Tips for first time latex tube install

Anybody got tips? Talc powder or something?

I put a latex tube in my front tt wheel the season before last. I think I put talc in but I can’t recall doing much different from a butyl tube. Touch wood its not let me down in that time and it doesn’t seem to dramatically lose air overnight either.

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Talc plus a little bit of air in it so that it doesn’t get pinched by the bead.

(I eventually gave up on latex tubes. I was getting flats at a higher frequency and I was getting tired of pumping up tires every single ride. The extra few saved watts weren’t that important compared to the convenience for me.


I’ve never done anything special for these.


things you probably know but I’ll just rattle some stuff off…

make sure you put a little air in the tube before you put the tire on the bead. #1 biggest failure for latex tube installation on my bikes is pinching the tube in the bead hook.

make sure there isn’t too much play in the valve stem hole. Latex tubes will find their way into any little gap so you’ll get a little bubble down through the stem hole…everything twill be fine for 5 or 10 minutes and then pfffft! the tire will go flat.

Make sure your rim tape definitely covers all the spoke holes. Same issue.

If you puncture a tube, save it. That plus a jar of rubber cement will give you a lifetime of latex tube patching.


talc plus a bit of air as mentioned above. I also will inflate slightly then check around the bead on both sides to make sure nothing is pinched. They can be tricky because the are so supple and floppy.

Edit - definitely save latext tubes. They are good for patches as well as other things since they are so stretchy. You can make exercise bands of various lengths for example, or have huge amounts of small rubber bands :slight_smile:

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I have gone to the new Thermoplastic tubes. Much the same benefits of latex but they don’t lose air like latex. A bit of air to keep from pinching the tube is what I found works for both types.


got 'em on sale and cheap.

Cornstarch vs talc? Any opinions on that one?

and thanks for all the replies so far!


You don’t pump your tires every ride? Is this a thing? I can’t be the only one who won’t get on a bike without attaching the hose first … right???


If it’s the install it’s probably the smaller circumference of the tube compared to butyl making them a little different to stay in the wheel channel before you set the bead so-to-speak. If so, pump up similar to a butyl tube. Start at valve and work around to opposite side. As you install the tube into the wheel channel place the tire bead “inside” the rim. This holds the tube in place as you work around the wheel.

Not associated to install…when you get a puncture it’s harder to find the hole due to the nature of the latex. Ie you can’t pump them up to a high enough psi to expose the hole (most of the time). If so, fill bathtub with a few inches of water. Pump up tube just enough to avoid the 'bulge". Submerge a section of tube between hands (say 1 foot section). Pull apart. The more you pull the more you will stretch/open the hole. Repeat in sections until you observe bubbles (hole).

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I’ve only used genuine cancer causing talc. I think cornstarch would work for the install, not sure what it will be like after 6 months of summer weather.

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current tubeless tires I attach the air hose and give it a pump or two, before every ride.

Talc if you can still find it. I’ve used a bit of corn starch but, any hole and the starch ends up in the tube. It’s a weird rattling sound as the starch bunches up when spinning the wheel slow in the stand. Can’t notice when riding. Pretty unique issue. Have not read anyone else write about it. Don’t recall it happening with talc but, i’ve not used talc for a while.

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This time of year any butyl slow leaks get in the pool with me, I’ve got that part done to a science.

@toyman is that just a CA thing? Or nationwide ban?


did a quick search and found this:

seems like a hassle with little benefit and a bit of a mess to cleanup. I’ll just be careful and let the tube go naked.

I don’t think there is any legislation, but J&J is in some stage of losing a massive court case on this, and I heard they are phasing actual talc out. I would imagine other suppliers would follow suit due to the potential liability. I just make sure to use it in a well ventilated area and not inhale the dust.
I think the mechanism is that talc can be contaminated with asbestos, and that it is the asbestos that causes the cancer, not the talc itself.

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Once a week bro! I don’t even fool around with the 60 gram “ultra light” butyl tubes. I’d rather pack along another 25 or 30 grams and get less flats.

I’ve since switched to tubeless and I still top it up once every 5-7 days.


You’re probably not the only one but I can tell from feel when my tires need some air. 80 psi is hard but gives a bit when pinched between my thumb and forefinger. 70 psi is still rideable. 60 psi is asking for pinch flats on cattle guards.

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Yeah I don’t do anything different for latex than I did for butyl.

Think I’m good but post & pray


Silca tube with extender.

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First wheel success! In the words of Whitesnake, slippery when wet! Easy peasy.