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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

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Old 11-29-06, 11:16 AM   #1
whitemax
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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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Old 11-29-06, 11:20 AM   #2
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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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Old 11-29-06, 11:20 AM   #3
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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...
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Old 11-29-06, 11:33 AM   #4
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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)...
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Old 11-29-06, 09:03 PM   #5
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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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Old 11-29-06, 09:11 PM   #6
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i'm allergic, prefer sheepskin or none at all.
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Old 11-29-06, 09:27 PM   #7
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I go bareback.
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Old 11-29-06, 09:48 PM   #8
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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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Old 11-29-06, 11:00 PM   #9
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Performance sells the Lunar Light butyls that are as light as latex (49 grams).
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Old 11-30-06, 12:42 AM   #10
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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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Old 11-30-06, 01:33 AM   #11
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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?
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Old 11-30-06, 01:35 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 11-30-06, 01:58 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 11-30-06, 05:42 AM   #14
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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!"
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Old 11-30-06, 07:14 AM   #15
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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
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Old 11-30-06, 08:24 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 11-30-06, 08:26 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 11-30-06, 09:46 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 11-30-06, 09:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Coyote2
I go bareback.
enjoy...

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