January 30, 2011 cburnham

Products I recommend: Latex Tubes

A “Products I Recommend” post is longer overdue so I thought I bring it back with something super awesome, latex tubes.   Seriously, latex tubes can give you free speed.  No, not that kind of speed.  This kind of speed:

For years the awesome engineers at Bike Tech Review have been doing studies on rolling resistance of different road tires.  They included clinchers and tubulars with both butyl (standard rubber) and latex tubes.  Their findings show that every tire ever tested over the last 5 years is faster with a latex tube.  How much faster?  On average you can save about 2.5 – 3.5 watts per wheel or 5 – 7 watts per bike at 25mph on perfectly smooth roads.  Rolling resistance on rough roads (think your typical chip and seal) can be as much as 100% higher and doubling the watt savings by going to latex.  How much of a difference does 10 – 15 watts make?  In a 40K time trial that is a difference of 43.8 seconds and at minimum 1 – 5 places in the results. Latex also gives a more forgiving ride, and in my experience,  won’t lose air as fast when punctured.   At an average cost of $16 – $17 it is one of the cheapest performance advantages you can buy.  Latex, its not for just late night activities anymore….

Comments (3)

  1. Val Alexander

    Yes, these latex tubes are great. I used them faithfully on my mountain bike before I went tubeless. Didn’t even think to get them for the road bike, I will now. The only minor drawback I experienced with them is they have a tendency to lose a slight bit of air every couple days due to the porosity of the latex. No biggie, just check your tire pressure before every ride.

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