Italian tire maker Pirelli recently launched their lightest ever inner tube, the SmarTUBE. Weighing at only 35g for a 23mm version, Pirelli claims that the SmarTUBE saves up to 70% of weight compared to a standard latex tube.
The SmarTUBE technology is trickled down from the Pirelli’s tubular tires used by its sponsored World Tour teams such as Team BikeExchange, Trek-Segafredo and AG2R Citröenis.
Designed to work in tandem with Pirelli’s range of bike tires, the SmarTUBE range is made up of 3 different versions for road, gravel, and mountain biking.
- P Zero SmarTUBE – Road Riding (disc and rim brakes)
- Scorpion SmarTUBE – Mountain Biking (disc brakes only)
- Cinturato – Gravel Riding (disc and rim brakes)
The inner tube is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, or TPU. Pirelli’s engineers chose this for its excellent performance when compared to a standard butyl tube. Pirelli claims that the SmarTUBE is even lighter than the standard latex tube, which is already lighter than a traditional butyl tube.
In addition, the SmarTUBE folds up into a very compact shape and saves up to 50% space in your jersey’s back pocket.
It comes in a bright yellow, synonymous with Pirelli’s logo color and a black Presta valve in 42mm and 60mm length.
Pricing and availability – The Pirelli SmartTUBE is available in stores from $36.90, €29.90, £27,99,
It’s interesting to see a competitor (this time an established) brand enter the super lightweight inner tubes market. We now have Tubolito, the incumbent and Pirelli eyeing for same, niche premium market. At $36.90 per tube, the price is definitely on the high side, which means it’s not for everyone.
According to Pirelli’s advice, replace if tube or valve is damaged, our understanding is that the SmartTUBE can’t be repaired if punctured, and would be a very expensive puncture. You definitely don’t want to be riding these on rough and wet roads. Save them for the dry, race days instead.
With that said, we would definitely like to test them ourselves to see if the weight and low rolling resistance would outweigh the premium price.