Help me find inner tubes for 700x42c tires
November 26, 2008 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find inner tubes and fenders for my commuter bike. What is a 700x42c in the US?

I have a 2007 Specialized Globe, with 700x42c w/ wire bead tires and Alex Z-1000 700c rims. I am a beginner cyclist, and this is my main mode of transportation. I have wasted hours in Google trying to find spare inner tubes, and now that it is raining, fenders/mudflaps that will fit. Please help me find something I can buy online.

Also, anything that can clarify what all the different measurements mean, and how to know if rims/tires/tubes are compatible is welcome. I read the relevant Sheldon Brown page, but it stops short of 700x42c.

Thank you.
posted by dirty lies to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
I buy 700x25c for my road bike, and that's what I ask for at the store - as far as I know the US also uses 700c wheels on non-MTBs (we haven't used 27" in some time) - if they have them, the clerk should be able to help you. Maybe take the bike with you to the store to make sure it fits?
posted by Calloused_Foot at 2:43 PM on November 26, 2008

Didn't read your comment carefully, I see you want an online source - in this case you may want to make this purchase at a store that can help you, and just consider the higher pricing as a cost of acquiring this info
posted by Calloused_Foot at 2:46 PM on November 26, 2008

Here's a conti tube that's supposed to fit anything from 700x28 to x47:
posted by Calloused_Foot at 2:48 PM on November 26, 2008

I think your problem might just be a misplaced 'c.' 700c is the diameter, and 42 (mm) is the width. More info than you could possibly need here. Tubes here, fenders here (in both cases, make sure you get ones that big enough for your wider-than-usual tires) (I have no relationship with these guys other than satisfied customer. Support your local bike shop. Other online cycling retailers include Performance, Nashbar, Excel Sports Boulder, Colorado Cyclist, Price Point, Jenson USA and Webcyclery--any one of 'em will carry the tubes, most will also have fenders. This is not an exhaustive list.)
posted by box at 2:52 PM on November 26, 2008

hey welcome to bikes!

bike innertubes are sold with designations like "700 x x-y c" where the range x to y denotes what size of tires that tube works best with your rig. a cursory goog suggests you can get away with the 700c x 32-38. also make sure you get schraeder valve with them rims.

i know you said look over goog but seriously consider a trip to your local bike shop for fender fitting. they could use the money and shops will usually be mad helpful about explaining all this junk. if you want to go the goog route it looks like sks sells chromoplastic fenders that will fit your rig.

not quite sure what you want to know about "what all the different measurements mean" that isn't covered on sheldon brown's tire sizing page. to my lights he goes into nauseating detail about the problems with tire sizing and matching.

and seconding box, for god's sake, support your local bike shop.
posted by beefetish at 2:53 PM on November 26, 2008

Fenders are almost always a bitch to install. I highly recommend that you get a shop to do it. Inner tubes are so cheap that it's not really worthwhile buying them online once you factor in shipping costs.
posted by randomstriker at 3:30 PM on November 26, 2008

I would look for 29er tubes, which are apparently the same diameter as 700c wheels, and look for a "close enough" width. 42 mm is 1.65 inches--I know this type of conversion isn't close to exact, but it's undoubtedly close enough for tube width purposes, which are often sold in a range. A quick look at sites shows tires sold at 1.5 and 1.75.

Might also want to ask Specialized's support which might be able to point you the right direction, as well as possibly the commuting forum at, as someone there might have one.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 4:02 PM on November 26, 2008

Thanks for all the info. I agree with the "support local shops" thing, but I keep very weird hours. Usually when I am awake and able to go, the shops are closed. I tried last weekend, this is my horror story:

Valencia Cyclery, where I got the bike on sale a year ago: Acted like complete snobs, had me waiting for 20 minutes, told me they were out of my inner tubes, told I should have bought a better bike, with narrower tires.

Pedal Revolution: They had an inner tube with a different number on the box, said "might work, but I can't guarantee anything", that is reassuring to a newbie.

Warm Planet bikes: Told me the fenders would be $25, when I bring the bike a day later to see if they fit, the price rises to $32 (had to get a bigger model), when I take out my card to pay, they check in the computer and the price is now $45. WTF? I am glad I did not get them installed before I tried to pay.

Bike Hut: This is actually a few blocks from the office. Seems like the guy closes shop if it is raining, or too cold, or too warm, or too foggy. Have never been able to catch the place when it is open.

I will try again, but I have the suspicion that in a city were everyone and their grandma rides a fixie, my hybrid commuter bike marks me as some kind of dork.

Thanks again.
posted by dirty lies at 4:57 PM on November 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

or maybe here
are some products from REI that will fit your needs.
They ship [I think], they're cheap, and the internet doesn't care that you should have bought a better bike.
[Ok, it cares. But I don't. I'm always happy to hear about adults biking, and I've never owned the bike that I picture myself riding]
posted by Acari at 10:45 PM on November 26, 2008

man apparently i am spoiled about bike shops (in seattle, as a huge bike dork) since many shops are open late and are quite friendly about casual and commuter cyclists.

yelp suggests roaring mouse and san francisco cyclery as good places to go in your area. otherwise just go buy the gear from REI and submit an askme about installing bike fenders because that shit is torturuos.
posted by beefetish at 3:43 PM on December 1, 2008


My tires did not satisfy me, got 700x32c, traded my old tires to someone who wanted "fat tires for the winter", easily found planet bike fenders to fit my new tires, got them (badly) installed at the shop, fixed them myself, became an expert on bike tires and fender installation, my bike started squeaking and groaning, bought a few second hand books on bike maintenance, borrowed unused tools and fixed the bike, and now I am dreaming of taking a brazing and welding class, and then go an take a frame building class.

This is a very slippery slope, and I spilled chain oil on my brake pads.
posted by dirty lies at 12:53 AM on December 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

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