Bicycle tubes have come a long way since we were kids. While the premise of an "inner" tube is very much the same, the technology for extending the life of a tube, and preventing the tube from punctures and tears is light-years ahead. If you are riding an e-bike, or are looking to replace a tube on a bike that you ride off-road (such as casual trailing, enduro, cross-country, downhill), consider using tubes with higher puncture resistance. These will be designated by a description such as "Thorn Resistant", or pre-fabricated with tube sealant. \
Tube sealant such as Slime, Stan's NoTubes Tire Sealant, and Joe's Eco-Sealant are excellent after market products that are applied to the bicycle tube by removing the valve stem core and injecting the sealant. These sealants act as a significant deterrent against future punctures and pinches. If/when your tube is punctured, the sealant races to the hole and gels quickly to prevent any further loss of air. We've heard of riders going 2 years never experiencing a flat using some of these sealants!
Of course, if you are really progressive and want to be on the frontier of bicycle tube technology, you could choose to go "Tubeless" which is actually tube sealant - but without the tube. In essence, you are injecting the sealant directly into the airspace between your tire and the rim. However, to do this, you need specifically designed tubeless rims, and tires.
Finally, with the advances in tube-valve-stem technology, we are faced with the choice between "Schrader Valve" (which is the same valve used on automobile tires), or the "Presta" valve which has equally as popular and ubiquitous. Most bicycle pumps today come equipped with dual valve heads which can be flipped to use on either Presta or Schrader valve stems. But if you someone who still has a perfectly good bike pump with only one valve head, you can purchase an adapter that will enable your pump to work with both valve types.
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