Latex Tubes (Feedback Needed)

Hey everyone! hope you guys can provide some guidance in regards to “LATEX” tubes. Here is what I will be using them on:

  1. Roadbike:
    a. Aluminum wheels and carbon wheels

  2. Triathalon Bike:
    a. Carbon wheels

  3. Cyclocross Bike
    a. Aluminum wheels

Here is what I am looking to learn:

  1. Any preferred brands
  2. Installation tips (read that people use talc, etc)
  3. Pros:
  4. Cons:

Thanks in advance.

Challenge for me. Yes to extra talc if you can find it. Main pro is less Crr and maybe a touch more supple feel. Cons would be they can be little finicky to install (fragile maybe is a better descriptor); they are porous so they lose 30+psi overnight.

Make sure the base tape is really good. Any sharp edges from spoke nip holes will easily cut the tubes…

2 Likes

Last year was my 1st go with latex tubes. Near 10,000km with no flats (probably just jinxed it…)

Enve 3.4 with the stock Enve rim strip installed, no powder, talc, etc.
Michelin green laxex tubes
Conti GP 4000 tires

All upside from my perspective.
Ya they lose 20% air overnight but I’ve always checked my pressure before each ride

4 Likes

I use Vittoria’s…they come with talc on them but I use a bit more. I love them, lighter and have better feel. I went the entire 2018 season without getting a flat (I’m knocking on wood) in an area the is know for goatheads and prone to flats. I usually run Vittoria Corsa’s or Rubino’s. Only con is that they lose 20-30 psi overnight. I usually end up taking them out of commission after each set of tires because they stretch a bit.

2 Likes

I also switched to the Vittoria pink latex with my FLO aluminum rim/carbon fairing wheels and have done nothing different than I did with butyls–I got extra cautious installing those to make sure they weren’t getting caught between the tire and rim after blowing one or two up when I first started so that level of care works well with the latex tubes as well. I used to check and top up my tires before every ride with butyls as well so the only thing different is a few extra pumps depending on how long it’s been between rides. They definitely haven’t been as scary or finicky as a lot of people made them out to be, for me anyway.

They do seem to provide s bit more subtle ride, but it’s hard to tell how much difference they make in all aspects without doing an A/B test back to back - - everyone says they’re faster so that’s good enough for me since it’s not much trouble :grinning:.

1 Like

Been running latex tubes on 28c GP 4000s II’s on Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR D3 wheels for the past year. It has been a great combo and I had no flats, both riding in Maui (where Nate flatted with his tubeless setup) and locally in Ohio. I ride mid-70’s PSI. They do lose air quickly and need to be pumped up for every ride.

I’ve got a set of GP 5000 TL on pre-order. I’ve been wrestling with sticking with latex tubes and going with the non-TL GP 5000’s, which are out now, or going TL. For now I think I’ll give TL a try.

My favourite is Vittoria. I still have some wheels with Michelin too, but when ever I buy new tubes, I always choose Vittoria. Vittoria pink latex tubes are available in (at least) in two widths, so you can select the version that matches your tyre width.

I use the latex tubes both with alloy and with carbon wheels. The tyre is always the Conti GP4000SII; I will be moving to new 5000 starting this spring.

1 Like

Thank you guys! Really appreciate your feedback and I am going all in with Latex

Have a good one!

1 Like

Also moved all latex for both road and gravel. Comfortable ride, less flats, probably less resistance, lighter. My spare tube is butyl in tool bag but will often add an extra latex tube on longer ride, in Jersey pocket, they pack really small.

Put some talc in a ziplock bag, put the tube in there and give it a good shake, shake tube again outside of the bag to remove excess. Mount carefully, never had any issue.

I mostly use Challenge latex tube as I ride high volume tire on both road (35mm) and gravel (38 and up). They are speced for 35 but work fine for wider or even 650b.

I’m considering this for next year, what do you do on a long ride say 6-10 hours with your pressures?

1 Like

I didn’t do anything in the 10 hour range, but did a lot of 70 - 100 mile range rides and never added any air.

If it was going to be a really long day, I probably would just pump a few psi higher than normal to start the day to give a little buffer. Otherwise a small pocket pump would do the trick if you were really concerned about maintaining a tight pressure range.

Plan on 20psi loss in a 24 hour period. 1psi/hr to make it easy. 10 hour ride I’d start 5psi high and end 5psi low.

1 Like
  • 1 for Latex being a positive experience.
    1000’s of miles on plush comfort and speed with no flats. Pumping up your tyres every day is no problem.

just so you know CO2 won’t work in a latex tube - you’d need a mini pump to inflate it.

1 Like

I have been running latex for a couple of years and have had no problems. My only word of caution would be running them with rim brakes on carbon wheels. They are more susceptible to heat. A buddy blew a tire off the bead under heavy braking coming down a steep hill. To be fair some of that could be contributed to user error and the fact we were running 120 PSI in our tires.

1 Like

I use the Vittoria latex tubes.

I use them on my carbon and my aluminum wheels.

All my wheels are taped with Scotch tape 8898 instead of regular rim tape ( although this is just a personal preference unrelated to latex tubes).

I’ve never used talc or any special installation tricks/tips. But definitely put a little air in the tube before you try putting that last little bit of tire bead over the lip of the rim.

2 Likes

I’ve never had an issue blowing up latex tubes with C02.

Vittoria is all I’ve used. Talc makes installation easier, but it’s not necessary. I’ve heard some talc helps reduce friction when the tube is in the tire, but I have no idea if this is true. They feel really good paired with my gp 5000 tires. Fast in the straights, and planted in the turns. The biggest drawback I’ve experienced is having to air my tires up every time I ride (latex loses air faster than butyl), but I did this anyway. You can patch a latex tube, but you need to use a latex patch (so save your old latex flats). They are also a little more expensive than butyl tubes as well. I have only used them on my disc propel, so I can’t comment on over heating issues, but latex tubes are more susceptible to temperature changes (or so I’ve heard).

I love the latex but like others above, I won’t use them in carbon rims if I’m in the hills with steep descents and heavy braking. Only had a couple of flats but both have been sudden and explosive - one even put a hole in my tyre.

I also noticed the thing with CO2 - tubes initially inflate fine but then deflate way faster than with air. I guess it’s ummm the molecules?

Anyway they feel fast and the ‘heightened sensitivity’ is a plus.

1 Like

What size of tire is that table for?