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Thread: Latex tubes?

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    Senior Member whitemax's Avatar
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    Latex tubes?

    Anybody have any experience with latex tubes? I hear they are lighter but are they as safe as butyl? Really want the best assurances that I won't have a blow out but would like to try them out if felt to be just as safe.

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    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    I tried two of them 14 years ago and it was not a good experience. The first popped within 75 yards of leaving home on it's maiden voyage (truth). It was the night before an MS 150 ride. I still remember a little girl screaming because it sounded like a gunshot. The second lasted a while but it seemed to stretch a lot. When I finally had to repair it I had trouble getting it back in the tire.

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    Senior Member aballas's Avatar
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    have you seen the testing procedures most condoms go through? latex is some pretty strong stuff...I think it would be fine for tubes, although i've never used them...
    Road: 2001 Bianchi XL Boron
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    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    I used them for part of the racing season with no problems (Michelin AirComp Latex). Maybe a little improvement in the suppleness of the tire, but nothing huge.

    Make sure you reinflate the tires every day, though. They do slowly lose air (about 5 psi/day in my experience)...
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

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    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    I use them exclusively and since they were put in 12mths ago I've had no flats, using Vittoria gold (65gms)
    Ride is better / less harsh and tire is more compliant, can't really tell if there is any reduction in rolling resistance. Using then with Michelin Pro 2 Race (Limited edition). Almost perfect tire and tube set up only issue is tire durability.

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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    i'm allergic, prefer sheepskin or none at all.

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    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    I go bareback.

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    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I haven't seen them in any shops in the last 5 years, but my whole family tried them out 10 years ago. I really didn't notice much difference in ride feel. I couldn't tell you which tube was in which wheel. But they did seem to get less flats than the butyl.

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    Performance sells the Lunar Light butyls that are as light as latex (49 grams).

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    shut up and ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial_tone
    I tried two of them 14 years ago and it was not a good experience. The first popped within 75 yards of leaving home on it's maiden voyage (truth). It was the night before an MS 150 ride. I still remember a little girl screaming because it sounded like a gunshot. The second lasted a while but it seemed to stretch a lot. When I finally had to repair it I had trouble getting it back in the tire.
    i'm w/ him. i tried them many years ago and had many flats with them, mostly from mounting and having them get twisted even though very carefully installing them.

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    there are butyl tubes are about 80 grams http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...jor=1&minor=31 why even consider laytex?
    fogriderlooking for sun

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    Senior Member c4s6's Avatar
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    There's a thread over on weightweenies linking to a German article that tested them pretty extensively and was fairly positive. You do have the 2x cost issue.
    Things now are more like they have been than they ever were before.

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    Phat but not too fat 62vette's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fogrider
    there are butyl tubes are about 80 grams http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...jor=1&minor=31 why even consider laytex?
    The really lightweight butyl tubes will pop when the slightest bit of glass goes through the tyre. Latex gives you a bit more protection as it will distort more before puncturing.

  14. #14
    Shut Up and Ride domestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    i'm allergic, prefer sheepskin or none at all.

    Anyone remeber Dana Carvey and his grump old man skits on SNL?

    "Back in the day we used Rabbit skin.... you couldn't feel NOTHIN! but we loved it!"
    do·mes·tique (dms-tk) n.
    A member of a competitive bicycle-racing team whose role is to assist the team leader, as by setting the pace.

    C'Dale Six13 (Record 08), Olmo Antares (Record/Chorus 06)

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    Senior Member whitemax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fogrider
    there are butyl tubes are about 80 grams http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...jor=1&minor=31 why even consider laytex?
    Well, that's really what I want to know. I wonder if gram for gram, latex is the stronger material. I have always heard that one is running some risks in running the really light butyl tubes. Maybe the benefit is worth the risk to some in say, a flat criterium or road course. However, going down the side of a mountain at 50 mph, well I think I'll stick with the heavier tube in that case. Would a light latex tube be just as safe as a regular butyl tube...safer? I am well aware of the increase cost of latex and that it must be inflated more regularly. Thanks

  16. #16
    Back in black cydewaze's Avatar
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    I tried latex tubes years ago. Maybe they've gotten better now, but at the time they were a disaster. I managed to puncture one, and it was instantly non-repairable. Removing it to apply a patch caused it to shred apart from the point of the puncture, outward.

    I managed to get a replacement tube in, but that exploded while the bike was in the back of my car. Apparently the glue holding the valve section to the rest of the tube came unglued due to the heat from the sun shining through the back window. I was sitting at a red light, and it scared the heck out of me.

    I gave up on latex shortly thereafter.

  17. #17
    base training heretic Squint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fogrider
    there are butyl tubes are about 80 grams http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...jor=1&minor=31 why even consider laytex?
    Both lightweight butyl and latex tubes will get trapped under the bead during 95% of installations. The difference is that the butyl tube will get torn to shreds while the latex tube will inflate and then lift the tire off the rim and then blowout.

    I don't remember installing a latex tube and not having it get pinched under the bead. But I've always checked before inflation and unsnagged the tube first. I always install the tire and tube 2 days before a race, check that the tube isn't pinched, inflate to 50 psi while watching to see that the tube isn't lifting the bead, let it sit overnight, inflate to 110 psi, let it sit overnight again, and then inflate to 110 psi again right before the race.

    The Michelins are are the ones to get.

    I wouldn't use any latex tube for training. They're too expensive to risk puncturing.

  18. #18
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fogrider
    there are butyl tubes are about 80 grams http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...jor=1&minor=31 why even consider laytex?
    Because a continental ad in the 90's showed someone stretching a latex tube over a 4" nail (pointy end) without it ripping.

  19. #19
    DocRay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2
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