Do Racing Bikes Have Inner Tubes?

Modern bicycle technology is better than it has ever been and results in the best bikes that have ever hit the road. Racing bikes employ the best technology and have features that make them ideal for racing, but does this include tire inner tubes? Do racing bikes use inner tubes, or do they use tubeless tires?

Racing bike tires usually have inner tubes, but some prefer to use tubeless tires, and professional riders use tubular tires with a built-in inner tube. A tire with an inner tube can be made thin and lightweight but is more prone to punctures. Track racing bikes use solid wheels with no inner tubes.

The design of a bike tire has a significant effect on the performance of the bike, as well as the handling, comfort, and balance of the bike. Let’s explore the tires that are used by racing bikes in different scenarios to learn more about them.

Do Racing Bike Tires Have Inner Tubes?

Racing bikes are made to different standards compared to regular road bikes, are usually made with the best technology available, especially professional racing bikes.

This means that the tires used for these bikes are usually different from those used for regular road bikes as well, but there are some important distinctions to make when discussing the tires used on racing bikes and whether or not they use tubeless tires.

Racing bikes can use tires with inner tubes, but they can also be fitted with tubeless tires or tires that have a specialized inner tube glued to the inside of the tire.

Some racing bikes do not use tubes at all, and some do not even use traditional tires but rather use solid carbon fiber disc wheels.

To better understand the tires used by racing bikes, let’s separate them into two categories: tires used for road racing bikes and tires used for track racing bikes.

Road Racing Bikes

Road =racing bikes do traditionally use tires with inner tubes. A tire with an inner tube can be made significantly thinner, lower profile, and more lightweight than a tubeless tire. These tires are also easier to maintain, and they use rims that weigh far less than tubeless rims.

Modern road racers either use clinch tires, tubeless tires, or tubular tires. Clinch tires are usually run with inner tubes and are the cheapest option. Tubeless tires have no inner tube but are difficult to maintain and change on the road, and tubular tires have a specialized inner tube section within the tire and are the choice of tire used by pro cyclists.

Tubular tires are the most expensive, and they cannot be changed easily in the event of a puncture, but they are the most lightweight, aerodynamic, reliable, and are generally considered to be the best tires for road racing bikes, provided the cyclist has a bike tech with them to change tires on the road.

Track Racing Bikes

Track racing bikes are an entirely different subject regarding wheels and tires, especially bikes that race in a velodrome.

Velodrome bikes typically do not have tires at all but use solid disc wheels. These wheels provide the best aerodynamics, the lowest rolling resistance, and the highest speeds of any racing bike wheels, but they can only be used on a wooden track.

Tracking racing bikes do not have to contend with cross-winds, braking, bumpy roads, or obstacles, and so do not seed to use traditional wheels and tires.

This means that no track racing bikes have inner tubes at all.

Why Do Only Some Racing Bikes Have Tire Tubes?

Some racing bikes have tubes in their tires, while others do not. This is due to several practical reasons, but the ultimate decision is made on the preferences of individual riders.

Some of the reasons why some racing bikes have tubes are because tires with inner tubes are usually less expensive and much more lightweight than tubeless or tubular tires.

Tires with tubes can also be made significantly lighter and use rims that are much thinner and lighter as well.

This reduces overall weight and rolling resistance, increases speed and performance, and generally means that the bike is better on the road.

Tubeless tires have become better in recent years, and some racers are turning to these tires rather than tires with tubes, as these tires are generally more durable, they have a wider profile which provides more balance, and they do not suffer from pinch punctures as tires with tubes do.

The type of tire used on a bike drastically affects the performance of the bike and how it reacts on the road, which also means that some racers prefer to use certain tires rather than others, depending on their riding style.

Some tires have tubes, while others do not cater to all of the preferences of cyclists and the various road conditions that they may encounter during a race.

The Pros And Cons Of Racing Bike Tires With Tubes

We have established that there are several reasons for a racing bike to use tires with tubes, but what are the significant pros and cons of using these tires?

The important pros of racing bike tires with tubes include the following:

  • Bike tires with tubes are very lightweight.
  • Bike tires with tubes are easy to repair and maintain.
  • Bike tires with tubes are easily available.
  • Bike tires with tubes are less expensive than other varieties.
  • Bike tires with tubes are easy to change.
  • Bike tires with tubes are very thin.
  • Bike tires with tubes have very low rolling resistance.

The important cons of racing bike tires with tubes include the following:

  • Bike tires with tubes are prone to pinch punctures.
  • Bike tires with tubes are less reliable than other tires.
  • Bike tires with tubes are less durable than other tires.
  • Bike tires with tubes are less easy to ride and provide less balance.


Racing bicycles do not always have tires with tubes, but tube tires are the most commonly used tire type in road racing. Track racing bikes almost always use solid disc wheels and, therefore, rarely ever have tires with inner tubes.

The best tires for road racing bikes are tubular tires with inflatable sections within the tire, but they are very expensive and very difficult to maintain. Most road racers use tires with inner tubes and enjoy them very much.


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