Inner Tubes for Tandems

Inner Tubes for Tandems

Like all the components on a tandem the tires and tubes are stressed to their max while in service by a tandem team. The tubes in particular can wear rapidly and require special attention during maintenance.

Regular inner tubes are designed and manufactured with solo bikes in mind. The density and pressure they can withstand, while suitable for basic riding use, can be taken a bit far by a tandem. It is not uncommon for a basic tube to blowout at a seam under the stress of riding.

To prevent avoidable flats it is best to select the higher end tubes made by some of the better known manufacturers or selecting the thicker “thorn resistant” tubes. Latex tubes should be avoided at all costs as their thin walls are not designed to support a tandem.

When changing tires take care to inspect the outside of the tube. Look for signs of scuffing along the top bead from friction between tube and tire. Also inspect the valve stem for signs of cracking.

Should you flat during a ride also pay special care to the tire itself. The pressure release from a flat can damage the thread casing leaving that section of the tire prone to tears thus allowing the tube to poke through and blow a short time later. In a pinch a dollar bill, foil energy bar wrapper, or tube patch can be used to reinforce the tire casing and get you home.

The inner tubes on a tandem bike are often the most neglected piece of equipment but with some care in selecting the appropriate brand and attention paid at maintenance they should perform adequately for the needs of a tandem team.

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