23/05/2013 | 5 comments
Apparently these insane inner tubes have actually been around for a while, but because there’s currently no UK distributor they’ve avoided our radar. We were tipped off about them by a guy from Fox suspension who’s been using them for over a year and he now won’t use anything else. At just 69g for this 26″ 2.25-2.6″ tube the word ‘light’ doesn’t really do these justice, they almost feel weightless. The fact that they’re completely see-through and don’t appear to stretch just makes them even more bizarre.
With such an incredibly low weight these are lighter than even a tubeless setup, and of course you get the convenience of an inner tube, the ability to run whatever tyres you like, and no need to worry about burping. I can now hear you all screaming “but what’s the bloody point if you’re going to get a flat by just looking at your bike”, and I know where you’re coming from cos like you I gave up trying to save weight by running skinny tubes after the first attempt, but believe it or not independent tests have proved that these are more puncture resistant than even a heavy weight tube! That’s for both snakebite and penetration punctures too. Chris, the guy from Fox, reckons that he hasn’t had a single flat in all the time that he’s been using them, and before you ask he is a ‘proper’ rider. If you do somehow get a flat then the tubes can be repaired using special adhesive patches which you simply stick on.
Aside form the crazy low weight and great puncture resistance Eclipse also reckon that these tubes provide very low rolling resistance and increased grip when compared to a regular tube. In fact they reckon performance in those areas is on a par with a tubeless setup. It all sounds pretty incredible, but what’s the catch? Well it has to be the price which seems pretty steep for something that on the surface seems so simple. They are made in Eclipse’s Swiss factory which must go someway to accounting for the cost, and it has to be said that even the valves ooze Swiss quality, but are they worth it? Well we’ll only be able to give you a definite answer to that question once we’ve tried them out for a decent amount of time, but if they prove to be as good as we are hearing then ‘yes’ could well be the answer. After all, many riders are prepared to spend large sums of money on shaving off relatively small amounts of weight, often with performance compromises, whereas these tubes shed a fair old chunk off in the most important place and might even offer a performance gain. Could these be the next secret weapon in your race arsenal? What do you lot reckon?
Tubes: €49.00 each, available in a wide range of sizes.
Patches (x5): €12.00