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Latex Lament

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Latex Lament

Old 06-16-17, 02:20 PM
  #26  
79pmooney
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Originally Posted by babyboomer View Post
In the meantime, I love my Vittoria Corsa 25c G+ tires! After a brief break-in period, they are incredibly supple – eliminating the need for tools when dismounting and mounting! Consequently, when my latex tubes get a flat, the process of getting back on the road is not as onerous. I do not carry latex tubes as spares, but rely on butyl instead.
+1. I am running 28c. Couple of hundred miles so far. I love 'em. (For me, they are kinda throwback. Ribbed tread. BITD a lot of sewups were ribbed tread including some very race-able training weight tires. Why they disappeared for 30 years is beyond me. I have many miles of fond memories of those tires.)

Haven't gone latex with them. My foray into latex two years ago (Challenge both tires and tubes) was an expensive experience I have no desire to repeat. I was planning to ride them for Cycle Oregon. Ended up on Vittoria COrsa and butyl which served me very well.

I love latex but I will leave the handling and installation to someone else. In simple terms, this means I will not use latex again until I make a move back to sewups. (Which may happen for safety reasons. I know that sounds nuts but I never want to flat a clincher going down a mountain at 45+ mph. I've had a clincher come off and jam in the seatstays at ~25 mph. A crash I do not want to repeat. I've flatted going a lot faster on sewups and except for the initial heart rate jump, not a big deal.)

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Old 10-29-17, 11:05 AM
  #27  
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It has been several months since I started this thread. So, I thought it was time I posted an update.

Unfortunately, the development of blood clots in my lungs interrupted my cycling regimen. I spent two days in the hospital and then had to wait another six weeks before I could resume my workouts at full intensity.

I do most of my training indoors anyway, but the illness mandated it. Consequently, since starting this thread, I've only managed to get outside about a dozen times. During that time, I've experienced only one tube failure! Once again, that occurred several minutes after I had topped off the tube.

I believe the problem is that I'm not maintaining high enough pressure in the tires. Instead, I'm allowing the pressure to get so low that the extremely supple tube is finding its way between the tire and the rim. If the tire pressure gets too low, the resulting flex could cause the bead to separate from the rim; which would create an opening for the tube. Consequently, I'm trying to maintain my tires at a higher pressure between rides. Since I'm outdoors only once a week, it requires a constant vigil.
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Old 10-29-17, 12:44 PM
  #28  
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I have tubeless ready rims and the bead stays in place once tire is mounted regardless of pressure. The possibility of the tube creeping in between the rim a tire isn’t an issue for me so you may be on to something. I would be interested in the effectiveness of maintaining the pressure and the problems your having over the long term.
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Old 10-29-17, 01:19 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by babyboomer View Post
It has been several months since I started this thread. So, I thought it was time I posted an update.

Unfortunately, the development of blood clots in my lungs interrupted my cycling regimen. I spent two days in the hospital and then had to wait another six weeks before I could resume my workouts at full intensity.

I do most of my training indoors anyway, but the illness mandated it. Consequently, since starting this thread, I've only managed to get outside about a dozen times. During that time, I've experienced only one tube failure! Once again, that occurred several minutes after I had topped off the tube.

I believe the problem is that I'm not maintaining high enough pressure in the tires. Instead, I'm allowing the pressure to get so low that the extremely supple tube is finding its way between the tire and the rim. If the tire pressure gets too low, the resulting flex could cause the bead to separate from the rim; which would create an opening for the tube. Consequently, I'm trying to maintain my tires at a higher pressure between rides. Since I'm outdoors only once a week, it requires a constant vigil.
or just run a lever around the rim before you pump. Do you use talc powder? I find it helps with preventing pinch flats on latex at super low pressures for cyclocross
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Old 10-29-17, 03:20 PM
  #30  
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I guess what I was trying to say is that I need to do a better job of preventing the tires from losing too much air between rides. Running a lever around the rim every time I simply want to top them off is tantamount to remounting them. Whether the tube is butyl or latex, you shouldn't have to remount the tire just because you want to add a little air.
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Old 10-29-17, 03:55 PM
  #31  
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Why are u running a lever around the rim? The tire should staying seated. If not , You should be working both sides of the tire with your fingers (squeazing the tube) all the way around making sure the tube is not going to get pinched under the bead as more air is pumped into it. No lever. Pump slowly a little at a time to allow the bead to seat evenly.
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Old 10-29-17, 08:00 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post
Why are u running a lever around the rim? The tire should staying seated. If not , You should be working both sides of the tire with your fingers (squeazing the tube) all the way around making sure the tube is not going to get pinched under the bead as more air is pumped into it. No lever. Pump slowly a little at a time to allow the bead to seat evenly.
Because a lever does the same thing and is easier. It's not that complicated to prevent a pinch flat
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Old 10-29-17, 08:02 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by babyboomer View Post
I guess what I was trying to say is that I need to do a better job of preventing the tires from losing too much air between rides. Running a lever around the rim every time I simply want to top them off is tantamount to remounting them. Whether the tube is butyl or latex, you shouldn't have to remount the tire just because you want to add a little air.
You shouldn't need to do it either way. Cross tires are inflated to 35psi max and are mounted at much less. It shouldn't be that hard to keep them from getting lower than that and pinch flatting. I have no issues on my road bike with latex tubes and it gets ridden on weekends only and routinely drops into the 40psi range
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Old 10-29-17, 11:09 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
You shouldn't need to do it either way. Cross tires are inflated to 35psi max and are mounted at much less. It shouldn't be that hard to keep them from getting lower than that and pinch flatting. I have no issues on my road bike with latex tubes and it gets ridden on weekends only and routinely drops into the 40psi range
I'm encountering the problem when I've neglected to check the tire pressure for several days. Under those circumstances the pressure gets pretty low. Additionally, I can't help but bleed off even more air while connecting the chuck to the valve. By the time I'm ready to start pumping, who knows how much air is left. I haven't noticed whether it has ever gotten low enough to unseat the bead, but I wouldn't be surprised. I believe it's on those occasions when I'm having the problem. In the future, when I suspect that the tube is close to being completely deflated, I will treat it as though I'm installing a new one.
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Old 10-29-17, 11:51 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
+1. I am running 28c. Couple of hundred miles so far. I love 'em. (For me, they are kinda throwback. Ribbed tread. BITD a lot of sewups were ribbed tread including some very race-able training weight tires. Why they disappeared for 30 years is beyond me. I have many miles of fond memories of those tires.)

Haven't gone latex with them. My foray into latex two years ago (Challenge both tires and tubes) was an expensive experience I have no desire to repeat. I was planning to ride them for Cycle Oregon. Ended up on Vittoria COrsa and butyl which served me very well.

I love latex but I will leave the handling and installation to someone else. In simple terms, this means I will not use latex again until I make a move back to sewups. (Which may happen for safety reasons. I know that sounds nuts but I never want to flat a clincher going down a mountain at 45+ mph. I've had a clincher come off and jam in the seatstays at ~25 mph. A crash I do not want to repeat. I've flatted going a lot faster on sewups and except for the initial heart rate jump, not a big deal.)

Ben
Interesting! When I crashed back in 2014, it was because the rear tire popped and came off of the rim. I didn't realize that's why I had crashed until I was told by fellow riders who had retrieved my bicycle and delivered it to the shop. Compared to me, the bicycle came out relatively unscathed. On the other hand, I spent four days in the hospital.
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Old 10-30-17, 05:15 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by babyboomer View Post
I'm encountering the problem when I've neglected to check the tire pressure for several days. Under those circumstances the pressure gets pretty low. Additionally, I can't help but bleed off even more air while connecting the chuck to the valve. By the time I'm ready to start pumping, who knows how much air is left....
You should know.. doesn't your pump have a gauge?
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Old 10-30-17, 06:28 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
Because a lever does the same thing and is easier. It's not that complicated to prevent a pinch flat
Lol, ok. Maybe using the lever isn't as easy you suggest... OP's update notes tube still finding its' way between rim and tire bead.

"..... Instead, I'm allowing the pressure to get so low that the extremely supple tube is finding its way between the tire and the rim. If the tire pressure gets too low, the resulting flex could cause the bead to separate from the rim; which would create an opening for the tube."
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Old 10-30-17, 08:08 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by dwing View Post
Lol, ok. Maybe using the lever isn't as easy you suggest... OP's update notes tube still finding its' way between rim and tire bead.

"..... Instead, I'm allowing the pressure to get so low that the extremely supple tube is finding its way between the tire and the rim. If the tire pressure gets too low, the resulting flex could cause the bead to separate from the rim; which would create an opening for the tube."
Which if that were the case then running the lever around the edge of the bead will let the tube release and center in tire. We aren't talking about taking the bead off the rim here
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Old 10-30-17, 11:54 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
You should know.. doesn't your pump have a gauge?

Yes, I could check the gauge, but that would be counterintuitive. In my umpteen zillion years of topping off the air pressure in my bicycle tires, I've never checked the gauge first. I inflate my tires as part of my pre-ride regimen, or because they feel low when squeezed, or because they are obviously flat. I don't remember a time when I inflated my tires after first connecting a gauge to check the pressure. Besides, it wouldn't matter. The mere act of connecting the tire to a gauge or a pump results in additional loss of pressure. So, I would have to pump it up anyway!

My current hypothesis about the cause of the flats is mostly anecdotal, and is an attempt to explain only those occasions when a tube bursts within minutes after I've topped it off. My tubes burst for other reasons, but those are not as mysterious. So far, my current remedy seems to be working. Between rides, I try to prevent the pressure in the tires from getting so low that I wind up with a "herniated tube."

Until proven otherwise, I'm going to proceed on the assumption that my theory is reasonable. Of course if there is a significant change, I will update this thread. Otherwise, it seems I've reached the point where I risk repeating myself. Consequently, I don't think I have anything additional to contribute. Everyone's insights have been very helpful!
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Old 10-30-17, 06:26 PM
  #40  
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I switched to latex tubes a few years ago & love them. The improved ride, flat resistance & supposed efficiency is great. I do talc the tires & tubes & don't hurry when mounting but since your issues are all around the stem, those things wouldn't matter much. Maybe I'm just lucky but I've not had to replace any Vittoria tubes & only had 1-2 flats in 10-15k miles (on NJ roads).

Just because I haven't seen it mentioned here, you might want to debur the valve stem hole. BTW - are you having the issues on front & rear or only one of the two? Also, the rim is drilled for presta & not schrader - right?
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Old 12-29-17, 08:33 PM
  #41  
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I thought I would close 2017 by updating this thread with the fact that I have continued to use latex tubes without incident. The most significant change to my setup was that I replaced the plastic rim tape on my wheels with cloth tape. Also, between rides I maintain a reasonable amount of pressure in the tires. Without the latter, I believe that the pressure in the tire(s) could get so low that the mere weight of the bicycle could flex the sidewall enough to separate the bead from the rim. When that goes undetected, the next time the tire is inflated the tube could get trapped between the tire and the rim.

And, yes, I always use talc when mounting latex tubes.
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Old 12-29-17, 09:00 PM
  #42  
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Happy you're getting better results. I use tubeless tape with a very small hole cut out for the valve - in fact I melt it with a soldering iron. This creates a very smooth surface. I have not had a tube fail in years that was not a defect.

I use Vredstein and Vittoria tubes. I have about a 25% defect rate. I change them yearly and I do use sealant. I never use talc.
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Old 12-30-17, 01:20 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Whether latex tubes make a difference in ride feel is largely determined by the tire. If you buy nice tires with flexible sidewalls and lesser or softer tread then latex may be felt. Riding heavy tires?, don't bother.
This. With a really heavy/thick/stiff casing I don't believe the benefits of latex tubes will be felt. I like riding latex tubes, but I don't always ride them. For instance, my latex tube valve stems weren't long enough when I switched to my new carbon rims, and I didn't have any valve extenders, and haven't ordered any yet. So I've got lightweight butyl tubes in there now.

I too have noticed that latex tubes are more finicky than butyl tubes. I've dealt with this by being much more careful in my installation techniques even than I already am with butyl tubes. I powder them (I know there are powder doubters, but I'm a believer) to ensure that they are able to shift easily during installation and initial inflation, to make sure the tubing is evenly distributed around the rim before they inflate hard enough to friction-stick to the tire casing.

I've also had tubes (both latex and butyl) cut by sharp edges of Stans rim tape that had slightly wrinkled when a tire was removed. The solution is to just pull the rim tape and lay down some new tape to ensure it's nice and flat and with no sharp edges to "paper cut" the tubes under pressure.

With good tires I did notice a difference in the feel of the tires with latex tubes in there as opposed to butyl. The supplesness, ease of rolling, the few watts saved, etc. add up to a noticeable difference to me.

I consider the latex tubes to be a bit of a luxury. I'll use them, then swap over to butyl when they need replacing, until I order some more latex tubes. I definitely feel a bit of a loss when I swap over to butyl after riding latex for a while. I definitely don't "stock" latex tubes in my cupboard like I do butyl tubes, because it's my belief that latex tubes don't age well.
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Old 12-30-17, 08:37 AM
  #44  
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I just don't get all the problems everyone's seems to be having with latex. Been using them for years. Of course I am running vintage blkes and have a lot of rims with Velox rims. But I'm also running about 10 sets of modern rims including lots of Campagnolo and Fulcrum rims with the plastic looking rim tape. No problems with them either. Seems like if you keep you rims in good nick (rim tape) and use basic solid practices mounting tires it is a non issue.
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Old 12-30-17, 11:32 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
Happy you're getting better results. I use tubeless tape with a very small hole cut out for the valve - in fact I melt it with a soldering iron. This creates a very smooth surface. I have not had a tube fail in years that was not a defect.

I use Vredstein and Vittoria tubes. I have about a 25% defect rate. I change them yearly and I do use sealant. I never use talc.



Yikes!
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Old 12-30-17, 05:47 PM
  #46  
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gotta pay to play
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