Advantages and disadvantages of Latex tubes
Latex inner tubes are more supple than normal butyl tubes. They adapt quickly to the tyre changing shape while cornering and rolling. This is because latex extends and expands 7 to 8 times its original size, butyl expands only about 1.5, which means latex is much, much more flexible, guaranteeing more speed, improving rolling resistance and comfort than a standard butyl tube.
Latex inner tubes weigh less than standard butyl tubes which means they can definitely save you some valuable grams. They also increase puncture protection; the latex stretches and deforms around the body which is trying to penetrate the tube instead of it trying to resist the body and shortly after being punctured through. The highly elastic latex material is much more difficult to puncture.
The disadvantage of latex lies in poor air retention. Latex is more porous and gas permeable. A tyre with a latex tube should be checked for inflation pressure before every ride!Installation of a latex tube is also not so easy for the inexperienced hand. It can be more easily prone to pinch flats if not installed properly. The suppleness of latex means it can find its way into the smallest of cracks and holes and push itself in between and pinch. On the other hand, if seated correctly in its cone, it can be extremely strong, reliable and a great added benefit.
• The only Seamless 'one-piece' latex inner tube on the market
• Features removable Presta core and 47.5mm valve length
• Extremely elastic and strong, thus very reliable
• Seamless & smooth, no bumps at the valve, no "out of round, unbalanced" wheel
• Improves rolling resistance
• Increased resistance to punctures
• Lighter weight than standard butyl tubes
• Two part valve with removable core makes using extensions a breeze
• Recommended Use: Gravel Track | Cyclocross | Touring
• Use: Tubular tyres
• Valve: Presta Removable Core
• Valve length: 47.5 mm
• ISO Diameter: 622/630
• Tube Size: 700mm | 27.5"
• Tyre Width: 19 - 28 mm
• Weight: 70 g
Latex Tube Hints:
- It could be best to use a butyl tube with your brand new Open Tubular tyres for a short while until your tyres have stretched to shape, when installation will then be easier
- Slightly inflate before mounting (but less than you would a butyl tube before mounting)
- See that it has (otherwise you can add) a little coating of talcum powder to eliminate the stickiness of the latex, which otherwise would not make it as easy to slide and seat smoothly in its cone
- Inflate and deflate a couple times, checking that the tyre is free of the bead each time.
- Latex tubes are susceptible to greasers and degreasers, ammonia and solvents, direct prolonged sunshine and high heat, all which may contribute to damaging its properties, so must be avoided as much as possible.
- It is advisable to change the tube every time a tyre is changed.
The above warnings explain why latex tubes are not often suggested for quick everyday rides.
But if the additional precautions and care are taken, you’ll feel the difference and certainly enjoy your ride!