Sea Otter Classic, North America’s premier cycling festival, is happening now at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The four-day event hosts hundreds of world-class riders who are competing in mountain and road races as well as brands big and small that are revealing new products for 2019 and beyond. We have a team on the ground to bring you intel on all of the most exciting product releases. Follow our coverage here.
Model: S-Tubo MTB
Availability: Available Now
Unique Features: Very lightweight, packs down small, puncture resistant
Upshot: These orange inner tubes are lighter, stronger, and smaller than anything else on the market by over 100 grams (3.5 ounces) per wheel. That might not sound like a lot, especially if you use a tubeless setup. But when you’re packing for a long ride or race, changing your spare butyl tube for one of these might be the best value method to save weight on your overall rig.
Who It’s For: Anyone who rides with a spare tube (everyone should).
Insight: Inner tubes don’t seem to be an area ripe for innovation; they’re just tubes of rubber, right? Well, yes, they are, but they are also one of the few components shared by almost every bike. Even if you run a tubeless system you’ll probably carry an innertube as a backup in the event of a puncture. It boils down to the fact that a better innertube can make almost any bike better.
Tubolito’s tubes are made of a membrane that was first developed for use in the speakers of cellphones. The material is at once lighter than butyl (the common tube material) and also more puncture resistant. Tubolito S products come with a removable valve, meaning that you can pack a spare tube into a roll about the size of a golf ball. At 45 grams (1.6 ounces) for a 29er tire, the Tubolito saves 150 grams (5.3 ounces) overall compared to a typical tube. Saving that much weight on a frame, handlebar or saddle could cost you 10 times as much, and unlike these tubes, those products are more likely to fail in the long-run.