When it comes to the question, “Which tubes are best?”, the answer will ultimately depend on what type of riding you often do and what your budget is.

Still, it helps to understand some fundamentals about dirt bike tubes as context for your purchase decision, as tube performance also largely depends on proper understanding of materials, and their use and maintenance.

Are aftermarket dirt bike tubes better than the OEM tubes?

Yes, most of the time the OEM tubes that come with your dirt bike are not all that awesome, especially when it comes to hard enduro and trail riding.

Avoid getting pinched flats..

The most comment type of dirt bike tube failure is pinched tubes, this is when you hit a sharp or square edge that causes the rim and the edge to pinch the tube so hard against the rim it fails.

Having heavy-duty or ultra-duty dirt bike tubes helps combat pinched tubes, and punctures. 

 

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Dirt bike options for your tires:

10 Dirt Bike Tube Basics

First, not all tubes are equal, even tubes of the same brand. They will differ in type of rubber material used, size, thickness, pressure, weight, and performance. You also need to consider proper tube installation, handling of the valve stem, contaminants resistance, and life span.

In terms of rubber material used, there are 2 types: synthetic rubber and natural rubber.

Synthetic rubber tire material is human-made as polymers derived from petroleum and are less expensive than those made of natural rubber.

Natural rubber tire material is made from rubber tree sap and usually found in heavy-duty and ultra-duty tubes. Althouth they are more expensive than tires made of synthetic rubber, they are also more pliable and flexible, conform to tires better, and resist pinch flats.

Next, when it comes to size, another question is often asked, “Can I run a different-sized tube from the tire size?”

The short answer is yes, but only as a temporary fix. As soon as you get the chance, replace the different-sized tube with the correct tube size it fits into.

If it is smaller than the tire, there is a need to overinflate, which weakens it and makes it susceptible to pinch flats. If it is larger than the tire, there is excess material which also makes it susceptible to pinch flats.

Also, don’t use a front tube for a rear tire, and vice versa. If you do your tires right, they’ll do right by you.

In terms of thickness and pressure, the standard size is 1mm-2mm thick, which works great for a lot of riders and is budget friendly. Just make sure you don’t run too low on psi.

When you inflate the inner tube to its proper pressure, it ensures more sidewall strength and prevents pinch flats. The standard pressure is 12 to 14 pounds psi.

Riders have a tendency to crank their psi, though, on aggressive terrain off road. The increased pressure makes the tire heat up, so instead of absorbing off road objects, it deflects them more. Consistently applying correct tire pressure extends its tube life.

Heavy-duty tubes are usually from 2mm-3mm thick, with more pinch-flat protection, and run on lower psi.

Ultra heavy-duty tubes are at least 4mm thick and gives you as much pinch flat protection as much possible even with lower psi. This is recommended for hard-core endurance riders, off-road desert racers, and adventure riders.

The weight of a 110/90-19 tube is around 2.71 pounds (1230 grams) while a super heavy duty 3.5mm 110/90-19 tube weighs around 3.79 pounds (1720 grams). There’s usually a pound difference in weight between the different-thickness tubes, at different price points, especially when you’re comparing different brands.

For maximum performance, inner tubes must be the correct size to settle immediately adjacent against the sidewalls, giving a good, stable feel to it.

Installation must be done properly or the tube will fail. For easier installation, using cornstarch or talcum powder on the inner tube prior to installation reduces friction between the inner tube and the tire’s body so the tube can last longer. Also, shaping the tube before mounting by adding a little air to it helps prevent installation pinches.

The valve stem is the weakest part of a tube which making it at risk for leaks and damage. The rim lock should be properly installed. The valve stem should be installed loosely, not tightening the nut. In case the tire slips on the rim on your brake or acceleration, if the nut is loose, the tire will just spin a little but it will not rip the valve stem out of the tire.

Make sure that contaminants or outside elements like water and dirt can’t get in. They usually enter through the valve stem holes or rim lock. Patch kits are for temporary fixes only. It is highly recommended that as soon as you get the chance, replace the tube entirely.

In terms of lifespan, tubes wear out from use, of course, even if they don’t get flat. It’s recommended to replace them every six months. It’s time to replace tubes when you notice signs of chafing, with strings of rubber protruding, discoloring/darkening of the tube color, or faded writing on the tube.

8 Top Dirt Bike Heavy Duty Tubes (2022)

Having provided the above as conditions for getting the best tubes for your dirt bike, and if you’re looking for hard enduro tubes, heavy duty tubes, or ultra heavy duty tubes, here are our top 8 picks for 2022.

(1) Bridgestone Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube

Heavy duty dirt bike tube

This one is best for serious off-road competition and aggressive rocky terrain. It’s super thickness helps with the strength of the tube: it can be compressed, stretched, and squished more with a lot less chance of getting a pinch flat. It’s recommended if you ride from Motocross to the trails and then off-road the next day. It’s only drawback is weight as its 19-inch rear tubes weigh 2.4 pounds, but you can’t even feel the difference. What’s important is you don’t have to change flat tires right at the middle of a terrain.

  • High-quality all natural rubber
  • 3mm thick
  • TR-4/TR-6 straight metal stem (8mm diameter)
  • Stem offset: standard
  • Rim size: 18, 19, 21
  • Tube size: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 110/90-19, 80/100-21
  • Good mix of lightweight and pinch flat resistance
  • Around $43

(2) Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube

Designed specifically for Motocross use, its resistant to flats and leaks, and built to last a long time. Easy to install and work with, it’s great for rough trails, back rounds, and serious off-road competition. Perfect for real off-road riders and desert racers who need the extra confidence of knowing your tires and tubes aren’t going to hold you up and which you don’t have to worry about.

  • High-quality all natural rubber
  • 4mm thick
  • TR-4/6 (8 mm) straight metal stem (8mm diameter)
  • Stem offset: standard
  • Rim size: 18, 19, 21
  • Tube size: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 80/100-21
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Price range: $51 to $57

(3) IRC Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube

These high-quality Japanese tubes meet or exceed the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) quality standards. It holds up well in tough conditions, proving to be sturdy and reliable at a bargain.

  • Natural and butyl rubber
  • 2.55mm thick
  • TR-4/ TR-6, TR-4 stem (8mm diameter)
  • Stem offset: standard
  • Rim size: 10, 14, 16, 18, 19
  • Tube size: 90/100-14, 90/100-16, 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 70/100-19, 2.50/2.75-10
  • Puncture-resistant
  • Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Price range: $10 to $20

(4) Motoz Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube

Motoz dirt bike tubes

Made from premium grade Smoked Rubber sheet, making it pliable. Tubes are at a maximum volume — they do not stretch when inflated — so they have the least stress. The natural rubber tube repairs and patches easily, so it’s well-recommended for long off-road trips. It stretched and it can be compressed, too, without splitting. This is very important for avoiding pinch flats.

  • High-quality natural rubber
  • 3mm tube
  • Standard valve
  • Rim size: 17, 18, 21
  • Tire width/depth: 90/90, 80/100, 90/100, 110/100, 120/90, 120/100, 130/80, 130/90, 140/80, 150/70
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to repair
  • Around $14

(5) Motoz Uber Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube

Made from premium grade Smoked Rubber sheet, making it pliable. Tubes are at a maximum volume — they do not stretch when inflated — so they have the least stress. The natural rubber tube repairs and patches easily, so it’s well-recommended for long off-road trips. It stretched and it can be compressed, too, without splitting. This is very important for avoiding pinch flats.

  • High-quality natural rubber.
  • Uber heavy duty 4mm tube
  • Standard valve
  • Rim size: 17, 18, 21
  • Tire width/depth: 90/90, 80/100, 90/100, 110/100, 120/90, 120/100, 130/80, 130/90, 140/80, 150/70
  • Specifically designed for desert, safari and enduro racing
  • Price range: $53 to $82

(6) Sedona Heavy Duty Motorcycle Tube

Sedona’s Taper Tube Technology, the latest in tube technology, provides for varied tube thickness: heavy on the outside tapering to a lighter, thinner thickness upon the rim. This keeps its weight down and applies strength where it’s needed. It has less unsprung mass and better cooling.

  • Natural and synthetic rubber
  • Variable thickness
  • TR-4/TR-6 straight metal stem (8mm diameter)
  • Stem type: standard
  • Rim size: 10, 12, 14, 17,18, 19, 21
  • Tube size: 2.50-10, 2.75-10, 3.00-12, 3.25-12, 2.75-14, 3.00-14, 2.75-17, 3.00-17, 4.00-17, 4.60-17, 4.50-17, 5.10-17, 3.50-18, 4.00-18, 4.60-18, 4.50-18, 5.10-18, 2.50-19, 2.75-19, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/90-19, 2.75-21, 3.00-21
  • Talcum powder-coated for easy installation

(7) Tusk Heavy Duty 2mm Motorcycle Tube

This is a great stock substitute for your leaky or punctured tube. Thicker than the usual stock 1mm-1.3mm thickness of most bikes primarily used for Motocross, it has more flat resistance and heavier duty quality. It’s made from quality butyl rubber which gives it strength and durability, as well as its lightweight quality. Designed for off-road use, this is recommended as a good upgrade from your standard tube. Since it’s relatively inexpensive, you might want to pick up an extra tube for a spare option as well.

  • High-quality butyl rubber for longer lifespan
  • 2mm thick
  • TR-4 valve stem
  • Wheel size: 14 inches
  • Tube size: 60/100×14, 70/100×17, 80/100×12, 80/100×21, 90/100×16, 110-120/100×18, 110/120-19, 110-120/90×19
  • Price range: $7 to $14

(8) Tusk Ultra Heavy Duty 4mm Motorcycle Tube

Tusk Ultra Heavy Duty 4mm dirt bike Tube

This has more durability, flat prevention capacity, and is puncture-resistant. Meant for serious off-road riding, this ultra heavy duty tube is designed to withstand the roughest terrain. It’s heavy but this is for those who are not too worried about weight as about durability or getting a pinch flat.

  • High-quality butyl rubber for longer lifespan
  • Super thick 4mm tube for the most extreme riding conditions
  • TR-4 valve stem
  • TR-4 valve stem
  • Wheel size: 14 inches
  • Tube size: 60/100×14, 70/100×17, 80/100×12, 80/100×21, 90/100×16, 110-120/100×18, 110/120-19, 110-120/90×19
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 7 ounces for a 19-inch rear
  • Price range: $22 to $32

So which tube is best for you? Given proper understanding and use of dirt bike tube basics, it’s the one that best fits your riding style and needs, and the one that fits your budget.

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