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Thread: Butyl Tubes?

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    Senior Member WickedThump's Avatar
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    Butyl Tubes?

    I saw some on ebay. What're the pros/cons of butyl rubber tubes?

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    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Cost a lot more a little tuffer and litter but will not do anything against the evil goat heads on the trails and streats of Denver They will go through almost any tire tube combo they are slowed down a bit by Mister Tuffy's but not by much.

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    seriously?

    They been around for a long time now, chances are, you already have them.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Like ben4345 said, you probably already have them. Butyl rubber is the most common rubber used for inner tubes. Latex (natural rubber) tubes are rate because it is delicate and difficult to patch. It's not worth buying them off Fleabay. Go to your local shop.
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    LOL. I hear ferrous alloy frames are the next big thing...

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    As others have said most inner tubes are butyl, whether they make a claim about it or not. Butyl is used because it's more impervious to air molecules and so holds air better than other materials while still being strong and stretchy.

    Don't let the tone of some of the other responses get to you. None of us, even the most expert, was born with this knowledge and had to learn it at some point in our lives.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Butyl is an (oil) butane product.. it is the norm for tubes.. latex loses air too fast ..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyl

    all tires are mostly butyl rubber
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-25-12 at 10:09 AM.

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    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    With latex tubes, you need to pump up every ride. With butyl tubes you do it once a week (but could probably go much longer). Butyl tubes are quite a bit heavier than latex, but for a given thickness, latex is stretchier and therefore resists punctures better. Basically if it's black, it's probably butyl rubber.

    -G

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Butyl is an (oil) butane product
    Um...not really. Butyl rubber is a polymer of 2-methylpropene. While this is a 4 carbon hydrocarbon, it's not really considered a 'butane' because a butane is a saturated hydrocarbon. In the polymer form, it's called polyisobutylene and contains some isoprene.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    .. it is the norm for tubes.. latex loses air too fast ..

    all tires are mostly butyl rubber
    This is correct.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 04-25-12 at 01:20 PM.
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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Guess you too can correct Wikipedia, as I understand it..

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Guess you too can correct Wikipedia, as I understand it..
    You used it incorrectly. Wikipedia is a little wrong because the IUPAC name for the 'isobutyl' group is the 2-methylpropyl group but they did list it correctly under the "Systematic Name". The "System" is the IUPAC system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    As others have said most inner tubes are butyl, whether they make a claim about it or not. Butyl is used because it's more impervious to air molecules and so holds air better than other materials while still being strong and stretchy.

    Don't let the tone of some of the other responses get to you. None of us, even the most expert, was born with this knowledge and had to learn it at some point in our lives.
    I wasn't trying to mean, rude or anything. Just good forum fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
    With latex tubes, you need to pump up every ride. With butyl tubes you do it once a week (but could probably go much longer).
    Can't agree with that at all. Especially with high pressure road tires. I pump mine up before each ride. They can lose 5 psi or even more overnight.

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    Latex tubes have lower rolling resistance (although tyre choice has more influence) and are lighter than equivalent butyl. But don't hold pressure very long, and puncture more easily. It's really a race-oriented product IMHO. For a while you could get polythene tubes from Nutrak but there wasn't much advantage that I found. So it's butyl tubes for me these days, Continental or Schwalbe usually.

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    Senior Member WickedThump's Avatar
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    Wow. OK. Got it.
    What were the tubes I saw advertised in the mid 90's where they were streching it over a big shard of glass?

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea the Air-pressure in the tire wants to equalize with the ambient air pressure outside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Um...not really. Butyl rubber is a polymer of 2-methylpropene. While this is a 4 carbon hydrocarbon, it's not really considered a 'butane' because a butane is a saturated hydrocarbon. In the polymer form, it's called polyisobutylene and contains some isoprene.



    This is correct.
    This thread takes me back about 20 years.
    I used to QC batches of butadiene rubber and styrene-butadiene rubbers. My job was gum dip latex for tire cord coating. Checked the bd going into the reaction vessels and the final latex going into the rail cars.

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Another good thing about butyl rubber tubes: If you have latex allergy, no problem.
    Bad thing about latex tubes: If you have latex allergy --> problem.
    Latex allergy is more common than it used to be.
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    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Can't agree with that at all. Especially with high pressure road tires. I pump mine up before each ride. They can lose 5 psi or even more overnight.
    Yep, I agree with you disagreeing - YMMV. It depends on your tire and your tolerance for lower pressures. I generally pump up the tires on my commuter every weekend to about 80 psi. By the end of the next week, they may be down to 65-70 psi. but that's ok since they are 32s and quite comfortable as low as 50 psi. I actually like the ride at the end of the week a bit better than earlier (some roads are a bit rough).

    Pressure loss rate is a function of starting pressure so the higher the pressure the faster the tire will bleed down.

    -G

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    Senior Member LVRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Another good thing about butyl rubber tubes: If you have latex allergy, no problem.
    Bad thing about latex tubes: If you have latex allergy --> problem.
    Latex allergy is more common than it used to be.
    I have a latex allergy. It sucks. You likely already have butyl tubes.
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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LVRider View Post
    I have a latex allergy. It sucks. You likely already have butyl tubes.
    Have never used a latex tube in several decades of cycling - not sure if I've seen one. Have used many latex gloves and tourniquets, etc. in hospitals. Those are much, much less common than they used to be. Have not developed latex allergy thankfully.
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    Senior Member Chesha Neko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Have never used a latex tube in several decades of cycling - not sure if I've seen one. Have used many latex gloves and tourniquets, etc. in hospitals. Those are much, much less common than they used to be. Have not developed latex allergy thankfully.
    I'm curious to try latex tubes, but at $15 a tube it's not that urgent.
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  23. #23
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chesha Neko View Post
    I'm curious to try latex tubes, but at $15 a tube it's not that urgent.
    Yes, that's another good reason to stick with butyl.
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    You can simulate owning latex tubes without any expense - just let your tyres down by about half at the end of each day and then pump them up again in the morning before you go for a ride. I owned some when I was time-trialling every weekend but they did not appear to offer any benefit in reduced times at all, not even a placebo effect!

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    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Latex tubes are often sewn into high end tubulars for a reason.

    I have used them with certain 320 TPI tires and the ride with Latex tubes in that scenario was as good as it gets for a layperson @ 700 x 23 ride IMHO.
    Bear in mind everything is subjective and I have no empirical data to present.

    No doubt the standard butyl inner tube is the way to go. Less care needed, cheaper and easily available.

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