Schwalbe has introduced a new line of lightweight tubes, with options available for everything from mountain bikes to road bikes. The Aerothan tubes aren't made of rubber – instead, they're constructed from a thermoplastic polyurethane, which is said to be more puncture resistant than butyl and latex tubes while offering very low rolling resistance. At 87 grams for the 29” mountain bike version, the weights are impressively low, and the tubes also pack down to a much smaller size than a traditional tube.
Schwalbe produced a batch of lightweight thermoplastic tubes back in 2015, but they weren't satisfied with the durability of those blue tubes, so they went back to the drawing board. According to Felix Schäfermeier, Schwalbe Product Manage, “For five years, we have tested the material in cooperation with BASF and improved it to perfection, exploring a completely new area of technology. This was the only way to surpass apparent obstacles of wanting to combine minimal weight and greatest puncture protection.”
While the weight might be low, that's not exactly the case with the price, at around €28 for the mountain bike versions. Still, considering the weight and space savings it's easy to imagine picking up one to strap to a bike or toss in a pack in case of a flat that plugs can't fix. The tubes are made in Germany, and are 100% recyclable.
More info: schwalbe.com