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Latex tubes

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Latex tubes

Old 06-23-22, 09:48 PM
  #26  
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I'm currently using Aerothans

one pair on a bike since last summer and another pair on another bike this spring

So far so good

One potential issue is the valve stem ; the valve stem appears to be made of plastic and is fairly smooth

because of this I was unable to use a Silca pump - the pump chuck/head continued to leak and / or pop off

(never had this issue before with either Silca pump - with any brand tube - but all my tubes had full length threads)

I have two different Silca pumps with two different chucks/heads - installed new seals on both and still had the issue - so I then purchased a Hiro V3 chuck/head ($)

(more)

also need to be careful if you use a presta head or schrader-to-presta adapter with internal threads - they could thread on to the small amount of threads on the small top / threaded portion of the Aerothan valve stem

if this happens - when you unscrew the head to remove it from the valve stem the valve core can begin to unscrew ; and if you don't unscrew the head and pull hard you can risk the chance of pulling the valve core out (and in the process ruin the internal plastic threads)
.

Last edited by t2p; 06-23-22 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 06-24-22, 01:26 AM
  #27  
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Can be finicky to install, as mentioned. They get pinched so easily during install. Rides really well, but only if paired with high quality supple tires. If riding budget/commuting tires, then no point in going latex. Another thing to point out is that if your tires get cut up, there is a chance for the latex tube to creep out of the holes through the casing, resulting in blowouts. I've had latex tubes squeeze out of porous sidewalls, even. I've found that they also tend to stretch over time, so a 23mm tube, after fitting to a 25mm tire, may become too large to easily fit back into a 23mm tire.
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Old 06-24-22, 02:22 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
Another thing to point out is that if your tires get cut up, there is a chance for the latex tube to creep out of the holes through the casing, resulting in blowouts. I've had latex tubes squeeze out of porous sidewalls, even.
I have a hard time believing that. Do you have photos of latex tubes herniating out of a fully-intact sidewall? Totally excluding rubber from the sidewalls is about as porous as it gets, and yet, there's extensive history proving that it works in the form of raw-sidewall track tubulars. The only latex herniations I've ever seen have been on sidewall cuts large enough to merit addressing regardless of air retention scheme.

I think the worry about latex tube durability is generally overblown. Latex tubes perform poorly in plunger puncture testing, but it's not obvious to me that this has any real relationship with how flats develop on the road. If anything, when I started switching from butyl to latex, my flat rate went down.

They get pinched so easily during install.

Only if you pinch them. It's not like the tubes pinch themselves. Just put a bit of air into the tube so that it holds its shape before install. Then, after getting the tire over the rim, check the bead for pinches before inflating to high pressure. These are things you should be doing even with butyl tubes to make the install easier.

Even if you insist on using tire levers to get the bead over, the latex tube need not be damaged. Just pull the lever out before bottoming it out within the rim well. This is fairly easy to do with thin wide levers like Schwalbe, although admittedly, it's trickier to do with pointy levers.

I've found that they also tend to stretch over time, so a 23mm tube, after fitting to a 25mm tire, may become too large to easily fit back into a 23mm tire.

In my experience, this is a real phenomenon, but not unique to latex. Just about any inner tube shouldn't be used in a wide tire if you hope to easily fit it into a narrower tire at a later date.

Last edited by HTupolev; 06-24-22 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 06-24-22, 02:34 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
I have a hard time believing that. Do you have photos of latex tubes herniating out of a fully-intact sidewall? Totally excluding rubber from the sidewalls is about as porous as it gets, and yet, there's extensive history proving that it works in the form of raw-sidewall track tubulars. The only latex herniations I've ever seen have been on sidewall cuts large enough to merit addressing regardless of air retention scheme.
No photos as this was several years ago, but I recall it was on some old (but not damaged) GP 4 Season tires. I saw the pink Vittoria latex coming out of the snakeskin sidewall while inflating and stopped before there was an explosion. I was as surprised as you are. Replaced with butyl tubes and no issues afterward.

As for the pinching issues, I suspect it had to do with the tubes having stretched over time, making it larger, softer, and less easy to tuck into the tire during install. Similar issue during removal; a stretched latex tube gets caught easily when sliding the lever to loosen the bead.

I agree with the anecdotal comment that latex is less prone to road punctures than butyl. My thought is the increased compliance of latex helps it conform a bit to foreign objects, slightly raising the threshold for puncturing.
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Old 06-24-22, 05:46 AM
  #30  
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I ran Air-B latex tubes for years and never had issues

I had just one flat - flatted a front when I ran over a brick that was laying on the road (it was dusk and I didn't see it)

that's it
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Old 06-24-22, 05:57 AM
  #31  
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one additional thing to be cautious with when using tpu tubes - I believe I mentioned this in the thread above

tpu tubes do not have the same type of elasticity of a butyl or latex tube - the tpu tube will expand but will not return to original size (in the same way a butyl or latex tube will)

so you need to be careful when pre-filling tube before installation - use too much air and you could (basically) ruin the tube
(there are warnings in the instructions)

so if you plan to use tpu tubes from a prior install with a larger/wider tire to a smaller tire - might not be a good idea
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Old 06-24-22, 06:38 AM
  #32  
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It's a very common error even installing butyl that folks don't put just enough air in the tube to give it shape on install to prevent pinches.

Then you get topics posted like "my brand new tube/tire/wheelset keeps getting flats". Then you see the person yanking the tube out in like 2 seconds and throwing a new flat as a pancake tube in the rim/tire and going to town.

Next up for latex, I personally disagree on the sealant inside unless you're a dedicated bike maintainer. Otherwise, if you seasonally ride your road bike then go to cyclocross or gravel in the off season and let them sit the sealant might harden up some on the inside of the latex and ruin the tube. Then you go to ride it next season and inflate it and think it's good then get a flat mid-ride. I did not understand sealant goes bad like that and let mine sit uninflated and unattended for months off season. Then crashed in a race when the front tire blew out during the 200m sprint.
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Old 06-24-22, 06:57 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
It's a very common error even installing butyl that folks don't put just enough air in the tube to give it shape on install to prevent pinches.

Then you get topics posted like "my brand new tube/tire/wheelset keeps getting flats". Then you see the person yanking the tube out in like 2 seconds and throwing a new flat as a pancake tube in the rim/tire and going to town.

Next up for latex, I personally disagree on the sealant inside unless you're a dedicated bike maintainer. Otherwise, if you seasonally ride your road bike then go to cyclocross or gravel in the off season and let them sit the sealant might harden up some on the inside of the latex and ruin the tube. Then you go to ride it next season and inflate it and think it's good then get a flat mid-ride. I did not understand sealant goes bad like that and let mine sit uninflated and unattended for months off season. Then crashed in a race when the front tire blew out during the 200m sprint.
Agree on both counts.
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Old 06-24-22, 07:24 AM
  #34  
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I only use latex tubes in clincher tires. However, my spare tubes are butyl because if I flat, installing butyl tubes in less than the best conditions is easier than with latex tubes.
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Old 06-24-22, 08:25 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I only use latex tubes in clincher tires. However, my spare tubes are butyl because if I flat, installing butyl tubes in less than the best conditions is easier than with latex tubes.
Ditto
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Old 06-24-22, 08:48 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Ditto
double ditto - I carried a lightweight butyl tube
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Old 06-24-22, 10:01 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by bblair View Post
I have been riding a very long time, and one thing I don't understand: What does is mean when it is said a tire/tube feels "supple?"
The ultimate in supple was the silk tubulars we used to race BITD. Silk casing wrapped and sewn around a latex tube. Entire unit weighed 220-250 grams for a tire plenty strong enough for poor New England roads. If that silk were weaved to 36" wide instead of a tire casing and you skipped the latex, that fabric would be worthy of high royalty. The tubes inside were close to nothing.

I am just getting back to riding tubulars. First try is with 28c Vittoria Corsa Control G+. I haven't repaired one yet so I don't know what's inside. I pump every ride but they hold air quite a bit better than the silks I raced. Those probably lost 8 pounds in a 4 hour race. I pumped up a pair to less than full hard for a race where I knew miles 95-107 were on a poor Maine road. Well, the race official missed his fight so the start was delayed 2 hours. I forgot to top off. Bottomed out and dented both rims crossing the RR tracks 1/2 mile before the finish. (But those 220 gram tires didn't care. The dents didn't slow me down.)

My second set of tubular wheels have 23c Rubino Pro G+. A cheaper tire. Same weight. Not nearly as nice rolling as the Corsas. They hold air like a thin butyl tube. Still tubular and the nice tubular feel but not a magic carpet. (The best silk and synthetic silk tubulars glued on straight and well ARE magic carpets. When you ride a pair, you will know what I am talking about. I have some 200 gram Corsa Speeds. I'm willing to bet those are the real magic carpets. Just the feel of the new tire says it. 200 grams for casing, tread, inner tube, valve, 7 feet of strong stitching and 7 feet of cloth tape protecting it. Casing and latex tube can't weigh much more than 125 grams = 4 1/2 ounces. Supple? )
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Old 06-24-22, 10:14 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
It's a very common error even installing butyl that folks don't put just enough air in the tube to give it shape on install to prevent pinches.

Then you get topics posted like "my brand new tube/tire/wheelset keeps getting flats". Then you see the person yanking the tube out in like 2 seconds and throwing a new flat as a pancake tube in the rim/tire and going to town.

...
There's an inflation technique that is fast, requires no CO2 or even a pump that gets the tube pressure perfect for install. And you cannot over inflate. Not possible. Just blow the tube up with your breath. That's right. Put the valve in your mouth and blow as hard as you can. (I finish by closing my throat off and using just my mouth.) Done. If that tube's been under your seat, you might be fine-tuning your immune system at the same time.
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Old 06-27-22, 03:41 PM
  #39  
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I also tend to think that latex protects against impact/pinch flats better than butyl.
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Old 06-27-22, 04:02 PM
  #40  
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I watched a video on this on GCN last night. Alex tested some really low grade tires and some Pirelli race tires, each with butyl, latex, or TPU tubes. With the crappy tires, the latex tubes made a 15w difference in rolling resistance, with TPU being a little less. But with the Pirellis the difference was only 6w. Lesson learned - don't buy crappy tires!!

I'm considering getting latex tubes for my 2 best bikes, where I'm running GP5000s, just as an experiment.
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Old 06-27-22, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I watched a video on this on GCN last night. Alex tested some really low grade tires and some Pirelli race tires, each with butyl, latex, or TPU tubes. With the crappy tires, the latex tubes made a 15w difference in rolling resistance, with TPU being a little less. But with the Pirellis the difference was only 6w. Lesson learned - don't buy crappy tires!!

I'm considering getting latex tubes for my 2 best bikes, where I'm running GP5000s, just as an experiment.
IOW, good tires >> good tubes.
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Old 06-27-22, 05:01 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I watched a video on this on GCN last night. Alex tested some really low grade tires and some Pirelli race tires, each with butyl, latex, or TPU tubes. With the crappy tires, the latex tubes made a 15w difference in rolling resistance, with TPU being a little less. But with the Pirellis the difference was only 6w. Lesson learned - don't buy crappy tires!!

I'm considering getting latex tubes for my 2 best bikes, where I'm running GP5000s, just as an experiment.
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
IOW, good tires >> good tubes.
And - put those super tubes on your worst wheels! (It's a Huffy but it's got latex tubes!)
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Old 06-27-22, 05:22 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
IOW, good tires >> good tubes.
Though, to be fair, the "bad tires" were truly execrable.
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Old 06-27-22, 05:24 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
And - put those super tubes on your worst wheels! (It's a Huffy but it's got latex tubes!)
One used bike I bought, the tires were obviously about the cheapest things the seller could find, just to have tires on it. Kendas. The polar opposite of supple.
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Old 06-27-22, 05:47 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I watched a video on this on GCN last night. Alex tested some really low grade tires and some Pirelli race tires, each with butyl, latex, or TPU tubes. With the crappy tires, the latex tubes made a 15w difference in rolling resistance, with TPU being a little less. But with the Pirellis the difference was only 6w. Lesson learned - don't buy crappy tires!!

I'm considering getting latex tubes for my 2 best bikes, where I'm running GP5000s, just as an experiment.
At moment I'm running a Vittoria Rubino Speed tire in the front, and a Continental Gatorskin in the back. The Vittoria is probably good enough to feel the latex tube, how about the Continental?

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Old 06-27-22, 06:01 PM
  #46  
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I ran the Vittoria latex tubes for a while, with 25mm GP5000 tires. I was always careful to inflate them before each ride (every day) as they would drop from 100 psi to 80 psi in 24 hours. I lost the front tube one day and went to the LBS to replace it. When I asked if they had latex, they said I was the first person who'd asked in 7 years. The shop's been there for 30, so I got the impression that latex was a fad around here that passed some time ago. I'm sure tubeless is the latest thing. In any event, I put on a Bontrager tube (what the LBS had) and after only one day and half a ride, it developed a pin hole facing the velox. I bought a Conti Race Light butyl tube. I noted that the Race Light tube was lighter than the Vittoria latex tube (I weighed them). Conti also has their "Super Sonic" tubes that are supposed to be even lighter, but are too costly at my current rate of tube consumption. The Race Light lasted about a week but pin-holed sitting idle. The hole this time was on the side, nowhere near the previous one. The latex tube in the rear is holding up fine, so I don't know what's up. I bought a five-pack of regular Schwalbe tubes. I haven't any issues so far, but haven't ridden them much.

Bottom line is the latex seemed to be wonderful, but I only got about 500 miles out of the front before I lost it and it was neither pinched nor did it suffer from a road hazard. It just failed with a pinhole. It can be patched. It's in the bucket to be patched until I accumulate enough to open a tube of compound.

In most of my family's bikes, I have Conti "Race" tubes, some "Tour" in the 50mm Big Bens. In a given size, these are both heavier than the Latex, Race Lights and Super Sonics. They work fine but aren't special. I would be willing to try Aerothan or another TPU but I'd need it for 32-630. That bike I had the latex tubes in is for sale and 32-630 is what I ride most now.
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Old 06-27-22, 07:28 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
I ran the Vittoria latex tubes for a while, with 25mm GP5000 tires. I was always careful to inflate them before each ride (every day) as they would drop from 100 psi to 80 psi in 24 hours. I lost the front tube one day and went to the LBS to replace it. When I asked if they had latex, they said I was the first person who'd asked in 7 years. The shop's been there for 30, so I got the impression that latex was a fad around here that passed some time ago. I'm sure tubeless is the latest thing. In any event, I put on a Bontrager tube (what the LBS had) and after only one day and half a ride, it developed a pin hole facing the velox. I bought a Conti Race Light butyl tube. I noted that the Race Light tube was lighter than the Vittoria latex tube (I weighed them). Conti also has their "Super Sonic" tubes that are supposed to be even lighter, but are too costly at my current rate of tube consumption. The Race Light lasted about a week but pin-holed sitting idle. The hole this time was on the side, nowhere near the previous one. The latex tube in the rear is holding up fine, so I don't know what's up. I bought a five-pack of regular Schwalbe tubes. I haven't any issues so far, but haven't ridden them much.

Bottom line is the latex seemed to be wonderful, but I only got about 500 miles out of the front before I lost it and it was neither pinched nor did it suffer from a road hazard. It just failed with a pinhole. It can be patched. It's in the bucket to be patched until I accumulate enough to open a tube of compound.

In most of my family's bikes, I have Conti "Race" tubes, some "Tour" in the 50mm Big Bens. In a given size, these are both heavier than the Latex, Race Lights and Super Sonics. They work fine but aren't special. I would be willing to try Aerothan or another TPU but I'd need it for 32-630. That bike I had the latex tubes in is for sale and 32-630 is what I ride most now.
I can't find latex tubes at any of my local shops either. Been running the Performance bike light tubes for a couple years now, and that definitely cut some weight off, but no difference in ride quality. The difference came with switching from Continental tires to Vittoria. Maybe it's not even worth the trouble. Can't ride my road bike right now either as I just ordered new chainring bolts to replaced a rounded out Ultegra 6800 chainring bolt.

Dave
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Old 06-27-22, 07:42 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
I can't find latex tubes at any of my local shops either.
Amazon.com : Vittoria Competition Latex Tube - Performance Bike Tire Tube - Lightweight Bicycle Inner Tubes for Racing : Sports & Outdoors

$13.31 but only 48 mm valves.

Does anyone know of any 60 mm ones?

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Old 06-27-22, 07:46 PM
  #49  
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What is "TPU"?
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Old 06-27-22, 07:47 PM
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SoSmellyAir
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
What is "TPU"?
Cloud Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) | Google Cloud
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