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 75g 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? The tubes also feature removable valve cores for all you deep rim aficionados.
Despite the removable valve cores, we strongly recommend against using latex tubes with carbon clincher wheels—a sentiment shared by most major wheel, tube, and tire manufacturers. Since the carbon braking surface heats up more than alloy, it can cause latex tubes to burst and fail. If you're running carbon clinchers, go with butyl tubes.
- A cycling inner tube for race-day or everyday
- Latex tubes are lighter and suppler than butyl
- Removable valve cores for extenders and sealant