This tip will help you protect your spare tubes. Follow my tip and you won’t have to suffer the problem I did, many years ago. I was in a long mountain bike Enduro event and I got a flat tire.
I found both my unprotected tubes, carried in my under-saddle bag, had suffered abrasions due to months of jiggling around in the bag. Holes had worn in the corner folds of both tubes, rendering them totally useless. Luckily, I was able to “borrow” a tube, and that saved miles of hiking.
My solution is this: Set one of your old cycling socks aside. Totally deflate two tubes and roll them tightly. Make sure you install the valve cap so that the Presta screw isn’t able to wear a hole in the tube. Fasten the tubes with rubber bands.
Insert one tube into the sock, pushing it down as far as it can go into the toe. Twist the sock and insert the 2nd tube. Twist the sock again, after the 2nd tube, and fold one tube onto the of the other — retaining the separation twist.
Fold the top of the sock back over the tubes to create a compact package.
You now have total tube protection, an emergency rag for dirty jobs that fits nicely over your hand, and – if you’re real in dire need – emergency T.P.! (Don’t think I need to expand on that one!)
Next Article: How to Fix Loose Bicycle Handlebar Tape or Tape with Gaps
Raleigh Fehr says
I keep mine in a ziploc baggie filled with talcum powder. The talc helps prevent the abrasions and assists with installing.
Raleigh, I do the same but also wrap the powdered inner tube with Saran Wrap before putting the tube into a half-size zip bag.
tony m says
Me too – still the best way, and helps when inserting/inflating the tube in the tire.
So do I.
Edward Custer says
I wrap my spare tubes with Seran Wrap. Nice tight wrap, weighs next to nothing. Prevents junk from poking into tubes. Easy to pull off (not reuseabe). I stuff the used wrap into my jersey pocket and disgard it when I get home. My wife always has a big roll of this stuff in the kitchen. I first wrap a couple of large rubber bands around the tubes before applying Seran Wrap. The Seran Wrap won’t keep the tube from unraveling. I’ve also used Zip Loc bags. I had one work inself out of my jersey pocket and lost it on a ride. Slippery stuff. Only happened once though.
Kerry Irons says
I wrap my spare tube in a bandanna. I wrap in my little box of instant patches and some pieces of Tyvek for a tire boot. It keeps everything together and when I get a flat, I have a bandanna to wipe my hands after the flat fix is done.
Mike T. says
I wrote that tip and provided those photos for RBR a few years ago. Good to see they’re being recycled!
Road Bike Rider says
Thanks Mike! Yes, we like to reuse the good ones now and then that are still helpful and relevant, because it isn’t necessarily even the same audience reading the newsletter several years later, and they might not have even read it the first time around.
Mike T. says
Yes, so true RBR!
David Ertl says
I use socks as well. Plus it gives you something to use to wipe off grease from your hands when needed.
Dustan Martin says
I have used a sock in the past. I am currently using a Ziploc baggie with talcum powder. I have had a mechanics type paper towel wrapped around a multi tool for years and it is still going strong, it would probably work just as well as the bandanna idea which sounds good.
Roy Bloomfield says
Another Saran Wrap user here…a great solution, as the wrapping keeps the tube small and slightly compressed, and definitely protected.
larry english says
i use an old crown royal bag.
i also do not put 2 tubes in the same bag.
unrelated – my favorite material for tire boot is KEVLAR
a FEDEX envelope is kevlar
KERRY IRONS says
No, a FEDEX (or Priority Mail) envelope is not Kevlar Kevlar is polyaramid. The envelopes are polyethylene. As is Tyvek house wrap.
joel pontbriand says
i keep one in my back pocket of my jersey with the valve cover on; reason being with a 60mm valve stem if i were ever to crash and the valve was bare i wouldn’t want 60mm of sharp steel going into my body at any point should i hit just right! stranger things have happened!!!
Bruce Ross says
There is a woman in my town that makes cycling tote bags out of old tires and tubes (I’ve provided her with some) and the size works perfectly for all of the stuff a cyclist would need to carry on most rides. The unique feature is that the bag fits comfortably in the center rear back pocket on most cycling jerseys. I have two of them – one for road riding and the other for mountain bike riding. Besides how much they hold what I especially like about them is that all I have to do is grab the correct one (red zipper = road & black zipper = mtb) before I go for a ride knowing that everything I might need is enclosed and ready to use. Both tubes have been talced and fit into sealed plastic baggies and there is room in the tote to carry a CO2 inflater, a spare cartridge plus two carbon wheel compatible tire irons. I’ve been using these for about 10 years now and bought mine at the Spokesman here in SC. I’ve often had cyclists inquire about them while riding.
Mike H. says
I use a couzy to protect a spare tube
Bill Melnick says
I use the cover from an old collapsible umbrella. The material is abrasive resistant, light, and already shaped to accept one tube.
I read somewhere not to use rubber bands because over time they can start to adhere to the tube although I suppose if you wrap it in plastic wrap first, then it would be fine
I just leave the tube in the box, and put in my seat bag. No mess, no fuss.
I use a TPU tube and keep it and the rim strip that came with it in my right jersey pocket with the mini pepper spray so I can look at them after every ride. Patches and antiseptic wipes, dude wipes, band aids, nitrile gloves and tools in the under seat bag. Rugged phone in the center jersey pocket and facial tissue in the left pocket. Life is good.
Roy Bloomfield says
Saran Wrap for me as well…folded up nice and tight and protected.