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weird question, are some tubes faster than others?

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weird question, are some tubes faster than others?

Old 03-16-21, 09:24 AM
  #1  
Lbxpdx
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weird question, are some tubes faster than others?

My mind says no, but my legs tell me something different. I had 26x1.5 tubes in my 650bx42mm tires and then went to 27.5x1.75 tubes. At the same PSI, the larger tubes felt comfier but slightly slower. I'm not trying to overthink things or nitpick every little detail, mainly just curious.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:34 AM
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There are many claims (especially latex vs. butyl tubes). There may be research out there that can verify some of the claims, but I go for inexpensive, since I'm not a speed demon.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:35 AM
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Yes, some tubes are faster than others. Latex and Schwalbe's schmancy new tubes are ver fast.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:37 AM
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Anecdotal, but anecdotal counts if you can get some data recorded and repeatable results.

For one, your tubes are probably a different weight. More mass equals more energy to accelerate. Also there will be some change in rolling resistance depending on how stretched the tube is inside the tire. Or perhaps if the larger tube winds up being wadded up and you just didn't notice the bumpy ride.

Different brand tubes might have been different compounds. Butyl rubber is not simply one exact recipe.... I think. Slight changes to the ingredients and how they are processed to make the butyl rubber or any tube material will make a difference for the rolling resistance. As well, Latex vs Butyl vs ?? It's all going to roll different.

But if you didn't control everything else like PSI, same tire at the same wear level, road surface and even your own increasing or decreasing fitness, then well you know, could be an infinite number of reasons for your perceptions.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-16-21 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 03-16-21, 10:01 AM
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There are comparisons of same tire and rim running tubeless versus, latex, thin butyl and standard butyl tubes. IIRC, tubeless is best, with latex usually adding a bit over 1W, thin butyl maybe 3W and standard butyl more like 5W. It will vary with tire type and wheel size.

So, yeah, its there and measurable. However, latex tubes lose air faster and both latex and thin butyl tubes are more vulnerable to puncture. So, standard butyl tubes still have a place when convenience and reliability are a factor. OTOH, tubeless is fastest, assuming you have things sorted and working,

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Old 03-16-21, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
There are comparisons of same tire and rim running tubeless versus, latex, thin butyl and standard butyl tubes. IIRC, tubeless is best, with latex usually adding a bit over 1W, thin butyl maybe 3W and standard butyl more like 5W. It will vary with tire type and wheel size.

So, yeah, its there and measurable. However, latex tubes lose air faster and both latex and thin butyl tubes are more vulnerable to puncture. So, standard butyl tubes still have a place when convenience and reliability are a factor. OTOH, tubeless is fastest, assuming you have things sorted and working,

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Myth 7: Myth 7: Tubeless Tires Roll Faster Rene Herse Cycles
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Old 03-16-21, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
But maybe the type of riding the article was talking about needs to be considered. Didn't see any road bikes in the pic's.

Though only ride road bikes, I have to wonder if the 1 or 2 watts difference that tubeless versions of the same tire provide is material for me. For others that ride really far, long and often, maybe.

From what I've read, tubeless became a hit with the off-road crowd for puncture resistance. No so much for rolling resistance.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-16-21 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 03-16-21, 10:42 AM
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Why use a 26" tube in a 650b wheel? I guess in an emergency?

Ill pile on and confirm that tubes vary and will affect power/speed.
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Old 03-16-21, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Yeah, I read that article a while ago. Im talking about measurements. Jan is into measurement vs. speculation, as am I.

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Old 03-16-21, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Tubeless is disproportionately represented at the top of the rolling resistance charts, though. If you look at the top road tires on BRR.com, there are maybe one or two tubed tires in the top 20 or so that would be considered an everyday tire - all of the rest of the tubed tires are specifically time trial/race-day affairs with very low puncture protection and tread life expectancy. While the tubeless at the very top of the list are also of the TT/race-day variety, there are a number of all-arounders filling out the rest of the top ~20.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:20 PM
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The less the rotating mass, the faster you will go. It makes sense to get the smallest, lightest tubes. This is true for all vehicles which use tires.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
But maybe the type of riding the article was talking about needs to be considered. Didn't see any road bikes in the pic's.

Though only ride road bikes, I have to wonder if the 1 or 2 watts difference that tubeless versions of the same tire provide is material for me. For others that ride really far, long and often, maybe.

From what I've read, tubeless became a hit with the off-road crowd for puncture resistance. No so much for rolling resistance.
Agree on the off road rationale.

I wonder if the wattage difference makes any difference except in competition where success is measured in seconds per km (or 1.61 seconds per mi) or even seconds per 100 mile+ race. I don't think that even long distance recreational riders would notice the difference unless they're competing.

If any tube or tire contributes to comfort or convenience, that's a selling point to me. Haven't seen documentation of enough of a difference for the type of recreational road riding I do, yet.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
The less the rotating mass, the faster you will go. It makes sense to get the smallest, lightest tubes. This is true for all vehicles which use tires.
its not the rotational mass that makes a tube faster it is the suppleness of the tube.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:51 PM
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A trick that is as old as I am to getting lighter and better rolling wheels is to use undersized tubes. Same model tube but one width narrower - that much lighter plus the highly stretched tube is effectively thinner and more supple. It is easy to feel the difference. Drawbacks - the thinner tube doesn't hold air as well, may be less reliable and may have issues after patching. Plus (besides fast) - easier to mount tire.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 03-16-21 at 10:48 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-16-21, 10:45 PM
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The SLX tubes on my DeRosa seem fastest. But totally subjective and without data or links to a study.

22mm tubulars also always seem faster on good pavement.

New chain needed with Spring maintenance

Last edited by Wildwood; 03-16-21 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 03-16-21, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
The SLX tubes on my DeRosa seem fastest. But totally subjective and without data or links to a study.

22mm tubulars also always seem faster on good pavement.

New chain needed with Spring maintenance
I have a bike with blue SLX tubes too and it's darn fast (steep downhill). It's scary to think how fast it would be if the tubes were red!

As for the chain: less rotating mass and less wind resistance - leave it as-is.
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Old 03-16-21, 11:02 PM
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The tubes on most of these guys bikes are way faster than mine.
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Old 03-17-21, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
I thought tubeless tires while being able to use a tube are heavier than the same brand tube only tires. Looks like he used the same tire and just put in a tube. If so not really a valid test. Oh I use tube type tires.
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Old 03-17-21, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Cycling Weekly and at least one other VLOG (can't remember which) have tested tubulars, clinchers and tubeless and tubeless is faster. They tried to do this "scientifically" but I have no idea if their methods are valid. I was not convinced that tubeless were necessary but two + years ago I bought a Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST rear because it was very inexpensive and it included the tire. It was purely a test. I had been riding on Mavic Ksyrium Elite clinchers with Vittoria 320 TPI tires. I was amazed. The tubeless was more comfortable and spun up more easily. I also weighed them on my Park digital scale and they are lighter. I was so impressed that I fitted my CAAD 12, Guru Sidero and my GFs Colnago with them. I think they are incredible and I have yet to have a flat/puncture.

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Old 03-17-21, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
They tried to do this "scientifically" but I have no idea if their methods are valid.
In terms of the question they're addressing, their methods are nonsense and their results are basically an artifact of the unusual structure of Vittoria's tire lineup. The tubed clincher they used is a less performance-oriented tire than the tubeless tire.

When people test the same tire, Vittoria latex and tubeless tend to perform pretty similarly, with the outcome depending on how generous the sealant fill is. A dry tubeless tire probably slightly beats latex, although this is obviously not an attractive setup. Michelin latex tubes tend to test slower than Vittoria.

Last edited by HTupolev; 03-17-21 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 03-17-21, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Their methods are nonsense. The tubed clincher they used is a less performance-oriented tire than the tubeless tire.

When people test the same tire, Vittoria latex and tubeless tend to perform pretty similarly, with the outcome depending on how generous the sealant fill is. A dry tubeless tire probably slightly beats latex, although this is obviously not an attractive setup. Michelin latex tubes tend to test slower than Vittoria.
Do you have a site for that? I'd like to check it out. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:00 AM
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The Placebo Effect with these types of "tests" are strong. I wonder what the results would be if one didn't know what tubes were in the tires. Tublito's are definitely the fastest.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Do you have a site for that? I'd like to check it out. Thanks.
Aerocoach has some good articles on the issue.

This one explains the issue of tubeless sealant, and in the "TIRE AND SEALANT" tab it says that in their testing, ~30ml of sealant was pretty similar in performance to a latex tube.
This article compares different inner tubes.
Here's some accumulated test results.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Aerocoach has some good articles on the issue.

This one explains the issue of tubeless sealant, and in the "TIRE AND SEALANT" tab it says that in their testing, ~30ml of sealant was pretty similar in performance to a latex tube.
This article compares different inner tubes.
Here's some accumulated test results.
Thanks. Will check it out.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
...At the same PSI, the larger tubes felt comfier but slightly slower. ...
If there was a difference in speed, it would be too small to feel.
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