How Can Tubes Fit A Range Of Tyre Sizes?

Inner tubes are made of rubber and are very flexible. They are similar to balloons in that if you keep inflating them they keep expanding until eventually they will burst! It isn’t safe to over inflate inner tubes beyond sensible and recommended size ranges as the tubes will become weaker as they are stretched. 

Most inner tubes will safely cover two or three varying tyre sizes, and these sizes will often be marked on the inner tube as either distinct sizes, or displayed as a range. For example: A trailer tyre inner tube could be marked up as 135/145/155-12, which means that it is suitable for tyre sizes of either 135-12, 145-12 or 155-12. A lawn mower inner tube could be marked up as 23X8.50/10.50-12, which means it is suitable for tyre sizes of either 23X8.50-12 or 23X10.50-12.  A tractor inner tube could be marked up as 16.9-24 and 420/70-24, which means it is suitable for tyre sizes of 16.9-24 or 420/70-24. 

DOES THE QUALITY OF INNER TUBES VARY? Inner tube quality varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The mix of natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black and other chemical compounds determine the tubes strength, durability and it’s overall quality. At Big Tyres we sell good quality tubes from manufacturers that have been tried and tested over the years. Be careful when buying inner tubes from other sources as there are some very poor quality tubes on the market at present. Poor quality tubes fail sooner and cost you more in both down time and in replacements. 

WHAT VALVE DO I NEED? Valves come in different shapes & sizes to accommodate a wide variety of applications & wheel rim configurations. There are four main categories that inner tube valves fall into & within each are a handful of popular valve models to choose from: Straight Rubber Valves – The valve is made of rubber so is inexpensive & durable. The TR13 valve is the most common, used on car, trailer, quads, lawn mowers & some smaller agri machinery. It has a thin and straight valve stem. The TR15 has a wider / fatter valve stem so is used in wheels that have a larger valve hole, typically larger agri machinery or landrovers. Straight Metal Valves – The Valve is made of metal, so is stronger & more robust than their rubber counterparts. They are often used in high pressure applications, and when there is more risk of the valve being caught/knocked by hazards. The TR4 / TR6 are used on some quads. The most common is the TR218 which is an agri valve used on most tractors as it allows water ballasting. Bent Metal Valves – The valve is made of metal, and has a bend in it of varying degrees. The bend is usually to keep the valve stem from catching on hazards as the tyre turns, or to avoid it hitting the wheel rim if space is limited. They are common on trucks and materials handling machinery like forktrucks, sack trolleys & wheelbarrows. Forklifts usually use a JS2 valve. Small machinery like sack trucks use the TR87, and lorries / trucks use the long stemmed bent valves such as the TR78. Air/Water Valves – The TR218 valve is straight metal valve that allows water (as well as air) to be pumped through it in order to water ballast tyres/machinery. They are commonly used on agricultural machinery like tractors. 

INNER TUBES FOR OTHER USES – CHARITY RAFTS, SWIMMING ETC Inner tubes are pretty useful things, and every day we help advise people who are using them for all kinds of uses. So whether you need an inner tube for floating down a river, building your charity raft creation, or for a quirky shop window display, then we are happy to help. Please get in touch with your requirements and our team will point you in the right direction. As a quick pointer, decide roughly how large you would like the gap/hole in the centre of the tube to be (that’s called the rim size and it is measured in Inches). Then, decide roughly how large you would like the total diameter of the inflated tube to be (height of the tube if you stood it up-right next to you). If you can give us that information we can advise on some options for you. Please contact us for any additional help and information.


Post time: Aug-15-2020