Which tubes are the most rugged, maintenance free?


New Member
Local time
4:30 AM
Jun 15, 2008
i was wondering what the best tubes are. looking for something very rugged, reliable, and needing the least maintenance. something that i can ride many miles from my house and never have to worry about. i see these ones called slime tubes, are they the best? :cool:
Don't get slime tubes!!

Go to your local bike shop... buy either heavy-duty or thorn-resistant tubes (heavy-duty are same thickness all the way around, thorn-resistant are even thicker than that on the outter side of the tube - for thorn-resistance - but they're regular tube thickness on sides & inner side).

Then get liners for both sides of the tube (tire & rim sides). You can pay for them at the bike shop, online, or make some homemade liners... electrical tape for the rim side, so your spokes don't pop the tube; old trimmed-down road tire for the tire side, so glass and thorns will never hurt you!
I have HD Slime tubes with poly liners and Conti Town and Country tires - I haven't had any problems with them - and zero punctures. Probably overkill, but my bike is used as a daily commuter - so reliability, safety and durability were primary concerns - Chris


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I personally chose thorn-resistant tubes because 95% of my flats have been puncture flats. I really couldn't imagine heavy-duty tubes being that much different really.

But honestly, with the addition of the tire & rim liners... it'd be next to impossible to get a flat so long as you inflate the tire properly, and keep it within the recommended range.

As for the Big Apple tires, I have heard good things about them. I *love* the tires I have right now - Shadow Conspiracy Undertaker Folding tire - but as far as I know, it's a 20" tire only. The Big Apple's prolly just as good, if not better.
Thanks. those are some nice looking tires you got. in fact, i really like the tread pattern on just about all the tires from the site you linked to. i wish they made em in 26"!

im realy liking the look of the big apples i may pull the trigger tonight. im just scared, sice i dont know what im doing, that they would be less than optimal (just worrying) for friction.
I doubt the Big Apple's traction would be less than optimal for friction drive, but the price might be. Those Innova Swiftor tires that Loquin linked you to in another thread might be better suited for friction drive because they're cheaper. You could have three sets for the price of one set of Big Apples, and that could come in handy since the friction drive will be burning thru your tires.
What's all this about friction drives "burning thru" tires? I've had a Stanton Honda 35 friction drive since December, put over 775 miles on it and haven't had any problem with the drive wearing the tire. The few times it's slipped it was because I didn't have the drive properly adjusted, I could tell it was slipping and quickly tightened the drive. For me, riding on paved streets at the beach, the net benefits of the friction drive are much than those of a chain drive.