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Online, 10 @ a time, cheap

I think the last group I bought last year was from Jenson.com, something like 10 for $17 + shipping. Don't use that many but it is one of those must have on hand items if you ride lots.
 

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Alternate approaches

Timmons said:
Where do you guys buy your tubes? Online? LBS? I'm looking for suggestions.
I buy my tubes when I see Michelin Ultralights on sale, which is typically online. Some people think that "expensive" tubes are a waste of money and buy large quantities of cheapies at blow-out prices, like $2 per tube. It's really a matter of deciding what tubes you like and then looking for a good price, if that matters to you. Do you really have a rationale that would suggest that somehow buying the same product one place or the other makes a difference in some way?
 

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Good thing to buy at the LBS

The price doesn't vary by more than a buck or two, so I generally buy them at the LBS one or two at a time. Dropping by and making a small purchase occasionally keeps me fresh in their minds if I need help in a hurry. Though I did buy 10 for $10.99 at REI last year.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
I buy my tubes when I see Michelin Ultralights on sale, which is typically online. Some people think that "expensive" tubes are a waste of money and buy large quantities of cheapies at blow-out prices, like $2 per tube. It's really a matter of deciding what tubes you like and then looking for a good price, if that matters to you. Do you really have a rationale that would suggest that somehow buying the same product one place or the other makes a difference in some way?
Do you have a particular reason why you prefer Michelin Ultralights?

I buy my tubes @ MEC(like REI), because they are cheap and lighter than conti's.
 

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I ONLY use Michelin or Vittoria quality tubes.

I bought 10 of those Performance ones for $18 when I first got into roadieing, and ended up giving 5 away I hated them so much. Stupid seams, weak connection to stem, and bloody garbage threaded stems.

Get only unthreaded tube stems and a Silca pump and you'll save like 30 seconds of anger every time you inflate your tires.
 

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mad scientist
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As fast as I go through tubes it would be prohibitively expensive to by them from my LBS.
Most tubes there go for $5/each or so. In general like to support local businesses but come on. So like many others I go online and find a deal at performance or jenson or whatever and get 10 at a time for $20 or so. It doesn't help that my LBSs aren't that pleasant to deal with, so I am less likely to pony up the dough. Yo, if you run a LBS you need friendly employees!
 

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Good tubes

LBK said:
So threadless stems are better? But why? Can you define Quality tubes for me? I honestly don't understand the differences
Threadless stems don't tear up pump heads and are much easier to use when pumping tires. Quality tubes means that you don't experience seam splits, the tube is lightweight, the valve stem is properly attached and doesn't easily pull out, the tube will hold a patch well (typically this means that it is flexible), and the tube is resistant to abrasion failures. Just like for anything else, quality is in the eye of the beholder, and does have to be balanced against cost to get value.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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One man's gold.......

is another man's lead.

I have never had good luck with these tubes. Every single time.....not once in a while, but every time, I try these tubes, I flat.

I can ride a conti tube for 4,000 miles w/o a flat......I put one of these in and flat on the next ride. I've gotten to the point where if someone offers these to me, I decline.

Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

Len
 

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Quality tubes.

I'm less concerned about threaded vs unthreaded stems. The 99 cent gasket in my pump head is easily replaced and the pump head holds better on threaded stems. What matters to me is the valve stems not ripping away from the tube and that light weight is achieved with thinner rubber rather than decreasing diameter which makes the tubes much harder to patch.

If I need a tube right away and the LBS has some that I like, I'll get them at the shop. Otherwise I look for sales or get them included with tires from World Class Cycles.

I've been happy with Michelin and Vittoria tubes; less happy with Hutchinson and Conti; thoroughly dissatisfied with Kenda and Pyramid.
 

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n00bsauce
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I buy my tubes at the LBS. I like Salsa Super Lite (made by Kenda) tubes and they have them for a reasonable price. It's one of those small things that doesn't have much of a price difference between online and LBS, especially if you factor in shipping. Gives me an excuse to visit the LBS and shoot the s**t.
 

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Power Napper
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LBS doesn't live on tubes alone

A good friend of mine was the owner of our local LBS. He just sold it to someone else because he couldn't afford to run it anymore. I bought three bikes from him, he rebuilt a wheel for me after a bad crash. I've also purchased shoes, a saddle or two, chains, brake pads etc and always got good service. Now maybe he just wan't a good business man, but he regularly told me that he couldn't stay in business selling just tubes and patch kits.

As for where I buy tubes. If I see a decent deal on-line and I'm buying other stuff anyway I'll order some. No sense in paying for shipping if it's just tubes. If I need a spare quickly (meaning my stash is gone) then I'll pick one or two up locally.
 

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Nice

Kerry Irons said:
Threadless stems don't tear up pump heads and are much easier to use when pumping tires. Quality tubes means that you don't experience seam splits, the tube is lightweight, the valve stem is properly attached and doesn't easily pull out, the tube will hold a patch well (typically this means that it is flexible), and the tube is resistant to abrasion failures. Just like for anything else, quality is in the eye of the beholder, and does have to be balanced against cost to get value.
Thank you for the explanation. I'll try one my self.
 

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I'm a cheap bastid and prefer Conti tubes. I end up picking them up a couple at a time from my LBS. I rarely see them on sale on-line but would buy them on-line if placing an order anyway.

I find that the threaded stems hold the pump head better. I will concede that this does wear the rubber gasket in the pump head faster. Whenever I try some cheapo brand tube I get unexplained flats. I've had far fewer mystery flats with Conti tubes.

Another way I determine the quality of a tube is to pump them up out of the tire. Bulges in the tube indicate that the rubber is not consistent in thickness. Pump up a few no-name tubes and they look like a fire hose with basketballs in them.
 
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