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Anything else I should know about latex tubes?

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Anything else I should know about latex tubes?

Old 05-06-19, 12:40 PM
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Rides4Beer
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Anything else I should know about latex tubes?

I'm trying out some Michelin latex tubes tonight (with Conti GPTT tires) for the first time, and just want to make sure there's nothing else I should keep in mind.

Installation and inflation when fine, so assuming I don't overheat the rims (which I don't anyway, and the TT course has minimal to zero braking), is there anything else I need to be aware of? I know they'll need to be inflated before each ride, that's not a problem, I always check my pressure anyway. From what I've read, it sounds like if you make it through the installation without popping them, and don't overheat them, they'll be ok. I did the talc thing, made sure no part of the tube was stuck under either side of the tire bead, and added an extra layer of rim tape just to be safe.

These are only going to be used for race days and for practices on the race course, not for regular daily riding, I'll switch back to my butyl/GP4K setup for that. Eventually they'll live full time on a set of TT wheels, but just wanted to experiment for now as I get more into this TT thing.
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Old 05-06-19, 12:57 PM
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Be VERY patient with installation. It's so easy to have a bit of the tube caught under the tire bead. Allow some extra time and play with the tube to coax it under the tire. You may want to inflate tube to 5 PSI and deflate again, check/recheck/triple check that it's not under the bead. Also be sure there are no rough spots on the rim.

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Old 05-06-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Be VERY patient with installation. It's so easy to have a bit of the tube caught under the tire bead. Allow some extra time and play with the tube to coax it under the tire. You may want to inflate tube to 5 PSI and deflate again, check/recheck/triple check that it's not under the bead. Also be sure there are no rough spots on the rim.

Your patience will be rewarded. Your impatience will be punished.
Yup, that's pretty much exactly how I did it. I put extra talc on them, mounted one side of the tire bead, slightly inflated tube and mounted it, deflated, mounted other tire bead, checked that they weren't pinched anywhere under the tire, inflated slightly and double checked for pinches, inflated to 30-40psi and triple checked for pinches, then inflated all the way. Mounted both of them up last night with no issues and did a quick spin around the parking lot, gonna ride them on the TT course this evening. Rims are smooth with three layers of tubeless tape, so hopefully they'll be ok.
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Old 05-06-19, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Yup, that's pretty much exactly how I did it. I put extra talc on them, mounted one side of the tire bead, slightly inflated tube and mounted it, deflated, mounted other tire bead, checked that they weren't pinched anywhere under the tire, inflated slightly and double checked for pinches, inflated to 30-40psi and triple checked for pinches, then inflated all the way. Mounted both of them up last night with no issues and did a quick spin around the parking lot, gonna ride them on the TT course this evening. Rims are smooth with three layers of tubeless tape, so hopefully they'll be ok.
I suspect you will be fine. I would have suggested pumping them full up and let them sit for a few hours before you ride them, if you have not done so.

Let us know how you like them.
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Old 05-06-19, 03:50 PM
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I put Vittoria latex tubes on my everyday ride a few weeks ago. First time to try latex. Like you I used talc, installed carefully, and they went on without incident. I think I noticed a difference (suppleness, faster, better cornering, etc.) when I first rode on them, but after ~400 miles that feeling has become part of the overall feel of the bike and I don't notice it as an individual component anymore. What I do notice every time I ride now, is that they "sing" to me. I can hear a difference as they roll: a little bit of a higher pitch, a little louder than buytel. Music to the ears. I wouldn't hesitate suggesting latex as an every day tube.
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Old 05-06-19, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
These are only going to be used for race days and for practices on the race course, not for regular daily riding, I'll switch back to my butyl/GP4K setup for that. Eventually they'll live full time on a set of TT wheels, but just wanted to experiment for now as I get more into this TT thing.
Why not every day?

I only run latex tubes in my clinchers. Better feel, lighter, lower rolling resistance, and better puncture resistance. I do carry a butyl tube in my seat bag - latex can be a bit tricky to install on the side of the road in the rain or when you're sweaty - but other than that, there's no reason not to use them.

FWIW, the overheating thing is only an issue if you're cooking down major mountains on rim brakes on a regular basis.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:26 PM
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Any advice? Sure...don't use petroleum jelly or any other petroleum based lubes.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Why not every day?

I only run latex tubes in my clinchers. Better feel, lighter, lower rolling resistance, and better puncture resistance. I do carry a butyl tube in my seat bag - latex can be a bit tricky to install on the side of the road in the rain or when you're sweaty - but other than that, there's no reason not to use them.

FWIW, the overheating thing is only an issue if you're cooking down major mountains on rim brakes on a regular basis.
I run them on my weekend bike and the main reason I don't run them on my every day bike is because I would hate pumping every day. Was running butyl in the every day commuter but have gone to tubeless now and you get the same supple feel and after the latex sealant migrates into the sidewalls you hardly lose any air
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Old 05-07-19, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
I suspect you will be fine. I would have suggested pumping them full up and let them sit for a few hours before you ride them, if you have not done so.

Let us know how you like them.
I did, they were mounted for about 24 hours before I rode on them.

First ride went really well. Picked up .8mph on three loops of the 7 mile TT loop I rode on Saturday (23.6 vs 24.4 avg). Can def feel the difference with the latex tubes and GPTT tires. I even set a new single loop PR, and my previous PR was set on a group ride, felt good to beat it solo. I also understand that since I'm still fairly new to cycling, my bike fitness is still improving, so that's prob part of it too.


Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
I put Vittoria latex tubes on my everyday ride a few weeks ago. First time to try latex. Like you I used talc, installed carefully, and they went on without incident. I think I noticed a difference (suppleness, faster, better cornering, etc.) when I first rode on them, but after ~400 miles that feeling has become part of the overall feel of the bike and I don't notice it as an individual component anymore. What I do notice every time I ride now, is that they "sing" to me. I can hear a difference as they roll: a little bit of a higher pitch, a little louder than buytel. Music to the ears. I wouldn't hesitate suggesting latex as an every day tube.
There's only one tight turn on this course, but I def noticed the difference in handling, some of it is the tires too, but it felt good. I agree, the sound is great! They have a really nice hum to them.


Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Why not every day?

I only run latex tubes in my clinchers. Better feel, lighter, lower rolling resistance, and better puncture resistance. I do carry a butyl tube in my seat bag - latex can be a bit tricky to install on the side of the road in the rain or when you're sweaty - but other than that, there's no reason not to use them.

FWIW, the overheating thing is only an issue if you're cooking down major mountains on rim brakes on a regular basis.
I'm thinking about it now, after feeling the difference. I was thinking race only after reading about how "fragile" they are, but I think they'd work well with my GP4Ks for daily use. I do a fair amount of climbing and descending, but I'm very judicial with my brake use and have never gotten the brake tracks more than warm to the touch on a hard descent, so hopefully that would be ok. Yeah, I was thinking I should still keep the butyl spare in my bag, that way I can use C02 for an easier road side fix and then put another latex in later.


Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Any advice? Sure...don't use petroleum jelly or any other petroleum based lubes.
Thanks, I did read that!
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Old 05-07-19, 07:42 AM
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One more question, I ran the same pressure I normally run, 90/110, but this loop is pretty smooth, so I'm wondering if they might be a touch faster with some more pressure? I'm 6' 185lbs, so I keep the pressure up to avoid pinch flats, comfort level is fine for me. These are 23mm that measure out to 27mm on my 21c rims.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
...the main reason I don't run them on my every day bike is because I would hate pumping every day. Was running butyl in the every day commuter but have gone to tubeless now and you get the same supple feel and after the latex sealant migrates into the sidewalls you hardly lose any air
Adding the 5-10% that latex loses between rides isn't any more time consuming that adding the 5-10% my tubeless lose between rides. Even butyl tubes perform best if you check regularly, and they'll love 2-5% overnight. Checking tire pressure shouldn't be any more time consuming than checking to be sure your breaks work, tires, spin, and your chain is in decent shape.

Run what you want, but a 30 second tire check and 2-3 pumps with a floor pump shouldn't stop you from running the technology you want to.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
One more question, I ran the same pressure I normally run, 90/110, but this loop is pretty smooth, so I'm wondering if they might be a touch faster with some more pressure? I'm 6' 185lbs, so I keep the pressure up to avoid pinch flats, comfort level is fine for me. These are 23mm that measure out to 27mm on my 21c rims.
Do some reading on tire pressure. Current thinking (supported by rolling resistance data) is that you'll likely run faster on lower pressure.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Adding the 5-10% that latex loses between rides isn't any more time consuming that adding the 5-10% my tubeless lose between rides. Even butyl tubes perform best if you check regularly, and they'll love 2-5% overnight. Checking tire pressure shouldn't be any more time consuming than checking to be sure your breaks work, tires, spin, and your chain is in decent shape.

Run what you want, but a 30 second tire check and 2-3 pumps with a floor pump shouldn't stop you from running the technology you want to.
My thoughts exactly, I don't see the pressure thing as a deal breaker, I check my pressure before every ride anyway.


Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Do some reading on tire pressure. Current thinking (supported by rolling resistance data) is that you'll likely run faster on lower pressure.
Sounds like I'll def need to do some experimenting, allowing for average pavement, lil lower pressure might be better.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Do some reading on tire pressure. Current thinking (supported by rolling resistance data) is that you'll likely run faster on lower pressure.
It depends on what he means by pretty smooth. Lower pressure is faster on uneven surfaces. Smooth surfaces favor higher pressure. Track riders tend to ride higher pressure for this reason.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:50 PM
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You should know latex degrades gradually and is susceptible to various solvents and oils. Butyl is not. I can recommend light 80 g butyl tubes. Seems less finicky to me.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:56 PM
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Check this thread. Good info there.

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...ner-tubes.html
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Old 05-07-19, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
It depends on what he means by pretty smooth. Lower pressure is faster on uneven surfaces. Smooth surfaces favor higher pressure. Track riders tend to ride higher pressure for this reason.
This loop is about as good as we get around here, but it's not even "brand new asphalt" smooth, so I bet a lil lower pressure might help, I'll try it and see how it goes.


Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
You should know latex degrades gradually and is susceptible to various solvents and oils. Butyl is not. I can recommend light 80 g butyl tubes. Seems less finicky to me.
From what I've read, the light butyl tubes still don't have the suppleness of latex. I tried Conti Race Light tubes and didn't notice any difference over their regular Race tubes (both in GP4Ks). Haven't tried Supersonics tho, if I have issues with the Michelins, maybe I'll give those a try and see how they feel.


Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Check this thread. Good info there.

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...ner-tubes.html
I'm inclined to agree with most people in that thread that it's mostly for liability reasons, but the lack of rim tape heating up the tube makes sense too. I added an extra layer of tape just to be safe. I read somewhere that Continental doesn't recommend latex tubes for use with their tires, I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they don't make latex tubes. lol
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Old 05-07-19, 02:03 PM
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Disk brakes won't heat up the rim...
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Old 05-07-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Disk brakes won't heat up the rim...
Does that mean that disc brakes are the FUTURE of road cycling??
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Old 05-07-19, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
It depends on what he means by pretty smooth. Lower pressure is faster on uneven surfaces. Smooth surfaces favor higher pressure. Track riders tend to ride higher pressure for this reason.
Even smooth roads aren't as smooth as a good track. That contact patch is stil doing a lot of conforming to variations in the surface. But as I said, you don't have to take my word for it, do the reading. Try it out for yourself with a power meter and tire pressures at 5 psi intervals.
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Old 05-07-19, 03:05 PM
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FWIW, my only complaint about latex tubes is that I can't find latex tubes with long valve stems, so I have to use valve extenders on my deep section rims.
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Old 05-07-19, 04:05 PM
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Is it safe to assume from those using latex tube here, that assuming I don't mount tires like a dope, there's nothing to worry about with latex? I'm been mulling over trying them also.
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Old 05-07-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Is it safe to assume from those using latex tube here, that assuming I don't mount tires like a dope, there's nothing to worry about with latex? I'm been mulling over trying them also.
Yes. Try them.
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Old 05-07-19, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Even smooth roads aren't as smooth as a good track. That contact patch is stil doing a lot of conforming to variations in the surface. But as I said, you don't have to take my word for it, do the reading. Try it out for yourself with a power meter and tire pressures at 5 psi intervals.
The rollingresistance.com website doesn't use a smooth roller AFAIK and generally speaking, the higher the PSI, the less rolling resistance for almost any tire you look at.
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Old 05-07-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Even smooth roads aren't as smooth as a good track. That contact patch is stil doing a lot of conforming to variations in the surface. But as I said, you don't have to take my word for it, do the reading. Try it out for yourself with a power meter and tire pressures at 5 psi intervals.
Actually I have. JBV is a concrete track. Higher pressure than the road. Lower pressure then what people are using at an indoor track.
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