU inner tube will resist most punctures, the Ultra Light
The Speed still comes with a repair kit. Vittoria said that if a puncture did occur, the required repair kit was “not easy to find,” so we opted to sell it with the inner tube.
The Speed tube is a single length, but has an expandable valve. It is available in 700x25c and 700x30c with 60mm valves and a removable Presta core. This makes this tube fully compatible with any rim depth up to 50mm. By removing the Presta core and using valve extensions, Vittoria says the tube can also be used for larger rim profiles.