Pumping up your tyres isn’t a particularly difficult or time-consuming task... but if you’re rushing out of the door on your way to work or to meet a friend it can be frustrating, and that's where Schwalbe are here to help with their new Air Plus tube. They say it's thicker and retains more air, so you needn't pump your tyres up so often.
It's not recommended to ride on squishy tyres - especially if you’re riding a heavier e-bike or cargo bike - so while Schwalbe isn’t reinventing the wheel with the Air Plus, it'll be a welcome change for some. They’ve simply increased the tube’s wall thickness by 70% over a standard bicycle tube to 1.5mm. This simple change results “in 50 percent higher air retention”, they claim.
Adding to this is the 'pure butyl rubber' construction. This, Schwalbe says, helps to retain air due to the 'low air permeability'.
The main focus of the Air Plus tube is to reduce maintenance, say Schwalbe, especially for heavier bikes. There are secondary benefits to the new tubes though; Schwalbe claims that “the increased wall thickness also protects against punctures caused by strikes and blows.”
While many punctures are simply unavoidable, with luck playing a big part, the potential for fewer flats will be a welcome feature for many city riders dealing with broken roads and sharp road debris. The extra wall thickness does increase the tube’s weight though; at a claimed 120g per 28” tube, Schwalbe reckon this “should hardly be noticeable for the majority of riders."
The new tube comes in a range of seven sizes from 20” to 29”, priced at £10.50 each with stock expected to land in the UK in June/July according to Schwalbe's UK Sales Manager. You can find out more on Schwalbe's website.