Tests have shown that latex tubes, like these Vittoria Latex Presta Tubes, can minimize rolling resistance by a few watts. Paltry effect you might say. But add in the weight savings of these 75 gram latex wondertubes, and you'll have a serious performance advantage -- lower rolling resistance and less mass on the outer diameter of the wheel -- meaning quicker accelerations and easier maintenance of speed. And when the difference between the top ten riders is a few percent and the difference between winning and losing is a few seconds or the length of a bike, you'll want all the advantage you can get.
An added benefit over standard butyl rubber tubes is a greater elasticity that enables them to be more puncture resistant. The only downside is that latex tubes are more porous than their black butyl counterparts. You'll need to air them up before every ride and if they sit a week or more, they'll appear totally flat. But all serious racers check their pressures before each ride anyway, right?
Vittoria Latex Presta Tubes are available with a 51mm valve stem. The valve core is removable as well.
700 x 19-23 c, 700 x 25-28 c
One Color, 700x19/23: 75g
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Use latex tubes, with clincher tires, to get a feel very similar to tubular tires without having to get glue all over. Like Mark M. said, when you pay for performance everywhere else, why scrimp on tubes?
If one has a multi-thousand dollar bike, that rolls on high dollar wheels, shod with tires that cost more than those on your car, why would one run a cheap-ass butyl tubes? Seriously. I never understood it. Still don't... If you run crap tires, again...why?, then a butyl tube is largely peeing into the breeze. If you are running a high TPI, performance oriented tire (Vitt OC, Conti 4000S, Veloflex, Challenge, etc.), then there's little reason NOT to run latex. They improve ride quality, and lower rolling resistance. Don't shake your head, it's been proven... As for the cost, swing by your LBS, and check out how much a lightweight, long valve butyl tube is going for. Yeah...$12-15. At that point, just spend the extra couple of bucks, and get Latex. Just buy a smaller cup of coffee for a few days to make up the difference! I run these things in my Vitt OC CX, and OC SC tires. Like butter on a bald monkey....smoooooth. And (knocks on wood), I seem to get less punctures, as the supple tire, mated with a supple tube, inflated to the correct pressure, just seems to roll OVER road debris, instead of picking it up. Yes, this has been proven too... Sure, have a crappy butyl tube in your saddle bag, but only to get you home.
Pair these with a nice tire like Michelin Pro Race, Conti Grand Prix 4000S, or Vittoria Evo Corsa, and you'll get the closest ride quality to a tubular possible. The valve cores are removable, so I'm using Tufo valve extenders to run on deep section wheels. Unlike butyl tubes, these do not stretch so make sure you get the right size for your tires.
First time riding latex and i like it. Wouldn't say I feel too much of a difference as others have hyped about; but i like the fact that i have yet to pinch flat all summer! I re-inflate my tires every ride so pumping them up didn't bother me
Don't bother. This looks like it is a little late but I've ran the Pave for a long time now and normal tubes are just fine. Vittoria tires are the best. No need to waist your money on a tube that may last you a week.
After spending 6 months off the bike recovering from a herniated disc in my lower back, a friend recommended that I try latex tubes to soften up the ride. I thought he was crazy because there's no way a tube can make a difference in the ride quality, right? I was surely wrong because I could tell on my maiden voyage with the latex tubes the significant improvement! For one, the latex tubes feel as if they do a better job absorbing road vibrations. Secondly, and this could be my imagination, but there seemed to be a decrease in rolling resistance as well. Yes, it's true that you have to fill these up with air before every ride, which probably negates the benefit to my back, but overall this an inexpensive and great upgrade for your bike. I also rode with the same pair of tubes from August to December and did not get one flat (~1,500 miles). Bottom line is these are highly recommended and should be standard on everyone's bikes!
After blowing through multiple cheapy tubes I decided to try these out. The Vittoria Latex Tube holds air much better and handles much more of a beating than those other lame tubes. These are definitely worth a try if you have problems with your tubes leaking or popping easy.
I use the big ones for cyclocross since they are almost as large as the challenge tubes. I think they work better than the larger challenge tubes, which can be cumbersome to install. I run 35 psi and think 30-32 is doable. I weigh 160 lbs. I am amazed I haven't pinch flatted considering the abuse I've put these through. But the tubes have nice thick and supple walls and seem to take the hits in stride.
I don't often write reviews, but when I do you can be certain it was well worth my time.
The latex tube (irregardless of Mfr.) is one of the most under-appreciated additions any serious roadie could consider for their ride.
I mounted my race tires in March of this year with these exact tubes and a set of Continental Attack/Force tires for my CAAD9 race rig. Throughout an entire race season of 30+ races ranging from crits, to full on road courses, these tubes have performed flawlessly. They lose 10-15psi of air over the course of any given day, but if you are a dedicated cyclist, you should be checking your tire pressures daily anyway.
I have hit multiple potholes, rocks and debris that should have flatted me on the spot with not one incident. Where I watched fellow racers and friends flat on courses, I kept racing and finishing strong. Since my initial purchase earlier this year, I have bought two spares to keep in my seat bag and replaced only the rear Force tire from finally showing cord in the tread. I re-used the same tube and it is still running strong. They weigh 75 grams each which is inconsequential in the grand scheme of rolling resistance.
For the time that these tubes have lasted, I would have bought multiple butyl rubber tubes and spent the same amount of money, if not more. They pay for themselves over the course of a season.