Revoloop REVO.FAT | TPU Fat Tubes

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

I have to admit that I’m not a fan of running my fat tires tubeless. I’m not against shaving a little rotational weight, however I’d much rather swap out a clean tube when out on the trail or changing tires.

While I have already changed the stock fat bike tubes for slimmer mountain bike tubes on my fatties, I am always on the lookout for simple weight saving ideas.

When surfing the web one day I stumbled across Revoloop and their bicycle tubes made from thermoplastic polyurethane. Peeking my interest I reached out and they were kind enough to send some fat versions for review.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

The Tubes

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is a type of polyurethane plastic with characteristics that include: high abrasion resistance, high shear strength and high elasticity. Common uses include: CV boots, drive belts, footwear soles and caster wheels.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

According to the folks at Revoloop their fat tubes
  • Fit tires 3.8 to 5.0 wide
  • Have high puncture and snakebite resistance
  • Can be completely recycled
  • Weight approximately 160g (26” wheel version)
  • Have very high mechanical strength and elasticity
  • Have valve stems with a welded base plate and are made from impact-resistant and break-proof TPU
The tubes remind me of the texture and feel of 10 mil polyethylene plastic used in home construction, or a very thick clear freezer bag.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

I never noticed any odour or powder from the TPU that you would normally expect from butyl rubber tubes.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

They have a 40mm presta valve, but without a threaded locking collar.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

And the patch kits also appear somewhat unconventional.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

Bottom line . . . these Revoloop TPU tubes are certainly different, but how do they compare to the standard run-of-the mill butyl rubber found inside most bicycle tires.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

Weight

What is immediately obvious is that comparable butyl rubber tubes are significantly heavier than the REVO.FAT tubes. A stock fat bike tube is quite portly at 495g.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

A 26 x 2.4 – 2.8 mountain bike tube weights a little lighter at 406g.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

But there is a significant weight savings with the 26 x 3.8 - 5.0 REVO.FAT tubes - they weigh a slim 155g. When comparing to fat and mtb tubes, that is a weight savings of 340g and 251g per wheel or 680g and 502g overall. That is some significant trimming.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

Price

Taking a quick peek at my LBS on-line store I found 26” fat bike tubes at $19.99 CAD and 26” mountain bike tubes at $8.99 CAD. An on-line Canadian retailer shows the REVO.FAT at $49.99 CAD. While the REVO.FAT are 2.5 x more expensive than fat tubes, they are about 70% lighter.

Just for fun I hopped over to an on-line retailer to compare alloy vs carbon bars. Looking at 31.8 mm x 720 mm bars from same manufacturer, the alloy bars were $75 and weighed 240g while the carbon bars were $162 and weighed 202g. The carbon bars are approximately 2.25 x more expensive than alloy, but only about 15% lighter.

Installation

Having both 26" x 80mm and 27.5" x 80mm fat rims on hand I decided to install the TPU tubes in both. 
When unfolded the REVO.FAT tubes looked huge. There was significant “droop” when wrapped around the 27.5” rim and more so with the 26” rim.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

And as they lay flat, I grabbed the calipers and discovered that they are about 110 mm wide.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

I was advised by the folks at Revoloop that, unlike butyl rubber tubes, their tubes are to be installed without air and to hold on the valve when inflating. I was unsure why they needed to be deflated with installing, but holding on to the valve made sense as there was no threaded collar to keep it in place.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

Not knowing what to expect, I gingerly pumped the 27.5 x 4.5 and 26 x 5.0 tires up to 25 psi to set the tires. A few pops later and I dropped the pressure to 8 psi.

A couple of days later I checked the pressure in both tires and they were still at 8 psi. Definitely a good start.

Riding

Over the next couple of months I rode these tubes, with the majority of the riding being on the 27.5 x 80 rims with 27.5 x 4.5 Vee Snow Avalanche.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

My riding went from mid-fall to mid winter with conditions ranging from wet mud to slippery ice.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

To be honest, after the first couple of rides I completely forgot I was running the TPU tubes. At times the only reminder was the patch kit in my tool bag or when I had to adjust the air pressure.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

Tire pressure ranged from 15 psi (gravel grinds) to 8 psi (woods exploration) to 5 psi (snow riding) to 3 psi (extreme snow riding).

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

When running 3 psi I was a little cautious as I have gotten snake bite in regular butyl rubber tubes at that pressure.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

I did notice something interesting about the TPU tubes when swapping out for studded tires. The tubes actually conformed to the wheel cut-outs and spoke nipples.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

I was unable to get all the air out of the tube as per the installation instructions, however I did get the studded tires mounted without incident for ice riding.

Revoloop TPU tubes REVO.FAT Review Fat Bike Tube TPU Tube Clear Tube Fatbike Republic Fat Bike Fatbike Newfoundland

Final Thoughts

I had absolutely no issues with the REVO.FAT tubes by Revoloop during testing. They were a little trickier when installing as they go in deflated and have no threaded collar, but after that they held air at various psi . . . which is what a tube is supposed to do.

I'll be running these through the summer when riding and bikepacking and I'm looking forward to the extra weight and volume savings of carrying a spare REVO.FAT.

Granted they are little on the pricy side when compared to regular butyl rubber, but there is a significant weight savings for those wanting to run tubes in their fat tires.

RIDE FAT !


Comments

  1. This is a great reveiw of a great product. Well done. If you ride road, gravel, CX, or MTB tubes are avialable for those as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. what does the 3.8 tube cost and how can I order a pair?

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment