The Michelin Aircomp ultralight tubes are my favorite, must use, go-to part on every road bike my family uses. Well I just gave away the conclusion of this review but it was good enough to put up front.
When it comes to tubes, many riders don’t give them much thought other than picking the right size and valve stem, but there are a few small details that can make a tube worth every extra penny.
The Michelin tubes are made of traditional butyl rubber in Thailand, home of the world’s rubber production so I’m guessing the ingredients are fresh. They have a smooth non-threaded valve stem so those little knurled nuts have no use on these tubes. The smooth stem makes inserting and removing a pump head extremely easy and creates a better seal. There is no twisting or yanking of the pump head since it just slides off. The downside of the smooth valve stem is it can rattle on some rims which is easily solved with a small piece of electrical tape wrapped around the stem base.
So far I have about 5,000 miles on a set of these tubes without a single flat. That’s right, I’ve never flatted once using these tubes and they have been through two wheelsets and multiple tire sets. I’m sure my good fortune is involved but I think this says a lot for the durability of these tubes.
My 700×20-23c/40mm stem length tubes weigh in at a real life 73 grams each and cost around $10. Some generic tubes of the same size I have weigh 105 grams each for comparison. This is an easy way to lose 60+ grams of weight where it matters most at the wheel perimeter.
I’ve been meaning to try latex tubes which are even lighter and reports have shown can have a little less rolling resistance. However, since I’ve never experienced a flat on the Michelin tubes why try anything else at this point?
The Michelin Aircomp Ultra Lights tubes are available in both road and mountain versions in the following sizes. I am now carrying these tubes for $9. They are available at your local shop or at many retailers online.
700X20-23C / 40mm presta valve / 75g
700X20-23C / 52mm presta valve / 77g
700×20-23C / 60mm presta valve / 78g
26X1.4-2.1 / 40mm presta valve / 152g
26X2.1-2.5 / 40mm presta valve / 250g
26X2.1-2.5 / 40mm presta valve / 384g
- Pan-Mass Special
- Are you ready for an emergency?