Production of Schwalbe’s ultra-lightweight inner tubes start next month, with retail availability early in 2016. The tubes are made from Aerothan, a thermoplastic material developed in cooperation with the German chemical giant BASF.
A 29er tube made from Aerothan weighs 76g. Schwalbe’s current Extralight 29er tube weighs 140g, with a standard tube weighing 220g.
Aerothan tubes cannot be used on wheels stopped by rim brakes so the ultralightwight tubes will be available only in MTB sizes to begin with, including 27.5+ and fat bike. 700c sizes are under development but may not be launched until the UCI ratifies the use of road discs. BikeBiz has been told the weight of a 700c Aerothan tube is a featherweight 35g.
The Aerothan MTB tube will cost €19.90. The tube’s valve base and valve spindle are also made from Aerothan making the tube easy to recycle.