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does anybody use them? list good and bad points. i like how they ride
but i hear horror stories about them just exploding.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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Latex tubes.

Kerry Irons will be able to weigh in on this with better info, but, Latex tubes are naturally pourous. They need to be filled with air or checked before every ride. There are tubes that have removeable cores for special valve extenders for deep rims, like Hed, Zipp, etc. They are generally lighter in weight and protect against puntures better. They are pricey, but ride really well.
 

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peabody said:
does anybody use them? list good and bad points. i like how they ride
but i hear horror stories about them just exploding.
One has to be ridiculously careful about installing them or one will manage to trap part of a latex inner tube underneath a clincher tire bead - this is the cause of most of the explosions. Once you account for pumping up your tires by 50 PSI every day, I'd rather spend more time riding my bike.
 

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Tradeoffs

peabody said:
does anybody use them? list good and bad points. i like how they ride
but i hear horror stories about them just exploding.
Some people just love latex tubes, and report no problems and improved ride. However, probably 4 out of 5 who have tried them have problems of some sort and/or can see no improvement in ride. The LLs (latex lovers) will tell you that everyone else is incompetent/buys the wrong brand of tubes. My take is that if they were so great, there would be a lot more people riding them. In practice, hardly anyone does.
 

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Wouldn't call anyone incompetent

Kerry Irons said:
Some people just love latex tubes, and report no problems and improved ride. However, probably 4 out of 5 who have tried them have problems of some sort and/or can see no improvement in ride. The LLs (latex lovers) will tell you that everyone else is incompetent/buys the wrong brand of tubes. My take is that if they were so great, there would be a lot more people riding them. In practice, hardly anyone does.
I use Michelin Latex tubes on my race wheels, and think they're a bit more "lively". Yes, that could be the "placebo effect" but if it makes me happier in races, why not. I've never had a problem using them. They do lose air overnight, but it probably takes me 5 minutes to top them up on race day. I suspect there are two main reasons more people do not use them: they're about 3-4 times as expensive as butyl tubes, and the inconvenience of daily top-up (if you use them daily as opposed to race-only). The cost is the reason I use butyl tubes on my training wheels. The technology may have changed since my racing days on tubulars, but I think all tubulars use latex tubes, there must be a reason...
 

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Continential, I believe did a test with butyl tubes vs. latex tubes, and the latex tubes have more rolling resistance, not a whole lot more, but more none the less.
 

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palewin said:
The technology may have changed since my racing days on tubulars, but I think all tubulars use latex tubes, there must be a reason...
Not all tubulars use latex tubes and I don't just mean Tufos, either.
 

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FTF said:
Continential, I believe did a test with butyl tubes vs. latex tubes, and the latex tubes have more rolling resistance, not a whole lot more, but more none the less.
I have no idea of the truth of the matter but
a.)all independent tests I have seen show Continental tires to be the among the worst in terms of rolling resistance
b.)the fact that Continental insists on putting tread on even their best road tires means they really don't understand rolling resistance very well or the marketing department makes design decisions for them..
 

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Woofer said:
I have no idea of the truth of the matter but
a.)all independent tests I have seen show Continental tires to be the among the worst in terms of rolling resistance
b.)the fact that Continental insists on putting tread on even their best road tires means they really don't understand rolling resistance very well or the marketing department makes design decisions for them..
Yes, and their own tests show that.

http://www.rouesartisanales.com/article-1503651.html

And,

Actually their best tires are Comp's, which are tubulars, and they don't have tread to speak of......
 

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You know I had considered them quite a bit. Having only used Tubulars for more than 15 years. I just recently moved & my new area has a lot of broken glass ;(
So I am riding clinchers now. Not as bad as I thought but anyway that is a different subject.
So.....I was thinking latex because that would get me closer to a tubular feel I thought. Plus they are so light.
But instead I am riding some light clinchers Vittoria Diamante Lights
With Michelin tubes. I have found the Michelin tubes are only 70 grams...yes I weighed them ;)
Latex is reported to be 55 grams so not much difference in weight. I have read quite a bit about them & they may be more supple but seem to be more fragile too.
So with less flats in mind I am staying with the Michelins for now.
I do have some new Veloflex tires to try though ;)
With 300-350 tpi they should be nice too.
 

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Did some research

Woofer said:
Not all tubulars use latex tubes and I don't just mean Tufos, either.
Well, you made me curious, since my racing days go back to Clement tubulars, which definitely did use latex, but the company vanished years ago. (The name was revived recently, but I believe with different owners.) Anyway, the Conti site doesn't say anything about the tubes in their tubulars, but both the Vittoria site and the Veloflex site specifically say that they do use latex tubes. Also, excerpting one sentence from http://www.torelli.com/tech/tires.shtml, "Cheap tubulars usually have butyl inner tubes rather than the light more efficient latex tubes found in better tubulars." Now, since I now only ride clinchers, this is sort of "academic interest" but if there are top-of-the-line tubulars which don't use latex (perhaps Contis?) it would be fun to know who they are. I guess I'm being nostalgic and like to think that the technology really hasn't changed that much!
 

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Conti uses butyl tubes. Only the Vittoria Corsa are latex-all other Vittoria tubulars are butyl.
 

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my experience with the michelin road (going on two years) and atb latex tubes (one year). they definitely seem to ride better than butyl. it's a subjective feeling, tho'. the tubes are made in asia. i have successfully patched tubes using old fashioned patches. was unable to patch a tube using instant patches. the tubes weigh less. they do need to be filled up with air everyday. of course, if it weren't for pumping up the tyres, i would never get an upper body workout, anyway. after a year, the road tubes got some kinda mold which ate holes in the tube. if you get new latex tubes, you should probably get new tyres as well. the tubes seem to puncture easier if there's already some holes in the tyre. par example. the rear tube on the road bike is leaking. it's a year old. the tyre's not that old. but not that new. and i won't be racing on the bicycle until april or may, so i'll replace it with a butyl and then get new everything in the spring. maybe there's even a tube laying around that can be patched up.....
 

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I went away from Latex tubes after 1 yr....

for 2 reasons. BTW: I was using Hutchison Latex Green Tubes -
  1. Adding 40-50 psi every othher day sucked.
  2. If I hit something that would cause a flat, the tubes would explode and cause te tire to blow off the rim. This almost gave me some major wipeouts 4 times.
Now these were very light, gave a nice ride on 65-120 tpi tires. I aslo got them at wholesale, so price was not an issue.

I now use either Schwalbe or Conti race tubes with no issues.
 

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Exploding tubes

DIRT BOY said:
for 2 reasons. BTW: I was using Hutchison Latex Green Tubes -
  1. Adding 40-50 psi every othher day sucked.
  2. If I hit something that would cause a flat, the tubes would explode and cause te tire to blow off the rim. This almost gave me some major wipeouts 4 times.
Sorry, but number two is not possible. Tube do not "explode" unless they are exposed to the atmosphere. A tire blowing off the rim can cause a tube to explode, but a burst tube can not cause a tire to blow off a rim.

The most common cause of tire blow-off is improper tube installation. If a tube gets trapped between the tire and the rim, they can work the tire bead off the rim as the wheel is ridden. As soon as the tire has come out of the rim and exposes the tube, the tube can explode. But it was the tire coming off that caused the explosion, not the explosion causing the tire to come off.

Latex tubes are usually thinner and more plyable than butyl tubes, and therefore easier to get caught under the tire bead when installing. That is more likely your problem with latex tubes
 

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Ok, thanks! I was new to latex tubes and that was

my experience. I will try them again and see what happens. it just seem like when I ran over some glass, there was the big "pop" and off the tire off the rim. i eve used talc powder to make sure they were not caught up. I guess that might have been.

Hmm.. Maybe those were bad tires with beads that were too loose.
It only happend with Hutchison Carbon Comp tires which sucked and were flat prone no matter what.

I am going to give them another chance only for centry rides....
 

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beene running latex, michelin aircomp latex in mtb and road tires for 2 years now, and will never go back to butyl.........

lighter weight.........
much more durable at their given weight than a butyl at the same weight.....
anyone serious about road riding should check and correct tire pressure with each ride anyway....
most decent bikes with some carbon are around 2000 bucks whats 10 bucks more for a better tube, more supple ride and lower rotating weight......

michelin aircomp latex used to be built in france, but my last set was built in asia somewhere and this was the first pair to have a leak at the stem.......

i think conti has a lighter weight latex and vitorria is about the same.......maybe moving over to something with a little better quality control...
 

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Once you account for pumping up your tires by 50 PSI every day, I'd rather spend more time riding my bike.

They do lose air overnight, but it probably takes me 5 minutes to top them up on race day.

Adding 40-50 psi every othher day sucked.


Does someone need to start a post on how to inflate tires? Or do we need more upper body weight training?
 
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