Using a model system of single, isolated carbon nanotubes loaded with high-capacitance metal-oxide films, we have quantitatively investigated electrochemical composites on the single-nanotube scale. Electrochemical charging and discharging of a model MnO2 storage material was used to probe interfacial charge transfer and surface impedances at the nanotube interface. We found that one single-walled carbon nanotube has an apparent surface resistivity of 30 mΩ cm2, approximately 4 times smaller than for a multiwalled carbon nanotube and 50 times smaller than the 1.5 Ω cm2 resistivity of Pt or graphite films. The improvement originates in the electrochemical-transport properties of microelectrodes shrunk to a nanotube's dimensions rather than any unique nanotube property like curvature, bandstructure, or surface chemistry. In explaining the enhanced performance of certain nanotube-containing composites, the results overturn widely held assumptions about nanotubes' roles while also providing guidelines for optimizing effective composites. © 2014 American Chemical Society.