Failed Fatbike Superlight Tube

Just about a year ago I switched the fatbike to using Q-Tubes Superlight 26 x 2.4-2.75″ tubes with polyester ribbon rim strips to save weight. This worked, but today I suffered a flat at Poto¬†as a result. It turns out that the place where the tube bulges up through the rim holes has decayed, and these eventually fail to pinholes. I’d patched one a month or two ago, and today’s flat was another.

I’m not sure if the issue is simply from stretching, ozone exposure, UV exposure, or perhaps even the soap used when washing my bike. I mostly suspect UV or ozone, but I don’t know enough about failure modes of this material to say for sure.

I still feel these tubes are the best low cost option for lightening up a fatbike, so I’ll end up ordering a few more, swapping the existing tubes, and going for another year. Even at $20/year in tubes it’s still a lot cheaper than going with some carbon fiber rims.¬†Although, some carbon fiber rims set up tubeless (with the Hope Fatsno hubs picked up in November) would solve a whole bunch of problems at once… They’d just cost a lot.

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