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Which latex tube do you prefer: Vittoria, Challenge or Michelin?

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Which latex tube do you prefer: Vittoria, Challenge or Michelin?

Old 02-29-20, 01:15 PM
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masi61
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Which latex tube do you prefer: Vittoria, Challenge or Michelin?

Just curious which latex tube folks like best. I thought I had settled on Vittoria based on price & successful mounting with fewer accidental bead pinch punctures.
My tire mounting technique with Challenge open tubulars has improved. I installed a Challenge tube yesterday and I like that it sort of snapped onto the rim ahead of me mounting the tire bead with my gloved hands. The Vittorias sort of flop
around in this regard and I notice you can get overlapping flaps of tube that are occasionally hard to get rid of. Once dismounted, Vittoria latex tubes seem to ďgrowĒ longer making flat free re-installation more difficult.
The other big issue aside from ease of installation is air retention. Vittoria latex tubes are porous to the point where 10 psi pressure loss per day is common. Iím about to take some detailed notes with my Challenge latex tubes wheels to see if they fare any better with air retention.
Lastly - ride quality. Can anyone detect different ride quality based on brand (of latex tube)? I know I can tell the difference between butyl rubber and latex tubes. The latex tubed wheels are lighter feeling, less harsh, and maybe even whistle a bit as they roll, kind of like a high dollar tubular tire would.
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Old 02-29-20, 02:31 PM
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I have never ridden on latex tubes. Just today, ordered 4 Vittoria's, 2 @ 23mm and 2 @ 30mm. They are on sale at Chain Reaction Cycles for $9.99. I am looking forward to trying them.

Last edited by delbiker1; 02-29-20 at 02:32 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 02-29-20, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
I have never ridden on latex tubes. Just today, ordered 4 Vittoria's, 2 @ 23mm and 2 @ 30mm. They are on sale at Chain Reaction Cycles for $9.99. I am looking forward to trying them.
Thatís a good price. I think youíll like them. What tires are you going to be running?
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Old 02-29-20, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Thatís a good price. I think youíll like them. What tires are you going to be running?
The 23mm are for Vittoria Diamonte's and the 30mm tubes will be used with 28mm Hutchinson Fusion 5's. The 28mm tubes were sold out. I have been considering trying latex for quite awhile. I could not pass up the opportunity at those prices.
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Old 03-03-20, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
The 23mm are for Vittoria Diamonte's and the 30mm tubes will be used with 28mm Hutchinson Fusion 5's. The 28mm tubes were sold out. I have been considering trying latex for quite awhile. I could not pass up the opportunity at those prices.
Iím curious to hear back how the 30mm tubes work with the 28mm Hutchinson Fusion 5ís.

Are you using Velox (cotton canvas) rim tape or tubeless style?
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Old 03-03-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Iím curious to hear back how the 30mm tubes work with the 28mm Hutchinson Fusion 5ís.

Are you using Velox (cotton canvas) rim tape or tubeless style?

I have received the tubes yet. They will be going on a set of Campy Zonda that are taped for tubeless. The 23 mm will be used on a set of Prime-Lite wheels that are also tubeless taped. I do not believe there will be an issue with the 30mm tubes in 28mm tires. I am more concerned with the 23's being seated properly in a bit of a wider rim. If that is a problem, I will just use narrower rims that I already have, Vuelta SLR. They have Velox rim tape.
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Old 03-03-20, 12:39 PM
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Are you using them primarily for the feel and not the wattage savings? Vittoria have the lowest RR but challenge is essentially the same. I use VIttoria, and would switch to the Silca ones if I ever needed more supply
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Old 03-03-20, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Are you using them primarily for the feel and not the wattage savings? Vittoria have the lowest RR but challenge is essentially the same. I use VIttoria, and would switch to the Silca ones if I ever needed more supply
Iím using them for feel. If the rolling resistance is lower, then that is a bonus.

The Challenge ones seem a little less delicate than the Vittorias. The Silca latex tubes sell for ~$35 each. Iím not sure how their cost is justified.
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Old 03-03-20, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
I’m using them for feel. If the rolling resistance is lower, then that is a bonus.

The Challenge ones seem a little less delicate than the Vittorias. The Silca latex tubes sell for ~$35 each. I’m not sure how their cost is justified.
Tube only is $15, similar vittoria and a bit lighter with the aluminum valve stems, the $35 ones come with extenders and their aero valve nut holder that saves ~0.5W
Edit: they should only be $22 with the valve extenders https://silca.cc/products/latex-inne...=7735179116572
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Old 03-03-20, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Tube only is $15, similar vittoria and a bit lighter with the aluminum valve stems, the $35 ones come with extenders and their aero valve nut holder that saves ~0.5W
Edit: they should only be $22 with the valve extenders https://silca.cc/products/latex-inne...=7735179116572
Oh, OK - thanks for the price clarification. It appears they are sold out for now.
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Old 03-03-20, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Oh, OK - thanks for the price clarification. It appears they are sold out for now.
Only if you need the 70mm extenders
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Old 03-03-20, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Only if you need the 70mm extenders
Again, I stand corrected. Iím curious about the little plastic valve protector thingy pictured and what itís benefit is.
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Old 03-03-20, 03:21 PM
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0.5-1W savings apparently https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/?post=6000661
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Old 03-03-20, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
I have received the tubes yet. They will be going on a set of Campy Zonda that are taped for tubeless. The 23 mm will be used on a set of Prime-Lite wheels that are also tubeless taped. I do not believe there will be an issue with the 30mm tubes in 28mm tires. I am more concerned with the 23's being seated properly in a bit of a wider rim. If that is a problem, I will just use narrower rims that I already have, Vuelta SLR. They have Velox rim tape.
I'd say the 30mm tubes will be much too big for the 28mm tyres. I run 19-23mm latex tubes in 25mm tyres and I have 24mm latex tubes in 28mm tyres on my other bike. You could have difficulty squeezing the 30mm tubes into the tire and not have it bunching up and getting a pinch puncture when you inflate it. I initially bought 28mm vittoria latex tubes to use with the 28mm tyres but they were simply too big and I destroyed both of them trying to inflate them. Maybe you'll have better success but since the above happened 4 or 5 years ago I now always go a size down for latex tubes.
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Old 03-03-20, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MugenSi View Post
I'd say the 30mm tubes will be much too big for the 28mm tyres. I run 19-23mm latex tubes in 25mm tyres and I have 24mm latex tubes in 28mm tyres on my other bike. You could have difficulty squeezing the 30mm tubes into the tire and not have it bunching up and getting a pinch puncture when you inflate it. I initially bought 28mm vittoria latex tubes to use with the 28mm tyres but they were simply too big and I destroyed both of them trying to inflate them. Maybe you'll have better success but since the above happened 4 or 5 years ago I now always go a size down for latex tubes.

Thanks for the heads up on the tubes. I will just have to adjust my thinking on what setup to use. If it looks like they will be too big for the tires I first try, I will change up to wider tires.
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Old 03-03-20, 06:20 PM
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Interesting to see the rolling resistance difference, I've been contemplating putting some challenge ones into my bikes and adding some tubeless liquid to keep flats down while getting better rolling. I've noticed a couple brands state they work with latex tubes.
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Old 03-04-20, 05:56 PM
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I have never used them and want to see what difference they make in the feel of the ride. If they save weight and/or have less rolling resistance, just an add on. I have also never tried tubeless but have never been interested enough to put the time, effort and money into them.
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Old 03-11-20, 04:44 PM
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My latex tubes experience has not been good. I had no trouble getting the tubes into the tires and mounted on the wheel. I did, however, have two flats in the first ten miles. The first one, in the process of changing tubes I found a small burr in the well of the wheel. I know that happened about a month ago when a sheet metal screw pierced a tire. I have had no issues with it until this morning with the latex tube. I went home and lightly sanded the burr until it was smooth, and then put a small piece of tape over it. I went ahead and mounted the spare latex tube and tire back onto the wheel. Headed back out and all was good until the 10th mile, pfffft, flat again. I pulled the tube and could not find the cause in the short time I looked. The burr area is not where the flat was. I installed a butyl tube and finished my ride. I have yet to dismount the tire to take a good look for the cause. Whatever it is did not affect the butyl tube. I patched the latex tubes and they seem to be holding.

I did notice a bit of a difference in the ride with latex, but not that much. I still have the 30mm latex to try on a different set of wheels and bike. Fortunately, the latex tubes were on sale for $10 each. Even if the performance is better in near future uses, I do not believe they are worth the cost compared to butyl, certainly not at full price. I have tried them, they probably are not going do it for me, that is OK.
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Old 03-12-20, 08:37 AM
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I currently use latex tubes on both of my nicer bikes. I use the Challenge tubes on the nicer one for the slightly lower weight (65g vs 75g) and the Vittoria tubes on the rain bike. I personally can notice a small difference in the latex tubes vs Conti 28 Lights. There's a touch less road vibration coming through the tires, a more pneumatic feel if you will. I ride wire bead Panaracer Paselas on both bikes, one with 23s at 85psi and the other with 25s at 70psi (they're actually a size up but inflate small). There's more of a difference in the ride quality from wider and more supple tires than from latex tubes. That said, here's my general review of both tubes:

Challenge
pros:
-removable valve cores
-65g per tube
-feels nice
-seamless construction

cons:
-$10+ per tube
-difficult to install for first few installs
-fragile around valve stem (I've had to patch both of the Challenge tubes there)
-fragile everywhere else
-no bling points


Vittoria
pros:
-more durable than Challenge
-won't find every imperfection in your rim strip
-removable aluminum valve STEM
-removable valve core
-bling points (black stem with Vittoria on DS)

cons:
-heavier by 10g
-still costs $10+ per tube
-seamed at valve
-ride quality is subjectively 5% worse?

No, I would not recommend latex tubes to a normal cyclist friend
Yes, I would recommend Vittoria tubes to an observant and serious cyclist friend
Yes, I would recommend Challenge tubes to an obsessive and serious cyclist friend that has patience

Pre-reqs:
-patching proficiency or above
-patience
-supple tires
-knowledge of reasonable pressures for their conditions
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Old 03-12-20, 08:40 AM
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I've used both Vittorias and Challenge latex tubes.
My experience was the vittorias seemed too delicate, as someone else mentioned above. Each one failed at the seams, usually on the inside of the tire. My Challenge tubes seemed to last longer. Well, until a rock slashed my tire, wrecking the tube and tire. And I think the other Challenge tube failure was due to another puncture.
So, the Vittorias failed on their own, but the Challenge tubes failed due to outside forces. Huge difference.
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Old 03-15-20, 08:24 AM
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I use Vittoria Latex on the one bike I have that still uses tubes, have used them for 3 or 4 years with no problems. Putting them in a ziplock bag with talc powder and shake them up to coat them thoroughly (outside so not inhaling any powder) for installation works well for me.
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Old 03-15-20, 09:44 AM
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I used Michelin latex a couple years ago. The experience was good. I did not encounter any problem while installing, maybe because my wheels are wide internal thus easier to instal. Also the tube lasted as long as the tires, 3000km. I reused the tube after changing new set of tires but they later failed near the valve, common for latex I believe. I switched back to butyl because of the price. Now trying michelin latex again and still going well nearing 2000km. What helped perhaps was I double rolled the rims with tubeless tape until near the hook with the rest of the exposed rim covered by the tire bead, in theory and done correctly, in my mind it could act as insulation from the heat of the rim under braking as latex don't do well with heat. I'm doing the same now
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Old 03-15-20, 06:42 PM
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Rolling resistance? blah blah blah! If you're not racing does it really matter? no, will the durability of a butyl tube be worth it over the frailness of the latex tube? yes. Will you feel the additional 3 to 4 watts of savings? no. Is high heat from braking down a mountain that is known to make latex tubes burst worth it? if you have mountains no. Has all this lower rolling resistance, aero shaped bikes, lower weight bikes, better scientific food and training did much for the average speeds at the Tour D France since 1962? NO!! WHAT YOU SCREAM! Surely I'm on drugs you say; well look at this chart below:



So since 1962 till 2010 the average speed goes from 37.5 km per hr (around 22 mph) to 40 km per hr (24.8 mph), so since 1962 we've only gained just a tad under 3 mph. But wait, if that mph gain sounds really bad that's not the entire story! for you see in 1962 the total miles raced was 2,656 miles. 2,263 miles, a loss of 393 miles; so the reality is the only reason the speeds went up a small bit is due to the fact that mileage over the years have gone down. I know I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this because no one want's to believe that a supercomputer designed $15,000 bike along with all the technology they poured out on workouts, food, supplements etc etc has nothing over a $800 steel bike with no aero benefits and none of the training etc. not even the doping helped! as a matter of fact average speeds are dropping since 2010.

So really how much do you really think you're going to gain going with latex tubes? The only real perceivable positive difference between latex and butyl tubes is the fact they do ride a bit more comfortable, but the negatives of latex outweigh the single real advantage.

Just my opinion.
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Old 03-15-20, 08:52 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Interesting to see the rolling resistance difference, I've been contemplating putting some challenge ones into my bikes and adding some tubeless liquid to keep flats down while getting better rolling. I've noticed a couple brands state they work with latex tubes.
Vittoria also says their latex tubes are compatible with latex sealants.

Last time I used latex tubes I tried Vittoria. Blew out both within 3 rides. Maybe sealant would have helped. Put in ultra thin butyl tubes and haven't had a problem since.
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Old 03-15-20, 11:46 PM
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I'd like to throw one comment out there: Tubolito.

I'm no guru on them but I've run a Tubolito (started with two, have one now, more in a sec) on my bike for around 750 miles now, and I'm liking it so far. I bought two just to try them out, but one was defective and would leak air slowly from where the stem met the tube, and the retailer refunded me for it. I want to buy another to replace it, but haven't yet.

They're ultralight compared to butyl tubes, which is one reason why folks like latex. They also don't suck energy due to flexing like butyl tires do, which is another reason folks like latex. I've ridden latex before, so I know what they feel like, and I was a fan. I'm running 32mm tires these days and as far as I know nobody was making latex tubes for tires that big, and with firsthand experience of how fragile they can be I didn't want to risk it. While looking around I saw an article on the Tubolitos, and they had me intrigued. These Tubolitos feel, to me, very much like latex tubes do. For weight weenies (which I'm not) they are something like 50+ grams lighter than butyl tubes. Tubolito claims their tubes are more resistant to puncture than regular tubes. I don't really have the data to say either way, and in the ~750 miles or so since I've ridden that one Tubolito I haven't had any punctures, but with that few miles it doesn't mean much, and I don't get a lot of punctures with conventional tubes either.

I'm gonna order another Tubolito to replace the one that showed up defective. The other one has run great, and I'd like to have them in both wheels. I don't like the orange-colored stem, but I'm not OCD and just ignore it and it hasn't bothered me much. Anyhow, for anyone looking at latex because they like the way they feel, or the reduced weight, or whatever, Tubolitos might be a good way to go.
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