What’s the Difference Between Bias Inner Tubes and Radial Inner Tubes?Eric Johnson
In This Article:
Inner Tubes: Are Radial Tubes Better than Bias Tubes?
Everybody Knows You Shouldn’t Use a Bias Inner Tube in a Radial Tire, Right?
Therein Lies the Rub – Literally
So, Why Even Bother with a Bias Inner Tube?
How to Select the Right Inner Tube Size
When You Want the #1 Inner Tubes in America, Count on Treadworld
Whether you’re looking for tire inner tubes for farm and ranch, inner tubes for tractors, inner tubes for your ATV tires, lawn and garden tires, low platform trailer tires, OTR tires, passenger tires or truck tires, the question that’s probably been causing you many sleepless nights is—should you get bias tubes or radial tubes? Right? OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration since that question shouldn’t be a source of sleepless nights. Still, it is a question you need an answer to when you’re selecting the best inner tubes for your needs. That’s why the tire experts at Treadworld are here to provide you with some answers, and give you a few tips relating to getting the right size inner tubes as well.
Right! But why? No one disputes that you will not get favorable results—in fact, you may get disastrous results—if you put bias tubes in radial tires, but almost no one really tells you why. The answer starts with the difference in belt construction of the two tire types: radial ply tires and bias ply tires. With bias ply tires, the ply cords (typically a combination of polyester and steel) extend diagonally from bead to bead. They cross the tire at a 30-45 degree angle to the direction of travel, with successive plies laid in a crisscross pattern. With radial tires, the cord plies are arranged at 90 degree angles to the direction of travel, and the under-tread area is wrapped around the circumference of the tire by steel or fabric radial belts.
What that all means is that, while both constructions retain the same functionality, how they roll is different. Radial ply tires typically are more flexible, and the tread and sidewalls function as two independent features of the tire because sidewall flex is not transferred to the tread; bias ply tires tend to have less flex and stiffer, stronger sidewalls, which work in tandem with the tread as a single unit.
Radial tubes are made from rubber compounds that give them more flex, to allow them to move with the more flexible radial tires, without scuffing against the rough inside of the tire, which is what you can expect if you put a bias tube in a radial tire. That scuffing can cause excessive heat build-up and shredding, leading to premature failure of a bias inner tube installed in a radial ply tire. Radial tubes also tend to be thicker than bias tubes to handle the increased flexing, again unneeded with bias tires.
All of these forces are more in play at higher speeds. You may not have a problem with bias tubes in radial tires with slow-moving equipment—by why test it? Radial tubes are compatible with both bias and radial tires. Additionally, if you’re putting an inner tube in a tubeless tire, your safest bet will be to use a radial inner tube.
Typically, bias tubes are cheaper than radial tubes—which can be helpful in keeping your annual expenses down. If you’re running bias tires, there’s no performance advantage to running radial tubes.
There are three things you need to know about inner tube sizes. One, as you would expect, each inner tube is designed to fit a specific size wheel/rim. No surprise there. Two, while you need a tube that will fit the circumference of your rim, each inner tube size may fit up to four or more tire widths because tubes stretch. And three, to optimize performance, it’s important that you choose an inner tube with a compatible size because if you install tubes that are too big, the excess rubber may lead to pinching, which in turn leads to blow-out. And if you install tubes that are too small, they may be stretched too thin, and susceptible to blow-out. Plus, the valve stem may rip out of the tube. Not something you want to happen.
RubberMaster Inner Tubes give you everything you’re looking for in a bias inner tube or a radial inner tube—including long service life, air tightness, and resistance to aging and high temperatures. Whether you’re looking for agriculture tubes for tractors and farm implements, ATV tubes, construction tubes, lawn and garden tubes, industrial tubes, light truck tubes, passenger tubes, most any tire tubes, you’ll find them here in the sizes you need. When you’re looking for the toughest farm tubes tubes for your everyday farm and ranch applications, you can’t do any better than our Extreme Service Inner Tubes.
All our RubberMaster Tires are manufactured to exacting specs then triple-checked and X-rayed for dependable quality, and all our RubberMaster Tubes undergo several strict quality checks to provide you with “never-let-you-down” quality. Easy ordering, fast shipping plus your satisfaction is always guaranteed with our no-hassle Ultimate Advantage Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat, or email with any questions you may have, and to get the farm tires and implement tires and tubes you want—or the ideal trailer tires, ATV tires, UTV tires, golf cart tires, lawn and garden tires and many others, and tubes—from our extensive selection.