latex tubes - michelin vs. vittoria vs. ??

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#1
I think I'm going to try these this season. According to reviews the vittorias are lighter, durability seems the same.

The michelins have 40mm valves (or 60), vittorias have 51--a toss-up for me since I only have standard rims.

The rule seems to be to buy 3 if you need 2, since it's not uncommon to blow one on installation.

Brand preferences, or other comments?

(e.g., I read one suggestion of dusting with baby powder at first)
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#2
To be honest not worth the money - unless you are racing and don't own a pair of tubulars these are the next best thing linked of course with Vittoria Open Corsa EVO CX tires.

If you are using them for jollies I would suggest going with standard inners.
 

astroman

Speeding Up
Mar 19, 2007
264
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Shirokanedai, Tokyo
#3
Only used Michelins

On my Hed Jet 60/90 race wheels (60mm valves), with good success. Never had a flat in a race and I just pump them up to 120 psi before the start. Only had one flat on a training ride in the mountains when I probably shouldn't have used the race wheels anyway.

For races I carry a butyl tube as a spare as you really don't want to fiddle around with mounting a delicate latex tube during a race. And I also use CO2 for air, which doesn't work well with latex tubes. Never had a problem mounting them, but I also read the baby powder trick so I do that as well.

Why only Michelins? Probably because they are usually the only ones for sale on Wiggle. And because my tyres are Michelin 3 Pro Races, so they match. :cool: Tried tubulars before, didn't like them, so I only run clinchers now. My set up is very close to tubies; fast, with low RR and a lot less hassle and less weight to carry. But I am a triathlete and not a racing cyclist.
 
Dec 31, 2009
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Matsumoto
#4
May be cause I was 100 kg at the time but I couldnt ride a week without a puncture. I avoid latex for clincher. They do feel nicer, but that's not worth the hassle for me.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#5
What a latex tube does is reduce the compliance between tire and rim. And it also allows for a slightly greater air volume and very slightly reduced weight. There are butyl tubes which come very close to latex these days, and unless you are racing (for real) , I don't generally recommend latex because they are harder to repair for most people and a little more fragile especially if the tire or rimstape side has abnormalities or roughness.

That being said - I DO Recommend Latex tubes when used with Open Corsa CX's on carbon clinchers because the rim section is small to begin with and having the greater air volume really does help to improve ride and reduce compliance related resistance. That plus reducing the tire compliance which is higher anyway when mounted to a carbon vs alloy rim hook.

Bear in mind, all these differences are very slight and may be counted in fractions of seconds over a km. Probably better to worry about proper airpressure, and even more so - aerodynamics of your riding position.

For mounting - a little baby powder ( or talcum) works to prevent binding of the thinner tube. But be very careful if it gets wet! The powder turns to grit and will grind its way through the tube! So - just a very lght dusting (or shake in a plastic bag) is enough to make the tube easier to handle and slippery inside the carcass.
 

jdd

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#6
Okay, you've all talked me out of trying them. (In spite of many reviews saying they're wonderful.) My needs are nowhere near the needs that they are designed to meet.

So what's the best butyl alternative? (for a 23mm tire?)
 

GSAstuto

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#8
This was so funny to me "If this is what tubulars feel like; I see why guys don't want to switch to clinchers." If you want extra performance gain from latex tubes - you should just be riding tubulars to begin with. Or transition to tubeless.

As far as hillclimbs go - I just use Tufo lightest available, and frankly , that's all I care about at 15-25kph with no descents. You can use the Tufo 120's HPI and meet the UCI / JBCF specs , btw - as they are not true 'track' only tires. Anything else it's Vittoria CX.

If you ride clean and always in the saddle, it won't make ANY difference. A good clincher at proper pressure is every bit as good. But if you are a transition type rider , in and out of saddle alot, using attacks frequently, then a lighter wheelset adds up quickly.
 

GSAstuto

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#10
I have both Vittoria and Michelin tubes. The Michelin's don't have removable valve core so they are a little more hassle if you want to fit different rims w/extenders. On the otherhand, I've seen more flat issues with the Vittoria, while the Michelins work fine - in fact - I can't remember seeing any flats with the Michelin / OpenCorsa CX combo.

Typically my flats came from catching a metal shaving or snakebite on a grate. For those, nothing would prevent flat regardless of the tire / tube combo.

BTW - for the latex tubes in tubulars - I just patch with those 'press on' patches. Or just use an old latex tube for patch material and a little Panaracer rim shellac (actually its solvent glue, but very light). In a pinch you could even use a condom (latex of course) and rubber cement from the nearest Post Office. My point - they aren't difficult to deal with. Just make sure you install them without pinching and binding.
 

jdd

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#12
That's more pages, but pretty much what I had been reading about them in reviews and on other forums. Maybe I'll go ahead and give them a try. Positives on the ride, a few installation tweaks needed, not all that different in terms of flatting.

Tim--tubeless hadn't crossed my mind, thanks for the idea. Some more exploring to do.

Thanks, all, for the input.

John D.
 

D.K.

Cruising
Dec 1, 2011
18
0
13
Tokyo
#15
I had installed my Vittoria latex tube with Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX Clincher tires in the summer and when I went to clean my wheels in January, I found the tube to be stuck on the inner wall of the tire. With a slow tug, it came off. Now I use baby powder so it no longer sticks.

Also, make sure you keep used latex tubes to create patches for puncture repairs on other latex tubes. I believe normal rubber cement for tubes is adequate.

Others suggest that latex tubes not be used with all carbon rims on long downhills as they may burst due to heat build up from excessive braking.

Otherwise, I've never had an issue with them.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#16
I use those Vittoria tyres. Truly excellent.

I have had nothing but problems with Vittoria tubes though, and stick to Michelin.

Probably more just bad luck than anything but that is my experience.